Read 2 John
Though 2 John is the shortest book in the Bible, it is no less important because of the message that it carries. The author, presumably the Apostle John, continues in the theme he carries throughout his writings, to show and live out the love of God daily. John says that he is not giving them a “new command,” but rather is reiterating the one that Jesus gave to His disciples: love one another. When we walk in love, we are walking with God and are obeying the commandments that God has given to us. This is, as Jesus points out, the essence of the whole Law.
What is interesting here, and at other points in 1 John as well, is what it means for those who claim to be Christians to not love each other. John says that they are “a deceiver and the antichrist.” This may seem a bit extreme as we often think about the “antichrist” as being a person who will appear in the end times to openly oppose God and actively persecute Christians. Views like this have been perpetuated in today’s culture by books like the “Left Behind” series and other “end times” type books.
Yet the way that John uses the term “antichrist” is one that references the work of the devil on a daily basis, not an evil figurehead. In fact, if we were to follow this line of thinking, it makes sense that Satan is the antichrist, the one who opposes God in the world and that those who deny Jesus, those who do not love God or show God’s love for others participate in the work of Satan, the antichrist.
In the same way that those who love as God first loved them are in Christ and participating in the salvation and redemption of the world, following God’s lead and Lordship, so too are those who do not, participate in the Devil’s campaign against God and His work in the world.