References: 1 John 2:12-14
But here’s a woman’s perspective of Father’s Day. Men are like placemats. They only show up when there’s food on the table. Men are like mascara.
They usually run at the first sign of emotion. Men are like bike helmets handy in an emergency but otherwise they just look silly. Men are like government bonds. They take so long to mature. And men are like parking spots. The good ones are taken and the rest are handicapped. Men are like lava lamps. They’re fun to look at but not all that bright. And men are like bank accounts without a lot of money. They don’t generate much interest. And men are kind of like high heels the ladies say.
They’re easy to walk on once you get the hang of it. But maybe men get their chance at this on Mother’s Day. And the ladies are just kind of getting back to us. You know the expression Father knows best, right? We’ve grown up with that expression and it ought to be something that’s true in our families and in our lives and in our churches and why is that?
Why would a father know best? As a matter of experience. It’s because a father or a mother, someone who’s ahead of us in life, ahead of us in this world, has gone through some things that we haven’t. They’ve experienced it longer. They’ve put it to the test more than we have. And so when they speak about something, they have a little more experience. You know in a laboratory there’s theory and there’s fact. You can bring the theory in the first day. But you can’t say it’s fact yet. You can’t say this is the way it is yet. You have to put it to the test.
You have to let some time go by. Webster says science’s knowledge attained through study and practice. It is putting it to practice that makes it real, that makes it right. Not just exposure to information and facts. In these days in which we live, we have a lot of exposure to information.
We have it at our fingertips almost always. But that is an experience. That’s just what we hear coming in one ear and going out the other.
That’s just what we immediately become exposed to. How do we know that’s the truth? How do we know it is real? And of course in our day and age we have a real need then to experience and put these things to the test because we have such a flood of information coming our way. But knowledge is interaction with the facts. It is knowing those long enough to verify them. You know I think it was Mark Twain who first said when I was a boy of 14 my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around.
But when I got to be 21 I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years. I think Mark Twain was the first one who said something like that. I like Charles Wadsworth who said by the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right he usually has a son who thinks he’s all wrong.
So you never quite get away from it do you? Listen to what God’s word says about fathers. In Exodus in the Ten Commandments honor thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. In Proverbs 1, 8, 9, my son hear the instruction of thy father and forsake not the law of thy mother for they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head and chains about thy neck. Proverbs 4, hear ye children the instruction of a father and attend to no understanding for I give you good doctrine forsake not my law for I was my father’s son tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother he taught me also and said unto me let thine heart retain my words keep my commandments and live. Proverbs 23, harken unto thy father that begat thee and despise not thy mother when she is old by the truth and sell it not also wisdom and instruction and understanding the father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice and he that begateth a wise child shall have joy of him. And then the apostle Paul of course said children obey your parents in the Lord this is right honor thy father and mother which is the first commandment with promise that it may be well with thee and thou mayest live long on the earth. I think my dad often said do you want to live long on this earth then you will obey me it’s a biblical thing to keep in mind. Now back to our text let me read it again to you and I appreciate Howard I want you to notice the terms here I write into you little children in verse 12 because your sins are forgiven you for his namesake and I write unto you fathers why is that because you have known him that is from the beginning he says that twice to fathers again in verse 14.
And he says unto young men, because I write unto you, because you have overcome the wicked one and again to little children, because you have known the Father. I write unto you, fathers, because you have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because you are strong in the word of God, a bide, and you, and you have overcome the wicked one.
Let me say a few things about this. First of all, when we have lists like this of things, they are what we might say is gender sensitive. And that is you ladies, moms, and young ladies, and children can also take these admonitions, of course, can’t you? You understand that the Bible usually uses the masculine gender, but even in aged things, and when it speaks to fathers, it will also speak to mothers. When it speaks to young men, it will speak to young ladies.
You can take these admonitions as well. These designations, however, I think do refer to age and not just to how long you’ve been in the Lord. In other words, it’s not talking about those of you who have been saved a long time and those of you who have been saved a short time, but rather it is speaking about those of you who are older and then those of you who are in middle age and have the strength of middle age and those who are young and just children and don’t know a whole lot, but what they do know, they know for sure.
Also, notice the larger context. If we back up to verse eight, again, a new commandment I write into you, which thing is true in him and in you because the darkness is past and the true light now shineth. What that means is Christ has come. He has died, was buried and rose again.
And it’s a known fact. The true light of the gospel age is now shining upon us. He that saith, he is in the light and hadith his brother is in darkness even till now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light and there is none occasion of stumbling in him, but he that hadith his brother is in darkness and walketh in darkness and knoweth not whether he goeth because the darkness hath blinded his eyes. When John here admonishes us to love the brother, it’s like he says across the page probably in your Bible in chapter three, verse 16, that you are to love the brethren. See how the term brethren is used there? We love the brethren and when we look at our church here, we have older people, we have young middle age people and we have children in our church. And what we are supposed to be doing before God, the way we are supposed to be living, what the Christian ought to be in this life is what the brother is or the sister if you will.
Do you love that? When you look at the church and you look at God’s family wherever it is and you say, I love God’s family, I love the old folks, I love the middle age folks, I love the children, these are God’s people, God’s family. And when John’s admonishing us to love the brethren, that’s what he’s admonishing us to do. We ought to then walk away from our old life and from those things that take us away from God and we ought to come into that life and come into that surrounding and with those people we ought to love the brethren. That’s the larger context here and so in our text he gives us this picture if you will of the church.
Just like really it’s a picture of your family. There are three generations here. Almost at any time of course in life we kind of live with three generations and we’re one of those three and we have a few people way ahead of us and few people way behind us. When Gene Wilkinson was in the hospital last time with his heart surgery he said, you know, speaking of himself he says, you know you’re getting old when you’re grandchildren or having grandchildren. And he said, you know, at my age you’re not sure it’s worth it to put all this money into something as old as I am.
I said, hey when they restore a classic they’re willing to put a lot of money into it, you know, to restore a classic. But at any time we have fathers and we have young people and we have children among us, I’m going to go to a family reunion, you know, at the end of the month some of you still go to family reunions or you have those. I remember when I was the child, you know, and then my parents were kind of the middle-aged ones and then there was all the grandmas and grandpas there. And not long ago our folks are still alive and we were kind of the middle age and we had all of our kids run around us. Now when we go back to these family reunions, guess what?
We’re the grandparents and our kids are the middle-aged ones with the kids all around them and then you have all the little ones. Life goes on that way, doesn’t it? And as it does, God has designed it that way, I want to remind you. God has put fathers and mothers on this earth. God has given us a certain lifespan. God has put us into the care of these families when we’re little and given us responsibilities when we’re older because this is the way God wants it to be.
And God calls himself our heavenly father and he teaches us some things about himself by these generations that we grow up in. Now one other note though before we look at these designations and that is there was a danger and John knew about it. In his day at the end of the first century, it was a gnostic danger.
There was a heresy that was spreading quickly at the end of the century and this book written in about 90 to 95 AD. There was this doctrine growing, we call it now Gnosticism, where they believe that the accumulation of knowledge was the important thing in this world. That’s why we call it Gnostic, K-N-O-W basically in our way of saying it, but we say G-N-O. Gnosticism, and that is that they believe that through the spirits and through trances and out of body experiences and so forth, they could travel to certain levels of the universe and accumulate knowledge through these people that they contacted or beings that they contacted and eventually maybe even reach where God is. That was Gnosticism. By the way, we still have it among us in various different forms, whether JWs or LDS or whether unification and unity and Scientology and all of these kinds of things. It’s a belief that rather than you being a sinner and needing to be converted by God and made into God’s child, that you as a being that exists can grow and expand and learn enough to reach where God is. You think about it as a very self-centered way of thinking to think that rather than being a sinner, we’re so good that eventually we can become gods and we can be as God is. So there was a danger of Gnosticism and we’ll see it in this passage as we go through. Now, let’s look back at this and look at three generations and if you will, picture one large circle of all the people, all the people in those churches in our church and then three circles within that large circle, fathers, young men and children. Because when he says, first of all in verse 12, I write into you little children, it’s a different word than little children at the end of verse 13.
There are two different words that John could use in his language and the first one means anyone who is born, anyone who is alive. We’re all in a sense children, aren’t we? We’re all human beings that experienced birth and we’re growing and we’re somewhere between the beginning and the end.
We’re all born ones is what the word really means. And so when he speaks in verse 12, he’s really speaking to all of us. He’s drawing the whole circle like this and then he’s going to put three little circles inside the large circle. So the first large circle is to all of us and John was truly their father figure. John probably had led many of them to the Lord. This was probably a church near Ephesus. Some of them were Paul’s converts.
John was writing again in the 90s. He is the only living apostle. They have all passed away or been martyred for their faith. And when Jesus walked on the earth in the 30s, in the early 30s, John was probably the youngest of the disciples. That’s why you always have Peter, James and John, not Peter, John and James. Because James no doubt was the older brother and the more prominent one. And John, you know, the brother of James is the way he’s termed. And so he was a young man.
Jesus committed his mother to John because he was young and had many years to live and take care of her. Now he’s the father. Now he’s the grandfather. Now he is the patriarch of the church and of the families. But he says, I write unto you, all of you who are children of God, you might say, I write unto you, notice, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. Folks, one thing we have in common, whether you’re old, whether you’re young, wherever you come from, if you know the Lord Jesus Christ, what we have in common as brethren is that our sins are forgiven us. I introduced to you last week the perfect tense.
Remember that? The perfect tense, something that happens at this very specific point. And from that point, an arrow goes out this way and continues forever. We were saved at this point. And from that point on, we have known the Lord and we still know him. And that’s the perfect tense used here. I write unto you, because your sins were forgiven at that point that you got saved and are still forgiven. You are still forgiven in the Lord Jesus Christ. Aren’t you glad that that’s true? In chapter one, verse seven, if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another.
And here’s why. The blood of Jesus Christ continually cleanses us from all sin. And the reason why you can say that your sins are forgiven is because Jesus Christ keeps on forgiving you. And his blood is good forever. And his blood was shed once, but forever so that you might have forgiveness of sins both now and forever. Look at chapter two, verse one, my little children, these things right under you that you sin not.
Yacht not to sin as a child of God. And if any man sin, we have present tense an advocate with the Father Jesus Christ the righteous. He is, is now and forever more the propitiation for our sins. And not for ours only, but for anyone who would come to Christ.
Anyone in the whole world who would want Christ to savior. He has forgiven us. Isn’t that great?
I almost hate to use this analogy, but really it’s a proper analogy. What if the richest man in the world gave you a blank check and said, here this check will be good. Maybe he could give you the whole checkbook. This will be good anywhere wherever you spend it.
Here is a checkbook. I say I almost hate to use that analogy because the carnal mind will immediately say, oh, then I can go out and do whatever I want because once I’m saved, I’m always saved. I can just send all I want to send. But the responsible mind, the mature mind in Christ says, oh, I have this opportunity to do something worthwhile in this life. I can use this. Listen, if I use it wisely, it will be to a great value. And Christ has said, I give you this blank check.
And in a real way, folks, this is a mature thought. Your sins are forgiven you. Even when you backslide, even when you purposely walk away from God and you fall into that sin, that sin is forgiven you. When you’ve done that to your earthly father, did your father say, well, then you’re no longer my son?
No. You may get disciplined. You may have some privileges taken away.
I don’t know. But you can’t be unborn. Once you’re born into that family, you’re born. And once you’re born into God’s family, you’re born. Now look also again at verse 12, your sins are forgiven you, but what? For his name’s sake.
What does that mean? Your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake. Look at chapter 3, verse 23. This is the commandment that we should believe on the name of his son, Jesus Christ. Believe on his name, or 513, a familiar verse. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. What is it to believe on the name of the Son of God? This expression appears throughout the scriptures in Acts chapter 4, especially there’s one name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.
I think folks in a nutshell, it means this. God can accept you because he accepts Jesus Christ. Without Jesus Christ, God cannot accept you and your sin. You know, there’s really a misnomer that we often speak sometimes when we say, God accepts you just as you are, and really that’s not true. God accepts you if you belong to Jesus Christ. Our life is hid in Christ who is hid in God.
And if we have the Lord Jesus Christ, then God accepts the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Go back to my check analogy. If you had a box of blank checks and the name at the upper left-hand corner of the check was Bill Gates, then the bank doesn’t care so much whose name is on the dotted line. They care whose name stands behind the check. And so your check is accepted.
Why? Because it had the name Bill Gates on it. Your life is accepted before God, not because your name was written in on the line, but because above it is the name the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is because of His name that we are accepted before God, always accepted no matter what we do. The one who loves Him will learn how to handle that. We’ll go from being a child to a young man to a father and learn how to accept that sacred privilege that we have. Remember in Romans these great words, who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifies. Who is He that condemneth? Who can condemn you even as a believer when you stumble and fall? It is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again, who is at the right hand of God, who makes intercession for us. If you’re going to take up something against me that I have done and I do plenty and I’m a sinner saved by grace and I’m not perfect in this world any more than you are until we get rid of this old flesh and stand in His presence, but if you want to condemn me, I’m afraid that you’re going to have to first condemn Jesus Christ because His name is on me and I have believed in His name and that’s why He says who is He that condemned it that is Christ that died?
To condemn a believer you would have to condemn the Lord Jesus Christ. For this reason now back to our text in verse 12, the Bible is written to us. For this reason you know the Lord Jesus Christ is your Savior, you have this great privilege that once you are saved you are always saved and so guess what? God has helped you out in this by giving you instruction.
God has written unto you because He knew you would need it. You’re going to start out as a child. You’re going to grow into a young man or young woman.
You’re going to grow in then later to a father, an older one. How are you going to use these great privileges that God gives you in a right way? I’ve written unto you because your sins are forgiven you and because they are forgiven you for His name sake and so we find when we read this Scripture salvation was a gift. I didn’t get it because God saw something good in me and decided that my goodness was good enough for Him to save.
No, He saved me because I was a sinner and because I admitted it before Him and came before Him with nothing in my hand that I brought and so salvation was that gift and not only that I read in it that I’m eternally secure. You know when your father or your mother so loved you and every time you did something to hurt them they loved you more and they were always there to pick you up and always there for you and though they didn’t approve and though they disciplined always they were there as the father and the mother would be when you realize that God is also you begin to love a person like that. like that. And you don’t want to disappoint a person like that. And so we are eternally secure, we understand that, and that begins to generate responsibility and thanksgiving for what we have in Christ. Not irresponsibility.
I really kind of question the salvation of someone who says, well, I’m saved, now that I’m saved, I can do anything I want, and I’m out enjoying life just living however I want, doing whatever I want, because my Bible tells me once you’re saved, you’re always saved. I kind of have to question who is really your Father then. What really happened in your heart? Where was that regeneration?
Where was that change where old things are being put away and all things are becoming new? And that’s the growth from being a child to being a Father. Now, all believers are secure in Christ. Secondly, very young believers know this.
They know that they are saved. So in verse 13, and right at the end of the verse, I write unto you little children. Now, the first word little children was technia, meaning a born one, but the second word little children is paidea, or pedia we might say, because we say pediatrics.
Paidea means a dependent one. Pediatrics has to do with little children. And so it’s the little children in our home, the little children in our churches. And now John is specifically addressing these little ones who sit among us, these little ones who have a hard time sitting through church service because we’re speaking of things that they don’t comprehend yet. But these little ones are very precious, and they know some things. Now, there were those Gnostics who get their name from what they supposedly know, and they tried to grow in their knowledge, but they did not know with all of that knowledge, they did not know with the little children in the churches knew. And that is that they are saved.
You know, we’ve had great minds in the history of the world, haven’t we? And thank God for them. I walked into my house the other day and said, I really am glad for the invention of air conditioning. You know, I couldn’t have done it, and somebody sat down one night and stayed up late and came up with this invention, and I’m glad for it. I’m glad for the telephone too.
I’m glad for all kinds of inventions. But you know, for the great minds that did these wonderful things for our world, they may not know at all how to get from earth to heaven. And a little child, and some of your little children that I’ve baptized at five, six years old know more about that than those men know. Isn’t that a wonderful fact?
It really is that we know that. I remember my wife used to do daycare, and we had children around the home, and she kept the little girl of a child psychiatrist. I think psychiatrist, right? Not psychologist.
A child psychiatrist, Ph.D. at the University of Colorado there, Colorado University. And we kept the little girl. I remember one evening, he came out to get a minute. It was Wednesday night. We always told our daycare kids, you’ve got to be here by six o’clock because we go to church, you know, and so you need to get your kids and have them gone because we have to get ready and we have to be there before seven and so forth. So he came out to the house and he was going to pick up his little girl. She didn’t want to go.
Now here’s a Ph.D. in child psychiatry. He’s supposed to know how to get a girl from the house into the car at least, you know. Couldn’t do it. She didn’t want to go. And of course, he’s going to talk her through this. He’s not going to discipline her in any way.
He’s going to talk her through it. So they’re the only ones left. And meanwhile, we’re kind of getting ready for church. They’re still in the house. And pretty soon, we kind of have to go out the door. So now they’re outside our house.
And as we pull out of the driveway with our four kids looking out the window of their car kind of gawking, here goes the little girl running around the house and the child psychiatrist running after her. And we left them that way. You know, I don’t know if they ever got home.
Maybe he’s still chasing her somewhere. We can have a lot of knowledge packed into our heads. But a five year old who knows Jesus as Savior knows better than that. She knows she’s safe in Father’s arms. These things have I written into you. By the way, go to 513 again real quickly.
John does something here at the end of the book that’s kind of amazing when he says no. Now the word K and O W usually comes from the Greek word G N O. And that’s why we spell it that way. But there’s another word in that language, John used, that we also translate with our word no, but it means to know intuitively.
It’s the word Oida. It’s the difference between knowing in the sense of I know that one plus one is two, and I know that two plus two is four. I think four plus four is eight, right?
And then when you get those double digits, I don’t go very far. But there’s that kind of knowledge and you can know things for sure. But there’s another kind of knowledge.
It’s that intuitive Oida type of knowledge. And when you ask a little child, a little three year old, a little two year old, who’s your daddy? And he points to daddy, is there any doubt in that little mind who his daddy is? But if you said, how do you know that’s your daddy? He can’t tell you. He can’t give you the ABCs and the one plus ones of that.
But you try to convince him that’s not his daddy. That is the word John uses in 513. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God that you may know. Somebody asks a little child, who is your savior? Jesus is my savior. That’s good theology, folks. That kind of theology that a child has.
It’s used again, by the way, in verse 19 of that chapter. We know that we are of God and the whole world, life and wickedness. We know it that way.
Now back to our text. Don’t despise the child training by the way. Pidea, the word for little child, little children here, is the exact same Greek word translated chastisement. The chastisement that God gives us, for example Hebrews 12, have you forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as children, my son despise not the chastening of the Lord.
The child training, the pediatrics of the Lord. You are a child of God and God is going to train you and some of that’s going to be positive and some of it’s going to be negative. Some of it is going to be giving you great responsibility and great privilege and some of it’s going to be taking it away from you. Some of it’s going to be putting you through this hardship and some through reward. And you’re not sure how it would be. Paul said I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I know that whatsoever state I am there with to be content, of course he’s never in Texas, but whatever other state he’s in he can be content.
And why? Because he knew God was training, God was taking him through the course on pediatrics and so let’s do that and let’s remember that we’re growing in the Lord and you fathers provoke not your children to wrath. Do as God does.
Bring them up in this kind of nourishment and admonition, this pediatric training of the Lord. All right? Now I need to move on quickly. Thirdly in our text, young believers, young men, and we could include the ladies here, the young ladies, young believers are on the front lines of spiritual warfare and rightfully so. You have the energy, you have the the gumption, you have the the strength to do these things. Read it again in the middle of verse 13. I write into you young men because you have overcome the wicked one that is Satan himself again in the middle of verse 14. I write unto you, I have written unto you young men.
Now he includes that and adds two more because you are strong and the word of God abideth in you and you have overcome the wicked one. This expression, young men, I tell you how it’s used in the Scripture. It’s used for example of Saul when he saw Stephen being stoned and it says they laid his clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. That’s how Saul was described at that point as this young man, this neon, this scoy it’s called. Ananias and Sapphira came to church and died one day, you know, and they had lied to God and they fell down dead at the altar and it says the young men picked him up and took him out and buried him.
As they were coming back in the door, she’s in the same and they picked her up and took her out. The young men did that. Uticas that fell off from the third loft was a young man. Paul’s nephew that came to see him in jail and went to tell the jailer something he knew was a young man.
John Mark when he fled in the garden and left his garment remember and ran away in the garden of Gethsemane was a young man. So here are these young men, are they teenagers? Yeah. Are they young adults? Yes.
Young parents? Yes. These people in the prime of their life who have the energy who are strong and he says first of all, you are strong. You know, God has seen fit by the way to make a strong first and wise second.
And it’s God’s choice, not mine, but he’s done it that way. And I think there are those things in life where we just need strength. We just need endurance like having children, you know, and raising them. And as grandma and I found out, keeping the kids for a week, it was good to be young and strong at one time. Well, God did it that way and wisdom comes later, but he says to these young men, you are strong, young ladies, you are strong. And so you can do a lot.
Who goes out to the battlefield, folks, the young men or the old men, the ones who are strong, the ones who can carry the rifles, the one who can do that kind of work and the older men can give direction and can give, but they can no longer physically do that. You know, it’s very much that same way in the church. And that’s what John is saying.
We need these young men and young women to do things that take strength, do things that take courage. The Word of God abides in you because you have mental acuteness, because you have quickness of mind and quickness of thought. If you will use it to God’s glory. The liberal William James said we all have equal retentive powers. We only do different degrees of interest and methods of learning. Some of our, you young people, you can pick up your cell phone, you can dial all over the world, text all over the world, receive all over the world and do this. And those poor young people over there in Iran right now are spreading their word all over the world because they’re quick at technology. Well, you have that kind of ability. Use it for God’s glory and not your own interests.
You know, and by the way, just because you can use the technology doesn’t understand how this thing is working, right? We had a man in our church in Fort Collins who worked at HP. His two sons were mathematic majors in the university, became PhDs and are teaching in universities right now. But dad, just kind of a fumbling old guy, kind of getting slow and all the rest. All he did was sit in an office at HP and design the computer chips.
that his sons were using in the classroom. So sometimes the fathers may not be able to do it anymore, but they still have that wisdom and we need both, don’t we? And so you are strong.
The Word of God abides in you. Use this book, folks. Use this book.
Learn it with all of the mental acuteness that you have. How badly on the battlefield of the Lord Jesus Christ do we need you to be in this book, into its theology, into its apologetics, into its mission and be on the front lines with us. And then thirdly, you are overcoming Satan’s attacks. You know what Satan’s attacks are? Read verse 15 and 16. Love not the world.
Neither the things that are in the world. Oh, young people, you need to hear this. If any man loved the world, the love of the Father is growing cold, is not in him. For all that is in the world and here is where you are and here’s where your life is. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. But look, it’s not of the Father.
That’s of the world. And in the midst of your strength and in the midst of your know-how and in the midst of what you could do, if you are simply giving yourself to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, then you’re not doing anything for God’s work. You might as well not have enlisted. You’re sitting on the sidelines. We need you on the front lines of God’s work and of God’s mission.
Let me tell you, folks, go upstream a little bit. Remember when you used to tell your boys when they first became teenagers and they noticed that girls were alive? Remember that time in their life? And then all of a sudden, you know, the hair gel came out and the perfume was all over the house and you know, and all of this kind of stuff and you had to go through those years. And you remember trying to tell your son, you know, really, girls sometimes are attracted by those who aren’t trying to pay so much attention to girls.
And they kind of learn that lesson late in life, you know. And here, this generation, this young generation, floods itself with those things to make the world like them. What is the world wearing?
Where is the world going? What are they like? Oh, I’d never put that on white because somebody thinks something of you. Oh, I’d never go there.
I’d never do that. And you are constantly in your life because you’re in this middle-aged bracket concerned about the pride of life. God is saying, turn around and go upstream. Go upstream for a while.
That’s where you need to be. Thursday, we heard World War II veterans, the old men right now, talking about when they were young men. We looked at their pictures in uniform, you know, of men who are now 70s, 80s, years old, and back in those days. Here they are in their uniform. Some of them landed on the beaches. Some of them were fighting in the battles, hand-to-hand combat type of thing. And to see them when they were young and to see them put their life and energy into that cause, it brings tears to your eyes.
Is it any less with the battle of God that we have, that we ought to give the best of our years and the best of our strength to the things of God? And go upstream a little bit? Go against the grain a little bit? That’s why he said that those things are not of the Father, but are of the world otherwise. Now, I need to quickly say lastly, and it’s Father’s Day, and here I am getting to the last point. Older believers and fathers, you men, have a unique wisdom in the things of God. And so he says to you twice, verse 13, I write unto you, fathers, simply this, because you have known him that is from the beginning. And he says that twice.
You know these things. Pateras, Father, Patriarch, Patriotic, Patera is the Father. And this Father is the one who has this kind of wisdom.
You have known him, perspective beyond years, a knowledge that you didn’t even have when you were a young man. You did things rashly. You did them in your strength. You did them in your courage. And now you say to yourself, if I had been a little wiser though, I would have done it this way.
You’re a father. And we have those in the Christian life and in God’s church and those who have gone through those things and can now though, maybe physically and maybe even mentally, cannot do the things they used to do in their young men. They have traveled roads that we have not traveled and they can say I would do it this way. I’m glad that my kids still call me once in a while and say, Dad, what would you do?
Would you get the white wall or the black wall? No, I say, well, yeah, I don’t care. You know what you, but you know, sometimes they call you with a boring questions and they call you and they say, you know, I could just this last week, Michael out in Colorado, I could take this job or I could take this when I’ve got these two offers.
You know what he’s asking? He’s saying, you’ve been down, you’ve been by this fork on the road before. You took one path of the other.
What, why did you decide to go this way and not that way? That’s what he’s asking. And that’s what we need from fathers. We need wisdom to lay down the groundwork and put the footprints down so that children can walk there and know where they’re going. Now, one of the thought here to these fathers and don’t miss this.
You have known him, but you’ve known him that is from the beginning. And this is where I think John brings up the doctrinal danger. There was a danger to this church.
There were those things lurking out there ready to snatch their kids. And those things were these doctrinal dangers that Jesus is not really the Christ. Christ. That Jesus that lived was not really equal to God. That he was one of these emanations that come from the Father, that the Gnostics and their soul traveled through the universe and they got wisdom from this one and the wisdom from that one and then the wisdom from this one and tried to work the way up the ladder. And Jesus is just one of those. No, you’ve known him from the beginning. You know these doctrines of the Word of God. I don’t have to teach you again, John says. Read my Gospel which just came out a few years before this. You know in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God and young men may have forgotten that and young men may not have had the time to read that yet.
And there are dangers out there that will take your children. What do wolves do around a pack? They lurk around the outside and they wait for the weak ones to be separated from the rest and then they grab them. Fathers, you watch out for them. Fathers, you remember there are doctrinal dangers in our day. There are those things that are cancers in the church. There are those things that will destroy our families and destroy our kids and destroy our church and destroy our ministry. Fathers who have seen it before and walked these paths before don’t let that happen.
You have known him who is from the beginning. Do you ever notice that advertisers don’t, you know you’re old when advertisers don’t try to appeal to you any longer. You know and a long time ago that quit happening to me. You know so they don’t appeal to me. They’re appealing to kids and young people and you have to watch out how the money is spent. You have to say this isn’t wise.
This isn’t good. We have to do it in the Lord’s house as well. Paul the apostle feared for his young churches. He feared that without the wisdom, without the white heads, without the fathers and the mothers that were there, the churches would fall. He said I marvel to the Galatians that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ to another gospel, which is not another gospel. But there be some that trouble you and would pervert the gospel of Christ. And I don’t care how slick he is, he said, though we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you, let him be accursed. You know this, fathers. Don’t let this happen. He said to the Corinthians, I fear lest by any means as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
If somebody comes and preaches even another Jesus, another gospel that we have not preached, don’t let him into your door. Fathers, we need you and we always need you to be leaders, to be wisdom givers, to be examples, because we have young men and young women with strength who are on the front lines and you need to be wise about what they’re doing there. Now the command alls in 15 and 16 as I’ve read before, don’t love the world then folks. That’s a mature thought. That’s as mature as the fact that once you’re saved, you’re always saved. Don’t love this world that you live in, that you have to work in, that you have to cultivate and grow in.
Don’t love it. Love God and love where you’re going and love the life that you’re going to afterwards. Love of the world is incompatible with love for God and that’s what he says in verse 16, you cannot love God and man and you can’t love them both.
You’re either going to love one and hate the other or hate one to love the other. So little children, young people and fathers and mothers, we need us all. We’re the family of God.
We’re the church of God. We are a group together and there’s no way we can get around that. Let’s all do our part where we are and the things that we ought to do at this point in life, all right?
And God will help us with that. Stand if you will. We’re going to prepare to sing a song in just a moment. Let’s bow our heads for just a prayer before we do that.
All right, every head bow. Father in heaven, how we thank you for the word of God and we thank you for the instruction that we receive from it. Father, on this Father’s Day that we have set aside to remember these things, help us, Father, to have a good memory. Help us as fathers and grandfathers to remember what it was like when we were young, when we were children, when we did things that if we were wiser, we would have done different. Help us, Father, now that we’re old, we remember what we thought of old people.
We remember what we thought when we asked. Help us then to be wise and not discourage our kids. Father, help us as a church.
Help us as a family and families together here that we would honor and glorify you in all of the things that you’ve asked us to do. Father, this is a wicked world and we know it. We know, Father, that we have to be careful in navigating our way through it and give us all the role that we should do and help us to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ in all of these things. Bless now even in this time of invitation. Maybe there’s someone here that truly doesn’t know Christ as Savior and something that was said in this message might cause that person to come and receive Christ. Maybe a matter of obedience, whether baptism, church membership, or maybe a sin that needs to be confessed, may your people yield to those things. And Father, I pray you would lead us all in the way that you would have us to go now, even as we sing this song in Jesus’ name, amen. Page 308 is Jesus’ tenderly calling today. Let’s sing that. And as we’re here, you have