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Don't be fooled

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18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 19 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 it might become plain that they all are not of us. 20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. 21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. 24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life.

26 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. 27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.

There is a an ever present reality in our world. The reality is that as we move forward in time, we draw closer to Christ’s return. We do not know when that day will be so we must be prepared. We are prepared by believing and accepting Christ as our Saviour.
With the reality of Christs return, there is a reality of the Antichrist. Jesus prophesied of the Antichrist referencing the book of Daniels title of abomination of desolation in Matt. 14:15. Daniel chapter 7-12 gives us an identification to the Antichrist. In Daniel 8:24-25
Daniel 8:24–25 ESV
24 His power shall be great—but not by his own power; and he shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints. 25 By his cunning he shall make deceit prosper under his hand, and in his own mind he shall become great. Without warning he shall destroy many. And he shall even rise up against the Prince of princes, and he shall be broken—but by no human hand.
We are moving toward the Antichrist time of rule every day. but notice that John says many antichrists have come. many antichrists? who is he referring too? If you recall when we started reading the book of 1 John we talked about John’s purpose for writing the book. We discussed that there were people in the church that were teaching false doctrines. They were teaching things that were against God and not part of the Gospel.
The other thing we discussed is that Christians had come under great persecution. There were rulers who acted as if they were God. They issued judgments against the people in the church and killed them. When we look at these two versions of antichrists, we can see them throughout history and today.
Often when we think of antichrist political leaders we think of Adolf Hitler. When Hitler came into power, germans were 60% catholic and 40 % Evangeliical. The church was strong in Germany. When I was stationed in Germany, we would walk around old cities and see beautifully maintained churches that are still used today. Looking at these buildings, you might wonder to yourself, how could people who built these remarkable places, allow a leader to come into power who burned bibles, hated Christians and ordered the death of 6 million Jews. That is not including all the others that were killed trying to protect Jews or in war.
During WWII there was a German pastor named Dietrich Bonhoeffer. This pastor stood up against the Nazi rulers. He was executed for his actions. But before his death he was asked how the church could allow an evil dictator to not only come into power but get Christians to commit the acts that the Nazis Regime did.
Bonhoeffer said, “Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.“ - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
This points to the other antichrists that come into the church and preach a gospel that is not The Gospel. Here is what this cheap grace looks like today. There are people who teach that Jesus will forgive all your sins, which is true. But they also teach that it is okay to sin because of this forgiveness. That what the world believes is okay makes it okay for us.
This is taken further as people are members of the church who continue to sin say… you can’t judge me. You are not allowed to correct me. Who are you to call out my sin. Because of this mentality, the church no longer corrects sinful behavior. I have been in churches where people become ugly and hostile with each other, and nobody corrects them. Some people commit blatant sin and well, that’s the way our world is so nobody corrects the behavior. Pastors become politically correct for the world and lose biblical righteousness and no longer call sin.... Sin.
What this creates is a church that says every religion can just co-exist. That it is all the same God. While there is only one God, other religions do not follow God the Father, Son and Spirit who loves us. When all things are acceptable, any religion will do, when sin is no longer sin… there is no need for confession, there is no need to be discipled and there is no need for Jesus to die on the cross.
I know that you are young. I know that it seems like these thing are big church issues. But our enemy wants to convince you of these lies now. Satan would love for you to believe that your actions don’t matter because your young. That it is okay if you break fellowship with God at your age. I tell you that is a lie. Don’t listen to the voices of the world, Listen to God.
There are people that we hear speak about God and we are like.... man what a great message. Then we hear speak at another point and time and go.... That’s not what God said. What John tells us is that these people that now speak against God are just that. They become antichrists. Because, where they once spoke a message similar to if not truth, they now speak lies against God.
This reminds me of the leader of Hillsong. He used to sing beautiful songs for God. One day he publicly affirmed a sin, essentially saying that it was okay. The sin is not really important in this conversation. But what is important is that he called what God said was bad as good. Church leaders have spoken out against him. This is a call for him to repent and go back to what God has called good.
Blindfold exercise (5 min)
How do we know truth?
Let’s read 1 John 2:20-25
1 John 2:20–25 ESV
20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. 21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. 24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life.
This is like our exercise. We are walking in the world, we can’t see where we are going. Maybe we have an idea of where we are going. but there are all these other voices that are distracting us. Things keep changing and moving into our way. Sometimes, it may be a voice we know that we have relied upon in the past. Sometimes, it may be a church leader. We must be cautious about becoming reliant on church leaders to tell us what the bible says or tell us when that someone is teaching falsely.
Here is what I want you all to take away from this. If there is nothing else that you hear, hear this. If you believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and by act of repentance and acceptance of His forgiveness, Then you have knowledge of the Truth. You have been anointed with the Holy Spirit. It does not say that we receive all knowledge but that we all have knowledge. It does not say that we are perfect in obedience to this knowledge. But it say that we know the truth.
We have this knowledge and receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit teaches us and convicts us of sin, furthering our understanding of this knowledge. This means that frankly, you don’t need me to explain everything. That you don’t need mom and Dad to tell you what’s right and wrong. Now I speak on Sunday mornings as an instrument of the Holy Spirit to help you further understand His teaching. Mom and Dad create rules under the authority of God. You are obedient to mom and dad out of submission to God. Your parents are stewards of you and our held accountable for you by God. But if you think about it, you know what is right and wrong without Mom and Dad telling you most of the time. But their instruction gives you assurance of what is right and wrong. Bible studies and sermons build confidence in what we have read and believe.
The point of this is to say that If you believe in Jesus then you have received the Holy Spirit. You have knowledge of the love of God. God will use the Holy Spirit to guide you. The Holy Spirit loves you. He will never direct you away from God. John says to abide in his love. To abide in the light. Abide in this knowledge. Do what you know is right.To do this we must be obedient to His instructions. Not mine or Mom and Dad’s but His. If we are not obedient to Him, then we are listening to the voices of this world that only aim to deceive us.
So as we close and go to groups, I first want to reflect on if you know Jesus. Do your know what it means that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. If you do not, then the rest of this message was probably confusing. If that is you, then I ask that you consider seeking His love for you today. That you seek to understand what He did for you on the cross. Talk to a leader today. Let us help you see the Love that Jesus supplied on the cross for you.
IF you already have the knowledge of God’s love, if you truly understand it. I ask that you keep seeking it. Peter tells us to continue to work out our salvation. What he means is that we need to continue to seek an understanding of God’s love. Every day. The more we seek his love, the more we find his love. Keep seeking. Keep learning His truth so that when you hear the liars and deceivers speak… You will know the truth and won’t be fooled.
What is the most important truth in the bible that you think people should know?
Who are people you trust to tell you the truth?
Have they ever lied to you or said something that was not true? Why?
How do we know the Truth? (Holy Spirit, The Bible)
How do we keep learning?
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