Google+ 05/31/13 We Are Either All In or All Out!

1 John 3:8-10

 

But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil,

Who has been sinning since the beginning.

But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil.

Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning,

Because God’s life is in them.

So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God.

So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil.

Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God. 

 

 

The Family of God.  We are building the Family of God.  When Rebecca and I wrote these lyrics and the accompanying book and CD, we were very sincere in wanting to help people experience true family in God.  While people have embraced our song, Family of God, and it has become the closing to each of our worship services, it pales in comparison to our Scripture lesson today.  It is so gratifying that God, through John, saw fit to put down in writing what we feel for all of us to understand.  If we have perpetual sin, we belong to the devil.  Since Jesus was sent to earth to destroy the works of the devil, those of us in the "Family of God" should never be comfortable with ongoing sin.  If God indwells us through the Holy Spirit, we simply can't keep sinning.  As a pastor, I am constantly concerned about how many Christians look at sin and God's forgiveness of it.  Yes, Jesus died for our sins on the cross so that we can have eternal life and not be separated  from God by our occasional, unintentional sin.  It was never God's idea to send Jesus to earth so that we could sin whenever we wanted to do so.  It was not God's plan to give us a "Get out of Hell Free Card" so that we could operate outside of His commandments.  Unfortunately, this is exactly what happens with most people.  In today's world, apathy abounds.  Christians think if they remain silent on critical issues, there is "no harm, no foul."  This simply is not true.  Silence breeds agreement and by not acting in a positive way for God, we are supporting the devil in our everyday lives.  The end of our Scripture lesson is critical to understanding this point.  John tells us that we can recognize those who are not children of God by their behavior.  These are people who constantly live an unrighteous life and refuse to completely love their brothers and sisters in Christ.  What does John call these people?  John calls them children of the devil.  According to God and John, there is no middle ground.  Being apathetic or non-committal simply puts you on the devil's team, not in the middle on the fence post.  There is great news in this passage for all that wish to be practicing, children of God.  John tells us that our behavior will reflect the fact that God lives inside of us.   People will see exactly who we are on a daily basis.  People will believe us when we testify because our actions will make our testimony obvious.  I need to share with you that, as a pastor, I completely agree with God and John.  I have seen first-hand that if we are children of the devil, masquerading as children of God, we can't cover up our apathy, anger, jealousy, or envy.  It comes out at the most inopportune times.  Do what Joshua did and decide today whom you will serve.  My life verse from Joshua says, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."  Today I challenge you to be full-time children of God.  "We Are Either All In or All Out!"