Who has nothing to fear on the Day of Judgment?

The Apostle of love brings us to a strong eschatological focus of living in God and loving as God loves. For him, he has been pitching his letter between 2 camps; true believers who love v the ‘AntiChrists’ who dethrone Jesus as less than God and who do not love fellow believers.

Who has nothing to fear on that Day when we all stand before God?

“This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.” (1 John 4 v 17)

It is not those with less sin.

It cannot be those who have achieved a lifestyle which matches that of Jesus. If so then no one could stand.

It must be that just like Jesus was in the world we are also.

How was Jesus in the world? A) Through the incarnation as the Son of God and b) Love.

On that Day we will stand confidently not because we have achieved sinless perfection but because love has been perfected in us:-

  • We are like Jesus in that as Jesus is the Son of God we are also children of God.
  • We are like Jesus in that He came because God so loved the world and in this world He demonstrated this love by laying His life down on the cross.

John tells the Church that they have nothing to fear on that Day because they follow Jesus Christ and they love like Him. A message that is still as powerful for us today.

Assurance I am a Christian

It isn’t going to church, it may not even be your baptismal certificate, so what are the evidences I am a Christian?

John has already written that God is within us if we love other believers.

Love comes from God: so loving one another shows you have been born of and know God, v7.

God is love: so if you do not love then you do not know God, v8.

Since God so loved us: we ought also to love one another, v11.

No one has seen God: but if we love one another God lives in us, v12.

So the love factor is clear. It is a strong indicator that you are a Christian if you love fellow believers.

Then John writes this:

“This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.” (1 John 4 v 13-15)

So John goes further and he writes of the kind of the love found within us. Love that is found:-

  1. In the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
  2. In the witness of the Bible which we hold as truth which reveals the historical Jesus Christ as the Saviour from sin.
  3. In our confession that Jesus is the Son of God.

That is the assurance we all need that God is here in my life and I am living in Him.

God loves you – 7

How many know what you originally relied upon became a disappointment? The friend that wasn’t a friend. The spouse that promised but only used words. The security of that job that you were made redundant from. These chapters pose the question whether you can truly rely on anyone?

John, the apostle of love, tells his Church members something that we need reminding of today:

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4 v 16

‘We know’ … John’s Church. ‘We know’ … this is not general knowledge. John’s ‘Antichrists’ who dethrone Jesus and withdraw their love for others do not know this. But you do, we know. We have experienced this knowing for ourselves. God is still there. The God I came to know as a child is the God I know many years later. He hasn’t moved though I have moved many times. He is still here. This I know and because you and I know this then we know He can be relied upon.

We know that God’s love is perfect and it does not rely on any of our conduct whatsoever. You do not know this love because you are perfect and sinless. You know this love because you are a sinner loved by God. I still hear Christians believing their performance has something to do with their reliance on Him. The enemy of our soul wants to strip us of our confidence and to quieten our voice simply because he knows what will happen if we know. He wants to do away with our voice, to take our voice away, to quieten it at least.  So he will remind you of your sin and say you cannot possibly continue.

But the fight back is not because we are sinless but because we can rely on the love of God for us as we are sinners. Not that we abuse this knowing and reliance on His love but neither are we submitting to being abused because our fallen, sinful nature is not good enough.

We know and we rely.

God loves you – 6

Do you ever doubt? I don’t mean do you doubt the existence of God or whether God knows you? But do you doubt your Christian experience as being genuine?

Sometimes I have.

I wonder if I really know Him and if He knows me. But I have found something to help me and it is this verse.

“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” (1John 4 v 12)

The love for others demonstrates that He is in my life.

John was countering the Antichrists claims that they had an experience of God but they had no need to love other people.

We can be assured of God’s position in our lives as His love is active within us. It is the proof He is here. Love and as a result His presence is then perfected or made complete when this love is active in our lives.

I know God is in me. I know His love is for me and is being made complete. I know this because of His love in my life.

God loves you – 5

I am purposely spending days in my devotions with God being thankful that He loves me. It does lead to the challenging obligations of what I do with this but I am not moving into that just yet because I am wanting to slow everything down and to ponder awhile on this one fact, God loves me.

“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4 v 11)

Since God so loved us. There is nothing uncertain in what John is saying. It is an established fact seen in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Since. He has and He does love us. Since. No doubt. Absolute definitive fact. Let it land.

God so loved us. This isn’t cheap. It cost Him everything. If we truly knew how much God loves us then I don’t think we would be able to handle it. I know how much I love my children. I know how much I love my granddaughter. Though it helps me a little to understand it just doesn’t compare with how much God loves me.

Two simple words that reveal much of God’s love for us.

God is Love – 4

The world did not create love. Love never originated with us. We had nothing to do with it. We would not have known love if it wasn’t for God. Love was from God.

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4 v 10

In order for God’s love to be seen and enjoyed then the barrier that we had built between us and God had to be removed through God’s own act of sacrifice: Jesus Christ, His Son.

This is love. Not one ounce of ‘what is in it for me’ or ‘it takes two’ or ‘I’ll meet you half-way’. But 100% God. The whole thing. From Him who did it all and made everything possible that this love can be experienced. A love that sends the self. A love that sacrifices the self. A love that takes the sin of the other onto the self. We knew nothing of that until Jesus came.

God is love – 3

God is not angry with you.

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” (1 John 4 v 9)

The scenario is not that God is angry with us and Jesus comes to sort that out.

Jesus Christ is the revealing of God’s heart of love.

Jesus didn’t come to appease God’s anger. He came because God’s heart is so full of love He had to send His one and only.

God is not angry with you. He loves you. He sent His one and only. The Son and the Father are of the same kind. See the Son and you have seen the Father. Everyone loves their own but God loves so much that He sends His own to rescue those who don’t know Him.

The greatest way that God has shown His love is the incarnation. No other display of love compares to this. Those who try to say Jesus is not fully human fully divine (as those antichrists John is speaking against) they know nothing of this love and as a result they know a lot about anger.

But this is not you. For you know that God is love!

God loves you – 2

God is love.

 “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. “ (1 John 4 v 8)

Everything He does is love.

John is not speaking about God’s nature though the truth is in His very essence God is love. But John is speaking in the context of the sending of His Son (John 3:16).

Not every display of love is God. But every display of God is love.

When He speaks love is spoken.

When He sends love is coming.

When He shows up love is here.

God loves you – 1

Let’s go on a journey of slowing these verses down that are ahead of us. They are amongst the most powerful within the whole Bible. It will take some time but it will do us good! Firstly we will focus on the simple and profound fact that ‘God loves you’.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.” (1 John 4 v 7)

Love comes from God. Pause.

There is a realm of love that is very different to the world we wake to and live in today. Pause.

When a person enters that realm can you imagine their experience? Pause.

What comes from that realm is love. Pause.

Whatever you receive from God it will be love. Pause.

Let God’s love fall on you right now.


Personal Religious Experience v Established Orthodox Belief.

Of course they are not necessarily enemies. PRE must lay gently over EOB!

But for John we know he is protecting the Church from those who lead astray with false teaching and prophecies, he calls them ‘antichrists’. Simply because they are denying the orthodox tradition of the person of Jesus Christ and also because of their lack of love for others.

Often we are drawn away to side issues that the world wants to make as supremely important because it involves their lifestyles. There isn’t anything wrong with that providing we come from the premise of this one question: Did God become human in Jesus Christ?

If He didn’t then everything else is a side issue and not relevant.

If He did then what does that mean for the way I live?

“They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.” (1 John 4 v 5-6)

John sets the 2 sides parallel, ‘them’ and ‘us’; the ‘world’ and ‘God’; ‘the Spirit of truth’ and the ‘spirit of falsehood’.

PRE is always easier than the EOB’s Incarnation and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the impact on our lives.

PRE is set within the world we create for ourselves and EOB is from another world.

The speech of PRE is shaped by the world and the the speech of EOB is Christ-shaped.

Everyone can say they are having a personal religious experience but it must sit upon the foundation of established orthodox belief. That’s good for John’s generation and for 2023.