I have been praying for you in the weeks leading up to this missions week. I have been praying that god would stir an unbridled passion to see unreached people's reached with the Gospel. I have been praying that, for some, missions would move beyond the theoretical into the practical. I have been praying that God would use this week to call one person, one couple, or one family to leave our church, and be sent out to bring the gospel to a people that do not have it. We will be looking at the first half of Acts 13:47 and seeing what motivation God gives us for spreading His Gospel globally.
The backdrop, purpose, and message of this verse are all fairly simple. What's behind and underneath all of them, however, is a bit more complicated. This is where we're going to spend most of our time this week. Let's pray that God would, through his Spirit and Word, grant us deeper roots in gospel soil this Sunday.
As I worked on this sermon throughout this week the number of verses that I intended to cover gradually decreased from 5 to 4 to 3 to 2 to 1. This Sunday we're only going to look at one verse: 1 John 2:28. The reason for the focus on such a small number of words is that they cover an impossibly large pair of truths. Specifically, the truth that Jesus will return to earth and the truth that when he does those abiding in him will have no reason for fear or shame. Let's look then at this short text and consider its massive implications.
This Sunday morning we're going to look at several verses which speak the strategy and motivation of Christians who find themselves confronted by heretical doctrine (2:20-21 and 2:24-27). That is, we're going to hear from John (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) concerning how true believers ought to respond to the treachery of those who set themselves up against Christ. Let's pray that God would grant us a clear understanding of the passage in order that we would walk rightly in the face of the same opposition which is all around us.
In 1 John 2:18-27 John bounces back and forth between speaking truth about the dissidents (whom he refers to as 'antichrists') and contrasting truth about the true believers. This week we're going to focus on those verses where he speaks the truth about the antichrists (2:18-19 and 2:22-23). Next week we'll look at the verses which truth about the true believers (2:20-21 and 2:24-27). Please pray that God would make us aware of everything in our lives that is working to keep us from fully trusting in Christ, that God would grant us a clear understanding of who he truly is, and that we would act accordingly—in repentance and faith and for the glory of God.