Grace, Love and Division

“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” 1 John 2:1-2 NKJV

Let’s start in prayer: Dear heavenly father, as we read this, we thank you and praise you for your mercies and forgiveness! Cleanse us please and help us turn from sins. Please open our eyes and understanding; give us ears to hear what you are saying. In Jesus name we pray. Amen

“Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which 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 they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.
But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.” 1 John 2:18-23 NKJV

“It is the last hour” – I have heard so many say it is the end of the world and others say but they have been saying it since the times of Jesus.  All I know for certain is God has not changed and if this was what God had them preach almost 2000 years ago, we should be preaching it today, as we believe the Bible is timeless and continually relevant.  But if 2000 years ago was the last hour, then it stands to reason we are approaching the last minutes.  Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!

The bible is very clear about the end times being overrun with lawlessness and false teachings. Even false prophets and church leaders who lead entire congregations away from God. As these things increase around us it is important to take a look at some of the passages attached to these ‘end days’ and ‘last hour’ messages.

Here in 1 John chapter 2 we have a beautiful passage that begins with such grace as forgiveness of sins and Jesus, Himself, advocating on our behalf with the Father.  I am not sure about you – but I am definitely a sinner who has been redeemed by grace.  It is empowering and freeing. But it is also work as I have a sin nature and dying to this sinful nature is a daily task as we have talked about when we read Romans 6 together.  John starts things off with telling us first and foremost – get yourself right with Christ.

“Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” 1 John 2:3-6 NKJV

Although the Bible does say that all you have to do to be saved is believe, it doesn’t and can’t stop there. Salvation is a gift; you cannot work or pay to get to heaven. You have to accept the free gift through believing. When you believe, it begins to change you and transform you. You cannot stop there. If you do you will slowly slide away to the point where your assurance of Heaven becomes a theological debate which ends up settled with “we shall see when it happens”.  I don’t know about you – but I want to be MORE sure than that!!

John is very clear here: “He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” Again with obedience! As we have discussed obedience should be our response to grace. If we know Jesus (or are saved) we will keep his commandments. No further “if”s, “and”s, or “but”s about it.  Time to ask yourself the hard question – Am I keeping His commandments?

Dear Lord Jesus, help us to keep your word, to live and obey it, and help us be an example to other so that they know we are Christians and they are drawn to you. – amen

“Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” 1 John 2:7-11 NKJV

Oh Lord please help us love! As this nation and the world around us falls into division – let me be on team LOVE.  Let me Love the Lord and mankind (every sinner and saint – every race and color – even the ones who won’t go out because of covid-19 and the ones who won’t stay in regardless of covid-19). Lines are being drawn all over – everything seems to have 2 sides and you are made to feel you are either with or against.  The truth is – NONE OF IT MATTERS! Except Jesus and His love and the grace of the work of the cross. We are bound as family with love for Christ and the Father when we unite in obedience to His commands. What a beautiful way to show our appreciation for the grace.

John was writing to the believers.  Because yes, believers have sin struggles and believers have trouble with division. Believers are human and fragile (it is God who is manifest strong when we are weak).  But this message as he said in verse 2 (above) is for the whole world, including those who do not yet believe. If you are reading and on are the fence about all this, please keep reading every day because I am sure you and God shall work out your salvation.

“I write to you, little children, Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. I write to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, Because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, Because you have known the Father. I have written to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the wicked one.” 1 John 2:12-14 NKJV

As John finishes saying that his readers are doing well, have even overcome the wicked one, he jumps right into one of the themes (also love and fellowship with God) of the book of 1 John – the separation and distinction between of the church (children of God) and the world which is full of evil and under the dominion of Satan.

As the divisions happen around us – as this spirit of division takes roots – be aware that as Christian we should be united – but not united with the world. As the times become more “uncertain” the division between Christians and the world will become more and more prevalent. We have already been told and felt to separation – watch as this spirit of division makes it obvious to the world.

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”  1 John 2:15-17 NKJV

Today – let us think about this verse. Examine ourselves to see if we are still clinging to the world in any way. We can literally see the world crumble and pass away in front of our eyes these days. So focus on God and His worlds.

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

~Grace be with you ~ Love one another ~
~Thank you for reading ~ Be healthy and blessed ~
~ Watch and Pray ~

**If you want to have a relationship with Jesus, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**