1 John 2:18-19 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
As it applies to all Christians, John writes, Little children, it is the last time. The last time spoken of here is the dispensation ushered in by the coming of Jesus Christ and His death, burial, and resurrection. It came on the Day of Pentecost when the kingdom of Christ was established; when those that obeyed God's will, repented of their worldly ways, were baptized for the remission of their sins, and were added, by God, to the church of Christ (See Acts 2). The last times (and) last days were ushered inwhen the gospel of eternal salvation was made manifest to the world through God's Son (See Heb. 1:1-2; 1 Peter 1:5; 1:19-20).
Here, the apostle John warns all Christians that during this last time there will appear many antichrists. There has been much speculation and controversy among "religious" bodies, and bible scholars, throughout the history of Christianity regarding the antichrist. Many give mystical applications to the term. Many apply the term to specific civil, and religious, leaders, referring to them as the antichrist. However, there is nothing mysterious about the term, antichrist. The term can rightfully apply to many political and religious leaders of the world that oppose, and deny God and His Son, the Savior of the world. This seems to be the warning of Paul when he wrote to the church at Thessalonica (See 2 Thess. 2:1-7). The son of perdition, here referred to as one that opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God (Vss. 3-4). Most assuredly, those leaders assuming this position, would fit the description of an antichrist.
In a broader sense, an antichrist is nothing more than an opponent, or a disbeliever, in Christ; a person that actively stands in opposition to Jesus Christ and His gospel message of eternal salvation. Jesus, Himself, gave us a similar warning saying that there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets (Matt. 24:24). He also assured His disciples that many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many (Matt. 24:5). Christians are warned throughout the New Testament to beware of false, deceiving teachers. However the apostle John is the only inspired writer of the New Testament that describes them specifically as antichrists. It is used in the lesson text, and also in verse 22 that follows. Here John describes an antichrist as a liar - one that denies both God and His Son Jesus Christ. He also uses it in 1 John 4:3, saying that the antichrist is one that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God. 2 John 7 tells us that an antichrist is a deceiver, and at the time John wrote this epistle, there were already many deceivers (antichrists) entered into the world. The same is said in the lesson text when John assured us that even now are there many antichrists.
There were antichrists in the days of the apostle John, and there are antichrists throughout the world today. Some, that John referred to as antichrists, ...went out from us. These false teachers once were members of the body of Christ, professing to be children of God. And yet, for whatever reason, accepted false teaching, became apostates, and fell away from faithfully serving the cause of Christ. The fact that they departed from the faith that had been delivered to them by the apostles of Christ, proved that they were not of us. One cannot depart from the gospel of Christ and remain His follower. The name Christian cannot be worn through infidelity.
To add to, delete from, or alter, in any way, the New Testament word of God, is to deny God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Those that teach such false doctrine are given the name of antichrist by the apostle John. No better explanation can be made of the lesson text than by John himself when he wrote: Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also). Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that He hath promised us, even eternal life (1 John 2:22-25). Let not antichrists persuade you, and ...seduce you (Vs. 26),from God's Holy Word!