18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.,,
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To me, it would be clear that, by the phrase "the last hour", John intended to indicate the approach of the close of the present age or the end of the world, along with the return of Christ in glory. This might seem to conflict with the fact that almost 2,000 years have passed since his words. However, I would say that the intent of his words was to keep Christians of whatever era (even up until now) in a continual state of both expectation and spiritual readiness for that event. In my opinion, this is a reasonable interpretation in light of the fact that Jesus Himself said that no one knows the day or the hour, and that (as indicated by verses such as Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8) even a period of time that long would be little more than the blink of an eye in the context of the eternal perspective that faith in Christ should instill in believers. Another possible perspective that I have mentioned previously on this site is found in the book Journey Out of Time by the late Dr. Arthur C. Custance, which is fully accessible online at https://custance.org/Library/Journey/index.html Dr, Custance's position (supported by appropriate Bible passages) is that, when believers die, they are then in a dimension outside of time, and will find themselves immediately in their glorified bodies in Christ's presence at the close of the present age. From that perspective, each believer's life is indeed "the last hour", since the believer's resurrected eternal existence in Christ's presence will begin immediately upon the end of the believer's earthly life.
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