2:18 antichrist. This is actually recorded as a personal name, Antichrist. This is the only place in the Bible where he is called by this name, but that such a person is coming had long been known by the early Christians. Christ had called him “the abomination of desolation” (Matthew 24:15), Paul had called him “the man of sin” and “the son of perdition” (II Thessalonians 2:3), and John would later call him “the Beast” (Revelation 13:4). When he does come, he will—like his master, Satan—oppose and blaspheme God and briefly obtain dominion over the world.
2:18 the last time. This phrase actually reads “a last hour.” When the ultimate Antichrist comes, it will indeed be the last hour for this present world order. In John’s time, however, and in every generation since, many have arisen—even in the professing church—who manifest the spirit of “antichrist.” That is, they deny that God is Creator and that Jesus Christ is Savior, rejecting God’s Word and seeking to undermine and destroy every true church. When a particular church (or any Christian organization) allows such teaching to gain a secure foothold, it becomes a last hour for that church. Such antichrists are not “false Christs” (e.g., Matthew 24:24), pretending to be the returning Christ or a new manifestation of Christ (these are dangerous also, and are apparently proliferating in the New Age movement), but men openly opposing God, Christ, the Scriptures, and all they represent.