The Gnostics were in essence the “Old School” New Age Movement. They believed that they were called to teach “the secret things of God”. The “secret things” included the belief in All taught that the body was something to flee from and served only as an entrapment for the human soul. Some taught abstinence from foods and sex; others taught indulgence. None taught balance and holiness. Duality meaning that God was both good and evil. Emanation meaning that the Jewish God was but a weaker God in a long line of divine creatures which included Jesus who they claimed had not body or footprints and the serpent in the garden which was an emanation as well.
1st John 2:28-29 28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. 1st John 3:3 1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
This subject has drawn different types of reactions. Here’sfour of them: Date Setting (See Matthew 24:23-27) Demonic Teaching (1st Timothy 4:1-3) Scoffing (Denying) (See 2nd Peter 3:3-4) Self-Worship and Greed (See 2nd Timothy 3:1-3)
John takes a different approach. He instead encouragesus to do the following: Abide in him (see 1st John 2:28) What is abiding? It is: ▪ Living in Him ▪ Moving in Him ▪ Having your being in Him Acts 17:28 ▪ 28 for In him we live and move and have our being; as even some of your own poets have said, "For we are indeed his offspring. How do I know I am abiding right? (see 1st John 2:29) You practice righteousness which results in confidence when you see Him. Genesis 4:6-7 ▪ 6 The LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it."
John tells us more. He tells us that we are God’s children(See 1st John 3:1). What does this mean? If we’re children of God, does that bring certain privileges?
The Grand determining factor in being a child of God is His love for us (See 1st John 3:1). Ephesians 2:4-9 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Romans 5:8 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Two things happen when Jesus appears. The 1st thing thatwill happen is…We will be like Him… 1st Corinthians 15:51-54 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory."
The 2nd thing that will happen is…We will see Him as He is… Revelation 19 11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
Next weeks sermon will be titled: “Remembering Who We Are: The Children of God” and will be based on 1st John 2:28-3:24 We will be having a special Christmas Eve morning service on Saturday, the 24th of December. Gene is still seeking volunteers for our Congregational Council. See him upon his return for information.