Summary: What does it mean to “believe?” How do we know if we have come to believe? Why is it important that we believe?
When Words Are Not Enough - 1 John 2:3-6 - June 16, 2013
Series: That We May Know – Life With Jesus - #5
Today is, of course, Father’s Day – a day when we’re encouraged to honour our fathers. And there’s nothing wrong with doing that whatsoever. A good and godly father is most definitely a gift from God. It is right to give them thanks and to express our appreciation for all they’ve done to build into our lives.
My focus this morning though is not going to be on those of you who are fathers. It’s going to be a message for each and every one of us who has come together to worship, in this place and at this time. But I guarantee you, if you came hoping for a message meant for fathers, or one meant for men in general, it would be hard to find a more practical passage then the one we find ourselves in this morning.
We’ve been working our way through the book of 1 John and we’re going to continue doing that today too. We’re going to pick up where we left off last time at 1 John, chapter 2, beginning in verse 3. You can go ahead and turn there now, and as you do so, I just want to say, that I’ve called this series, “That We May Know – Life With Jesus.” And I’ve called it that because again and again in this letter we find these words, “This is how we know …” John has written this letter that we may know that we have life with Jesus. And we need to take that to heart because Jesus says this – and to me these are some of the most troubling words that you will ever find in the pages of Scripture – Jesus says this …
““Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew 7:21–23, NIV84)
There is going to be a day, when each and every one of us stands before the Lord. That’s why Paul exhorts us to examine ourselves to see if we are really in the faith because the Scriptures tell us that …
““When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ …
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ …
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”” (Matthew 25:31–46, NIV84)
And as they’re being sent away into that eternal fire, some of them are going to be protesting that they’re innocent, that somehow they ended up amongst the goats when in reality they are sheep. “Jesus!” they will cry, “Jesus, what about me? You’ve got it all wrong! Don’t you remember all these things I did in your name? I went to church, I read the Bible, I gave financially – don’t you remember all I gave, Jesus? I mean, I prophesied in your name, I even performed miracles and drove out demons – and I did it for you, Jesus! What do you mean I’m one of the goats? There must be some mistake …”
But friends, Jesus doesn’t make mistakes. And the truth is, that in that day, there will be some, who have been utterly convinced that they are Christians, who will enter into eternal punishment, rather than into eternal life.