Copyright © 2005 J. Neely. All rights reserved.
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You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
2 John 1:7-8
7 For [hoti] many [polus] deceivers [planos] are entered [eiserchomai] into [eis] the world [kosmos], who [ho] confess [homologeo] not [me] that Jesus [Iesous] Christ [Christos] is come [erchomai] in [en] the flesh [sarx]. This [houtos] is [esti] a deceiver [planos] and [kai] an antichrist [antichristos].
8 Look [blepo] to yourselves [heautou], that [hina me] we lose [apollumi] not [hina me] those things which [hos] we have wrought [ergazomai], but [alla] that we receive [apolambano] a full [pleres] reward [misthos]. KJV-Interlinear
7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch yourselves, that you might not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. NASB
Deceivers indicates someone or something that will distract you from your spiritual life, even convince you that you are experiencing a spiritual life when in fact you are conducting your life under some false pattern of life, and the result is a grave error.
Why grave? Because any error in your judgment and discernment in life which leads you out of your valid spiritual life will result in tremendous loss. Thus the second verse in this passage. Beware, that if you let your guard down, your loss in time and in eternity will be tremendous.
Deceivers come in many forms - family, friends, advertising media, news media, educational philosophies, your own sin nature, etc., etc., etc.
Remember that John is speaking to believers. So the Lake of Fire is not in view here. What is in view are the tremendous blessings which are above and beyond the norm for mature believers.
Just because you have believed in Christ does not mean that you will automatically advance to spiritual maturity. That process requires daily positive and good decisions with respect to your spiritual life.
These daily decisions include regular confession in order to keep yourself in fellowship. Think of confession as a regular washing of your hands and body, your spiritual hygiene if you will. This is necessary to keep you in fellowship.
Next is your education, or your continuing education, or your daily meals. Everyday is an opportunity for learning in life. The spiritual life is no different. Your learning requires a daily diet of Bible study. These are your spiritual meals. How many would go without eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner with occasional snacks in between? I'll bet all of your waist lines testify to your not missing to many meals. So also with your Bible study. Do not, even for a day, let time go by without some type of Bible study.
This study is available online for study purposes. The Bible Study E-books are becoming more and more available for more in depth studies and reviews of material for off line study. The E-books reside on your computer when you obtain them.
I'll bet you have a Bible. Pick any book and commit yourself to reading a dozen verses 'slowly' each evening when you go to bed. Read for content, not for speed. There is no hurry.
Buy one of those pocket size psalms/proverbs books and carry it with you wherever you go. Read a psalm or a few verses at lunch time or while traveling. Read everything for content, not speed. Think about what you read. Ponder the purpose of the content. Don't let your reading or study become a ritual habit where you forget what you read a few minutes later. Ask yourself a question afterwards to force your memory. Keep a note book and make notes to help yourself reinforce your memory. Memorize verses.
Start a study group in your home if possible. Print out these studies and discuss them openly. Don't try to prove or research every little thing, but just conduct a study group for the purpose of studying. Time will solve all answers. Don't get bogged down with questions.
Remember, there are many anti-christs as John herein states. Anyone and everyone will from time to time contest a principle or point of study. Not to worry. Just stick through it all and God will bring the appropriate answers to you in time. Your study is that conduit of information flow from God to you.
Don't get distracted by the doubts of others. Be patient, and poised. If you do not know an answer, if you cannot remember a chapter or verse, just remember that God communicates all doctrine in the form of categorical thought. There will not always be a specific verse to answer every question. Often times many verses taken together (from different portions of the Bible) create a topic and principle of doctrine.
What is at stake? Your future. An unbeliever will go to the Lake of Fire. A believer will go to heaven. The difference between the two is infinite. Infinite is a lot.
Likewise, a believer who ignores doctrine and thus ignores their spiritual life will not receive the additional blessings that God has promised. The mature believer will receive many additional blessings. The difference between the two is also infinite. Again, infinite is a lot.
So John warns you here and now. Don't lose what you have in your spiritual growth. Why? Because if you become lax in your spiritual life then your spiritual life will slide and you will lose out on a full share of blessing both now and in eternity. A full share has been covered in our parables study, but for now it stands for all the blessings, rights, privileges, rewards, wages, crowns, etc., etc., etc. which you may receive from God at the Judgment Seat of Christ, but only if you advance to spiritual maturity and stay there throughout your life here on earth.
So your share could be a full one, a partial one, or no share at all. And there will be many folks in heaven who will have no share of their additional blessings which God has stored up for them in eternity. There share will be re-distributed to the mature believers.
How do you stay there? Just study your Bible and obey Gods commands on a regular basis day in and day out. It isn't difficult to do, but rather easy. You future is yours to seize hold of, or to throw away. The choice is always yours.
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End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.