Lecture on 1 John (28)

Passage

[1 John 3: 12-13]
[12] not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. [13] Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.

This is the 28th session of the lectures on 1 John.
In the last session, I was delivering the message about Cain and Abel.
The evidence of having become children of God is that we practice righteousness and love our brothers.
God’s children must not act like Cain.
Cain learned about the sacrifice of blood from his parents but did not obey.
God did not accept the offerings of Cain but only those of Abel for he offered the sacrifice of blood.
Cain was jealous of Abel and complained against God, but God with love let him realize his fault.
Genesis 4:6-7 says, “Then the LORD said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.'”
Because he had evil in his heart, Cain could not lift up his face before God.
John 3:20 also says, “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.”
When men harbor evil in their hearts, they cannot be confident before God.
Because they have darkness in them they will try to avoid God who is light.
It’s not that God forsook Cain first, but Cain corrupted the offering and made it unacceptable to God.
Even then, Cain did not think that it was his fault. Instead, he let his hard feelings and jealousy develop, eventually leading himself to committing a grave sin.
Genesis 4:8 says, “Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.”
He often complained with jealousy and envy, giving a hard time to his brother Abel, and finally he killed him.
When God rebuked him about this sin, Cain just tried to hide it rather than repenting.
As a result, a great curse fell on him.
Today’s reading passage 1 John 3:12 says, “Not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous.”
Cain knew about God very well.
But he was not of God.
The Bible says God’s children who belong to God must practice righteousness and love their brothers.
Cain neither practiced righteousness nor did he love his brother.
Following the instigation of the evil one, namely enemy devil and Satan, he hated his brother and eventually killed him.
He chose the way to become not a child of God but of the devil and went the way of death.
Brothers and sisters, through Cain and Abel, we should remember two things.
First, our offerings given to God must be spiritual offerings.
We should not just attend the worship services in body, but we have to worship in spirit and truth in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
We should not lead a Christian life as we see fit, but according to the word of God and following the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Secondly, God’s children must cultivate righteousness and love that is found in today’s reading passage.
Even though, as knowledge, we know God like Cain did, we cannot be recognized as God’s children if we practice evil in our evilness.
Even though we still have some evil that we have not cast off yet, we must not commit sins following after that evilness, but we have to choose the truth being on the alert.
Even when there is a temptation, we must drive away works of Satan and stand against the devil.
Only then can we have the evidence that we are children of God.
When little seeds of envy and jealousy were scattered in his heart, Cain should have removed them right away.
But he let them grow, and this seed of sin developed into the much more grave sin of murder.
Even if you committed a grave sin in your evil, you must not try to hide it or give excuses.
If you do, it will only distance you further and further from God, and it will lead you to the way of death.
As soon as you realize your fault, you have to repent and turn back so you can find a way of forgiveness and receive the mercy of God.
I hope all you believers here will worship in spirit, dwell in the light, and lead a life in faith in the works of the Holy Spirit.
In doing so, I pray in the name of the Lord that you will be able to show the evidence of being the children of God with righteousness and love.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, just as Cain hated Abel, he who is unrighteous hates those who practice righteousness.
1 John 3:13 says, “Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.”
Here, the world refers to the people who are controlled by the enemy devil and Satan, the ruler of this world.
Oil and water cannot be mixed, and light and darkness and coexist.
Those children of the devil who practice evil and the children of God who practice the truth cannot become one.
The enemy devil and Satan incite the worldly people to hate the believers and persecute them.
They try to make the believers depart from the truth and eventually depart from salvation by persecuting them.
Another reason why the world hates the children of God is because the children of God practice righteousness.
John 3:20-21 says, “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
For the worldly people, their unrighteousness and lawlessness are revealed more clearly when the children of God practice the truth, so they hate the believers.
This kind of thing is common today.
When a believer accepts the Lord, quits drinking and living in dissipation, his colleagues or friends say he changed and he doesn’t like them any more.
If he does not accept the alcohol offered by a boss at his company, they might think he is arrogant and give him a hard time.
When the believers do not bow down for the ancestral worship, unbelieving family members or relatives might persecute them.
They say, “Another believer I know has been a Christian for a long time, and he is an elder of the church. He sometimes drinks and also does what other people do. Why are you being so extreme?”
The believers might find it hard when faced with such difficulties.
Their faith might also be shaken thinking, “Why do I have to go through this? I am practicing the word of God and how come God does not help me?”
It holds true more for the new believers.
They might get disheartened or afraid thinking, “I should receive blessings for going to church, and why is there a hardship for that?”
But Jesus said in Matthew 5:10-12, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
He is telling us to rejoice and be glad even when we are persecuted without a cause, just for the name of the Lord.
It should sound very strange for those who do not have faith.
But for you know already know the truth, it is not strange at all. It is obviously true.
You know that those who are persecuted for the name of the Lord will receive comfort and rewards.
The kingdom of God will be enlarged greatly and God will be glorified greatly through such persecutions given without a reason.
In Acts 5, we read that the apostles performed many signs and wonders and the early church had a great revival.
When Peter was passing by, people brought sick people hoping that Peter’s shadow might fall on them. We can see how great the powerful works were.
So, the high priest and his men were full of envy. They arrested the apostles, scourged them and told them not to spread the gospel.
Even after going through these sufferings, in Acts 5:41 it says that the apostles were ‘rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name’.
As they spread the gospel more enthusiasm rejoicing, the kingdom of God became increasingly more vigorous.
When the church of Jerusalem was destroyed by the great persecution, the believers that were dispersed spread the gospel in many other places.
On the outside, it seems that the believers were disrupted and harmed by the works of Satan, but in fact a great plan of God was fulfilled.
This is the justice of God.
When the sinless Jesus willingly took the sufferings of the cross, the door of salvation was opened for numerous souls who were going to Hell.
Furthermore, the Lord came to receive glory forever as the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
Jesus could joyfully go the way of wretched sufferings because He looked up to such fruits with faith.
Today, when the children of God receive trials and persecutions without sins, there will certainly be good fruits borne.
When the church practices the truth and manifests signs and wonders, the enemy devil and Satan would severely persecute and disturb it.
When the believers pray more fervently and practice the will of God with thankfulness, they will see greater glory of God than before.
I will continue to talk about the following verses in the next session.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today is the Christmas and the last Sunday of 2011.
Let us give all thanks and glory to God the Father who has protected all our church members and blessed us greatly in spirit and body throughout this year.
The love of justice of God unfolded in this church stood the faith of many people on the rock of faith let them come into spirit and whole spirit.
But we cannot stop our march of faith in the remaining days and in the forthcoming new year.
Until most of you stand on the rock of faith and there will be numerous warriors of spirit and whole spirit, the love and grace of God will keep on pouring more greatly.
I hope you will offer up deep aroma of thanks and prepare for the New Year’s service by purifying your body and mind.
I pray in the name of the Lord that the blessings will be overflowing in your families, workplaces, and business fields in the new year 2012.

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