Summary: People need to know God's love.
"That You May Know..."
There is nothing worse than not knowing. It doesn't matter what the lack of certainty pertains to...there is nothing worse than not knowing. There is always a tension filled question mark hanging over the head of the husband or wife who does not have the certainty that their spouse loves them and is committed to them. That question mark weighs upon their shoulders and causes a heaviness to follow them every moment of every day. There is always anxiety awaiting the employee who walks through the door and is reminded that he or she could be told to pack their things at any moment. There is nothing more detrimental to the development of a child than for the child not to have the assurance of his or her parent's love. There is nothing more devastating to a church, more destructive to the health of a church, than for the congregation to wonder if God is true to His promises. There is nothing worse for the man, woman, or child who seeks after the Lord than to wonder if they have truly been saved or if there is something more that they must do. I can't tell you the number of times I have spoken to someone who has said, "I hope that when I die I have lived a good enough life to go to Heaven." The lack of certainty will wake you in the night, it will cause clouds of confusion and depression to follow you through the day, and it will ultimately result in the person losing hope since there is no person who has ever lived who has been able to be "good enough" to earn God's gift of salvation.
The lack of certainty fosters confusion, depression, and anxiety like nothing else. Times have not changed. This fact of life is not new to those of us living in the year 2000. The lack of certainty, question marks planted in the fertile soil of the mind, have been around since the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden.
Where does this lack come from? Why do all people have to deal with the lack of certainty in our lives from time to time? That is a great question. If you will stop and think about it there are some glaring examples of how seeds of uncertainty are sown into our hearts and minds and begin to grow. Sometimes others sow the seeds of uncertainty and we allow them to take root and entangle us. The parent who refuses to give their child the security of their love sows seeds of uncertainty. The spouse who refuses to give their mate the security of their love and commitment sows seeds of uncertainty.
At other times our circumstances and the situations we find ourselves involved with in life sow seeds of uncertainty. If someone we love becomes ill and we pray and pray for God to deliver them from sickness only to watch them die...uncertainty can slip in and take root. If we think through a decision thoroughly, and prayerfully act on the decision, only to have it blow up in our faces...uncertainty can slip in and take root. If someone we admire, a Christian brother or sister we have held in high esteem, falls in their walk with the Lord...uncertainty can slip in and take root.
There are other times that we sow seeds of uncertainty into our lives and then we reap what we have sown. The person who refuses to yield their logic, emotions, and reasoning to the will and ways of God will definitely find themselves reaping a destructive harvest of uncertainty.
Whether the seeds of uncertainty are sown by others, our circumstances, or by ourselves we need to know that uncertainty will enslave us, ensnare us, and keep us from experiencing the abundant life that God intends for all of His children. I came by today to tell somebody that you do not have to live in the wasteland of uncertainty - this very morning you can set up residence in the Promised Land of God's certainty.
This morning we are once again turning to John's first Epistle to seek to learn how we can walk in the fullness of the Father's will for our lives. Throughout this little letter John has been battling false teachers who have slipped into the church to try and lead the people astray. The Gnostics of John's day desired nothing more than to sow seeds of uncertainty among the congregation, but John writes to these precious believers so that they may know. Let's take a look at our Scripture for today found in 1 John 5:13-20.
13I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15And if we know that he hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of him. 16If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. 17All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death. 18We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. 19We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 20We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true-even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. (1 John 5:13-20 NIV)