Summary: Part three of a series done on 1st John
“Dear John,” part 3 (Faith and Freedom from Doubts)
Story – When I was just a little boy my mom was walking with me through our neighborhood. I was on my brand new tricycle and was pretending to be some big racecar driver when I saw a lady walking a little white puppy. I asked my mom if I could go pet it. She came with me and ask the elderly lady if the dog was friendly. She smiled and said, “oh yes.” So leaned over to the dogs level and stated to pet it when… SNAP. The dog reached over and bit me on the mouth. It got me in the lip and then proceeded to rip my lip apart. The point is that life is an uncertain thing. What seems to be a nice little innocent thing can reach up and bit us.
Tonight we conclude our series called “Dear John” with a look at the final chapter of the book of 1st John.
The first week we looked at “Walking in the Light” and said that God is light. In him there is no darkness, or sin, and that we are also called to walk in the light. Then last week we looked into chapter 3 and 4 and found that God wants us to be “Full of Love.”
We said that: God is a perfect and holy love, that we are to loving one another as a test of true Christianity, loving others leads to knowing God, and we know God is love because of Jesus sacrifice.
From this message we drew three applications: We need to be loving others, studying our Bibles and spending time with God, and showing and telling people about Jesus.
Tonight we dig into chapter 5 and we address one of the basic concerns of all people, which is, We all have a fear of pain and death. And there are two very distinctive ways at looking at this issue of death and suffering. If you do not believe in God you live for the present, and your goal in life is gain the most number of things, for longest time, and have some kind of person to pass it all on to when you die. The assurance you have is in your money, or possessions, or in your country. The problem is that when a September 11th happens, or the stock market crashes, or you get sick with cancer, all of your security is shattered. It is a hopeless existence… we are all going to die and suffer, so why not get it over with now!!! The majority of our country and the civilized world live this kind of life. The alternative to this is what we are going to look at tonight.
You are your parent’s child. I know I said that last week, but I want to make a point here. When you are a child of someone you have an inheritance. For some of us it may be thousands of dollars and a condominium in Boca Raton, or it may be thousands of dollars in debts and unpaid bills. Either way we all have an inheritance, and this inheritance does not have to be strictly about money. We all inherit certain traits and characteristics from our parents and whether we like to think about it or not, one day we will be a lot like them. But what is the inheritance of being one of God’s children? The answer to this question lies in the fact that as children of God we can take hold of many spiritual truths that result in “Faith and Freedom from Doubt” and worry. In the last chapter of 1st John we see some of these truths and especially when John writes this:
1 John 5:11 – 12 “And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” NRSV
We are a people who are obsessed with certainty.
Each of us strive to make sure that tomorrow is going to be as much like today as we can make it. This morning most of us got up at the same time and did the same routine that we have done every morning for the past 3 years. We go about these routines day after and day… We make the plans for tomorrow as familiar as they can be, but why? The answer lies in our fear of the uncertain, and that includes death. Just like the dog that bit me in the beginning of the message, life is unpredictable and very uncertain. This fact scares us, so we try to take control of this chaos and fear by planning our lives in such a way that things are as normal as possible. Think about this, when was the last time that you did not do something because of the fear of the first time, or that it would change things…