1 JOHN 2:18-29

"IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE WHAT A MAN BELIEVES"

INTRO: Lucy and Linus looking out the window at a steady downpour of rain. "Boy," said Lucy, "look at it rain. What if it floods the whole world?"

"It will never do that," Linus replied confidently. "In the ninth chapter of Genesis, God promised Noah that would never happen again, and the sign of the promise is the rainbow."

"You've taken a great load off my mind," said Lucy with a relieved smile.

"Sound theology," responded Linus, "has a way of doing that!"

 

Now we have noted in our study of 1 Jn. That John gives 3 defining marks of those who know God ! Fellowship w/ God !

  1. Where walk / How love / & what they believe / Looked at the 1st two

Walk in Light not darkness & Lives marked by love / not hate

B) As we come to v.18 of Ch. 2 John begins to talk about a 3rd conflict - the conflict between truth & error

    1. Those who walk w/ God need to walk in truth! V.18-29

 

Now there are 3 themes in the section before us today

1st John warns us to watch out for false teachers who seek to come in & seduce the body of Christ

  1. John gives 3 defining Characteristics that you can find in almost every false teaching
  1. 2nd theme : 4 things about the believer who is walking in the truth !
  1. 3rd Some key insights on how we can avoid being deceived !

D) Because there is so much here we are going to take this section in 2 parts beginning w/ the 1st theme : defining marks of false teachers !

But John begins here by using this term the last hour! What mean?

  1. Interesting term considering the day in which John was writing : Last hour is a reference to the last days - to end times!

B.) The last hour - began after the Resurrection of Christ!

1.)All creation and mankind was anxiously awaiting the 1st coming of Christ / Most important event in history to date!

  1. So much of what was written in the O.T. pointed towards when Jesus would come as the lamb who takes away the sins of the world !
    1. They were waiting for & looking for that fulfillment !
  1. After Jesus died & rose again he ushered in a new waiting period / when He would come again not as Lamb / conquering Lion of tribe of Judah !

C) So all creation is waiting for His 2nd Coming!

1.) The last days began in John's day after the Rez. and have been growing in intensity ever since! Determining sign get more intense!

D.) Jesus described those days as being like a woman who is pregnant! There is the Waiting time/ time of preparation

    1. Closer it gets time of anticipation( any day now ) followed by feelings of expectation ( I know its going to be today )
  1. Then comes labor! / going into shear panic sets in / I Remember when our daughter Amy was born / Aaron was induced
    1. So everything lamaze out the window ! /W/ Amy Denise water broke at home / going to Hospital / Iím going to deliver this kid in the car
  1. So Jesus described the time of His 2nd coming as being like a woman who is Pregnant & in Johns day it was like the woman who just became pregnant

1) Today itís like the labor pains are here the baby could come at any day !

The Labor pains are getting more frequent & intense ! /

 

In Matt. Ch. 24 Jesus said that these last days would resemble the days of Noah

  1. A few of the Characteristics of the times of Noah is it was a time of abnormal sexual immorality / increase violence / imaginations of men evil continually
  1. Now there has always been problems w/ those things in our culture but the thing we need to realize they have definitely grown in intensity in the last 30yrs or so !

C) Consider : 1960 1990s

Violent crime rate (per 10,000) 16.1 75.8

Percent of illegitimate births 5.3% 26.2%

Children with single mothers 8% 22%

Teen suicide rate 3.6% 11.3%

The average prison sentence given for serious crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, and assault has decreased 35 percent since 1960.

  1. Out of 1,000 criminals arrested for a violent crime only 2.4 will serve any significant Jail time ! 2.4 out of 1000
  1. No wonder the suicide rate for Police officers is 4 times that of the normal population !
    1. Police officers are outgunned / Uzzies / Weapons on Black market / crazy

USA Today, 7-14-94 Nine year old James Darby wrote the following letter to President Clinton "Dear Mr. Clinton, I want you to stop the killing in the city. People is dead and I think that somebody might kill me. So would you please stop the people from deading. I'm asking you nicely to stop it. I know you can do it. Do it. I now you could. Your Friend, James."

A few weeks after sending his letter, Little James Darby was gunned down in New Orleans in a random drive-by shooting. 9yrs old

According to the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee

The United States is the most violent civilized nation in the world For youths,.

One in five high school students frequently come to school armed. with guns, knives, razors or clubs for fighting or defending themselves.

The FBI says high schoolers have been killing each other or somebody else at a rate of more than a thousand a year.

* The homicide rate for males between the ages of 15 and 24 is 22 homicides per 100,000 for the United States, more than four times higher than the next highest country.

The cost of incarcerating young offenders runs about $1.7 billion a year.

4.2 billion on Prevention Programs

Recent report to the Vista teachers Association .

In any given day in the US 9 kids are murdered / 13 kids die from guns / 30 are wounded / 307 are arrested for crimes of violence

Definitely been an Increase in Violent crimes ! What about Sexual immorality ? Same report said On a given day in America 480 teenagers get a sexually transmitted disease 1,115 teenagers have abortions / 2,781 teens get pregnant / 8,400 teens become sexually active

Did you Know One out of five Americans now suffers from a sexual disease. 56 million people in the United States are infected with a sexually transmitted disease, & more than 1/2 of those sufferers have sexual diseases that are incurable.

Increase of Violence / Increase in sexual immorality / What about the imaginations of men ! How are we doing in the Department ?

  1. Consider : Pornography is a 5 Billion dollar a yr. Business / every yr. Approx. 300,000 3-7 yr. Kids are exploited & abused in over 265 kiddie porn mags
  1. Average T.V. veiwer sees 9,230 sexual acts or implied sexual acts on Telv. Each yr. 83% are out of marriage / 10yrs over 93,000 sex acts
  1. Remember days of I love Lucy / Dick Van Dyke / separate beds & high necked P.Jís
    1. Today on Prime time T.V. 176 sex scenes per weak / Soaps are even more

D) U.S. News & world report published an article Last yr. where they gave some interesting Stats on Daytime TV

1) Soaps NBC 4.6 acts of sex per hr. / ABC 7.2 / CBS 7.7

PER HOUR EACH DAY!

So it doesnít take a brain surgeon for us to see that we are living in the Last days ! Increase in frequency & in intensity of these things !

  1. Unfortunately the labor pains that Jesus spoke of were a decline in morality & ethics as well as conscience in our society / Today US is morally bankrupt

 

Another One of the distinguishing marks that we are living in the Last Days is increase in false teaching & religions/ Jesus spoke M.24 False Christ

A.) 1 Tim 4:1 - Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,

  1. Deceiving spirits & Doctrines of demons/ Source of false teachings
    1. Popes remarks creation / consider evolution / surprised / no it fits in w/ the humanistic thinking of today / in filtrating church / no absolutes

Bb) All evidence of the Deceiving spirits & doctrine of Demons that is spreading today ! Whoís goal is to get God out of the picture / no one answer too!

B.) John confirms the same idea / source behind these false teachings when he uses the term Anti-Christ

  1. Word anti- dual meaning - against - or it can mean instead of/ substitute.

Speaks of one who is against Christ or who is A counterfeit Christ !

Cc)Satan has always wanted to be worshiped and served as God /He will one day produce his masterpiece, the Antichrist, Charismatic spiritual Leader who has

1) / Wisdom of an Abe Lincoln / Charisma of John Kennedy / Leadership of a Reagan / Speaking ability of a Winston Churchill / looks Redford

  1. A man who is going to have all answers to world's problems/ He will cause the world to worship Satan and believe Satanís lies

1) he will turn peoples eyes off the true & living God to a false god!

  1. John says Antichrist is coming but even now - there are many antichrist / What he means many teachers who have same spirit/

1) Some are against Christ defiantly / Others come across very subtle like Christ / either way they are against Jesus

  1. Throw out deceiving lies that are meant to pull people into their trips & away from the knowledge of the true God!
    1. They are setting the stage for the main guy to come on the scene! He will deceive many!

 

John's goals here is to warn us to watch out for these false teachers and he gives 3 characteristics we need to watch out for

A) three defining marks that you see in almost every false teacher fall into

#1 - v.19 - He departs from fellowship

A.) The N.T. presents the church in a twofold way: as one worldwide family and as local units of assemblies of believers!

B.)When a person becomes a Christian - he becomes a part of the family of God

1.) They should then - join a local body of believers where taught grow - fellowship - serve!

C.) I believe that one of the evidences of a true conversion - is a desire to be w/ God's people

1.) 1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren.

D.) Person truly born again loves to be w/ God's sheep

 

But a distinguishing factor - mark of a false teacher is he departs from fellowship

A.) If you examine at all the histories of cults - you will find that in most cases - leaders departed from" Christian churches "/

B.) Usually starts w/ a recognition of flaws in church members/ Hypocrisy

1.) true never find a perfect church/ dumb sheep / under construction

C.) Another factor is usually pride - they have discovered some new insight - new understanding/ their a little better than next guy

1.) usually very contradictory to the truth of the scriptures but "God showed them" If you were as spiritual as me - you would see it too!

  1. New insight/ Listen Saying: if new it's not true & true it's not new!

1) David declared word gives understanding to the simple !

  1. We need to watch out for those who come around saying they have been given new insights / new Revelation

1) Those who begin to point out all problems in churches/ those who claim they have all answers they will depart

F) John says - they went out from us because they were not of us!

 

2nd Thing we see about false teachers is they deny the Deity and sufficiency of Christ v.22-23

A.) When John says that the false teacher denies that Jesus is the Christ - he has more than identity in mind!

B.)This is where cults can be very subtle! Do you believe Jesus is the Christ? Sure! Jesus was great / Wonderful

    1. New agers he possessed the " Christ consciousness "- Buddhist he was a good teacher / Islam -He was one of Prophets
  1. Mormons Jesus is Lucifer's brother / JWs He is Michael the arch Angel / not God in the flesh but a god

When John says that Jesus is the Christ it is a phrase that is full of meaning & significance !

  1. Jesus is the grk translation of the Hebrew Joshua = Jehovah saves!

Jehovah was the name of God ! So 1st of all it is a recognition of His deity

B) Jesus was God in the flesh

1)Word Christ - Christas in Grk - translated from Hebrew = Anointed one or Messiah!

  1. The OT scriptures presented two descriptions of the Messiah who was to come ! One was of a conquering lion ! Coming to set up His kingdom
    1. Kingdom in which He would reign forever/ Jesus is that Messiah
  1. But there was another description : Suffering Lamb ! Lamb of God who would come & take away the sin of the world !

1) Jesus is that Messiah / Same guy / two Jobs / before set up His kingdom He needed to redeem man from his sin / set free !

D.)So - to confess Jesus as the Christ means to acknowledge Him as God in flesh

who gave his life - shed perfect sinless blood to cleanse men from our sins

  1. It is recognizing that only He could do that only a sinless one - could take another's sin! Jesus - totally God - totally man was only one!
    1. And it is realizing that He is still coming back again to set up a kingdom that will never end!

 

To confess Jesus as the Christ means - He is the Messiah - Which also means He is sufficient to meet my every need!

A.) I don't need to look any further than Him

B.) Many cult groups - will admit to believing in Jesus - they may not deny Him - outwardly / He is not sufficient

1.) Jesus is the Christ - God's son - died on cross

C.) but they deny His sufficiency because they preach - believe in Jesus but you also need to do something else !

.1) follow this code - or do this - knock on doors

  1. If you really want to be saved you can believe in Jesus but you must do something else Judaizers Circumcised

1)Gnostics who said - Punish your body completely deny your flesh / donít eat meat etc

  1. Groups today you need to knock on doors / you need to go here do this

What do you get when you cross an atheist with a Jehovah's Witness? Someone who knocks on your door for no apparent reason.

Paul said if anyone preaches a different gospel to you than what we preached - let him be accursed!

  1. What did Paul preach - Jesus & Him crucified. Faith in Christ finished work alone

B) To preach a different gospel not only means you are accursed but you are denying the son & John says if you deny the son you deny the Father also!

C) Harry Ironside tells the story of a preacher who preached a social gospel / man improving changing himself / earning his way to heaven by doing something etc.

One night a little girl came to his home begged him to come because her mother was dying - mother was a prostitute / bad prt of town

A) Responded your mother is a drunk call the police / no she said to

get a real preacher you are only one I know

B) Knowing the area they lived in / risk his reputation seen there / go to the rescue mission / girl persisted - finally he went

When he arrived the mother said Oh preacher I am dying can you tell me something about God - can you tell me how to get to heaven ?

 

The preacher began to think - " I have been preaching salvation by character but she doesn't have any / I have been preaching salvation by

reformation - clean up act - she has no time / culture - no time acquire any What am I going to tell her ?

He remembered some verses his mother told him -young boy Jn.3:16

" oh sir do you mean that God loved the world & He loves even me ?

Well yes I think that is right

Next he Quoted how the blood of Christ cleanses from all sin / Me from every sin I have committed - Yes true

A) Thought of another verse whoever will come let him come / she said I can come to Christ & be saved

1) He said She got in & I did too!

B)Problem salvation by works / or Reformation/ - what if no time/ Good Question ( Jon at JW. I have one day to live !)

 

So the false teacher - denies the deity and sufficiency of Christ turn focus from Christ to other things

A.)But those who walk in truth are focused on Christ! They realize He is sufficient

B.) In Him is all they need! Their whole live are bound up in Christ and revolve around Christ

  1. Absence of pride - lives marked by a humility - seeing our lives in light of who He is- Marked by humility and a dependence on Christ alone

 

3rd characteristics of the false teacher - v.26 - they try to deceive Christians

A.) Very interesting to me - trait see amongst cults and false teachers and they spend little time trying to convert unbelievers

B.) But they prey on young Christians/ ( Knock on door not interested never come back / start arguing - back every week / trained

1) Word deceive in v.26 - could be seduce

  1. Carries that idea of a man who tries to seduce a woman - whispering sweet nothings / telling her what she wants to hear get into the sack

1) The bible tells us in the Last days many who will be seduced !

D.) Listen to what Paul said about those who are deceived in Last Days

1.) 2 Tim 4:3,4

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but suit their own desires,, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

E.) Itching ears "tell me what I want to hear" - seen people go from pastor to pastor - counselor to counselor

    1. Until heard what wanted to hear! Not endure sound doctrine

Many today who donít want to hear the truth !

Read the story of a Pastor who delivered a powerful sermon on the subject of sin. After the service, one of the church officers confronted the minister in his study and offered what he thought was some needed counsel. "Pastor," he said, "we don't want you to talk as openly as you do about man's guilt and corruption, because if our boys and girls hear you discussing that subject they will more easily become sinners.."

The pastor removed a small bottle from a shelf behind his desk. Showing it to the man, he said, "You see this label? It says 'Strychnine,' and underneath in bold, red letters is the word 'poison.' What you are asking me to do would be like changing this label. Suppose I write over it 'Essence of Peppermint.' Someone who doesn't know the danger might use it and become very ill. The milder the label, the more dangerous the poison!"

 

We need to call sin what it is & we need to be on guard against false teachers who come on the seen seeking to seduce the flock

  1. Who Depart from the faith / who deny the deity & the sufficiency of Jesus Christ

B) Guys we are living in the Last days & we are going to see an increase of this

Book of Is. Ch. 5 spoke of time that reflects our day : V20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight! 23 Who justify the wicked for a bribe, And take away justice from the righteous man!

24 Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble, And the flame consumes the chaff, So their root will be as rottenness, And their blossom will ascend like dust; Because they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts, And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

 

In closing turn w/ me to 2Pet. 3

  1. Note 2Pet. 2 is a further description of false teachers / describes their motives - covetousness & selfish gain / as well as their judgement
  1. But in Ch. 3 Peter is reminding us that the Lords return could be at any day

Sure scoffers who will say where is He ÖÖ..

C) Note v. 8-14 / 17,18