Friday, November 02, 2018

REJECTING JESUS CHRIST OR EMBRACING JESUS CHRIST

Rejecting Jesus Christ or embracing Jesus Christ 

If you are a Christian your sins have been forgiven through Jesus Christ for His name's sake. John in this particular passage speaks to the mature Christians and commends them for overcoming the wicked one because they truly knew the Father. The Apostle also writes to young Christians. He does mention their strength but really keys on their steadfast practice of abiding in Jesus Christ and overcoming the devil. I suppose if there were one overriding message John is trying to portray is if you love this world the love of the Father is not in you. I will be going over 1 John 2:12-17 and it is true that verse 16 is one of the most popular verses in the Bible but not necessarily the most applicable in this passage. The world and lust will pass away but ... "He that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." 1 John 2:17. 
 
(12) "I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake. (13) I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known Him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. (14) I have written unto you, fathers, from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. (15) Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." 1 John 2:12-17.  
 
Christians are in different standings with God. Some are babes in Christ and others are older and more mature in in our Savior and Lord. John goes down in this passage and lists some of the truths they both have in common. One principle he lays out is they both have love for God and contempt for the world. This does not mean hating people (In fact we are to love people) but the fact of the matter is the very core of this world is run by the devil. 2 Cor.4:4. My heart is very taken back by this reality.
 
Let me give you another example of what the babes in Christ have in common with the mature in our Savior. Their sins were forgiven for His name's sake but that means knowing our transgressions were pardoned through Jesus Christ. We are strongly obliged to relinquish this world. Here is the principle --- the more we understand our sins are forgiven through the Lamb of God (Jesus Christ) the less we will desire this world. Trust me you are not missing much.
 
Do you find yourself holding on to parts of this world? Don't be so hard on yourself because as a child most of us were trained to be this way. The only reason at this point we are withdrawn from this world is because we have grown in the knowledge of God. The two are not in keeping with each other. Even if I did not know Jesus Christ in a personal way at this point I would not be attracted to this world. If you ask why I say please look around you and your heart will not have to travel to far to figure out this is an evil world. Most of what I see is negative and very sad. 
 
The most widely asked question in the world is, "How can a good God allow evil in this world." I was talking to a man just the other day and he was speaking of all the darkness in this world. I replied, "Sometimes God allows these things to happen for His purpose." The man said, "I'm not a believer." Then he started mentioning all the evil in his surroundings. His conclusion seemed to be either there is not a God or I just refuse to become a believer in Jesus Christ. In this particular situation I was not able to get many words in but I can tell you the main reason God allows evil in this world is to refine the righteous. Contrary to popular belief God sees everything from A to Z. He has a purpose and all I can say is if you are an unbeliever in Jesus Christ He does not need to be rejected because of His plan He needs to be embraced because of His love and wisdom. 
 
In this passage of Scripture the Apostle goes from babes in Christ to the very top of the school but both will always need further instruction in the word of God. We will never stop learning even in heaven. The moral is wherever we are in life we have to position ourselves before God to be taught by Him.
 
John knew that mature Christians were more able to relinquish the world but he still encouraged them to stay strong in Jesus Christ. Keep in mind John was talking to believers that were achievement oriented in their Christian experience so in a round about way he had to remind them that their true strength was in Jesus Christ. For example in verse fourteen in the second part John does say to the young you are strong but I can not help but read between the lines that he knew the babes in Christ were far more tempted to rely on their own strength. In this case they allowed the word of God to dwell in their hearts and were in a position to defeat the devil in their life. 
 
People will attack us in this world in one form or another. The real question is are we going to "Try" and defeat the devil in our own strength or are we going to be victorious over the world system through the power of Jesus Christ. Even as Christians we have the choice.
 
The Apostle considered the word of God abiding in their hearts "Vital" to practically winning this war that the Bible talks about and once again the victory is in Jesus Christ. Remember John wrote the great abiding chapter in John chapter 15 so it is just common sense that he reviewed this with his students. They were taught well and I'm sure in this setting everybody took serious notes because there were no tape recorders.
 
In verse fifteen John makes it very clear that everybody should be crucified to the world. A child of God should have their love reserved for Jesus Christ. The Apostle did not want them wasting their love on the world because it is either one or the other (the love of the Father in our hearts through Jesus Christ or this earth in it's sinful form). At the risk of repeating myself we need to make a choice. Once we do this God will honor our decision and work with us but if we try and startle the fence we can not expect the aid of the Holy Spirit because this is called being lukewarm.  
 
One thing I found out about the human heart is it seems to be very narrow. What I just said reminds me of that verse in Matthew chapter seven when the word of God says narrow is the way and few that be that find it." God did not design us to have affection for Him and the world at the same time so it would have to be overwhelmingly obvious that love for this world or any kind of lust is not ordained by God.
 
Verse 16 is in the second paragraph of this article and one of the most popular in the Bible. The things of the world are broken down into three categories but what most people do not understand is this involves the depraved nature of the human heart especially if we go deeper and deeper into one of these three.
 
The first is the lust of the flesh which are the luxuries in this world. I am not like this but have seen people that are and they usually have much apathy to God. They just do not care and at the very least this is gross unbelief for Jesus Christ. Why have faith in the Son of God when living in luxury? God is not looking at our assets as much in that He is searching our heart.
 
The lust of the eyes is covetousness. If we do this it is almost inevitable that we will fall into some sort of sin. When ancient Israel went to war sometimes God would command them not to take even one spoil after the war. That is something that probably applies to the lust of the eyes. 
 
The pride of life involves ambition. This usually involves earthy thrusts apart from God. We as Christians are to set our goals and live by faith in God but ambition in our flesh is just walking away from Jesus Christ. This is why if we built our own house as Christians God may get a hammer and smash it to pieces. What I say is, "Thank you God" no matter how painful it is because multitudes of people die in their ambitious dream state and go straight to hell. When I did this and God broke my house the pain was unbearable. If somebody were to ask me on a scale of 1 to 100 how much pain was I in when God applied this principle to my life I would have said 2000. Let me ask you a question --- Isn't that better than the eternal fires of hell? Be grateful when God intervenes in our life even if there is much travail.
 
All these appetites must be mortified and subdued. Earthy things will vanish but the person that does the will of God will live forever. The truth of the matter is the things of this world are already in the process of dying. The object of our love has to be for God because the world will die but our affection to Jesus Christ will last for eternity. This particular love for God will never fail because true Christians are promised to be a heir of immortality to eternal life through Jesus Christ. 
 
If you are an unbeliever in Jesus Christ I hope I portrayed the gospel of Jesus Christ in an honest and accurate way. If you would like eternal life accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of the living God into your life. Love God and remember that the world/lust will pass away but the person that does the will of God will abide forever in heaven. 
 
God Bless you,
Bob D.     
 
   

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