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Behold, What Love!

Behold, What Love!

Sermons, Sermons by Pastor Jason Lim, The Real Life Series0 comments

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” 1 John Chapter 3 verse 1

Download the sermon slides: SERMON-2014-10-26

Do You Want to Go Away As Well

Do You Want to Go Away As Well

Sermons, Sermons by Pastor Jason Lim, The Real Life Series, Transcriptions0 comments

“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. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made to us[e]—eternal life. I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.
1 John Chapter 2 verses 18 to 27

Download the sermon slides: SERMON-2014-10-19

We come now to the book of 1John and chapter 2. In particular, we are looking at verses 18 to 27, so it’s a rather long stretch, quite unusual because normally, we look at 2, 3 verses at one go, but today, I thought that we should look at verses 18 to 27 of chapter 2, at one shot because it gives a coherent picture as to what John, the writer is saying in 1John.

Well a story is told about four boys who are notorious for always playing truancy. They come late for school, they skipped school and one day they came late again. So the teacher got them together and says, “What is the excuse this time?”. The boys says what excuse, it’s true, our car broke down, because one of the tires were punctured, was punctured. The teacher was not very convinced, but as they kept explaining, they sounded, more and more convincing and so the teacher put them to a test.

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Raise up your hands, he says, and they raise their hands and it was spotlessly clean. So, the teacher knows, this may not be quite true, let me put you through another test. He gives to each of the student, a piece of paper and a pencil and he sends them each to the 4 corners of the classroom and he says to them, now, I want you to answer a question. Tell me, which is the tire that is punctured? And of course, all 4 of them gave different answers.

You know, sometimes, we need tests to show up what is true or what is false and in the book of 1st John, the apostle is giving us tests to see if we’re really have eternal life, if we really have the Zoe the life from God, are you really a Christian. Because, so often we assumed we are believers of God. We assumed we have a changed, we change our name, we change the way we use Christian words, we change our Sunday morning activities and we think that makes us a Christian. John says no, there are real objective tests by which you can know for sure if you like child of God. He says number one, this is a test, you need to pass and that is the test of obedience. Not sinless perfection but sincere progression. In other words a true Christian will keep growing in obedience, not perfect but he’s growing, but the general direction of his life, is I want to and I do obey God’s Word. That’s what a Christian is all about. He doesn’t obey to be saved but if he is truly saved he will obey.

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Number 2, a second test is that he will love for one another. He will love the people God loves. He will love the brothers and sisters in Christ because his heavenly Father loves his brothers and sisters, so this will be the 2nd mark of a true believer. So someone who is bitter and harboring animosity and hatred against another brother, you really have to ask yourself, are you willing to repent, are you truly a believer.

Number 3, you will not just love God and love one another, but you will not love the world. You will not be strickened with worldliness. The world will not dominate your heart, you will love not the world. So, notice, these 3 tests, one is with regards to the Word, two is with regards to the church, three, is with regards to the world, and the fourth which are going to look at today is with regards to time, because a true believer will endure. A true believer through the passage of time will keep on believing. He does not forsake and deny the Lord ultimately.

When Jesus was on earth, He was very popular, many people crowded around Him. In particular, there was a time when He performed an amazing miracle of 5 loaves and 2 fishes, multiplying to feed the thousands that were gathered around Him. They follow Jesus wherever He went, but Jesus came to a point of time when He said “I came to be the bread of life, you must eat My flesh and drink My blood. You must receive Me into your life in order to have eternal life, and when He spoke about these things and revealed that it is not really about the physical bread or physical fish. But the Bible tells us in John chapter 6, all of them except for 12 left Him.

Thousands came, thousands left and then Jesus turned to His 12, He asked them, do you want to go away as well? That is a question for you today, would you go away as well? Well Peter, the spokesman for the group, the 1st person to speak, he says, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life and we have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.

ìLord, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life,
and we have believed, and have come to know,
that you are the Holy One of God.î

(John 6:68-69 ESV)

So, Peter says, even when people will forsake, even if people would leave, we will keep on believing. Today, you are looking at 1John, where the apostle says, in effect, the same thing.

He says they went out from us, they quit from following us, following the way of Jesus, together with us, but they were not of us. For if there had been of us, they would have continued with us, but they went out, that it might become plain that they are all, they all are not of us.

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.

(1 John 2:19 ESV)

So John is saying, that the reality in this church, that he is speaking to, there’s some who have left, why? Because, like those who casually follow Jesus, they never really believed in Jesus. What’s true in Jesus’ time and John’s time is true today. Thousands of people go churches this morning, millions, I would say, millions upon millions, go to church this morning. Does that mean everyone is a true follower of Jesus Christ ? Maybe, but most probably not. And this question that Jesus asked the disciples were still, is still very relevant for us today, do you want to go away as well. You see a true believer will say, No I will stay, but a false believer, ultimately, one day, will say to Jesus, I want to go away.

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I share with you about church. When I referred to church today, I’m referring to the external visible church, alright. And in this church in this hall, we just have a few hundred of us, but even in this hall, they are 3 categories of people that can arise, in 1John chapter 2, number 1, in this church, there can be false believers. This is not very positive start, I know, but this is the reality.

The Bible tells us there will be false believers because he says in verse 19, they went out from us. These are people who were with us, but now they left the faith, they left Jesus Christ. It is not just leaving Gospel Light Christian Church, but they left Jesus entirely, they forsook their original profession of faith and they went out from us even though they were with us.

I mean they looked exactly like the believers, the true believers of God. They have Christian names, they use Christian lingo, they sing hallelujah praise the Lord, grace be to you. They say those things, they dress like a Christian, I mean, they, they changed the way they look, maybe on the outside. They come to church services on Sunday morning, to be part of, they may be part of this congregation, they may join your care group, they may even be serving together with you. But they went out.

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.
(1 John 2:19 ESV)

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I’ve been in this church for 19/20 years. I remember those days where I had great friends in this church, but now that I look back, I realize some of these friends are no more with us, not that they went to another Bible believing church, but they totally leave the faith altogether. They won’t talk about Christ. They don’t want to talk about God, there is no desire for God, there is no desire to come back to church and that was 19 years ago, it has not changed since then. You say why?, I mean they were, they were attending Bible studies, they join every week, we went out, meet together, we serve.

But why, over the past 15 years, they have not been back and each year goes by these verses become more and more real. They went out from us even though they were with us. Ah!, Pastor, I know why they went out, because originally 19, 20 years ago there saved, but somehow in the middle of their journey, they lost their salvation. Now, that’s what people think, that a Christian loses his salvation. I say no, he did not lose his salvation., In fact, I will show you later on, nobody who is truly saved by God ever loses his salvation.

But what has happened is that they went out from us even though they were with us because they were not of us in the beginning, they were never really saved, they look saved, they acted like they were saved, they talked like they were saved but their hearts, were never really changed.

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.

(1 John 2:19 ESV)

In Chinese, we have this saying, complete it for me, alright,

For all those who don’t understand, it means the stamina or strength of a horse is seen in the distance it travels. The heart of the man is seen best with the passage of time. How do you know a strong horse from a weak horse, how do you distinguish that? Run one step ? No one is ever going to tell, isn’t it, one step, both horses will be the same, but multiplied by 1,000,000 steps, then the strong horse is going to be shown up. The weak horse will be exposed.

How do you know the heart of a man ? Some of you date for one day, you get married, you you can’t tell lah, he may be a crook for all you know, lah, but if you date for 10 years, you probably know better lah, but even then, it’s never complete. But with the passage of time, you know a man’s heart.

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You see these people, are with the true Church of Christ, but they were never part of the kingdom of God in a real way. They looks like one of us, but they were never of us. So, with the passage of time, no wonder they would depart, from us. He says, for if they had been on us, they would have continued, they would have. If they are truly changed by God’s Spirit, if they have really received Zoe into their lives, they would have continued. But they went out, because they were not of us, they were false believers.

I think John can speak of this experientially. He had a group of close associates and one of them, one of them, turned out to be not of them. He preached with them, he did miracles with them, he learned from Jesus together with them, he was even the trusted treasurer for the group but Judas Iscariot eventually denied the Lord for 30 pieces of silver. Did Judas, lose his salvation? No, he’s shown up that he went out from us because they, he was not of us to begin with.

So, in the church today, a 1st category, a scary category is that of false believers, they sing, they raise their hands, they jump, and they cry, they may read the Bible, they use Christian words, but heart was never saved. Can it be you and if it is you, I pray today, it will be the day you will come to Jesus really for salvation and life. This is not a message to condemn you, this is a message to say, there is still forgiveness and hope in Jesus, don’t pretend, because what really matters is, do you have Zoe in your life.

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A 2nd category, in the church. Some of these false believers would move even further and become false teachers. Now I really don’t personally like to talk about these things, but this is found in Scriptures, and we faithfully declare. So I hope you, you realize I’m on a pet subject, oh, I love, to talk about, no, I hate to do that in a sense, but we have to do it because the Scriptures here says, very clearly “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 up from us.”

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
(1 John 2:18-19 ESV)

So, actually, John is saying that these false teachers, these,antichrists, where did they come from? They come from the church, the external, visible church. If you think about it, many cults today, I can’t name those cults because of sensitivity, but if you have heard of Christian cults you can Google that, is all over. Most of the religious leaders, most of these cult leaders, Christian cult leaders, where do they come from? From Taoist, from buddhist background, no, they come from the church, they went out from us.

Jesus says, or rather, Paul tells us this in Acts 20, he has been with the church at Ephesus for 2 to 3 years. He says he’s been daily with tears, warning them that when he leaves, that fierce wolves, false teachers would come upon them, where do they come from? Some from outside and some from inside. They will be from among your own selves.

I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.
(Acts 20:29-30 ESV)

He could survey that church and he may not have an idea of who that false teachers would be, but they will come, they will arise from within you. That’s scary, that’s scary that false teachers would come from within us, but that is just another sign of the last days.

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We live in the last days. You say, how long has been last days, about 2000 years, from the time of John to now it’s 1900 over years, we are in the last days, and many antichrists have come.

It’s not unusual and John is not saying something strange because his Master, Jesus actually said “Many will come in my Name, saying, I am the Christ, and they will lead many astray.” These are signs of the end times. The reason is because you know that the antichrist is coming, he’s saying to the people, you know that the ultimate super villain, we have studied him in great detail in the book of Daniel. For those who are interested, referred, to our sermons in Daniel.

There is going to be the ultimate super villain. He’s called the antichrist, the lawless one, he will destroy, he will mislead, he would receive many people and he is the antichrist, I think with a capital A, but before that antichrist with a A comes, before the spirit of lawlessness is already at work. Satan is already at work and even within the church, he is moving and stirring people to arise as antichrist, antichrist with a small a, who go around teaching falsehood and leading people astray, away from Jesus. And so there are many, will come up, but you say, pastor, I don’t see so many leh?. I thought, just a few, but, how, how, how come it’s many, I don’t spot many. The reason why, it’s because they’re not obvious to you, they are not going to be saying, ” we are the antichrist church”, no church is called the antichrist church, today.

Have you ever found in antichrist church, they may call themselves cults openly, but they won’t say, I’m the antichrist church, it’s weird. You see, if you want to cheat, if you want to lie, if you want to lead astray, you don’t come in your red underwear and your horn and your pitchfork and say, I am the antichrist, I will lead you, you don’t do that,, what you do is you disguise.

Exactly what’s happening in 2nd Corinthians 11, no wonder, Satan doesn’t come and scare you right in the face. He disguises himself, so no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise, if his servants, false teachers are the servants of the devil. Yes, they serve themselves, they serve their belly, they serve their greed. But behind the scenes. The devil, like a great puppet master is using them and they are serving him and his servants likewise will also disguise themselves.

And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.
(2 Corinthians 11:14-15 ESV)

So they come as the angels of light. Like I said, they are not going to come, saying, oh Jesus, don’t talk about Jesus, talk about some, no, no, no, they say, talk about Jesus, talk about grace, talk about goodness, talk about Bible, talk about these things. Use Christian lingo by all means, graduate from a Christian seminary, by all means. Disguise you see, so that you won’t suspect, so that if you’re not watching for it, you would think family church in the world is a good church, every church in the world and every preacher in the world, is a true preacher of Jesus Christ and when you believe that lie, that’s where he leads you astray.

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And it is so powerful because it is also coupled with great success on the outside. These false teachers don’t assume that they have small followings. The Bible tells us, they have big followings, many will follow. They will have many people going to their church, they have big services, big church buildings probably, if you go to their facebook or their twitter account, many followers, many likes, every statement like, like, like…very popular, very big, they may be very charismatic, very persuasive, very eloquent, very slick, very polished, highly successful and the great titles and credentials, graduated from this, study that, did this, did that and he looks so beautifully disguised on the outside.

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What’s more, the Bible actually tells us, they can perform, some of them can even perform great signs and wonders, now not all signs and wonders are from God, obviously. Back in Moses days, they were magicians in Pharaoh’s court who could perform this similar wonders, but they were not of God. And these false teachers are sleek, successful, subtle, powerful, with great signs and wonders and what they do is that they lead people astray.

For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
(Matthew 24:24 ESV)

How do they do that? They lead by lies, they do all these great things on the outside, you buy into their personality, you buy into their church brand, as it were and they feed you lies. You know, pastor, don’t teach you lies, they teach very good truths. Look at their polls, look at their teaching, wah, very good sermons.

Hey, and I know that some little problems, no, no, overall, very good. Of course, it will be very good, of course, it would look generally wonderful. But look at how they actually slip in lies. The Bible says in 2nd Peter, false prophets also arose among the people. Just as there will be false teachers among you, Peter, Timothy, they all understand the same realities, and how they do it is that they secretly bring in is not going to be blatant, is not going to be obvious.

If it is obvious, he’s a lousy wolf in sheep’s clothing. No clothing, wah lau, a lousy, I will run away from you. But they’re smart, they are disguised, they are clothed.

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——————-

Secretly bring in. When I think about this secretly bring, secretly bring in I think about my friend, my neighbor are my neighbor’s name is Glenn. Glenn, if you watching, I’m sorry. But we use to play Monopoly together, play games together and whenever, I play Monopoly, I seem I always lose to him, I have no idea why. I thought my properties are more than his property, but I keep losing to him. And then I realize one day, when we were playing and we are all having fun, I saw him (slipped his hand motion) Wah, a few thousand dollars, just like that leh, because he’s the banker, huh, he takes the money and puts it into his pile, no wonder, he never loses, his money is never ending, he secretly brings in money.

Time stamp in audio 0:22:43.1.

Now of course he doesn’t want me to see it. And, if I’m not watching, I, I would not know. Do you realize that false teachers, watch you and when you are looking there, he takes a lie and inserts into your life. Secretly, it’s not going to be obvious; secretly tell you of something that would destroy your soul, destructive heresies. Not small problems; real fundamental problems and what he does is that he denies that Jesus is the Christ. Ultimately, this is the core, this is the heart of the Christian message, it is about Christ and he tells you that this Jesus is not Christ. This Jesus of the Bible, not Christ, he is not the chosen one, he is not the Messiah, he is not the Savior that God has sent. Let me tell you of another Jesus, let me tell you of another gospel, so they still call themselves apostles of Christ, but they are false. They use the name of Christ. This is the disguise, this is the way they get away with you, this is how they slip into your, your mind, I am a servant of Jesus Christ. Look at my titles, look at my church, look at my teachings, look at my popularity, look at the building, look at how God has blessed me, I am of God and listen to the message I have, this is how he slips right in and what he gives you, is not the true Jesus. What he gives you is not the true Gospel, he gives you another Jesus, he gives to another gospel, and because he is so slick and professional and polished, you put up with it readily.

For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, Ö. or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.
(2 Corinthians 11:4-5 ESV)

Doesn’t matter if that is not quite according to the Bible, he’s such a charismatic man, he is such a powerful preacher, he has such a big church, so many people following you, he must be right.

Can you sense that reasoning? Do you know of friends who right now are in false teaching? This is how it works, it’s the same thing year after year, generation of the generation, the devil uses disguise. Subtly giving you a substitute Christ, not the Christ of the Bible. He uses his name, but is a pseudo-Christ, it is a counterfeit God and it is not the true God of the Bible and what happens is that you deny the Lord Jesus Christ.

For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
(Jude 1:4 ESV)

Yes, you say, Jesus, you claim Jesus, you pray to this name Jesus, but it is not the Jesus of the Bible, I’m sorry. Just because you call it Jesus doesn’t make it that you are praying and knowing and walking with the Jesus of the Bible. It’s another Jesus, you are actually denying our Lord.

No one in the last day, people would say, ” Lord, Lord, didn’t we do these things? I never knew you.” It’s not me, and what happens is that people not are now plunged into sensuality, lasciviousness or sinfulness.

For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
(Jude 1:4 ESV)

The mark of a false teaching church, is that the people of God are not trending toward godliness. They may talk all you want about loving God, grace and God loves me and so on, but their lives will go to the opposite direction. They lead to godlessness, they lead to sensuality, lasciviousness, that’s the word there, sinfulness. By their lives, you can know, by the fruit, you can see the tree. But you see, people who are deceived already, says, no lah, that’s okay just a few of them, God will forgive their sins. No, no, open your eyes, look at the lives of the people, look at the lives of the pastor, look at the lives of the preachers and you will know.

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That’s the end result. You see, they, they, they do that that because false teachers entice you by the sensual passions of the flesh, they know what the flesh wants.

ÖÖthey entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error.
(2 Peter 2:18 ESV)

So, they come up with a great disguise I’m an apostle of Christ, they give you a great message, whereby you can indulge in your sin, you can you can be satisfied with the sensual passions of the flesh. No wonder, they have a big following, no wonder, many people will follow the pernicious ways. And false teachers, do this out of greed.

And in their greed they will exploit you with false words.
(2 Peter 2:3 ESV)

They are not here to serve you, they are not here to help you, to grow you, they are here to exploit you. Note these words, exploit you. Why? Greedy, they want you and your money. The devil knows, man wants to be rich, be greedy and of course, with this willing partnership between him and a false teacher, he has a successful formula to sway and to lead many astray.

They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed.
(2 Peter 2:14 ESV)

They entice unsteady souls, they are not learned in Scripture, they do not have the necessary defense, and they are absolutely vulnerable and they have now trained their hearts in greed. It gets worse and worse and worse and worse.

Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
(2 Peter 2:3 ESV)

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God is still sovereign, even in the midst of great deception in the last days, we know that God is in control, but it is so sad, when we are not on our guard and we fall prey and we allow people to fall prey to false teachers. So they went out from us, sign of the last days, they come from within our churches, they are subtle but successful, they secretly bring in damnable heresies, gives you a substitute Jesus Christ, entices you with sensuality, gives you what you want, gives you what you are excited about, but it leads you to sinfulness, it leads you to deny Christ, they do it, because they are selfish, they do it because they are greedy and their judgment will not be withheld. In the midst of such an environment where we have false believers, where we have false teachers, it’s a very intimidating environment, don’t you think?

Time stamp in audio 0:29:29.8.

It is a very hostile environment, even in the church, yet the Bible tells us, there is a 3rd category of people, they are the true believers and this is the amazing thing about God’s work in the midst of so many counterfeits, in the midst of so many false teachers, the true believers hang on to truth.

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. (1 John 2:19 ESV)

He says they went out from us, but they were not of us, for if they had been of us, they would have continued. It’s amazing, they will continue, they won’t fall out. Yes, they may be tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine, they may be disturbed for a moment, but ultimately they will continue with us. They will keep believing in Jesus Christ, they will not be ultimately deceived and again, Jesus said, these words for false Christ and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray if possible, even the elect.

For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
(Matthew 24:24 ESV)

How thankful I am for the words, if possible. You take away these two words, if possible, we are done for, isn’t it? False Christ will lead astray, even the elect, that will be horrendous. Thank God for the words if possible, that means it is impossible. They will not be successful in leading astray the true elect, those were chosen and secured by God.

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. (1 John 2:19 ESV)

They will continue with us. You say, why? Is it because the elected people are very smart, God chooses the smart ones, God chooses the alert ones? Wah is, is that the reason, is it the reason being in us? I tell you the reason is not in us. The reason is in God. The reason why they will continue with us is because John explains in verse 20,

But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.
(1 John 2:20 ESV)

You have been anointed by the Holy One. The word anointing is used in the Old Testament of a king who is drizzled? as it were, with olive oil. It’s a picture of God’s anointing, God’s blessing the Holy Spirit empowering him. In today’s day and age of course, we don’t anoint ourselves with oil, we turn greasy and oily, we are anointed today by the Holy One with the Spirit of Christ. And because of this anointing, because of the work of the Holy Spirit in us, if you truly believe in Jesus, you have knowledge. This knowledge in the Greek is not one that is gained by experience, it is the other word that is intuitive knowledge, you know intuitively, you know, because the Holy Spirit teaches you.

But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie
(1 John 2:27 ESV)

This anointing teaches you about everything, and is true and is no lie. No wonder you will not sway, because that’s the work of the Holy Spirit in your heart, leading you at every step calling out to you and establishing you.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
(John 14:26 ESV)

So, the Bible tells us, this is an affirmation of what Jesus has called in John 14. The Holy Spirit will teach you all things. John 15:26,

But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.
(John 15:26 ESV)

The Spirit of truth, He will bear witness about me.

John 16:13,

When the Spirit of truth comes,
he will guide you into all the truth
(John 16:13 ESV)

The Spirit of truth will guide you into all the truth. And this is just an affirmation of the old testament teaching of the new covenant. That there will come a day, when God will take away the stony heart and replaced with a heart of flesh and he will send His Spirit so that we don’t have to ask anyone who is the Lord, we know who is the Lord, because that’s the work of the Spirit, the anointing, the promise of the Comforter of the Holy Spirit in the elect, the children of God.

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And therefore, even in the midst of great deception, they continue with us, they endure until the end.

Gospel light Christian church, in our congregation, I wish everyone is a true believer. In reality, however, according to the Bible, is that there will be, and they may be false believers. And sadly, some with the passage of time, may turn out to be false teachers, they went up from us and to become liars, they deny Christ and they lead people astray. But, we thank God that they are true believers as well. I want to close with some applicative thoughts.

Great Deception in the Last Days

1. We live in days of great deception and Jesus tells us don’t be blur, please, don’t be asleep, don’t be complacent, don’t take things for granted, but be on guard.

For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.
(Mark 13:22-23 ESV)

You see, some of us, we look for churches without a mindfullness today, now, if you are in GLCC Gospel Light, I hope you will not keep looking around (huh, huh) we hope you will serve and grow together with us. But if you online, if you listening somewhere and you are looking for a church today, what is ultimately most important is, does the church teach, preach, live truth. That’s what really what matters.

Does the church live, preach, teach the Jesus of the Bible., You see, so often, people look for churches like this, I am I want, aiyah (colloquial expression) to look for a church that makes me feel good, a church that I like that kind of music I like, that the kind of lightings I like, the pastor, I like, I must, I must go for the handsome type. I am not kidding I’ve heard people saying I like that church, because, pastor very handsome, wah lau (colloquial expression), like that also can. (Laughter in the congregation)

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There are, I like that church because it is just beside my house. I mean, you’re not buying, you are not buying kang kong (a local vegetable ) or vegetables, you are looking for a church. Please, don’t look for things that are convenient, okay if they, if both churches preach the truth, by all means, you can consider secondary factors, but you don’t the secondary above the primary. The primary is number 1, are they faithful to God and His Word.

For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.
(Mark 13:22-23 ESV)

Be on guard, that’s what it means. I think, a true church must be willing to expose errors, must be, if you preach truth, error will be shown and I think we got to be on guard this way, the church today, the leadership of any church must be willing to expose errors and not play compromise games, just to be popular, just to be accepted. We are called to be loyal to God, not to be popular. Now we must be all things to all men, but number 1 loyalty to Jesus Christ and His Word.

I also say that if we live in great deception today, there will be friends and family members, you have that are now in false teaching churches. What you do? What you do? Do you have a responsibility towards them? I think so.

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In Jude, it says and have mercy on those who doubt, save others by snatching them out of the fire, to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh, you say,what is this all about.

And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
(Jude 1:22-23 ESV)

If you read Jude, it is about false teachers again. And Jude is saying there will be people who are in a sense, victimized by false teachings. What do we do? 3 categories of people here. All are deceived or affected, but 3 categories. There are those who doubt, these are people who are confused, not very clear, but they are doubting now, they are being rocked, they are being enticed, that they are right at the door of that false teaching, they are not so sure, they are vacilitating, he says, have mercy on those. I think it means, go help them, save them.

But there is a 2nd, 2nd category, those who are in the fire already, these are the people who are convinced. Now quickly go and snatch them. That’s what Jude is saying, so there are those who are confused, those who are convinced and then there are those who are absolutely committed to false teaching.

Do we give up on them? No? We can still show mercy, but you have to be very careful with fear. You should hate even the garment stained by the flesh, you should be careful in helping them, in case you yourself get affected, but it doesn’t mean we give up on them.

These are days of great deception and right after service, 1st service I have people who tell me, yah, I have this and that and I mean it’s everywhere. There are many antichrist, many will follow, it’s not a small percentage of people, big number. The Bible tells us, to help, great deception in the last days.

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Don’t be Surprised by Defection

Number 2, because there is great deception in the last days, don’t be surprised by defection, defection refers to people who depart from the faith, not that they leave a local church but that they leave Christ entirely. Don’t be surprised, don’t be shocked, there can be Judas, there can be the wheat and tares, they look so similar, but eventually they are different, and the Bible tells us

Now the Spirit expressly or clearly says that in later times some will depart from the faith. How, by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared.

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared,
(1 Timothy 4:1-2 ESV)

You know, deception is a partnership, it’s a super partnership, it’s a partnership between the devil and a false teacher, it’s also a super partnership between a false teacher and the person who is deceived. Three of them are happy, you know, in false teaching. They are very happy, the devil is happy because people are led away from Christ, the false teacher is happy because he gets his money and then those who are deceived I have the because they love to hear what they like to hear.

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Happy happy happy, but when it comes to judgment, all will be tragically damned. Don’t be surprised that there will be defection because they love to hear these things, they, can we know them in advance, can we know these people who will drift and stray in advance? Is there any advance warning, just like the tsunami before it comes, there is and advance warning, can we have advance warning on, oh because I am not sure whether my family members, they would…is there any advance warning? I think so.

And I’ve actually experienced it with dealings with people. It is found in 2nd Timothy 4 where it says “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and were turned away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
(2 Timothy 4:3-4 ESV)

So what is it? Well there will be people who say, Wah, preaching the Bible is so boring. Can you give us something new? You know, you are always talking about the same things? When I hear that I need to improve myself. Number 1, that as a communicator, I need to be, maybe engaging in different ways better, but number 2 I’m a bit concerned because I’m afraid that you may fall into this category, when you cannot endure sound doctrine, you don’t want to hear the same good old truths of the Bible, you want something new, you want something exciting, you want something like a vision and a dream, God spoke to me and I tell you this and and you love these things, you love the new stuff.

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Be careful. Paul tells Timothy “Teach the Word, preached the Word, but there will be people who will not like the word, but you still preach the Word because that’s what people need. But there will be people who have itchy ears not chiu jion (colloquial for each itching hands) how do you call that ears jion (meaning itchy ears) you just want to hear nice things, hoh, I just want to hear this, yes, there, there is something about us that loves to hear lies alright. Am I pretty? Yes, you’re very pretty. I have just used to, even not, may not be true, you also love to hear that lah, just human nature. Just a flash, and so we love to hear things we love to hear and we depart.

Now you may not say it, eh no lah hearing this, these are little errors only, it will not cause us to wander. No, no, no, no be careful. It will turn away and ultimately lead you to wandering off into myths. That’s how deception is, it doesn’t start blatantly, it starts subtly, secretly brought in and when your guard is almost down, you are you devoured by the evil one.

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True Believers Hold on to the Gospel

Don’t be surprised by defection, but ultimately and lastly, true believers hold on to the Gospel. Real followers of Jesus Christ, even in the midst of great deception, even in the midst of great discouragement when people defect away from Jesus. They hold on to the Gospel. Paul or John says

Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. Keep holding on to it, let it stay in you.

Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made to usóeternal life.
(1 John 2:24-25 ESV)

It’s the old, old story of Jesus and His love. It’s the old old story of how He came as God’s Son to be man to die for our sins, He rose again, He finished it all and who will repent and believe, shall not perish but have everlasting life.Let that abide in you.

A true believer keeps holding on to this. This is the human aspect. The divine aspect as to why true believers hold on to the Gospel is because God will ensure you hold on, He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. That’s the beauty about regeneration, that’s the beauty about God saving work in a man’s life.

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Absolutely, permanent and life-changing and you must remember Jesus is still praying for you, God holds you, you will never lose that salvation if you are truly saved. So you see, how does God persevere a Christian in that he will ultimately be saved. He perseveres a Christian by working in us, both to will and to do. Do what? Hold on to the Gospel!

That’s how He works, it doesn’t work, He doesn’t work independent of you, such that oh, God has secured my salvation so I can anyhow depart from the faith, and I will still be saved, no, no, no. If you anyhow depart from the faith, it shows that you were never saved in the first place, you went up from us because you were not of us, but a person who truly has the grace of God in his life will have the perseverance of God, because he will continue to hold on to the Gospel and the reason why he will continue to hold on to the Gospel is because he has been anointed. It is not apart from God, apart from your perseverance. It is through your perseverance.

True Believers Hold on to the Gospel

True believers hold on to the Gospel, a an elderly man was about to die, he was sick and he got his family together, he can’t see very well and so he got his family and told them, can you flip the Bible to Romans chapter 8 where it says “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor anything else, shall separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus”. His family came and place his finger on that verse. He says, are you there, yet? Yes, we have placed your finger on that verse. He says to them, “Now I can go. I had breakfast with you in the morning and tonight I shall sup with Jesus”. And indeed, he died that very time.

Here is a man who holds on to the Gospel till the day he dies. My friends, will you hold on to the Gospel to the day you die, because a true believer will do so. The question we have asked ourselves this morning.

Do You Want to Go Away As Well?

Multitudes say yes, but there will be those who says no, we will stay. To whom shall we go ? You alone have the words of eternal life.

Let’s bow for a word of prayer together. I understand this is a very difficult message, never pleasant, never pleasant to talk about these things. I guess it was never pleasant for Paul to speak about these things to the church at Ephesus when he had to warn them with tears everyday. Truth be told, I fear for many of you, I do, I hear what you say, I read what you post, and I’m concerned because not that you leave Gospel Light Christian Church, but that you will leave Christ, that you have itching ears, and depart from the truth.

My dear friends, my dear brothers and sisters, true believers and you’re unto the end, they hold onto the Gospel, even in the midst of great tribulation, they hold on. Will you hold on. Would you love truth, would this church be unashamed about saying, we are about truth, it’s not about hype, it’s not about fancy things, it’s not about how impressive we look on the outside, it’s just a faithful following of Jesus and His Word. Nothing more, nothing less.

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Maybe this morning, you can think of your friends, who are right now in cults, in false teaching churches, maybe even your own family. I am not asking you to pull them out forcibly, you can’t, but would you pray for them, would you be concerned about them or would you say it’s fine, they would eventually come back, Jude tells us, save them out of fire.

Or maybe today, right here, right now, you have been a false believer. You have been coming to this church, day after day, week after week, year after year, you are active in care groups. You may be even active in serving people. But today, you know in your heart, you’re not a Christian because you don’t see any signs, you don’t see obedience. You don’t see, a growing love for others, you are still loving the world and if there is great trials today, you know you will give up on your faith. Then I tell you, you never have the real faith. Would you humble yourself today, honestly humble yourself and come to Jesus Christ, would you do that?

I don’t want to be mean, that’s not my purpose, I am not speaking this message as if I want to push you guys away, no. I really hope you will come to know Jesus. Jesus saves, He can change your heart. He can give you the anointing, the indwelling Spirit, He will, if you humble yourself, turn from sin and come Him. Whatever the Lord is speaking to you, would you make a decision, prayer, a commitment before Him. Would you pray for Gospel Light Christian Church, and for all Bible believing, living, preaching churches in this nation and across the world that God will keep His church pure, to allow His truth to sound out amongst the nations.

You see there’s so much deception, there’s so much background noise. I actually think that there is more false teaching than true teaching in the world today. What does the church, the true church do about it? Would you pray, would you preach, would you share, would you live this truth.

Don’t be fooled by superficial things folks, don’t be fooled by music and lights and dance and dress and appearance. It’s not about these things, for the Bible, about truth, about the true Jesus, of the Bible. Father, thank You for this day, we thank You for Your Word that still speaks to us today. I pray for those who are deceived, have mercy to draw them back, through Your people, through Your children, draw them back.

I pray today that You will guard this church, from falsehood, from lies, from deceit, from insincere liars. I pray, You will guard our pulpit. I pray today for all our friends seated here, Lord, You know all our hearts. We all look like we are following You, but maybe not all yet, and so be gracious to call each one of us truly to that Zoe life, the eternal life of God. Bless Your church, bless each one seated here. I pray that Your love will fill our hearts and draws to Yourself. Thank you for Christ, the true Christ, God’s only Son, who came to be man, God man that He may die for our sins, save us from our sins, not just from the penalty but from the lifestyle from the power of sin. We thank You, we praise You, we thank You for the privilege of knowing You, we asked all this now in Jesus Name, Amen.

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