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"...Hath Not God"

Saturday, August 08, 2020

            The title of this study is composed of three small words. Yet, these words are significant in meaning and application. When we read II John 9, we learn that if someone (“whosoever”) transgresses, he is not living in the doctrine of Christ, and does not have God! In contrast, living (“abiding”) in the doctrine means he “hath the Father and the Son.”

            To not have God means this person is not in fellowship with God. The relationship that might be enjoyed with God has been destroyed. Thus, abiding in the “doctrine of Christ” is a serious commitment, and there are real consequences for disobedience. Too, we must remember our study from II John 8. This statement in verse nine is not made to people living outside of the body of Christ. Those who are not Christians don’t have God anyway (Isa. 59:1-2; I Pet. 3:12)! The warning of verse nine is to Christians, just as is verse eight. Yes, Christians can move from “having God” to “not having God” if they ever decide to not abide or live in His doctrine. Thus, we learn once more that salvation is not completed in a moment in time, but salvation is a lifestyle. It is the result of daily decisions. We must “walk in the light as He is in the light” (I Jn. 1:7)! We must do this daily, and in so doing, we “have God.”

            To not have God means our soul is in jeopardy of being lost in Hell. It is not a game or a joke to not have God. It is not a minor infraction or a mere “slip-up.” We must stop making a mockery of God and sin and realize that sin is why Christ came to this earth in the first place (Gen. 3:15; Isa. 53; Jn. 18:37; Jn. 3:16; etc.)! Sin is compared to a disease (Isa. 1:5-6), and we need the Great Physician to heal us!

            Therefore, let us examine our lives. First, if you are not a Christian, then you are not in fellowship with God in the first place. Believe on Christ (Jn. 8:24), repent of your sin (Acts 17:30), confess Christ (Rom. 10:10) and be baptized (I Pet. 3:21)! Then, continue to “walk in the light” (I Jn. 1:7). Abide or live in His word (II Jn. 9), and then enjoy the fellowship of God! If you have walked away, then you do not have God (II Jn. 9), but thankfully, you can repent and return to Him (Acts 8:22; I Jn. 1:9). Examine yourself (II Cor. 13:5). Are you in fellowship with God? If not, then let’s talk and get things corrected today while we have the opportunity (II Cor. 6:2)!

- Jarrod M. Jacobs


Tuesday, August 04, 2020

                   John warned, “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist” (II Jn. 7). Speaking about an antichrist or “the” antichrist produces fear in the hearts of many. In light of the coronavirus pandemic and the hardships that have been produced from quarantines, business shut-downs, and the like, there are many concerned that perhaps these events are foreshadowing the end of the world. People are concerned about “the” antichrist entering the world stage and ushering us into “the end of days.”

                   When we read the Scriptures, though, we learn something completely different about “antichrist.” There is nothing said about an antichrist or “the” antichrist ushering in anything. This is not to say that the doctrine of antichrist (I Jn. 4:3) is not serious, because it is. When we understand what this is, it is a fearful thing. The definition of “antichrist” is “opponent of the Messiah” (Strong’s). Therefore, we do not want God to consider us “antichrist” or Christ’s opponent.

                   Understanding the definition is just one aspect of our study. Let us make sure we use the word (in this case, “antichrist”) in its proper context. Therefore, to understand this teaching, let us first read everything the Bible says on the subject of “antichrist.” In this case, God speaks about “antichrist” in four places (I Jn. 2:18, 22, 4:3; II Jn. 7). After reading those verses, we can see the attributes of antichrist (opponent to the Messiah) include:

  • There is more than one who could be considered “antichrist” (I Jn. 2:18).
  • He denies that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah). He denies the Father and the Son (I Jn. 2:22).
  • He will not confess that Jesus came in the flesh to the earth (I Jn. 4:3; II Jn. 7).
  • He is a deceiver (II Jn. 7).

                   By reading all God says on the matter, we can appreciate that it is a serious and dangerous thing if God considers you “antichrist.” At the same time, there was nothing in those passages said about The Judgment Day, a 1000-year reign, a world-wide power, a world leader, war, rapture, death, resurrections, or any of the other things people generally talk about when they speak about the “antichrist.“ John didn’t even use the term “the” antichrist! He said (by inspiration) that there were “many antichrists” (I Jn. 2:18)! Don’t forget that he wrote this some 2000 years ago. Those opposed to the Messiah have been around for a while!

                   Now, to the context of II John, we see that antichrist (v. 7) is contrasted with walking after God’s commands (v. 6) and making sure we don’t lose what we have in Christ (v. 8). Let us heed John’s warning. Let us do what God says, and be faithful to His commands. When we think about the subject of “antichrist” in its context, we can see how it is that there were many in John’s day, and how there are many yet today!

Don’t be deceived by false teachers and do not oppose His truth, including the fact that yes, Jesus Christ came in the flesh. Our Savior is real! His word is true! He made a way for us to be saved, and when we believe He is the Son of God (Jn. 8:24), repent of our sins (including being His opponent -- Lk. 13:3), confess Christ as God’s Son (Rom. 10:10) and be baptized (Acts 2:38), we can be forgiven of our sins!

- Jarrod M. Jacobs

“Destroyed Once By Water … Next, By Fire!”

Sunday, July 26, 2020

            In our last study, we read about Peter’s warning about “scoffers, walking after their own lust” who would come and question whether or not the Lord would return because “all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (II Pet. 3:3-4). We learned what the word “scoffer” means and looked at this word from a general sense. Let’s study II Peter 3 and see what the “scoffers” were mocking specifically.

            Please read II Peter 3:4-10 and read Peter’s warning about men who were denying the teaching that the Lord will return one day (v. 4). They said that this world has never changed since the beginning. These scoffers were the original “uniformitarians”! They taught nothing had changed since the beginning of time, and so Jesus was not returning. Peter corrected this wrong by reminding the readers about the Flood (v. 5-6). He said these people were “willingly ignorant” of the events recorded in Genesis 6-9. In simple words, these people willingly ignored the plain words of Scripture. They ignored this because it didn’t fit with the “narrative” that they wanted to teach! Isn’t it tragic that when someone has a doctrine he wants to promote, he will willingly go to the point of ignoring Scriptures to keep it alive! This is what I call reading the Bible through a “filter”! Is this your practice? I pray not!

            In the chapter, Peter reminds the readers of the destruction by water that had happened because there is a day coming when the world will be destroyed by fire (II Pet. 3:10)! He assured the readers that God had made a promise, and He would keep it (II Pet. 3:9). He doesn’t count time as men do, and so is not beholding to men to do things on their time-table!

            Peter made it clear that just as this world was at one time overwhelmed in water (Gen. 7:19-23), so also one day, this world will be overwhelmed by fire! This is not merely a “purging” fire, like when a farmer burns off the chaff in his field. He said this is a fire wherein “the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (II Pet. 3:10). “Burned up” in this text means “to burn down to the ground, consume wholly or utterly” (Strong’s). In other words, after this event, there will be no earth left! 

            Are you ready for this fire? When we think of it from this perspective, it helps us prioritize our lives. Are you prepared for the Lord’s return and this world’s end? Is your soul ready? At the end of it all, there will be nothing left except our souls! Jesus asked, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt. 16:26). If you gain the world world, what good will your “stuff” do you when it is on fire?

            How can I be confident that the Lord will destroy the earth one day by fire? It is because:

  1. God said so.
  2. He proved He would keep His promise by flooding the earth after He said He would. 

Don’t waste any more time, but make sure you are ready for the Lord’s return, or your death, whichever comes first (Jas. 4:13)! Believe on Jesus as the Son of God (Jn. 8:24), repent of your sins (II Pet. 3:9), confess your faith in Christ (Rom. 10:10) and be baptized for the remission of sins that your soul might be prepared for eternity (Mk. 16:16; I Pet. 3:21)! Do so today (II Cor. 6:2)!

- Jarrod M. Jacobs

"Cannot Cease From Sin"

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

            “Having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin” is a vivid description of false teachers (II Pet. 2:14). It reminds me of the description of the people before the Flood when “every imagination of the thoughts of (man’s) heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5). To have one’s eyes “full of adultery” is a poetic way of saying these people see the perverse in everything. Purity and innocence are gone from them. Sin has perverted their minds.

            This statement, “cannot cease from sin,” doesn’t meant they physically couldn’t stop sinning. They could change if they desired (II Pet. 3:9). It means that these folks won’t stop. They have “exercised” their hearts to where they think of only the wicked, the ugly, the sinful, the impure, the dishonest, and the godless. It has become such a habit for them that it is like “second-nature.” It’s like breathing to them. Paul similarly described the Gentiles in Romans 1:18-32. Do you know people like this? Have you seen people like this in the mirror? I pray not!

            It is these people that Peter says promise folks “liberty” though “they themselves are the servants (slaves) of corruption” (II Pet. 2:19)! These people are in bondage to their sin and wickedness, and they want others to go with them down the same road! This is the nature of those in bondage to sin. They don’t want people “judging” them, but joining them! They don’t want people to instruct them in the way that is right and cannot be wrong (Rom. 1:16-17; Jn. 8:31-32). They want consequences ignored as they think about all the “freedom” and all the “fun” they are having in sin!

            As an example, this is the practice of any alcohol ad. The commercials focus on the “fun-times,” or the “sophistication,” or just quiet introspection as one thoughtfully drinks alcohol. At the end, we read the disclaimer to “Think when you drink” or a reminder to have a designated driver, or there is the fine print where a toll-free number for “A.A.” is offered. Why the disclaimers? I thought alcohol brings good times and sophistication! Why a designated driver? Doesn’t alcohol make you smart? Apparently, alcohol promises one thing (liberty) but brings something else (bondage). If you are not sure about this, ask why it is that alcohol commercials never include winos or the people whose marriages were destroyed because of alcohol. Why do we never see ads showing the people having “DT’s” when coming off of a weekend bender? “When shall I awake? I will seek it yet again” (Prov. 23:25). This is the mantra of the addicted person, i.e., the one who is fooled into thinking he is free when he is actually in bondage.

            Other examples of spiritual bondage abound, but the point is that a man can sin so much until it is “second-nature.” He can lie so frequently that he no longer knows what the truth is! Someone who cannot cease from sin is in slavery and needs to get out! The only One who can free us from the bondage of sin is Christ (Jn. 8:31-32, 36). He makes it possible for us to “escape the pollutions of this world (II Pet. 2:20). The question is, will we accept His cure? He sacrificed His life for all (Matt. 20:28), but not everyone accepts it (Matt. 7:13-14, Acts 17:30-34).

            What will you do? Will you continue in bondage, or will you accept freedom in Christ? When we believe on Christ (Jn. 8:32), repent of our sins (Lk. 13:3, 5), confess our faith (Rom. 10:10), and are baptized, we can be made “free from sin” (Rom. 6:17-18; Acts 22:16). The sin that was once “second-nature” we can drop and can accept true freedom in Christ! Why are you waiting?

- Jarrod M. Jacobs

Like Precious Faith

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

            The apostle Peter’s second epistle was addressed to those “who have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (v. 1). II Peter is one of the epistles commonly called “general epistles” by men seeing as there was no specific person addressed. Yet, when I read this, I read of a particular group of people addressed. Peter addresses those who have “like precious faith”! In that sense, he has specified one group of people as his target and excluded the majority of the world. Not everyone enjoys a “like precious faith” with Peter. Do you, dear one?

            The two English words, “like precious,” are derived from the single Greek word “isotimos,” meaning equally honored. The term “faith” or “Pistis” in the Greek has to do with persuasion and conviction. Peter thus says that his writing is to those who share an equally honored conviction or persuasion through Christ. Do you share this with Peter? If not, you can change that today.

            If you would believe that Jesus is the Son of God (Jn. 8:24), and repent of your sins (Lk. 13:3), you can then confess your faith in Christ (Rom. 10:10), and be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). The same writer of II Peter preached the first gospel sermon in Acts 2, and made it clear that when we repent and are baptized, we will be forgiven of sins and receive the “gift of the Holy Spirit.” This gift connects us in fellowship with other Christians, including Peter, who possess a “like precious faith” to our own! How amazing it is to think that we who accept the Lord’s plan of salvation are children of God as Peter was, and have access to the same blessings (Rom. 8:16-17)!

            What are you doing to maintain that “like precious faith” (II Pet. 3:18)? Let’s make it a priority to tell others about this faith and bring others with us to Heaven.

- Jarrod M. Jacobs


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