1 JOHN 2:18-29

"IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE WHAT A MAN BELIEVES"

INTRO: There is a certain thinking today that says - it doesn't matter what you believe just as long as you are sincere!

A.) Pop singer George Michael sang - "You gotta have faith "- he didn't identify what faith was to be in, but - just have it!

  1. Alcoholics Anonymous teach - you need to have a higher power /again - doesn't matter who or what it is - God; devil, fire hydrant, dog!

1) Just as long as you follow the steps and are sincere

C.) The statement it makes no difference what you believe as long as you are sincere is the personal philosophy of many today

1.) But it is doubtful whether most who believe that have ever thought it through!

  1. Take a doctor in a hospital - who examines a patient - determines illness - and prescribes a medicine but his diagnosis was wrong -

1) and the person almost dies because of wrong medicine - doctor -was sincere in what he believed / sincerely wrong!

  1. Say a guy wants to drive from San Bernardino to San Diego / so he heads west on the 91 Fwy to the I-5 but instead of going So. He goes North.
    1. So he ends up in LA instead of SD. He was sincere in his desire & belief - going in right direction/ but he ends up at wrong place!
  1. Sad many will face that same reality when they die & come into eternity

find out they ended up in the wrong place

1) It takes more than sincerity to make something true!

 

Seen so far John has warned the church about the conflict between light & darkness! And between love & hatred As we come to v.18

  1. He warns them & us about a 3rd conflict / the conflict between truth & error

Those who walk w/ God need to walk in truth!

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

  1. 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 !

C)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 !

D)And now all creation is waiting for His 2nd Coming!

E) Jesus said that it would be like a woman who is Pregnant & about ready to have a baby / the closer it gets the signs will grow in frequency & intensity

    1. Like the Labor pains of a woman !

 

Now as a pointed out last week another One of the distinguishing marks that we are living in the Last Days is increase in false teaching & religions

  1. We discussed last week 3 characteristics that most false teachers fall into

3 DíS Depart / Deny deity & suff. / Deceive young Christians

Now last week we discussed how Jesus declared in Matt. Ch. 24 that the days in which He would come would be like days of Noah

  1. Days marked by increase in sexual immorality / increase in violence / & a

day in which the thoughts of men were continually evil

  1. We talked at length/ how we have definitely seen an increase in the frequency & the intensity of those 3 things in our society even in the past 30 yrs.
  1. But Jesus gave some other signs in Matt. 24 / that would be taking place before His coming / that there would be an increase in these 4things
    1. Wars & rumors of war / famine / deadly disease / & earthquakes
  1. Now there has been a definite increase in these things in just the past 50yrs / lets take a few minutes to briefly discuss !

Start w/ earthquakes :. Earthquakes around the world have increased so much that more people have been killed in earthquakes in one yr. Than in the las 10 .

How often do earthquakes happen ? Consider these stats on world wide Mag.

Earthquakes registering 8 and higher on the Richter scale = 1 per year

7.0 - 7.9 20 per year

6.0 - 6.9 120 per year

5.0 - 5.9 800 per year

  1. or less 9,150 per day

Consider this increase : In 1989 there were 6 quakes w/ a magnitude of 7.0 or greater / in 1994 5yrs later 13 / more than double

Quakes ranged 6.0 to 6.9 / 1989 - 79 / In 1994 161 again more than double

In Feb. 1996 in China earthquake hit that registered at 6.6 / killed 251 people & injured over 4,000 pp / left 1 million homeless

Wars : Richard Staar, international studies director at the Hoover Institution of War, Revolution and Peace in Pal Alto, Calif. "There are more wars with more people killed all over the world than 10 years ago." True, it's been 41 years since the world's major powers last bombed and shelled each other, but on any day soldiers are firing in 30 to 40 nations.

The Center for Defense Information estimates the number killed since the early 1970's at anywhere from a "conservative" 4.5 million to a more realistic 7.1 million. The bottom line: 1.56 billion -- one in three of the world's 5 billion people -- live in places where fighting is happening Right now

Famine : since 1990, it is estimated that more than 350,000 persons have starved to death and another 1.5 million are on the verge of starvation.

About 7 million children worldwide are refugees of famine and war.

According to world vision 35,000 kids a day die from hunger related causes

Disease have to talk about Aids : As of July 1996 US News & world report / research team revealed there are 21 million 898 ,000 people living w/ aids world wide . ( That they know of )

The World Health Organization has proclaimed AIDS the world's fastest-spreading epidemic. They estimate that more than 6,000 people are infected each day.

In a one yr. Span 94 to 95 1,025,073 AIDS cases in adults and children have been reported worldwide The number is growing rapidly

By the year 2000, the cumulative total of HIV infections in men, women and children around the world will be 30-40 million.

At the beginning of 1995, 1.5 million children had been infected with HIV. In the next five years, more than 5 million children will be infected with HIV / 3,000 women are infected with HIV each day; 500 women die from AIDS each day.

United States:AIDS is the leading cause of death among Americans ages 25-44/ 1 in 250 Americans is infected with HIV. 1 in 92 American men ages 25-39 are infected.

Somewhere between 40,000-50,000 new HIV infections occur in the US each yr. Of those, one in two happened to someone who is 25 years old or younger/ one in four happened to someone 20 years old or younger. 780,000 known cases

Tragic tale In a May 1995 poll, 54į/O of American children surveyed said they feared that they might get AIDS.

So once again we see there has been growth / frequency & intensity

of these things in these last days /

A) Jesus said Beginning of sorrows / worse in the Trib.

 

 

But today we want to see how John gives 4 reasons why if we truly know the Lord & are walking w/ Him we shouldnít be fazed by these Heresies v.20,21

  1. Now in these verses John points out two of the reasons why we as believers shouldnít fall prey to these false teachers / Anointing & know the truth .
  1. These two things go together but I want us to take know the truth first . #1 we shouldnít be deceived because we know the truth!
    1. What truth is he speaking about ?
  1. V.22 The truth concerning the Deity & the sufficiency of Christ . That Jesus is indeed God in the flesh!

1) It is the truth concerning who Jesus is and what He has done

Remember Jesus Conversation w/ His disciples in Matt. 16

  1. Jesus took His disciples to Gentile territory, in the region of Caesarea Philippi. The region was strongly identified with various religions:
  1. It had been a center for Baal worship; the Greek god Pan had shrines there; and Herod the Great had built a temple there to honor Augustus Caesar.
    1. And it was there that Jesus asked His disciple who do men say that I am

C) A right confession of who He is is basic to salvation Rom. 10:9,10 if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

  1. His person and His work go together and must never be separated.

It is amazing to see how confused the public was about Jesus

  1. Some like Herod, thought Jesus was John raised from the dead.

B) It had been prophesied that Elijah would come again and some thought that this prediction was fulfilled in Christ.

1) However, Jesus did not minister as did Elijah; it was John the Baptist who came "in the spirit and power of Elias"

  1. Jeremiah was the weeping prophet whose tender heart was broken at the sight of the decay of the nation.
    1. Certainly this attitude was seen in Jesus, the Man of sorrows. So some thought he was re- incarnation of Jeremiah
  1. But they were all wrong / And One thing is clear: We can never make a true decision about Jesus Christ by taking a poll of the people.
    1. Although it does seem today some people do get their "spiritual knowledge" this way! ( they believe whatever everyone else does)
  1. The important thing is not what others say, or believe but what do you and I personally say & believe ? What do w/ my Son?
    1. Jesus asked them Who do you say that I am ! Thatís the question .

Peter responded :You are the Christ the Son of the Living God !

A) Jesus said to Peter Right on Pete . My father has revealed this to you / and on that statement ( Jesus is the Christ / God in the flesh ) I will build my churchÖ

  1. There are many opinions today about who Jesus was / and the way to get to heaven / but really matters is the truth .
    1. Jesus professed to be God / and He said emphatically JN.14;6 I am the way the truth & the Life no man Ö. Me ! Backed up w/ Rez.
  1. JN.8 You shall know the truth & the truth shall set you free Ö indeed!
  2. So important to know what we believe & why ! So many " Believers today who donít / so prone to deception
    1. 2 Tim. 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
  1. Sad statistic today is so much of the church is Biblically Illiterate .

George Whitefield, the great British evangelist, was speaking to a man about his soul. He asked the man, "Sir, what do you believe?"

"I believe what my church believes," the man replied respectfully.

"And what does your church believe?"

"The same thing I believe."

"And what do both of you believe?" the Whitefield inquired again.

"We both believe the same thing!" was the only reply he could get.

A man is not saved by assenting to a church creed. He is saved by trusting Jesus Christ and bearing witness to his faith

I remember when I was 1st saved / mainly because I didnít want to go to Hell

  1. Came a time yrs later where I was being tempted / really began to Question . What makes Jesus so special/ 3 books Know what / Why / Rez. Factor
  1. Reliability of the Bible / from beg. To end pointing to one man - Jesus / From beg. To end answers the controversial question How saved ? Answer is Jesus
    1. Incredible continuity 1500 yrs . 40 diff. Authors / 3 lang. / 3 Cont.

Yet all saying the same thing ! Pointing to Jesus !

  1. Such continuity is unheard of / simple controversial subject - 10 people this community or church / 10 diff. Opinions
    1. Fulfilled Bible Prophecy - amazing ! Reliability
  1. The Fact of the Empty tomb / what happened to the body ? One explanation
  1. I was totally convinced & a changed person from then on !

So the 1st thing see Know the Truth

 

2nd related to that why do we Know the Truth ? Because we have an anointing from the Holy one . V. 20 Ref. Holy Spirit indwelling

  1. The indwelling of the H.S. & the inerrant Holy scriptures, enables us to detect the enemy & to protect ourselves from false teaching .

B Missionary & Indian walking down street / man in park on table preaching / the Indian wanted check out something in me - Liar Liar - wrong

    1. Missionary responded Not something but someone
  1. The Holy Spirit indwells every real believer and is able to reveal to him the things of God . 1Cor. 2:9: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

D) Paul goes on to point out in that passage that the natural man cannot understand spiritual things .

11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.

12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.

13 These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

So we see that one of the ministries of the H.S. is to open up the eyes of our understanding so we are able to understand Godís word !

Now in v. 27 John says that because of this anointing that you have in you / you donít have any need of a teacher .

  1. Calvary Costa Mesa concert days / Guys were grabbing the new believers & telling them this verse .
  1. Hang out w/ us /open discussion no need for teachers/ donít need to go to church here. ( Is that what John is saying here ? )
    1. Answer is no ( for starters John was teaching them right now ! )

C) Plus Paul wrote in Eph. 4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,

12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,. Was Paul wrong ? of course not !

  1. What John is saying doesnít deny the office of a teacher but it means that the H.S. can speak to your heart through the word / personally or through a teacher!
  2. And under the guidance of the Spirit you can test the teaching of men as you search the Bible for yourself (cf. Acts 17:11). Bereans
  1. The test : Taught or practiced by Jesus in Gospels/ Taught by early church or practiced in Acts / Taught in epistles ? / No Throw it out !

1) Enough we do know to keep us busy the rest of our lives !

  1. Jesus, said, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" Jn14:26

 

3rd We are to not just know the truth but we are to abide in it ! V.24

A.) Abide = to Walk in it - abide = remain to continue in

B.) Listen the key for us is not in finding new truth/ but knowing better truth we already know and walk in it

C.) Example - we all know God loves you - but do you always walk in that truth never worry - never doubt - never depressed

D) Paul prayed - Eph 1:18,19 Know Hope of His calling / riches of His

inheritance / exceeding greatness of Power

1.) Eph 3:18,19 Width / length / depth / height of love of Christ

E) Know by experience that they would so mark your lives /

 

Paul defines for us what it means I believe to abide in the truth in 2 Ths.2:15

A)Paul had told them about the future rebellion against the truth (2 Thes. 2:3), the great apostasy headed by the Antichrist.

  1. But he also warned in his letters that there was a present danger, and that the church must guard Godís truth and not turn from it.
  1. In light of that in v. 15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.

When Paul used the word traditions, he was not referring to man-made religious ideas that are not based on the Word of God.

  1. The word tradition simply means "that which is handed down from one person to another."
  1. The truth of the Gospel began as an oral message proclaimed by Christ and the Apostles.
    1. Later, this truth was written down by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and it became Holy Scripture
  1. Paul stated clearly the believersí responsibility of abiding in & guarding the truth: when he said to "stand fast, and hold the traditions"

1) Stand fast means, "Do not move away from the truth of the Gospel"

  1. If we stand fast - abiding in the truth then we can hold. This word means "to hold fast, to hold firmly."
    1. It is related to a Greek word that means "strength, might, power."
  1. We are not to hold Godís truth in a careless way, but grasp it firmly with power and never let it slip from us. Abiding in it !

1) Take all this Book you can upon reason and the balance upon faith, and you will live and die a better man." (Abraham Lincoln)

I came across this story entitled "The Diary of a Bible." It reads as follows:

Jan. 15 -- Been resting for a week. A few nights after the first of the year my owner opened me, but no more. Another New Year's resolution gone wrong.

Feb. 3 -- Owner picked me up and rushed off to Sunday school.

Feb. 23 -- Cleaning day, dusted and put back in my place.

April 2 -- Busy day. Owner had to present the lesson at a church meeting. Quickly looked up a lot of references.

May 5 -- In Grandma's lap again, a comfortable place.

May 9 -- She let a tear fall on John 14:1-3.

May 10 -- Grandma's gone. Back in my old place.

May 20 -- Baby born. They wrote his name on one of my pages.

July 1 -- Packed in a suitcase -- off for a vacation.

July 20 -- Still in the suitcase. Almost everything else taken out.

July 25 -- Home again. Quite a journey, though I don't see why I went.

Aug. 16 -- Cleaned again and put in a prominent place; the minister is to be here for dinner.

Aug. 20 -- Owner wrote Grandma's death in my family record. He left his extra pair of glasses between my pages.

Dec. 31 -- Owner just found his glasses. Wonder if he will make any resolutions about me for the new year.

 

4th & lastly we see the results of Anointing / Knowing & abiding / How it affects our lives ! 2 things

A.) Jesus taught - John 15 fruit is the result of abiding / But John adds it results in readiness -not ashamed - not off guard when He comes

  1. President story 6yr. old boy in Denver had incurable cancer wrote that his last wish before he died was to see the Pres. /
    1. One day w/out warning Limo pulls up/ The boys Father answered blue jeans old T- shirt / days grow on his beard / greatly embarrassed
  1. That is the way some believers are going to feel when the Lord returns / because they are not going to be ready .
    1. Too busy goofing around / or because they donít know the truth / they

roam from what eccentric teaching to another !

So abiding in the truth results in readiness / also results in a righteousness in our lives v.29

 

 

So in closing It takes more than sincerity to make something true !

  1. You might be sincere in thinking you are on the right Rd. / to heaven

But there is a question you must answer > Who is Jesus to You?

  1. Is He Your Lord ? Now there is only one answer to that question .
    1. It is a confession Yes He is the Lord & I am trusting in His work on Calvary to cleanse me from my sin / free me from my guilt / give me eternal life
  1. I believe He rose again from the dead & is coming back again / Ií m ready /

Canít wait !

  1. Now if you cannot make that confession / it doesnít matter how sincere you are or how long coming church here / You will end up in wrong place !

 

Perhaps you are here today & you Know the truth but you realize you have not been abiding in the truth

  1. You are living in compromise / doing own thing / distracted or sidetracked by the care of this world /
  1. And you realize if Jesus returned today you would be ashamed / caught off guard / embarrassed /
    1. I encourage you to get right w/ Him today ! Repent - ask Him to be Your Lord once again !

C) BE READY IN JESUS NAME !