Saturday, February 24

Saturday, February 24  

Scripture:   I John 2:18-28

18 Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come. 19 These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.

20 But you are not like that, for the Holy One has given you his Spirit, and all of you know the truth. 21 So I am writing to you not because you don’t know the truth but because you know the difference between truth and lies. 22 And who is a liar? Anyone who says that Jesus is not the Christ. Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist. 23 Anyone who denies the Son doesn’t have the Father, either. But anyone who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

24 So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will remain in fellowship with the Son and with the Father. 25 And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us.

26 I am writing these things to warn you about those who want to lead you astray. 27 But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.

28 And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame.

Some thoughts:

     The above passage of Scripture was written by the apostle John in the later years of his life. John, along with the other apostles, fled Jerusalem in the late 60’s A.D. due to persecution of the Christians. John eventually settled in what is modern day western Turkey. The letter was written to combat the apostasy that was seeking to pull Christians into heresy. Gnosticism (the belief that Jesus was more of a phantom being and did not have human flesh and blood) was alive and real at the time. The spiritual was real, and material was bad, so what you did with your body was of no consequence, hence debauchery reigned.

     What does it mean when John writes, “Anyone who says that Jesus is not the Christ. Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist?” Of supreme, lethal importance is that Jesus is believed as being the Messiah (Christ). Being a moral teacher, a model person, a brilliant preacher is not enough, nor was it his claim regarding himself. In many societies today the latter is the perception of the historical Jesus. He is viewed as a good person to emulate. The world in which we live, wants to leave Jesus in that category. When he claims to be God and deal with individual and corporate sin, then it is something else and he becomes a problem to society. He needs to stay in his place when we can control him so says the world. Jesus’ brand of Christianity is annoying to these people.

     Our day is not all that different from John’s day. Christianity is definitely under attack with believers being persecuted all over the world. The culture we live in is decidedly anti-Christian. Biblically held moral views are ridiculed and even characterized in some quarters as “hate speech.” John here urges his readers (and us) to hold fast to the truth of the Scriptures, to be guided by the Holy Spirit, and to remain in fellowship with Christ. The truth of God is not relative. It is written in stone and blood.

     Friends do not be pushed or intimidated into modifying nor abandoning the truth. God’s word is clear and certain. The world does come to an end. Christ is coming back. We want to be found living in his righteousness rather than in the “enlightened cultural” ever-shifting view of truth and relevance. As we have said on other occasions, eternity is a long time to be wrong.

Music: “Guide Me Oh Thou Great Jehovah” by Katherine Jenkins


Lord, teach me to listen. The times are noisy and my ears are weary with the thousand raucous sounds which continuously assault them. Give me the spirit of the boy Samuel when he said to Thee, “Speak for thy servant heareth.” Let me hear Thee speaking in my heart. Let me get used to the sound of Thy Voice, that its tones may be familiar when the sounds of earth die away and the only sound will be the music of Thy speaking Voice. Amen. —A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, p.83