July 18 2021
Today, Sunday July 18
It’s Not Enough to be Sincere
1 John 2:18-21 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. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth.
“It makes no difference what you believe, just as long as you are sincere!" That statement expresses the personal philosophy of many people today, but it is doubtful whether most of those who make it have really thought it through. Is "sincerity" the magic ingredient that makes something true?
I don’t know how many times I was sincere about something and willing to take a stand and even argue my point only to find out later I had bad information and needed to apologize and ask forgiveness. Just recently I was on my way to pick up my wife at her aunt’s house in Rustburg and sincerely thought I was on the right road, only to find out about ten minutes later I was on the wrong road going in the wrong direction.
It takes more than "sincerity" to make something true. Faith in a lie will always cause serious consequences; faith in the truth is never misplaced. It does make a difference what a man believes! Remember the Apostle John is writing this book to help us know what it means to live the “real” life. A person who is real builds his life on truth, not superstition or lies. It is impossible to live a real life by believing lies.
John has warned the church family ("little children") about the conflict between light and darkness (1 John 1:2-2:6), and between love and hatred (1 John 2:7-17). Now He warns them about a third conflict: the conflict between truth and error. It is not enough for a believer to walk in the light and to walk in love; he must also walk in truth. The issue is truth—or consequences!
Before John explains the tragic consequences of turning from the truth, he emphasizes the seriousness of the matter. He does so by using two special terms: "the last time" and "antichrist." Both terms make it clear that Christians are living in an hour of crisis and must guard against the errors of the enemy.
Evidently, even in the early church that John was writing to, there were those who were teaching things that were not of the truth (v. 19). He called them “antichrist”. Today, we must be aware of the false teaching that is now invading our churches and even our homes by way of internet, television and radio.
It is very important that we know the truth, love the truth and walk in the truth. Remember Pilate asked Jesus, “What is Truth”? (John 18:38) He didn’t realized it, but he was looking at Truth! Today, it’s not enough to be “sincere” about what we believe about Jesus! We must make sure it is true!