1 John 2:4 - He Who Says I Know Him - Part 1
“The Way of Salvation”
1 John 2:4 cf. Matthew 7:13-14
He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments (v.4)
1. Is a Liar
2. The truth is not in him
These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
1. A proud look
2. A lying tongue
3. Hands that shed innocent blood
4. A heart that devises wicked plans
5. Feet that are swift in running to evil
6. A false witness who speaks lies
7. And one who sows discord among brethren.
– Romans 3:4 Let God be true but every man a liar.
– Satan is the father of lies – John 8:44
– If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. (1 John 1:6 NKJV)
– If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8 NKJV)
– If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (1 John 1:10 NKJV)
– He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar. (1 John 2:4)
– He who denies that Jesus is the Christ is a liar. (1 John 2:22)
– If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar. (1 John 4:20)
– He who does not believe God has made Him a liar. (1 John 5:10)
– Liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone. (Revelation 21:8)
To say that you know God and do not keep His commandments is making your profession a lie!
You cannot know God without wanting to keep His commandments.
– 1 John 5:3 – “His commandments are not burdensome”
– John 14:21 – “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.
– John 14:15 – “If you love Me, keep my commandments.”
– John 14:24 – “He who does not love Me, does not keep my words.”
No matter how much you profess to know God, if you do not keep His commandments, you really don’t know Him!
Your profession of knowing God is a lie
John flat out tells you, “You’re a liar & the truth is not in you.”
This is what I want to talk to you about today, is making sure that your profession of faith is real & genuine.
Matthew 7:13-14 is the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount
It is the Saviors own presentation of the Way of Salvation.
– There is no encouragement in these words for those who think they can be saved by just accepting the facts about Jesus.
– Read Matthew 7:13-14
– Each person must make a choice as to which gate he or she is going to enter.
1. Through Moses, God confronted the Israelites saying,
"I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; (Deuteronomy 30:19 NKJV)
2. Joshua challenged the Israelites as they entered the Promised land,
“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15 NKJV)
3. Elijah called for a decision at Mount Carmel:
"How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." (1 Kings 18:21 NKJV)
4. God told Jeremiah,
"Now you shall say to this people, `Thus says the LORD: "Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. (Jeremiah 21:8 NKJV)
The Ultimate Decision
– Every person must make a choice as to whether he or she is going to follow Jesus Christ or not.
– Jesus said, “He who is not with Me is against me” (Matthew 12:30)
– The Youth is next generation & I pray that you will make the right choice.
– This choice has eternal consequences & will determine whether you stand before God condemned or saved-Heaven or Hell!
– In Matthew 7:13-14 the Lord requires that each person choose between:
1. Following the world on the easy road
2. The difficult road
The Key to the Rest of the Chapter
The Two Ways:
1. Gates (wide and narrow) v.13-14
2. Ways (broad and narrow) v.13-14
3. Destinations (life, destruction) v.13-14
4. Number of travelers (few, many) v.13-14
5. Trees (good, corrupt) v.15-20
6. Teachers (false, true) v.15-20
7. Fruit (good, bad) v.15-20
8. Listeners (hearers, not doers) v.21-23
9. Builders (wise, foolish) v.24-27
10. Foundations (rock, sand) v.24-27
11. Houses (stands, falls) v.24-27
The Two Gates
Entering the Two Gates
The Two Travelers
The Two Gates
What are the gates?
Entrance into eternal life—Heaven or Hell.
“Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction and there are many who go in by it” (v.13)
1. This road starts out easy but ends up in eternal damnation – Hell!
2. What looks so inviting from this end only leads to destruction.
“Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (v.14)
1. This path is very constricted & may not look so appealing but is the only way to eternal life.
2. This way starts out hard & opens up into the eternal bliss of heaven.
Both roads claim to lead to heaven.
The wide gate is not marked “This way to hell, where there is weeping wailing and gnashing of teeth come on in”
No, it is labeled “Heaven” the same as the narrow gate but it does not up into eternal life with the Father.
Satan is a master at “Religion Deception”
1. 2 Corinthians 11:14 says “he, Satan, disguises himself as an angel of light.
2. He paints his gate so that it looks like heaven, and “many are those who go in by it”
3. But, our Lord describes the right gate as “narrow which leads to life.”
- only one person can enter at a time, without any baggage
- self-righteousness - human achievement - born into a Christian family
- good works - church membership - born in America
Believing in Jesus Christ is an individual act, which each person must do on his or her own!
“Enter by the narrow gate” (v.13)
Imperative verb, that conveys a sense of urgency, a demand for action now.
It’s not enough to stand at the gate & appreciate it—you must enter.
ILLUSTRATION OF BOY NOT GOING FULLY INTO DISNEYLAND TO EXPERIENCE ALL THERE IS
You must go through the right gate!
There is only one gate that opens to the narrow way:
1. John 10:9 “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved.”
2. John 10:1 “He who does not enter by the door…He is a thief and a robber”
3. John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me”
4. Acts 4:12 “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
5. 1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus”
Any other choice is a wrong choice
There is no in-between, no third option to take, no other gate, & no sitting on the fence undecided.
There are only two options:
1. The true & the false
2. The right & the wrong
3. God’s way & mans way
The Context of this Passage: Christianity vs. Any Other Religion.
Many think the ones who are on the broad way are only the:
- drug attic’s - murderers - immoral people
- harlots - thieves - haters
- drunkards - robbers - and the such like
The Religionists—The Scribes & Pharisees
Jesus is talking about the Modern day religionists--Religion that is based on “human achievement”
These people are on the road thinking that the road they are on leads to heaven but in reality is a false one.
These people are prideful, self-dependent, & permitting a sinful lifestyle in the heart as long as outwardly you conform.
So Jesus is not talking about all those who are bad, immoral & corrupt people vs. the Holy people.
Jesus is talking about those who would put their faith & trust in Christ out of utter humility & dependence upon Him vs. the self-righteous.
The contrast is between Christianity which basically:
- Confronts man with his pride and says you are a sinner deserving of eternal death.
- If you don’t repent and put you faith & trust in Jesus Christ you will not spend eternity in God’s presence.
- You will be separated from Him for all eternity, the choice is yours!
- All other religions say you just need to be sincere, have good works, be baptized & join a church, be faithful & a good person.
- They even use the name of Jesus saying, “accept Jesus & live any way that you want”
- This is self-dependence rather than utter humility & dependence on Christ.
- This is why the Sermon on the Mount started with, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matt. 5:3).
Salvation is not a merit system
Trying to earn God’s favor
No one could ever do enough good works to gain acceptance by God
1. Romans 3:10-19
2. Law of Moses did not make people righteous; it was given to show how sinful & disobedient we are ( v.20)
3. God through his grace imputes to believers the righteousness of Christ (vv.21-24)
God has set His Standard for Righteousness – Matthew 5:20
Self-righteousness – “outward obedience”
Human righteousness – “relatively better than others – ‘holier than thou’”
Divine righteousness – “imputed righteousness”
Justification by faith
Justification is an “act of God whereby he imputes to a believing sinner the full and perfect righteousness of Christ, forgiving the sinner of all unrighteousness, declaring him or her perfectly righteous in God’s sight, thus delivering the believer from all condemnation.”
Ephesians 1:6 says God accepts us in the beloved – Jesus.
The New Standing We Have in God
– Jesus told this parable to those who trusted in themselves that they were righteous (v.9)
– The Pharisee was seeking justification on the basis of his own righteousness (v.11-12)
– Note that the Pharisee prayed to himself not God (v.11).
– The tax collector did nothing but repent & plead for mercy; therefore, perfect righteousness was imputed to his account (v.13).
The choice is between Divine Accomplishment or human achievement.
Entering the Two Gates—v.13
It Is Not Easy To Enter In the “Narrow Gate”
In One Sense Salvation is Easy
But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart, `Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or," `Who will descend into the abyss?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:6-10 NKJV)
Why is it hard then?
#1 “narrow is the gate & difficult is the way which leads to life…and there are few who find it” (Matt. 7:14)
The Kingdom of God is not for people who want Jesus without any change in their lives.
It is only for those who seek it with all their hearts
And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13 NKJV)
There will be many who will turn away when they discover how narrow it really is.
Example: The Rich Young Ruler Luke 18:18-23 cf. Matthew 19:16-22
He came to the gate-He wanted to get into the Kingdom but the Lord said drop that suitcase of “pride” & the “love of money” and you can come [Matt.19:22 says, “he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions].
The broad way says come as you are and no change is demanded of you! God will change a person with genuine faith.
#2 “Jesus Is the Only Way”
Christ is calling for a decision at this point: But as the only way to eternal life.
Acts 4:12; John 14:6; 1Timothy 2:5
#3 One Must Enter Alone
Sometimes your friends & their acceptance seems more important than God’s acceptance-You care more about what your friends think rather than what God thinks.
You want your friends & want to be able to hang out with your so called “buddies”
You can’t bring in any luggage, only yourself-Not mom or dad, or anyone else will be with you on judgment day!
The Turnstile – If you try to go through it with others or baggage, you get stuck.
#4 Sin-“Strive to enter” – Luke 13:22-24 – This means there is conflict & you need to push your way into the gate.
The Word strive here is agonizomai-we get agonize.
- It is used in as an athlete agonizing to win a victory (1Corinthians 9:25)
- Laboring fervently (Colossians 4:12)
- Of fighting the good fight of faith (1Timothy 6:12)
- Fervency, striving just to get in
- Many will seek to get in but will not enter (v.24)
- Many may be seeking-then they find out the cost and they say forget it (v.24)
That’s why it is difficult, there is a conflict that goes on in the hearts of people when they are hearing the message.
1. You may say, “I need to get saved I do not want to end up in hell, but I like hanging around my friends, I want to party, I want to do all these other things in life, then I will give my life to the Lord.
2. Its difficult, it’s not easy (Luke 13:22-25).
We also have an enemy who comes and blinds the minds of those when the Word of God is preached (2 Cor. 4:3-4)
1. Parable of the sower: “the birds came and devoured them…the devil comes and snatches away the Word.
2. Even right now if your heart is hard, the devil is coming and stealing the Word being sown into your heart.
3. You must submit your heart in humility & say “I’m a sinner, I need the grace of God, & I am willing to give up all my desires and want’s & achievements in life & live for Jesus Christ.
Philippians 3:7-8 Paul gave up all his religious treasure for the treasure of knowing Christ deeply and intimately.
That is the essence of Salvation—an exchange of something worthless for something valuable.
Jesus illustrated the exchange in this way: “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, “who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. (Matthew 13:44-46 NKJV).
Those two men found something of a far greater value than anything they owned. They sold all they thought was valuable for what was truly valuable. Jesus Christ is our treasure & our pearl—He became the supreme object of our affections.
Is that true of you? Is there anything in your life that competes with Christ? Is there anything in the world that capture your allegiance, devotion, and love more that Him?
Paul said, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” – What or who are you living for/
Do you still desire to know Him as you did when you were first saved?
If not, you have compromised your relationship with Him and are dallying with the trash of the world.
John F. MacArthur, The Power of Integrity, Crossway Books; p.17,18
Again, many will seek to enter & even think they are on the “narrow gate” but they are not.
1. Luke 13:24-30 – Jesus said, “strive to enter,” many will even “seek to enter but not be able to” they even “stand outside and knock at the door saying, ‘Lord, Lord’”. They are deceived!
2. The Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force - they strive (Matthew 11:12)
3. The kingdom of God has been preached and everyone is pressing into it (Luke 16:16)
4. John The Baptist - "repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand," that is the preparation of the heart.
God starts the drawing-and you must respond
Find Matt. 7:14 -This is a person who is searching and looking for it
God uses many ways to draw us - emptiness, destruction of sin, trials
The Two Travelers
The Broad Way (v.13)
The Broad Way is very easy.
1. This gate requires no decision to enter, no energy, no searching, & no commitment
2. Has no limitations, no curbs, and no boundaries. Nothing keeps a person from entering it.
3. Tolerates sin – There is plenty of space for the things of this world. It is difficult to wonder off its path.
4. A person has plenty of company in entering the wide gate – The youth want plenty of company.
5. Says, “just as long as you say you love Jesus & are a religious person you will go to heaven.”
The Broad Way Requires no Character.
You can be like a fish [a dead fish] floating down stream just going with the flow. It takes much effort to swim up stream
1. Ephesians 2:2 says we followed “the course of this world.”
2. Many think that because there are so many on this road they could not be wrong.
3. It is the “way which seems right to man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 16:25).
4. People on this road overlook one thing: It Ends In Judgment & Eternal Damnation (Rom.6:23; Heb.9:27).
The Narrow Way (v.14)
This Gate is not Seen - One Must turn (repent) to find it – When found it is difficult to enter.
The “narrow gate” has requirements.
1. Commitment, determination, discipline, control, and self-denial.
2. There is little space along its path & is difficult to get through.
3. A person has to stay alert at all times, lest he or she wonders off its path.
4. The narrow way is the way of thinking, the disciplined, the responsible, and the spiritual.
5. Resistance is needed – Temptation to return to the broad way is sometimes strong
God’s way is “narrow…difficult” & constricted, but this is the only path that leads to life.
1. Jesus does not seek multitudes of people; he seeks & saves only those who know they are lost.
2. Jesus always wanted people to count the cost.
3. In fact, he often seemed to encourage potential followers to turn away.
John 6:53-66 – Jesus challenged the faith of those who called themselves disciples.
1. Jesus demands full obedience and many left never to return to the Lord (v.66)
2. He didn't lower the standard and change His demands.
3. He did not want casual followers, but people willing to give their lives for Him.
1. They asked, are there few who find it?
2. This may be the reason some say I tried Jesus and it did not work for me: They never repented and strove!
Jesus is not a product like toothpaste; you try and might not like it.
Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world; He is God, not a product.
3. John 3:19-20 Many want Jesus but do not want any alteration of their lifestyle.
They just want to sort of “add Jesus” to their life like “adding pepper” to your food.
They will even go to church on Sundays because they think they have done their religious duty.
The sad ending of it all is that many think they are on their way to heaven but will end up in destruction.
He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (1 John 2:4 NKJV)
Luke 14:25-33 – This passage shows how Jesus handled mass so-called followers—Disciples.
1. The Lord makes the narrow path as hard as He possibly can.
2. He demands action.
"And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:27)
"So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:33)
3. When you become a Christian, you are declaring war on Hell—AND HELL FIGHTS BACK!
NOW DOES IT SOUND LIKE YOU WANT TO FOLLOW CHRIST?
FOLLOWING CHRIST COSTS YOUR LIFE IN A SPIRITUAL SENSE.
CHRISTIANITY IS NOT JUST
BELIEVING THE FACTS ABOUT JESUS
SIGNING ON THE DOTTED LINE
WALKING DOWN SOME ISLE, RAISING YOUR HAND & PRAYING A PRAYER
CHRISTIANITY IS A PERSON WHO FOLLOWS CHRIST IN TOTAL COMMITMENT
C. Today’s Gospel Message Lures People Into Deception
1. It promises a wonderful & comfortable plan for everyone’s life—It obliterates the offense of the Cross (1Cor.1:23;Gal.5:11)
2. Though it presents Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, it says nothing of the small gate or narrow way.
3. Its subject is the “Love of God”, but there is not mention of God’s wrath
4. It is full of love and understanding, but there is no mention of a Holy God who hates sin.
5. There is no summons to repentance, no warning of judgment, no call for brokenness, no expectation of a contrite heart.
6. It is a message of easy salvation, a call for a hasty decision, often accompanied by false promises of good health, happiness, and material blessing. This is not the Gospel According to Jesus. Jesus said the Gate is small.
IV. Salvation – Life – Its Your Decision!
There are two & only two decisions – No Effort vs. Seeking to Find
A. Wide is the gate and broad is the road (v.13)
This Wide Gate Requires no Decision to Enter.
Christ does not say a person has to enter it – A person stands before it automatically by being in the world.
To enter this gate requires
1. No energy, no searching, and no commitment on your part.
2. A person is already facing this wide gate.
The Narrow Gate Requires a Decision to Enter.
1. A personal decision, a firm determination, and a commitment of energy & effort to search out the entrance.
2. Once it has been found an immediate and definite decision to enter is required, “Enter by the narrow gate.”
The wide gate is the world & the narrow gate is heaven.
The broad way is the way of the world, and the narrow way is the way of heaven.
The broad way leads to destruction (perishing) and the narrow way leads to life.
Many are entering the wide gate and perishing. Only a few are entering the narrow gate and living.
Some seek the narrow gate and never enter it.
1) Some find it, but they decide it is too narrow for them. It requires too much discipline, effort, and self-denial to enter
2) Some seek unthoughtfully. They carelessly walk right by it never seeing it.
3) Some seek half-heartedly. They still look back to the wide gate as lots wife did. They end up missing the narrow gate.
The Narrow Gate is Narrow and Hard to Find – But it is not Shut!
1) It is open to all who seek and find it.
2) The invitation goes out to whomever will enter it.
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28 NKJV)
And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:17 NKJV)
"Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18 NKJV)
Will you come to the Lord’s table today?