Verse: 1 John 2:18-23
18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
There are some passages of Scripture that are easier to apply to our lives, and some that are more difficult. This one is a little more difficult. He is clearly talking about people who have been giving false teachings and warning the believers against them. How can we apply that to our lives?
One way I think we can do that is to think about this: are there any popular beliefs that I'm believing that don't agree with what the Bible says about Jesus and faith? Are there any beliefs that I'm drawn to that deny that Jesus is the one and only true God? Or deny his teachings? Or dismantle his teachings to make them "sound better" today?
It can be tempting to want to believe some of these ideas because they make Jesus or Christianity seem easier. They try to take the teachings of Jesus and the Bible and re-wire them so they fit into our 21st century post-Christian world view. I'm sure you've heard this and seen this.
The question is: do we change the Bible to fit into our culture, or is the Bible meant to stand as a beacon of light in a dark world that we can use to find our way to Jesus on a daily basis? What do you think? Should we adjust the teachings of Jesus to make us feel better? Or do the teachings of Jesus stand faithfully for us to turn to as we seek to be changed by them?
I know a lot of these discussions are more complicated that we can cover in a short devotion, and I recognize that. I'm not trying to minimize any serious questions about the Bible or faith you may have. In fact, the opposite is true. Find an older believer who can help you wrestle with those questions! Let your questions lead you to God and deeper faith!
The challenge for today is to look thoughtfully at yourself and ask the Lord to show you if you are being led by any teachings or beliefs that actually don't line up with the Word of God. It's a tough one. I'll join you :)
Show me any ways that my heart is being drawn away from your teaching God. Give me the courage to walk through those questions and find hope and peace in you!