Summary: John tells us how to live our lives amid the call of the world
Staying Right Side Up When The World Is Upside Down
1 John 2:24-29 (NLT)
Intro: The synagogue was in conflict. A Rabbi was at odds with his congregation. Nothing was going right and there was chaos and turmoil every day. The president of the synagogue went to the rabbi and said that they had to have a conference of the twelve leaders of the synagogue to discuss the issue that was causing the entire problem and get it corrected once and for all. Little did the rabbi know that everybody else had already talked and his viewpoint had no chance of success. The charade was carried out though with a lot of discussion on the subject. The president of the conference stood and announced that it was time to vote. He proposed that the majority would rule in this matter and all agreed. Everyone recorded their vote on a piece of paper and when the votes were counted, the president told the rabbi that he had been outvoted eleven to one. The majority has spoken.
The rabbi rose to his feet, "So you think you are right and I am wrong because of a vote. Well, think again, for I will call on the Holy One of Israel to give us a sign that I am right and you are wrong." Immediately, a deafening clap of thunder sounded, accompanied by a brilliant flash. The mahogany table they were gathered around was cracked in two. The room was filled with smoke and the president and the elders were thrown to the floor, but the rabbi remained standing -- untouched and triumphant.
The president synagogue slowly rose from underneath the table. His hair was singed, his glasses where hanging from one ear and his clothes were in great disarray. Finally, after some time, he responded saying, "Alright, alright, so it is eleven to two. But we still have the majority!"
. Sometimes, we have trouble figuring out what to do in the midst of chaos and turmoil.
.Do we have any scuba divers here this morning?
. Pam and I took scuba lessons about ten years ago. We went through the classes and passed all our tests and went down to Florida and had our “checkout dive” as they call it. We have not been diving since.
. One of the things they teach you is that you can become disoriented at times under water. You may not know which way is up or down. I have heard interviews with people who somehow get trapped under water and they said that for a time, they didn’t know which way to go,
. The experts teach us to expel some air and watch the air bubbles, they will always show you which way is the right way to swim.
. As I was studying our scripture this morning, it is apparent that John is telling his readers which way to go when you get confused or disoriented in life.
. He had just been telling his readers that the world systems and corruption that is brought about by anti-Christ’s or people who are against Christ can confuse you. Do not let them lead you astray.
. Their world had been turned upside down.
. If they were Jewish, they had went from waiting for their Messiah to accepting that Jesus was their Messiah and had died and they again were waiting for his return.
. If they were Gentiles, they would have had a myriad of God’s that they had given up to follow Jesus.
. Their world had been turned upside down and then they had to deal with all these anti- Christ’s. They needed something to keep their world right side up in their rapidly changing world.
. Our world is much like the people John was writing to.
. We are changing so rapidly that we can’t possibly keep up.
. Many no longer leave their home to shop. When we purchase a computer, it is obsolete within a year.
. Our society is changing rapidly.
. We applaud pictures of homosexuality while chastising displays of genuine faith.
. ESPN highlighted the selection of the first openly gay football player and made it a point to show the kissing and affection that went on between them to the whole world.
. When Tim Tebow bows in worship, he is chastised unmercifully.
. We are cloning sheep and will someday I am sure attempt to clone a person. Someone may have already attempted this. We just don’t know about it.
. Our world, to me, is being turned upside down. How do we stay right side up in this world? John tells us in our scripture today.
1 John 2: 24-29
24So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will remain in fellowship with the Son and with the Father.