TEXT: 1 John 5:18-21
18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.
19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
In our last message, we saw how the spirit of Satan has overwhelming influence in the world today. It is this antichrist spirit that causes many individuals, governments, and society in general to be opposed to the things of God. However, there is another spirit in the world today — the Holy Spirit — who lives inside every believer. The Bible tells us that one of the tasks of the Holy Spirit is to restrain or hold back the spirit of lawlessness and iniquity in the world. When we look at the evil in the world today, we must realize that it is not as bad as it could be. As salt and light in the world, we are a part of God’s firewall against the antichrist spirit that is in the world today.
Along with the Holy Spirit’s influence in our lives, John shows us how we are distinct from the world in three other ways. The Bible reads, “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” This verse tells us: (1) That we are free from sin, whereas the world is not. (2) We continue in our salvation and are kept from evil by the power of God. (3) The devil cannot seize us and drag us out of God’s hands and back into enslavement to sin. Drs. John Walvoord and Roy Zuck state, “John was seeking in these summarizing statements to reinforce the readers’ consciousness that they are distinct from the satanically controlled world system and basically free from its power. They need not listen to the worldly ideas advanced by the antichrists. Nor need they succumb to worldly desires.”
One of the methods the devil uses to try to get believers to stumble is causing them to doubt who God is and who they are in Him. He does this in numerous ways. He whispers negative thoughts about what God has done or said in our minds. He tempts us to sin and then mocks us for feeling the pull of temptation. The proliferation of technology has put many ways of sowing the seeds of doubt at Satan’s disposal. When was the last time you were browsing the internet or flipping through channels on TV and you came across a respected, educated figure attacking some basic tenet of the Christian faith? When was the last time you heard of some politician or activist trying to justify behavior that the Bible clearly condemns? All the anti-God, anti-Christ, and anti-Bible arguments are now just a tap away. The devil is saying to us the same thing he said to Eve: “Hath God really said…?”
How can we combat the devil’s attempts to cause us to doubt God and our standing in Him especially in these last days? The key is in focusing on what we know to be true. John writes, “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”
Three times, John uses the word “know” in these two verses. Actually, he uses two different Greek words that are both translated as “know.” D. Edmond Hiebert writes that the first use of the word “know”– in the statement, “and we know that we are of God” — “speaks of absolute, beyond a shadow of a doubt knowledge. [It is] an abiding inner assurance concerning our spiritual origin.” John does not leave any doubt about the status of the believers he is writing to. He tells them, ‘We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are of God’ — we belong to Him and we will return to Him one day soon.
Many people in the world today are searching for a sense of belonging. They are afraid of being alone in the world. They want to be a part of a family, a community, or a cause that is bigger than themselves. The devil will try to isolate the believer spiritually and mentally and make him think that he is the only one suffering for Jesus. He will try to get us to question our place in the world. However, we can defeat this attack of Satan by reminding ourselves that we “know we are of God.” There is a place where we belong — it is the family of the redeemed who remain in the world to carry out the Great Redeemer’s plan. No Christian is ever truly alone.
The second time John uses the word “know,” he says, “And we know that the Son of God is come.” He uses the same Greek word that he used before. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to this Earth, and that’s a fact. For some people, the verdict is still out on who Jesus actually is, but no sane person will deny that He actually lived on this Earth. And it is His coming to this Earth that changes everything. In over 6,000 years of recorded history, and amidst the rise of thousands of prominent individuals, TIME magazine declared that Jesus Christ is the most influential person to ever walk on this planet. The calendar we use is defined by His birth. The Encyclopedia Britannica devotes more words to Jesus Christ than to any other figure who ever lived. Before H.G. Wells, a man who was not a Christian, became famous for his science-fiction works, he wrote a 1,200 page volume titled, The Outline of History. When he completed the work, he was startled to discover that he had written 41 pages on Jesus Christ and only 2 pages on his hero, Plato.
Yes, indeed, we know that Jesus came to this Earth. If for no other reason, not only because the word of God says so, but because of the huge impact He has made on this planet. However, Jesus does not just want people to acknowledge His presence. While He was here, He was not obsessed with fame or people knowing His name. John tells us that Jesus “hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ.”
Jesus Christ has given each of us an understanding regarding who He is and who we are in Him. He wants us to know for sure where we stand, and this assurance is not something that we can attain on our own. Jesus Christ has to give it to us. And John tells us that we “know” He has done it. The word John uses for “know” here is different from the previous two uses of the word. This time, John uses a Greek word which means to know from experience. The only way you can truly know Jesus and know that you are saved by Him is to experience His salvation and His presence in your life. You can read about Jesus, you can listen to preaching about Jesus, you can take a religious course on Jesus; but you will never truly know who Jesus is until you let Him into your life. And, you will never truly know God until you let Jesus into your life.
Until he is banished to the lack of fire, the devil will never let up on his assault against Christians. The antichrist spirit will continue to oppose the progress of Christianity around the world. The devil will do his very best to get professing Christians to turn their backs on God and Jesus Christ. Every temptation and every doubt he puts in our minds are an attempt to do just that. We can combat these temptations and doubts by focusing on what we know to be true.
We know that we are of God, not only because the Bible tells us so, but because Jesus’ spirit (the Holy Spirit) within us agrees with this truth and gives us that assurance. We know that Jesus is the Son of God, that He came into this world, and that we now belong to Him. Yes, although this world lies in the lap of the wicked one, Christians can live faithful and fruitful lives in this world because of what we know and Who we know.
If you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you how you can trust Him for salvation so that you can be ready for His return.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University School of Divinity. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.