Not Of Us

1 John 2:18-19 ESV

Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.

I have heard people interpret this passage to say that this talking about those who have left the church, meaning those who have physically left the institutional church and who no longer participate in the gatherings of the institutional (business model) church, which is partnered with the world. But, that is clearly not the intended meaning here. So, what is the meaning?

Well, first of all we must understand that the church is not a building or a business or a church denomination. It is the people of God who have trusted Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of their lives. It is a building only in the sense that it is God’s spiritual house. The stones which make up this building, though, are people, God’s holy people, with Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone. So, this house is built upon our faith in Jesus Christ.

So, if someone leaves this church, it means they have deserted the faith in Jesus Christ. For, the leaving of this church is not necessarily a physical desertion, but it is a spiritual and moral desertion. It means they have held on to their baggage, i.e. to their sinful condition, and they have not yielded to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Yet, they may masquerade themselves as servants of righteousness, and may only be in the gatherings of the church to steal, to kill and to destroy; to trick, to manipulate and to confuse minds.

Their tower of strength is not the Lord Jesus Christ or his gospel, but it is their own devices and tricks and manipulations which they use, not only to hide their own sin, but which they also use to try to manipulate and trick others into joining them in their desertion of the faith. For, what they teach is a cheap grace gospel which requires no repentance or submission to Jesus Christ and to his cross, but which coddles people in their sin, instead.

But, we need to be wise here, for they are very clever, and they may seem as though what they are teaching is the truth part of the time, but they may vacillate back and forth and be all over the map with regard to what they actually believe. So, beware, be alert, be prayerful and be discerning so that you are not caught up in their web of deception, for it is very subtle.

1 John 2:20-25 ESV

But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life.

Do you know that someone may actually verbally acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and yet deny him at the same time? If they didn’t, how else could they masquerade themselves as servants of righteousness? How could they deceive so many people into following them, thinking that they were following the truth? It is because they pretend to be followers of Jesus, but by their actions they deny him and his Lordship.

Do you also know that the antichrist may not verbally deny Jesus Christ? He may, in front of people, not appear against Christ at all. Remember that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. They are able to deceive naïve minds because they make an appearance that they are righteous, but behind closed doors they secretly serve Satan and their flesh and many of them are involved in all kinds of ungodly and wicked practices.

So, against Christ may not be something readily apparent or verbally expressed, but rather it has to do with our hearts, our attitudes, our words and our actions. If we live to please our flesh, and we reject the Lordship of Christ over our lives, and we refuse to obey Christ’s commands, and we do what we want to do, instead, despite Jesus, then we are antichrist, for we deny him in our lives by our refusal to surrender our lives over to him.

But, the antichrist’s goal is to pull us away from our pure devotion to Jesus Christ. He wants to get us to relinquish God’s rule and authority over our heads, and to let go of our longstanding commitment to obedience, to purity, to holiness, and to righteousness. And, so he tries to convince us that God does not require anything of us and that we can live however we want and still have the hope of eternal life with God. But, that is a lie!

If they cannot get us to deny our Lord by rejecting his gospel in favor of the cheap grace gospel, then they will exert pressure on us by trying to shame us into compliance, or by turning others against us who will reject us for our stand on the Word of Truth. And, at some point, they will outlaw the true gospel of our salvation and will prohibit us from sharing it publicly or we will have to pay the consequences if we continue to proclaim the truth and to lead people to repentance and to obedience to Christ and to his Word.

1 John 2:26-27 ESV

I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.

When we truly trust Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, who then teaches us all things with regard to Christ and what he taught. He also encourages us in our walks of faith, and comforts us in our sorrows, and he gives us wisdom and guidance so we know the way that is right and so we discern error and reject wrong.

So, not only do we have the Bible to read where we learn God’s truths and his instructions to us, his people, but we have the Living Word alive within our hearts speaking God’s truths to us always, if we are attentive, and if we will listen, and if we will obey what he teaches us and not shut him out.

Therefore, if we are listening, and if we are walking in obedience to our Lord, we can pray for wisdom and for discernment so that we are not easily led astray and so we don’t end up following the cheap grace gospel which tickles itching ears and which tells them what their flesh wants to hear. For, the flesh wants to hear that we can live in sin and still have heaven as our eternal destiny. But, God’s Word says if we do that, we will die in our sins, no matter what faith we profess with our lips or what we think we believe.

1 John 2:28-29 ESV

And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.

And, here is the clincher. And, this is what Jesus taught, and what his NT apostles taught, and this is the consistent message throughout the New Testament. And, that is that we must practice (live in lifestyle) righteousness if we want to be born of God and have eternal life with God. For, if we walk (conduct our lives) in the darkness (sin), we don’t know God, we don’t have forgiveness of sins, and we don’t have eternal life with God.

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

 

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