Skip to main content

1 John 2:18-27 – Discussion Guide

By October 15, 2023October 17th, 2023Small Group Study Guide

Q1) How has the recent phenomenon of Christian “deconstruction” touched your life? Has it left you disoriented, confused, angry, or discouraged?

Read 1 John 2:18-27

John had planted churches in modern-day Turkey but, over time, some individuals within these churches rejected essential theological beliefs about Jesus, left the church, and took some members of the church with them. It was an ancient expression of Christian “deconstruction.” John was now writing to refute the false teaching that had affected the church and to encourage the faithful remnant of believers who remained. We find three principles in this passage:

Honor the Hour

Read Matthew 24:3-14 and Matthew 13:1-8, 18-23.

Q2) How do Jesus’ teachings about “the last hour” help us understand what was happening in John’s church and what we are seeing in American Christianity today?

John’s intention in reminding the church about the last hour was not that the church would respond to these difficult realities with fear, despair, withdrawal, distraction, or cynicism, but that the church would honor the hour and live faithfully in midst it.

Q3) When you think about our society and world do you tend toward fear, despair, withdrawal, distraction, or cynicism? Why?

Q4) What would it look like to move from any of these responses to a response in which you honor the hour?

Trust the Testimony

In the face of his opponents’ “new, better, more sophisticated, and more palatable” ideas about Jesus, John commands the church to keep on trusting in the apostolic testimony they had received.

Q5) What “new, better, more sophisticated, and more palatable” expressions of Jesus have you witnessed in our modern American culture?

Q6) John commands the church: “Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you.” (v. 24). In what way(s) are you applying effort toward this aim in your own life? What makes this difficult for you, personally, on a day-to-day basis?

Abide in the Anointing

Some circles of Christianity focus on the Spirit to the detriment of being faithful to the Word. Other circles focus on being faithful to Word but neglect the ministry of the Spirit. Healthy churches and healthy people joyfully embrace and pursue both as they worship “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23).

Q7) What are some ways we can consistently practice “abiding in the anointing”?

Q8) How can we know whether or not we are abiding in the anointing?

Q9) Circling back to question one, how do these three principles help us reorient in a time of confusion and discouragement? 

Q10) Even though these principles can help us reorient, they will not eliminate the grief we feel if and when friends and family members walk away. What do we do with this grief?


Remember Trace’s example of the complete surrender of the dog to his master. How can you choose to position your heart toward the Lord in that way?  Consider praying this prayer: “Holy Spirit, empty me of myself and fill me with your presence. Help me to abide in you.”  

As part of your prayer time, you may want to pray for friends and family members who have walked away. You don’t have to name their names.  Pray for them to turn back to the Lord. Pray for them to know truth. Pray for the Lord to guide you in your interactions with them.