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The Struggle with Evil in End-Times

Commentary on 1 John 2:18

This new section of the Epistle connects with the preceding by the theme of eschatology—of the end-time. We have just read that “the world and its desire are passing away,” and now we are told that this is “the last hour”! As was stated in the introduction, the entire body of Johannine literature shares the view that the end has begun. While this seems to be the central theme in Revelation, it is mostly an undercurrent in the Gospel of John. First John had said nothing about it until 2:17; but now it comes to the foreground.

This happens precisely at the point where John is about to begin talking about opponents against whom his readers must guard. In this, the eschatology of First John is similar to that of Revelation, for both draw a line between those who belong to the new order and those who do not; between those who remain firm and those who waver. Even without the violent imagery of Revelation, there is no doubt that First John envi¬sions a struggle in which the forces of evil and untruth oppose God and God’s people.


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