“18Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. 19They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.” – 1 John 2:18-19
Be on guard against those who are opposed to the truth. As a Preacher, I have always been on the lookout for the anti-Christs. There are many, says John. But I also have felt the pressure of being scrutinized from some who say this is wrong and that instead I just need to be focusing on saving souls and on being positive. Someone wrote an article, and this is not uncommon, that we need to avoid calling people “false teachers” but instead should separate the teacher from the teaching, so as not to impugn or attack the individual. I do not know that the Bible tells us to be as sensitive. John says these are not just teaching anti-Christian things, but that these people are not really of us and that they ARE the anti-Christ. So while I respect that this is a serious charge and should be thoughtfully done, some need to be called out for being false teachers and the anti-Christ. It is not a wise Preacher or Elder who doesn’t have his eyes and ears open to the work of these who secretly or openly work against Jesus Christ, Acts 20:28-31. The flock of God is in danger when the Leaders have become timid in confronting error. Yes, Leaders need to be focused on the work, going forward, positive, but they also need to have their guard up against the error of the false teaching, anti-Christ.
28“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29“I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31“Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.” Acts 20:28ff.