Archive for September 7th, 2018

1 John 2:17-21

In 1 John 2:17-21 John tells us that the world will not last forever.  It is not a prayer, not a wish, and not a spiritual sounding desire. It is a statement of fact.  What we invest into the world will someday be gone.  We must live our lives with that awareness.  We need to invest into that which is eternal.  “And this world is fading away, and these evil, forbidden things will go with it, but whoever keeps doing the will of God will live forever.”  Scripture shows us examples of this.  Consider Lot, who put all his eggs in the wrong basket and was burned by a world that did not last for him because of his choices.

There are only a few things that will last forever.  God’s Word, the souls of people, and the Holy Spirit.  We have the opportunity to be in intimate contact with all three, and if we want to yield an eternal reward, we need to invest our time, talent and treasure there.  Of course the world, and the enemy of God, won’t take this truth quietly.  So John warns of the pending attack. “Dear children, this world’s last hour has come. You have heard about the Antichrist who is coming—the one who is against Christ—and already many such persons have appeared. This makes us all the more certain that the end of the world is near.”

The Antichrist is the “opposite Jesus”; he is the “instead of” Jesus. There is debate as to whether this Antichrist will be an individual or a political system. This is really a small distinction, because it will in a sense be both a person and a political system. The Antichrist is an individual, but he will also be associated with a powerful government. And support will come from surprising places – like the church. “These “against-Christ” people used to be members of our churches, but they never really belonged with us or else they would have stayed. When they left us it proved that they were not of us at all.” They may have tried to sell themselves as Christ Followers, but their true colors come out when they switch sides.

But true Christ Followers have one distinct difference from all the rest of the world – the anointing of the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit is common to all believers and makes it possible for true followers to detect the difference between things of God and things of the world.  “But you are not like that, for the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you know the truth.” John warns Christ Followers to leverage the gift of the Holy Spirit to be discerning because the deception is coming.  We do not need to be deceived if we cling to the truth. “So I am not writing to you as to those who need to know the truth, but I warn you as those who can discern the difference between true and false.” It is up to us to leverage our spiritual guide – the Holy Spirit – to know truth!

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