As you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. From this, we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us.” (1 John 2:18-19)
Whenever the word “Antichrist” is mentioned, our minds tend to go directly to the devil but a better understanding of that word is in the context it appears in today’s first reading. The antichrist is not necessarily the devil himself but anyone who claims to profess faith in Christ yet brings about division and distortion of the truth among Christians.
According to John, “So many antichrists have come; therefore, we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us…. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and know that no lie is of the truth.” (1 John 2:18-21).
From what John says, it is either we are Pro-Christ or Anti-Christ. We cannot be both at the same time. It is either we are promoting Christ in our life or we are giving the wrong message about Christ to the world. In Christ, there is no division, anyone who is championing division in the Church is not for Christ.
Six days ago, we celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ into the human race. Why was Jesus born among us? To bring us life and this life is the light and this light entails that we live above sin in a world that has been so crippled by darkness.
If we call ourselves Christians, then our lives ought to shine like bright stars in the world, that is, there has to be a difference in our pattern of life. However, from the way many Christians live today, from the way they pretend to be in the light while full of darkness inside, we can only conclude that there are more Antichrists in the church than there are true Christians.
Jesus himself told us that it is by their fruits that we would know the antichrists. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits… “Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:15-21).
John says in our Gospel passage: “The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave the power to become children of God.” (John 1:9-12).
Have I fully received Christ? Am I a wolf in sheep’s clothing? Do I outwardly claim to be for Christ yet act against him in private? And finally, as a child of God, what are my New Year’s resolutions?
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, thank you for bringing me to the end of the year, may my life be a reflection of your love. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bible Study: 1 John 2:18-21, Ps. 96:1-2,11-13, John 1:1-18)*
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu