Sermons

Summary: Real fellowship with God involves on a real acknowledgment of Jesus.

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Unless otherwise indicated all scripture is quoted from the New Living Translation of the Bible.

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Sven met his old friend Ollie walking down the road – (I’m allowed to tell can tell this story because I’m half Swedish.) And Sven said "Ollie, whatcha’ up to?"

"I been fishin" said Ollie, holding up his basket.

"Oh," said Sven, "How bout you give me a fish if I can guess how many fish you got in dat there basket."

Ollie smiled – "I’d give you both of them."

Sven thought for a moment and then said -- "I guess five."

If only we’d left all of our denseness in the old country.

Sometimes things are so obvious that we overlook them. This is the apostle John’s concern here in 1 John 2. We’ll be looking at a few verses in chapter 4, too. "Don’t overlook the obvious," says John.

You remember that he is laying out tests or indicators by which we can know if we’re in true fellowship with God. Earlier on he stresses that love and obedience are two key indicators of our fellowship with God.

And here in our passage this morning he lays out a third test – a test that is so obvious that many people miss it.

We get so caught up in living life – helping the kids pass their spelling tests and appeasing incompetent bosses – even in keeping the church moving ahead. We get so caught up in it all – the franticness of it – especially at this time of the year – that we overlook the obvious.

Look at 1 John 2:21-24 -- “So I am writing to you not because you don’t know the truth but because you know the difference between truth and falsehood. [22] And who is the great liar? The one who says that Jesus is not the Christ. Such people are antichrists, for they have denied the Father and the Son. [23] Anyone who denies the Son doesn’t have the Father either. But anyone who confesses the Son has the Father also.

[24] "So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will continue to live in fellowship with the Son and with the Father.”

Then skip over a few pages to chapter 4 verse 2 -- "This is the way to find out if they have the Spirit of God: If a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ became a human being, that person has the Spirit of God.”

In a nutshell John is saying, if you don’t have Jesus right you don’t have fellowship with God.

There are all kinds of people running around purporting to have great religious truth and spiritual insights. There are solution gurus by the thousands. Wonderful!

But if they don’t have Jesus right they aren’t from God. They’re under the influence of the antichrist, says John. They are forerunners of the great evil opponent who will have it out with God at the end of the age.

They may sound religious. They may act religious. They may accomplish a lot – but they aren’t from God because they don’t acknowledge his Son Jesus Christ.

Real fellowship with God involves on a real acknowledgment of Jesus. (Key Point)

Jesus is what it’s all about.

"No kidding," says the cynic. "That’s a no-brainer. Everyone knows that Christianity is about Jesus Christ. Just look at the word Christianity. It’s all embedded right in there -- Christ - ianity. Tell me something new!"

But, you know what, it is often the obvious that gets overlooked. There’s a lot of stuff out there that tries to pass itself off as Christianity but fails to acknowledge Jesus in the right way. And there are a lot of people who claim to be Christians but who fail to personally acknowledge Jesus.

They like church -- the music, the programs, and the fellowship it offers but they become uncomfortable if you start talking about Jesus as though he were a real person who makes a real difference – as though he were a person with whom you could have an actual and real relationship.

The Jesus story is great as long as you don’t get too personal with it.

And increasingly there are people who don’t even know the story. This is the first really post-Christian era in America.

In the past people knew the story, the details, and at least talked like they owned it. But now, increasingly people don’t even know the gospel story.

One of the ironies of our time is that crosses have become extremely popular as jewelry.

A young woman was recently shopping to buy one in one. She started looking over the display and the clerk asked "can I help you?"

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