Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tuesday, February 5th

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Exodus 21-22, Psalm 26, Matthew 26
Today's scripture focus is 1 John 2:18

18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 

What is the last hour?  The time we're living in right now.  The time John was living in when he wrote this epistle.  It's the time between Jesus' death/resurrection/ascension and when He comes again.  This is the last hour.  There was eternity past. There was creation and the fall.  There was the promise of a redeemer.  And finally the Redeemer came.  And now we are in the last hour. And we will continue to be in the last hour until He comes again.

The antichrist is coming.  Yes, the big antichrist is coming at the end of the age. But there are millions of little antichrists in the world right now.

MacArthur puts it pretty bluntly....
Any denial of Jesus as Lord and Redeemer, Lord and Savior constitutes an antichrist attitude...

to say anything less about Jesus than what is true, to deny anything about Him that is revealed concerning Him in Scripture is to take your place among the antichrists. Any misrepresentation of Christ constitutes an antichrist attitude. Anybody who rejects Jesus Christ as Messiah, Lord and Savior, anybody who rejects Jesus Christ as God, anyone who rejects Jesus Christ as man cause He was fully the God/Man is antichrist. You cannot reinvent Jesus. You cannot patronize Him with some definition that you think is perhaps good enough, if you say less than what God has said about Him, you are guilty of being antichrist.
To make it very simple, Jesus said this in Matthew 12:30, "He who is not with Me, is against Me." And there isn't any middle ground. You're either with Him, or you're against Him, that's it. You're either a Christian, or an antichrist. 

Driscoll echoes MacArthur's thoughts and adds this....

Am I anti academic? I’m not. Am I anti reading books? I’m not, but I do think that you and I need to be discerning, discretionary people, who when we read a book, when we take a class, when we go to a seminar, when we listen to a talk radio show host, when we watch a television talk program, when we pick up any piece of media or literature, which is overwhelming amount of information, we have to ask ourselves, “Is this causing me to love and trust Jesus more or less?”

Is it pro Christ or is it antichrist? Is it compelling me toward Jesus or is it pulling me away? Is it trusting in him or is it distrusting him? Is it believing him or is disbelieving him? This is intensely practical because many of us, our first inclination is when we have a hard time. We have questions, and we have needs. We immediately default to the antichrist. We’re having marital troubles. Well, let’s go talk to this person that doesn’t know God and won’t quote any verses.

Is that the best place to begin? Will we end up being like Christ, for Christ, with Christ through the instruction of someone who is against Christ? Obviously not. If their agenda is not Jesus, then they’re on the wrong mission. I’m not saying that everything that everyone who is a non-Christian teaches is wrong. I’m saying there are bits and pieces of accuracy that they’re working with from general revelation, but you have to ask yourself.

Those most influential teachers and leaders and friends and people in your life, those people you give highest authority and weight to, are they pro or antichrist? Do they love Jesus and encourage and inspire you to love Jesus or do they not love Jesus and encourage you and inspire you to things other than the love of Jesus?...If you or those that you admire and aspire to be like are not for Jesus, worshipping him as God and wanting to live like he lived and love as he loved, the marks of a true Christian, then you are antichrist. You’re against him. Many people don’t think of it that way. They just think that indifference is okay. I don’t love Jesus. I don’t believe in Jesus. I don’t follow Jesus, but I’m not against him. Jesus says you are. Jesus says you are.

What an intensely practical question to ask ourselves - Is this causing me to love and trust Jesus more or less?

Are the people I trust, lean on, give authority to, allow to speak into my life - do they point me to Jesus or away from Him?

There is no middle ground.  Indifference is not ok.  Indifference towards Jesus is being against Jesus.  Choosing not to choose, is choosing against Jesus.  You are either for or against Him.  There is no middle ground.

Tomorrow's scripture focus: 1 John 2:19-23
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Exodus 23-24, Psalm 27, Matthew 27


LaughingLady said...

I am also reading through my Bible again this year (though it's a different plan from the one being used here and I've stretched it out to two years) and in my reading today in Matthew 12, I came across a verse that ties in with this theme very closely. The first part is very familiar, but the second was definitely not as well-known to me (but in a sense, far more convicting):

[Jesus said] "He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.

The first half pin-points non-Christians, but the second phrase speaks just as much to people who consider themselves believers, I think. And it isn't just that if we're not "gathering" with Him, we're just doing nothing to help further His kingdom. No, if we're not gathering with Him, we're actually working against Him, guilty of SCATTERING.

I haven't worked very hard at "gathering" in my life. I wonder how much damage I've done, thinking I'm just apathetic.

Roxie said...

Very thought provoking, causing much dark, inner recesses of the heart searching. Really made me think about what I watch on tv, what I read, what I listen to without speaking up. Thanks, Tammy and Tammi for the really good thoughts. May God give us the strength to change.