Today at church, Jeff talked about “remaining”. We have reached the place in 1 John were John is warning the church about “the antichrists” that will come and try to convince them that Jesus is not the only way to God. The antichrists will propose that there is a “substitute Jesus” that can save or they will say that Jesus is false and not the way to God.
John was afraid that his “dear children” would be drawn to these false teachers who gave them a more palatable teaching to follow—something smoother and easier. But John also said that his followers didn’t have to fear these con-men because they (the Church) knew the Truth and the Holy Spirit—God’s promised Counselor—was living in them. He said that if the Church would simply remain in Christ—abiding in His teachings, become increasingly familiar with His ways, trusting in his sovereignty—that they would be protected—no worries. John said, “…you know the Truth” (1 John 2:20), now stay in it!
These antichrists were preaching a sort of “Do it yourself” approach when it came to Jesus…
“You don’t like His Justice? Make Him a little more lenient.” “Unsatisfied with submission? Make Him follow the rules you make.” “You think you know better? Make your Jesus more like you!”
But you know what, dear children, YOU CAN’T MAKE A JESUS OF YOUR OWN. It doesn’t work like that. Either you walk in the light of His ways or you stumble in the darkness of the world. Either you remain in his love or you expose yourself to the fiery arrows of the evil one. The campaign these antichrists were supporting was just that-- anti-Christ; pro-you.
Jesus said in John 14:6-7,
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my father as well.
Jesus is the Way.
When we abide in Him and His Spirit lives in us we don’t have to have road signs to follow His path, we just have to follow Him.
Jesus is the Truth.
When false teachers appear, we don’t have to wonder if they have “secret inside knowledge.” They don’t. The Truth is contained in the simple gospel that you believed when you became a humble Christ-follower.
Jesus is the Life.
We don’t have to chase after the fantasies that the world runs after. True life is found in Jesus alone. If we really know—KNOW –God, and if we have familiarized ourselves with all of His ways, then we will know what is like Jesus and what is not.
Jeff talked about people that work with money and how they often can tell just by touch if the money is real or not. These people have become so familiar with the real thing that when counterfeit bills fall into their hands, they immediately know the money is not genuine. They don’t worry about becoming familiar with all the nuances of the “unreal”, they simply spend enough of their time with the “real” to totally disregard the fake.
It’s the same with Christians. We should not spend all of our time learning about how to recognize the antichrist—or anything else that opposes God. We should not be paranoid that these imposters are going to “trick” us into believing a lie. We should simply “remain” in Christ and in the Light of His Truth.When we spend time at the feet of Jesus, abiding in His love, learning to love His truths, studying His character, we will learn what the Father looks like. We will know what is real. And our familiarity with the real will help us recognize the false when it slithers quietly in.
So, we don’t have to be anxious about a “take-over” of our minds and our hearts. We don’t have to fear “the antichrists”, we just have to relax and remain in the one whose Spirit leads us.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.”