TESTING YOUR CHRISTMAS With CHRISTIAN COMPLIANCE-I
— 2John :7-11; 1John 2:22-25; 4:14-16; 5:5-13—
Recently I was invited to the WMU Christmas party. We had a great meal with great fellowship & later we opened some small gifts.
The last thing we all participated in was a Christmas trivia quiz open to everybody there. We found out how much or little we knew about Christmas. Most of the questions dealt with secular traditions surrounding Christmas. But the last half of the trivia was from the Bible...A very different perspective from that of the world!
Our Christmas celebrations say much about what we really believe.
John supplied his readers with a test for Christian compliance in Jesus’ sonship/humanity/birth.
Jesus’ sonship/birth is a test for Christian confession/compliance...
How is faith in Jesus’ birth/sonship a test for Christian compliance?
4 tests of Christian compliance realized thru our celebration of Jesus’ birth/sonship.
1— Celebrating Jesus’ Birth Tests Our...
REWARD SYSTEM or ENTITLEMENT SCHEME(2Jn. :7-11)
Explanation: (2Jn. :7-11) ?What do you work for?
:7—“For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver & an antichrist.”
People who stray from accepting Jesus as having “come in the flesh” are characterized as those who are “deceivers.” The reality is that Jesus absolutely had to take on flesh(Php. 2:6-8; Mt. 1:21-23; Lk. 1:34-35Jn. 1:1-5, 14; 1Jn. 1:1-4; Heb. 2:14-18). There is no other solution to the dilemma between man’s calling & his sin.
Many if asked, “Are you a Christian?” would readily respond affirmatively. But when you get down to their explanation of what it means to be a Christian there is an immense gap between their belief(subjective) & God’s truth(objective).
Christmas is important for the very reason that Jesus’ humanity is key to man’s relationship with God, his salvation & subsequent direction. Christmas is the celebration of all that is accomplished thru Jesus’ taking on human flesh.
Jesus’ “flesh & bones”:
Lk. 24:36-43—“Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, & said to them, “Peace to you.” But they were terrified & frightened, & supposed they had seen a spirit. And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands & My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me & see, for a spirit does not have flesh & bones as you see I have.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands & His feet. But while they still did not believe for joy, & marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish & some honeycomb. And He took it & ate in their presence.”
These “deceivers” have indeed “gone out” even from the midst of believers(1Jn. 2:18-19). These are evidently people espousing religion of some kind but they obviously deny the actual truth of Christ as revealed by the true God. These have “gone out into the world” at large. Thus the poison of their untruth is spread to a lost & largely unsuspecting humanity. This is why, as faithful Christians, we must get to the crux of what an individual or group believes before we can help them grasp the revealed truth.
Such deceivers are intentionally deceptive & are thus further characterized as “antichrists.”
Though there will be one specific ‘Antichrist’(1Thess. 2:1-12; 1Jn. 2:18; Rev. 13:1-9) in the future, who will play into to the 7yr. Tribulation of the world(Rev. 4-18)—prior to the 1000 yr. reign of Christ on earth & God’s final judgment(Rev. 20)—there are many presently & in our future who hold & will hold the same spirit as antichrist(1Tim. 3:1-9; 4:1-3; 2Pet. 2:1-3; Mat. 24:5, 24).
:8—“Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.”
Note the change of person from 2nd person plural to 1st person plural. John is joining with his audience(the church) in the labor of refusing to placate the deception of modern antichrists. That which is refused as well as that which is accepted effects all of Christendom.
Mat. 18:18-19—““Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, & whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
?What do you work for?
?Whom do you work for?
“Lose”—apollumi—1) To destroy—1a) To put out of the way entirely, abolish, put an end to ruin, 1b) Render useless, 1c) To kill, 1d) To declare that one must be put to death, 1e) metaph. To devote or give over to eternal misery in hell, 1f) To perish, to be lost, ruined, destroyed; 2) To destroy—2a) To lose. Strong—To destroy fully (reflexively--To perish, or lose), literally or figuratively.
“Reward”—misyov—1) Dues paid for work—1a) Wages, hire; 2) Reward: used of the fruit naturally resulting from toils & endeavours—2a) In both senses of rewards & punishments. Strong—apparently a primary word; Pay for services (literally or figuratively), good or bad.
:9—“Whoever transgresses & does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father & the Son.”
“And theyJehovah’s Witnesses] have many old heresies reframed in their system, very old heresies that come from ancient Gnosticism.”—John MacArthur
?Do you “have” God?
?Do you “have” the Son of God?
“Transgresses”—parabainw—1) To go by the side of; 2) To go past or pass over without touching a thing; 3) To overstep, neglect, violate, transgress; 4) So to go past as to turn aside from—4a) To depart, leave, be turned from; 5) One who abandons his trust. Strong—To go contrary to, i.e. Violate a command.
:10—“If anyone comes to you & does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him;”
Don’t afford him any measure of respect beyond that which you apply to the world at large... Perhaps we should afford them a lesser degree of respect seeing as they are willing purveyors of doctrinal error.
1Cor. 5:9-13—“I wrote to you in my epistle[earlier] not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner--not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.””
“Bring”—ferw—1) To carry; 2) To bear, i.e. endure, to endure the rigor of a thing, to bear patiently one's conduct, or spare one (abstain from punishing or destroying); 3) To bring, bring to, bring forward. Strong—a primary verb (for which other & apparently not cognate ones are used in certain tenses only; namely, oiw; & enegkw; to "bear" or carry (in a very wide application, literally & figuratively).
“Receive”(See 1Jn. 5:9)—lambanw—1) To take; 2) To receive (what is given), to gain, get, obtain, to get back. Strong—To take(in very many applications, literally & figuratively [properly objective or active, To get hold of; whereas decomai is rather subjective or passive, to have offered to one; while aireomai is more violent, to seize or remove]).
“Greet”—cairw—1) To rejoice, be glad; 2) To rejoice exceedingly; 3) To be well, thrive; 4) In salutations, hail!; 5) At the beginning of letters: to give one greeting, salute. Strong—a primary verb; To be "cheer"ful, i.e. Calmly happy or well-off; impersonally(especially as salutation (on meeting or parting))--Be well.
:11—”for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.”
Not an association with which Christians should be identified or recognized. This “is not a case of mere hospitality to strangers.”—RWP
This is a case of allowing false doctrine to infiltrate & guide your conscience & decision-making process.
“Shares/Partaker/Participates”—koinwnew—Present Active Inidcative—1) To come into communion or fellowship with, to become a sharer, be made a partner; 2) To enter into fellowship, join one's self to an associate, make one's self a sharer or partner. Strong—To share with others(objectively or subjectively). Used 8X.
“Evil/Wicked”—ponhrov—1) Full of labours, annoyances, hardships—1a) Pressed & harassed by labors, 1b) Bringing toils, annoyances, perils; of a time full of peril to Christian faith & steadfastness; causing pain & trouble; 2) Bad, of a bad nature or condition—2a) in a physical sense: Diseased or blind, 2b) in an ethical sense: Evil wicked, bad. Strong—Hurtful, i.e. Evil(properly, in effect or influence, & thus differing from kakov, which refers rather to essential character, as well as from saprov, which indicates degeneracy from original virtue); figuratively--Calamitous; also passively--Ill, i.e. Diseased; but especially(morally)--Culpable, i.e. Derelict, vicious, facinorous; neuter(singular)--Mischief, malice, or (plural)Guilt; masculine(singular)--The devil, or (plural) sinners.
“Deeds/Work”—ergon—1) Business, employment, that which any one is occupied—1a) That which one undertakes to do, enterprise, undertaking; 2) Any product whatever, any thing accomplished by hand, art, industry, or mind; 3) An act, deed, thing done: the idea of working is emphasized in opposition to that which is less than work. Strong—from a primary (but obsolete) ergw(to work); Toil(as an effort or occupation); by implication--An act.
Mk. 13:3-13—“Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, & Andrew asked Him privately, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?” And Jesus, answering them, began to say: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ & will deceive many. But when you hear of wars & rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, & kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, & there will be famines & troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows. But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, & you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers & kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. But when they arrest you & deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. Now brother will betray brother to death, & a father his child; & children will rise up against parents & cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”
This should frighten the person without saving faith. What is their REWARD SYSTEM or ENTITLEMENT SCHEME?
Rev. 3:10-11—““Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.”
Col. 2:6-10—“As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted & built up in Him & established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy & empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, & not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; & you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality & power.”
Mat. 6:19-21—““Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth & rust destroy & where thieves break in & steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys & where thieves do not break in & steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Acts 20:28-32—““Therefore take heed to yourselves & to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, & remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night & day with tears. So now, brethren, I commend you to God & to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up & give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”
Mat. 11:12—““And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”
Gangster mentality—Take what you can from others—whoever has the most toys wins/REWARD SYSTEM or ENTITLEMENT SCHEME
Christian mentality—Satisfaction with knowing the God who has created you with love & purpose!/REWARD SYSTEM or ENTITLEMENT SCHEME
?Your REWARD SYSTEM or ENTITLEMENT SCHEME Tested thru Jesus’ Birth?
?You truly Celebrate Jesus’ Birth?
Christmas ‘trivia’ test at Christmas party.
Celebrating Jesus’ Birth Tests Our...
1. REWARD SYSTEM or ENTITLEMENT SCHEME(2Jn. :7-11)
Presented 12/16/2012am to:
Needmore Baptist Church
1620 Mt. Vernon Rd.
Woodleaf, NC 27054