Today we covered the first 4 verses in 1 John 4, and there is a powerful message just in that short passage.
When John uses a word like “beloved” or “brethren” to begin a passage, he is about to say something difficult. Not every person who says he is telling the truth is telling the truth. Not every preacher is called by God. There are many false teachers who are only out for profit and/or self-preservation. A half-truth is a whole lie.
1. It is Biblical disobedience to not be able to recognize false prophets. The prosperity gospel doesn’t prosper anyone except those teaching it. Even Jesus did not have a place to lay his head, but left the riches of heaven for poverty on earth in order to spread the truth. The job of the Holy Spirit is to give glory to Christ. It’s the message that’s important, not the miracles. Christians have a responsibility to not believe false teachers. If is doesn’t line up with the Word of God then it’s foolishness. There is a spirit of foolishness taking place in the world. Many come in the name if Cbrist who are not preaching truth. When you preach against deceiving spirits you will get pushback from those who are being deceived.
2. The “truth test” for any person or group is what they believe about Jesus. Most everyone today talks about “God,” but you will find out what people really believe when you mention Jesus. Don’t even entertain those who are peddling a false gospel.
3. The God within us is greater than the evil around us. We cannot be ashamed about the gospel of Christ. We cannot make a difference unless we are different from the culture. The gates of Hell will not prevail against us. Yet the House of God has bowed to the culture by not speaking truth. We have succumbed to foolishness. Don’t be shocked when the world hates you; be shocked if it doesn’t.