John now passes on to give us another warning, this against the antichrists who will assault the Christian church.  He solemnly informs his readers that it is the last time.  All too many believers are looking for signs that we are in the last days, when the Scripture plainly teaches that “the last time” began when Jesus Christ inaugurated the kingdom of God.  This is the last era, or dispensation, of God’s dealing with men.  This church age, centered around the preaching of the Gospel and faith in the resurrected and reigning Son of God, is the age of God’s final method of dealing with mankind.

Scripture informs us that the last times will be perilous, that iniquity shall abound and the love of many shall wax cold.  False doctrine will flourish, and the church will be inundated with false teachers.  To this agrees the word of John, that even now “there are many antichrists.”  Many, probably most, Christian interpreters believe there shall be a final, singular Antichrist, who will wage war against the saints, and finally be overthrown by Christ Himself.  I have long suspected, based upon this passage, that “Antichrist” is not a particular individual, but rather refers to the doctrine, by whomever espoused, that is contrary to the faith once delivered to the saints.  Be that as it may, John tells us that we can be certain we are in the last age because there are many antichrists in the world, who have arrayed themselves squarely on the side of the Devil, and in opposition to the doctrine of Christ and His apostles.