As I was reading 1 John chapter 4 in preparation for today’s Bible study, I couldn’t help but sing the song by Mercy Me of which I borrowed the title. I’ve embedded the video below so you can worship along. That line, is from 1 John 4:4. In this chapter, John is warning us about the evil voices that we hear from the devil who rules this world. He sends false teachers and false prophets to mislead us.
In John’s day, there were false prophets claiming that Jesus didn’t come in the flesh, but was only a spirit. Those were the Gnostics. John was warning the Christians to not believe everyone who claimed to be speaking “in the spirit”.
That warning applies to us today. Though we may not have Gnostics, we have the feel-good preachers (Progressives) who water-down the Gospel and don’t preach the truth of salvation. Also, we have the Roman Catholic priests, cardinals, bishops and popes who have been deceiving people for centuries. Then, there are also the Mormons, JWs and other cults who add to the true Gospel to fool people into following them.
How do we overcome? How do we know what is the truth? John tells us right here…
1 John 4
Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. 2 This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. 3 But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.
4 But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 5 Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. 6 But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.(bold emphasis mine)
Who do YOU belong to?
God or the world?
Do you have the Spirit of God in your heart?
Loving One Another
9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
13 And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. 14 Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. 16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.
18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19 We love each other because he loved us first.
20 If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer (Christian brother or sister), that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 21 And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.1 John 4 NLT (bold emphasis mine)
Are you afraid?
Are you afraid that you won’t have enough “grace points” to get out of purgatory (which doesn’t exist, by the way!) and into Heaven quickly? Do you count how many “Hail Mary’s” and “Our Father’s” you say after confession as penance?
That is fear. The GOOD NEWS is that you don’t have to live in guilt and fear anymore. Jesus’ perfect love casts out all fear! He removes ALL FEAR!
Jesus is our Penance!
Because of His death on the cross and His resurrection, He redeemed our lives. Because of HIS sacrifice, we are free from death and eternity in hell.
It’s Your Choice!
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…