Well, if you have not yet heard the inaugural address of President Bush and especially the prayer immediately after, then you have missed one of the great speeches and prayers of human history. Both point to the fight for freedom from tyranny and the one (the Father) to whom the plan for freedom belongs and through whom (Jesus Christ) it can only be obtained.
The liberals and the terrorists should be shaking in their little booties right now. Never before in history has the world had the opportunity to see the actual spread of freedom and democracy throughout the world, as it has today, in our current generation. Hopefully we will see one of the greatest periods of prosperity and the spread of freedom as never before.
But we also know that even if this wide spread freedom is attained, it will sooner or later, be turned around and nose dive right into the Rapture and the Tribulation. Only God knows the answer to that, and we have only to wait and see what really will occur in our generation, or perhaps in a future generation.
We have come to this study of 1 John via a more extensive study of Revelation. We are about to resume our study in Rev. 17, but we are not quite there yet. We are still laying some ground work before we return to Revelation. Why? Because when we get there, we will see just how defiant and how stupid that last generation really is. We will know the ultimate simplicity of the spiritual life and just how people world wide will reject it, and become their own instruments of their own destruction.
Take the Presidential inauguration just completed. President Bush gave one of the most dramatic and truthful speeches in history and yet a liberal and defiant liberal press, and protesters alike, chip away at him with nothing but ridicule, and cynicism. This is exactly how the generation of the Tribulation will act as they defiantly slide toward their own doom. Much of this we have already studied in the first sixteen chapters of Revelation together with many other passages in Joel, Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Ezekiel, and Zechariah and more.
Now we are in 1 John, and studying just how simple acquiring the spiritual life really is. Simply confess your sins on a regular basis, and you will live inside that sphere in which God wants you to live. Couldn’t be easier. But how many reject this? Most unfortunately.
God extends His mercies to all people, to all of humanity. Any person who believes in Christ becomes a potential beneficiary of Gods further blessings. Potential? Yes.
First this passage is for believers. Only believers are eligible to receive the direct blessings from God. Unbelievers have only a potential for receiving that direct blessing. They have to believe in Christ first. And how difficult can that be ??? ‘Father, I believe in Christ.’ Hummm, that wasn’t difficult at all! But still the world is full of those who will be defiant and refuse to even think those few words. Is that stupid, or what?
Next once a believer has believed in Christ, then he has to be a good little boy, or girl, as the case might be. We have to obey the Father. His house. His rules.
God did not extend His mercies to believers only, but to all of humanity. But only those who step forward and accept them, will receive them. If a man was standing on the street corner handing out hundred dollar bills to anyone who would walk up and take one, wouldn’t you walk up to him and get yours? Of course.
But some will stand across the street and instruct the man to cross the street to them, so that they could have the money. God nods His head, ‘No.’ So the defiant people will refuse to cross the street and they end up with nothing.
God in heaven is handing out trillion dollar bills however. Now how does that change the illustration. One would think that getting a trillion is far better than a mere hundred, but the same response exists.
Jesus is the one handing out the benefits. The Father is the one who invented, designed and defined the benefits of Gods plan. Jesus Christ is the only one worthy of handing out the blessings. God accepts His work over that of ours. Mans work is as nothing. After all man comes from Adam, which means worthless red dust. And that is what we are – worthless dust.
Yet Christ went to the Cross for everyone of us, not just a select few, 2 Cor. 5:14-15,19, Heb. 2:9.
Further, we can know if we are in Gods divine will, if we are obedient to His commands. See the checklist we put together some time ago. Find it on the web site.
God once told Abraham, Gen. 17:1 ‘I am God Almighty; Walk before Me, and be blameless. NASB
That is what we are to do. Be blameless (confession – fellowship) and conduct ourselves (obedience) in a manner which is consistent with that which God wants us to do. How do we know what to do? We study a little doctrine today, and little tomorrow, and a little more the next day and everyday for our entire life. If we study just a couple of verses a day for our entire life we will cover the entire Bible several times learning tremendous principles of life, and learn far more, than if we try to read it all in one weekend – learning nothing.
17 And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. NASB
At the end of history all peoples will have the opportunity to receive Gods blessing. Those who have believed will have already received it, those who reject God and Christ, will have already made up their minds and they will defiantly keep their rejection.
This simply means that anyone who hears the gospel, can be saved if he so desires to be saved under Gods terms.
To know the Son is to know the Father. They are mirror images of each other in personality and essence, though they are separate persons.
7 ‘If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.’ NASB
21 ‘He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him.’ NASB
Obedience reaps tremendous rewards in life and especially in eternity. But to understand and receive these benefits, you have to come to a knowledge of God. Hummm, I wonder how that can be accomplished?
Fellowship naturally leads to knowing the One with whom that fellowship is to take place. Even on the human level of experience this is true. If a parent and a child live apart, they will not know each other as well as if they lived together, even though their parent-child relationship continues to exist.
Blessing comes from obedience, comes from knowledge of Gods will, comes from a consistent daily study.