Hello, I’m assuming you had a great good Friday and Easter Sunday, celebrating the resurrection of Christ.
As we return to our series through the book of first John, we approach something that seems to be often overlooked or ignored. I think many people don’t think this passage is relevant, but it is, this is a warning for all believes to guard against false teachers and people who will deceive you from seeing the truth.
Go ahead and read through these verses as we begin.
Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.
No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made to us-eternal life. I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie-just as it has taught you, abide in him. (1 John 2:18-27 ESV)
In the first half of this passage, John goes on writing about the anti-Christ’ arrival in the last day. He writes saying, that as we approach the end, we will see many rise up against Christ, we will also see many who aren’t just enemies of Christ, but actually anti-Christ and against everything Christ is, they want to deceive as many as Christ followers as they can before the end.
As I said, some people may think this passage is irrelevant or non applicable to their lives. But, we need to be clear here, this is real, these anti-Christs and deceivers are active, they are seeking to destroy all who follow Christ, including you.
How are we to keep on guard against these deceivers?
The answer to this question is specifically laid out for us in the latter half of this passage. Look there, we see that John says to allow what we have heard in the beginning to abide in us.
But, what is it we have heard in the beginning? We heard the word of God. The one thing John aspires for believers, is that they abide in the word of God, he wants us to be deeply rooted in our understanding of God’s word.
Now, I assume you’re catching on…or maybe you knew this before we started, the only way believers in Christ Jesus can protect themselves from these deceivers, is by having a deeper foundation in the word of God.
How can I have a deeper foundation in the word of God?
There are many things you can do to grow in your understanding of the Bible, you can read it everyday, you can read Bible studies (like this), you can memorize it, you can listen to it throughout your day, you can have someone read it to you, you can listen to the word being preached, you can… Get the point? There are probably more than a hundred things you could do to grow in your understanding of God’s word, but all these start with two things: Desire and devotion.
First of all God gives us a desire for His word, only He can give us a desire to know Him. Many of us have the desire, but not the discipline or devotion. Or maybe you have no desire for God’s word, quite possibly it’s something that bores you. If this is the case for you, you need to pray, pray and ask God to give you a deep desire for His word, pray that you will grow as you read and study, pray that God will work in your heart and give you a desire for Him. With your sincere prayer, I am confident that God will work in your heart and implant a desire to grow in the reading and studying of His word.
Second, your journey to developing a deeper understanding of God’s word, takes lots of devotion, it takes much commitment to read God’s word everyday. Don’t worry or concern yourself with this difficulty, ask God for discipline to be in His word daily. Tell a friend, ask them to hold you accountable, find a Bible reading plan and scratch each day’s reading off as you go. But, don’t be caught in the “planning” stages of this, you need to take action.
The best time to start is right now, pick up a Bible or grab your phone and read a chapter or two, three, or four. Then plan to do it again tomorrow, remember if you miss a day, you haven’t failed, simply pick up where you left off.
The reason I encourage you to do these things, is because in order to guard ourselves against deceivers and anti-Christs, we must all be actively seeking God through the reading of His word.
I hope we remember these things, and put them into action in our lives.
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