Children are those who are under the authority of a supervising identifiable parent. That is you and me, all Christians, who are in the family of God by means of our faith in Christ, and under whose authority we are now subject.
All other persons (unbelievers) living on the face of the earth, are in effect orphans, living in the world without any authority over them with which they can look to for guidance, save their own self invented authority. And the standards which come from the worlds authority are what we call the laws of the jungle, offset by Gods divine establishment rules. Those establishment principles are the only thing that separate mankind from his own continuation in history and his self destruction.
John makes reference now to the fact that this is the last age in the history of humanity before the coming of the Kingdom of God (the Millennium).
Our dispensation, the Church Age will continue until its completion before the ‘specific’ anti-christ comes in the Tribulation.
The word for hour, ‘hora,’ is a reference not to an hour on the clock, but to an era, or season, or segment of time within which a predetermined or allocated plan or course of action. That plan is Gods plan with respect to the dividing up of human history into dispensations or era’s of time.
The reference to ‘the antichrist is coming,’ is Satan’s plan to bring his own messiah into the world, as a counter to the true Messiah who has already come into the world. That plan will not occur until God permits it. And that will not occur until after the Rapture.
In the meantime, Satan will bring many distortions and distractions into he world (other anti-christs), in terms of other religions (Islam was the biggest one when it came into existence in the early 600’s AD), as well as many other beliefs, philosophies, theories of science, social attitudes, and the like.
Anything which is in opposition to Christ is technically an anti-christ. And so the world in our current dispensation will be filled with all kinds of alternative beliefs and promises which are contrary to the Bible, in order to confuse, and distort and lead mankind astray from salvation and from their spiritual life.
All things which stand in opposition to the principles taught in the Bible, will either stand on their own merit, or they will fail in their own contradiction over the course of time. This includes all religions, all philosophies, all beliefs which attempt to substitute themselves for the truth of the scriptures. Only truth remains, and lies fade away.
Only the Bible has withstood the challenges of time, and remains with us with its one and only consistent plan of God, which plan by the way, has never changed, and continues with us, as our only sure hope of a future in this life and in the next.