Summary: This message is an overview of the book of 1 John and part of a 2-year study of the Bible.

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1 John: Be Real

by, Tony Thomas

Sr. Minister, Woodland Heights Christian Church, Crawfordsville, IN

No. 62 in a series called, Route 66, a Road Trip Through the Bible

In the fall of 2011, ABC-TV premiered a fantasy drama titled, Once Upon a Time. The setting is the fictional town of Storybrooke, Maine. The residents are fairy tales characters who time-traveled to Storybrooke, but they were robbed of their memories.

In other words, they live in Storeybrooke with new identities. The Evil Queen is the town Mayor, Snow White is a fourth grade school teacher, Prince Charming is a comatose hospital patient, their infant daughter is now (28-years-old), and Rumpelstiltskin runs the local pawn shop.

In six seasons, there have been dozens of characters, from Robin Hood to the Mad Hatter to the Queen of Hearts; from Tinker Bell to Ariel to Red Riding Hood; from Pinocchio to Captain Cook to Repunzel. Each week one character after another discovers his real ID!

I watched that series for two seasons before I got lost! The characters played multiple roles, they lived in multiple time-dimensions, they traveled through a portal they couldn’t control and I couldn’t remember who was related to whom!

After two exciting but confusing seasons I needed a heavy dose of reality! The search for something real isn’t new with us. In fact, it’s as old as Adam and Eve. Man has looked for reality and satisfaction in wealth, thrills, conquests, romance, education and even religion.

There’s nothing wrong with any of these experiences as long as we recognize that they are temporary diversion. An experience doesn’t satisfy over the long haul. That solar eclipse that passed through on Monday was anticipated for 99 years, but it only lasted for 90 seconds and 90% of us missed it in Crawfordsville because of the simultaneous thunderstorm!

Wanting something real – and finding something real are two, altogether different things! It’s like eating cotton candy at Golden Coral: you bite into it thinking it’s real, only to end up with a mouthful of nothing. We waste priceless years on empty substitutes for reality.

And that’s what 1 John is all about. We’re in a series called Route 66 and this is week No. 62. We’re going through the Bible one book at a time and we’re in the home stretch.

The theme of 1 John is a life that is real. John is writing as an elderly man, and in his nearly one hundred years on earth, he discovered that satisfaction is not found in things or thrills, but in the person of Jesus Christ!

I. Helpful Trivia to Understand John

1st, John is the author of five books. He wrote one of the four gospels, 1, 2 and 3 John, and Revelation. That’s 50 chapters. Luke wrote 52 chapters (Luke and Acts), and Paul wrote 87 chapters in thirteen letters.

Matthew’s Gospel tells the story of Jesus calling John to become one of his twelve disciples:

Matthew 4:18 Jesus saw two brothers, Peter and Andrew, casting a net into the lake.

19 Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

21 Then he saw James and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father, mending their nets.

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