CDPCKL · False Teachings and How To Identify Them (2 Peter 1:12-21)

False Teachings and How To Identify Them (2 Peter 1:12-21)

So this is now Peter’s second letter to his friends in Roman Asia, and it is clear from how he started that he is really quite worried about them. He seems to be writing in a hurry: he did not waste much time with his greetings, he just got right down to business…

What is going on?

Well, it seems that Jesus’ Church in the Roman empire is moving into its second generation of Christians. And quite naturally there is a second generation of teachers rising up to serve the Church…but apparently not all of them are true Christian teachers. Some of these 2nd-gen teachers seem to be saying that a new generation needs a new expression of the gospel.

See, the first generation of Christians was dominated by Jewish religious culture. This is what the first generation of teachers like Peter and Paul and James and John were dealing with in the early days of the Church.

Jewish religious culture at that time had become obsessed with a political solution for the problems of the world. They believed the Messiah would only save the Jewish nation. So if you want to be saved from God’s judgement you have to join the Jewish nation and support Jewish politics. They had this idea that, one day, the Jewish Messiah will conquer the world and turn all the rest of the nations into God’s slaves: the nations will all be forced to live according to God’s law.

And so the first generation of Christian teachers — especially Paul — had to work very hard to prove that actually, according to the ancient Jewish prophets, the Messiah was always destined to be the Messiah for all nations. The Jewish Messiah will truly conquer the world — but he will do this with his Word and with his Spirit, turning the nations into God’s sons, so that they want to live according to God’s law. And they taught that Jesus is that true Messiah, the only person in history who is actually fulfilling the ancient Jewish prophecies. And so they taught that, if you want to be saved from God’s judgment, really you have to join Jesus’ nation: the Church.

But the second generation of Christians is dominated by Roman religious culture.

Now, obviously, Roman religious culture is just as corrupt as Jewish religious culture. And so the first generation of Christian teachers just carried on preaching the same Gospel to the second generation of Christians. Back in the early days, when the Church was dominated by Jewish culture, the apostles said: “Leave all that behind. Come and join Jesus’ nation and learn to live according to Jesus’ values.” Now that the Church is more dominated by Roman culture, the apostles are still saying, “Leave all that behind. Come and join Jesus’ nation and learn to live according to Jesus’ values.”

This was, basically, the message of Peter’s first letter.

But now there is a second generation of Christian teachers rising up to replace the first generation. And some of these 2nd-gen teachers are critical of the first generation. After all, those old guys were all Jews, weren’t they? They don’t really understand what it is like to grow up in a pagan family. They just can’t really understand the struggles of young people in the Roman empire today.

Some of these 2nd-gen teachers are starting to wonder if maybe the apostles are too heavily influenced by their Jewish cultural background: “Maybe the message they preached 30 years ago in Palestine and Syria was the right message for that time and place, but this is the Roman heartland now! This is Italy and Greece, and Roman Asia is the fastest-growing province in the whole empire. We are sophisticated and scientific, we have ethically sourced coffee and antibiotic free beef, we have art and music and poetry and philosophy, and the people in our culture are just not going to be impressed by hell-fire and brimstone sermons about Judgement Day and all that Jewish nonsense…we have got to move beyond these closed-minded Jewish ideas about judgement and morality, we have got to fully embrace the Gospel of Grace if we are going to transform Roman culture from within.”

And Peter, as he hears this sort of talk…well, he is starting to feel his age. He knows that soon he is going to be gone. And what is going to happen to the next generation is this 2nd-gen false teaching begins to grow in popularity?

So Peter is writing this letter with some urgency. And we can tell not just because of how quickly he got down to business, but because he is using a much lower level of Greek in this letter. His first letter actually used a very sophisticated level of Greek, and it could be that Silas — who delivered that letter to Asia — actually wrote that letter as Peter dictated it to him. We know that Silas helped Paul write a couple of his letters, after all. But Peter’s second letter is in quite a different style: it sounds a lot more like it was written by a Jewish man who grew up speaking Greek as a second language in Galilee. It has all the characteristics of a man who thinks in Aramaic, the Jewish language, and is translating his thoughts into Greek as he writes.

So Peter is feeling his age. He is feeling his foreignness. But he writes because he believes that, even though he is a Jew, and even though his readers are Roman and Greek and German and Mongolian and African and everything else — he believes that these are his brothers and sisters, they are of one blood, one Spirit, that they have one Father in Heaven who has brought them all into one ark of salvation, the Church of Jesus Christ.

[12] So, he goes on, I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them, even though you have heard them a thousand times already, even though you are firmly established in the truth you now have, [13] I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, [14] because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. [15] And I will make every effort to see that after my departure — after my Exodus — you will always be able to remember these things.

Even though they are all from different backgrounds, different cultures, different languages, Peter believes that he is able to write and that his words will make sense to the people he is writing to, because they are all from the same family now. He does not believe he needs to invent a new sophisticated expression of the Gospel to suit the sensibilities of a new generation, or a different culture.

Now, he is obviously translating from one language to another, and he is even translating some Jewish concepts into Greek concepts —

— for instance, last week, when he talked about how Christians “participate in the divine nature”: Jews would never talk like that!…but Greeks did. So Peter borrowed that concept to get his point across: that human beings can be united to God in a life-changing way —

— but those translations are superficial changes for the sake of clear communication; they are not the fundamental changes in values and behaviour that the 2nd-gen false teachers are proposing.

Peter believes that the words he is writing here, in this letter, are going to be relevant not just for this generation but for every generation to come. It does not matter if his use of the Greek language is not as polished as Paul’s or Silas’, it does not matter that they all come from different cultural backgrounds — this is truth, and it is greater than any language, any culture, any generation.

But how can his readers know that this is truth? After all, the 2nd-gen false teachers are also claiming to teach the truth. They are also claiming to know and love Jesus. How are the Christians of Roman Asia supposed to know which set of teachers is correct?

So Peter goes on here to offer his friends a two-part test of the truth. The first part of the test is his own eyewitness testimony about Jesus; the second part of the test is to see if his testimony matches up to ancient Jewish prophecies about the Messiah.

So he continues in verse 16: For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

“We did not follow myths,” Peter says. And he says this because the 2nd-gen false teachers are saying that the 1st-gen apostles are really slaves to their own Jewish mythology — especially when it comes to this talk about Judgement Day.

See, these 2nd-gen false teachers come from a pagan religious background, so they were raised on myths about the gods: Zeus, and Hera, and Aphrodite, and Hermes and all those characters. And they knew that these myths aren’t really true, but they understood that these myths are important for their culture, because these stories about the gods are a way of teaching people the values of their society.

And in their pagan culture, in their pagan society, there is no such thing as Judgement Day. Many people believed that, when you die, your spirit goes to some underworld where you live forever in the dark. Many believed in reincarnation of some kind. The most sophisticated people believed that, when you die, you simply cease to exist.

The Jews, however, taught that someday, at the end of history, everyone who has ever lived will be brought back to life and then judged by One Supreme God. The wicked will be condemned to eternity in a deep valley filled with burning garbage, the spiritual sewage tank of the universe. The righteous will get to live forever in their physical human bodies on an earth that has been turned into a paradise.

But to the pagan people of the Roman empire, the Jewish doctrine of Judgement Day was offensive on a number of levels. They were offended by the idea of One Supreme God. They were offended by the idea that they would have to explain their actions to this God. They were offended by the idea of hell. And they were offended by the idea of a physical paradise — because they believed that the physical world is naturally corrupt, that the goal of each person should be to become an enlightened disembodied spirit.

Now, the first generation of Christian teachers — coming from a Jewish background — taught this same Jewish doctrine of Judgement Day.

The 2nd-gen false teachers are trying to get rid of this doctrine, because it is so offensive to their native cultures. They want to make this Jewish gospel less offensive and more attractive to Roman culture.

They are saying, “Look: all those old guys — Peter, James, John, Paul — they were all raised on Jewish myths just like we were raised on Greek myths. And those Jewish myths are really important for Jewish culture, because those stories were designed to teach Jewish people about the values of their Jewish society. But we do not live in that primitive Jewish society, we live in a sophisticated pagan society. So we know that these myths are not true, we know that this Jewish doctrine of Judgement Day is really just a concept, a cultural construct that the Jewish people needed to believe for some strange pathological reason of their own — but we, as Roman Christians, do not need to believe in a literal Judgement Day anymore.”

This is what Peter is dealing with. So he says, “No, we are not talking about myths here. When we told you that one day Jesus is going to come back in power to judge the world, we meant this literally. And we based our teaching on a literal event that we literally witnessed on one literal day in history.”

And then Peter goes on to remind his readers of that event: one day, when Jesus was still in Galilee, he took Peter, James, and John with him and climbed a high mountain. And God descended from heaven and met them there on the top of that mountain, just as he had done in the Old Testament when he met Moses on the top of Mount Sinai. So the disciples found themselves surrounded by the shining cloud of God’s presence. And when they looked at Jesus, they saw that he was also shining: his face and clothing had been transformed. And they were freaked out! They did not know what was going on. But then a voice spoke from the cloud and explained to them what they were seeing.

And now Peter passes on that explanation to his friends in Roman Asia. This is what happened that day: [17] Jesus received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” [18] We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.

Basically, Peter is saying, “God officially proclaimed Jesus king on that mountaintop in Galilee. And I was there! I saw it. I heard it.”

But we can imagine the 2nd-gen false teachers going, “…ooookay. Thank you for that testimony, Peter. And your point is…? I mean: we already believe Jesus is king, you don’t have to convince us of that. How does your testimony here prove that your Jewish concept of Judgement Day is literally true?”

Hm. Good question. But see: Peter is not finished yet. His eyewitness testimony is only the first part of the test of truth. The second part is to see whether this testimony matches up to ancient Jewish prophecies about the Messiah.

And Peter says that it does:

[19] We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable.

Peter is saying that what he saw and heard on that mountaintop with Jesus is somehow a confirmation of an ancient prophetic message.

So we have to ask: what prophetic message?

Well, in his testimony just now, Peter used a couple of key phrases that are actually quotations from Psalm 2. Now, we read Psalm 2 together today for our Call to Worship, it is right there on the first page of our worship guide. And when we read it again we see that this psalm is actually a story about how the people of the earth rebel against God: they decide that they no longer believe in a literal Judgement Day.

And so God laughs at them, he rebukes them, and then he points out that he has already installed his king on his holy mountain, he has already said, “You are my son.”

And these are the key phrases that Peter just used to point back to Psalm 2: he said, “We ourselves saw this installation of God’s king when we were with him on the holy mountain, we ourselves heard this voice saying, ‘You are my son.’”

Okay. But how does this prove that Judgement Day is a literal reality?

Go back to Psalm 2: how does the prophecy end?

Well, Psalm 2 goes on to prophesy that God’s king really is going to conquer every nation in the world. But, as part of this process, the nations of the world are going to be given a choice: they can be conquered the easy way or the hard way. The easy way is to believe his Word, receive his Spirit, accept his rule, and learn to live as God’s children. The hard way is to reject his Word, reject his Spirit, reject his rule — and in the end have your legs smashed with an iron club so that you are forced to fall down on your face and submit to him.

In other words, Psalm 2 is a prophecy that outlines the steps that lead up to Judgement Day: first, the nations are going to rebel against God. Then, at some point in history, the Messiah will be installed as king, and God will proclaim him the Son of God. This Messianic King — the Son of God — will give a people a chance to leave their rebellious nations behind, and come and take refuge in his nation, and many people will. But one day time is going to run out, and the Messianic King is going to arrive with an army and judge everyone else who refused to repent and join him.

Basically, Peter is saying that, since the first half of Psalm 2 has already been literally fulfilled, it would be reasonable to conclude that the second half of this Psalm will also be literally fulfilled someday: there will be a literal Judgement Day at the end of this age.

This is why Peter goes on to say: you will do well to pay attention to this prophetic message, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

Peter knows very well that life is dark as a Christian in the Roman empire, surrounded by people and nations that hate God and hate God’s people. Peter knows that these 2nd-gen false teachers are making a very attractive offer: they are basically saying it is okay for Christians to fit in with Roman religious culture. In fact, they are saying it is actually better to fit in, because how are you going to lead people to freedom in Jesus if you are constantly offending them by refusing to participate in their cultural activities, or by constantly talking about the threat of Judgement Day?

And this is a very attractive offer! Because none of us want to be disliked! None of us want to go around offending people all the time. None of us want our weird behaviour to get in the way of people receiving the Gospel!

Peter knows that this is a strong temptation. So he is just going back to remind his friends what he said in his first letter: “Do not let your hope come from pleasing people or redeeming society or anything like that. Accept the reality that we are living in a dark place, that we are going to suffer insults and rejection. Do not put your hope in today or tomorow, fix your hope on the great Day of Judgement at the end of all things. That day has not yet dawned, but we do have the promises of it right here in the prophecies of scripture. So pay attention to it! This is our light in the darkness: the promise that one day the morning star will rise in our hearts. One day this world will be made new, and on that day everyone will know the truth! — whether they want to or not.

And on that note, Peter says, one more thing: [20] Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. [21] For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

These ancient prophesies are our light in the darkness. They are the key to our survival. These 2nd-gen false teachers, knowing this, want to make you doubt this light we have been given. They are going to say that the ancient prophecies are just myths, or that the ancient prophets were insane or possessed or something. They are going to say that the ancient prophecies are useless because anyone can interpret them in any way they want to.

So Peter says, “Above all, you must understand that what they are saying about scripture is not true.” The prophets were not insane, they were not having random nightmares and then making up an explanation to give their dreams significance. No: the prophets were rational people who were inspired by the Holy Spirit to make rational prophecies about the future.

And we can tell that they truly spoke from God because their prophecies have proven to be completely reliable so far. They made prophecies about their near future, and those prophecies were fulfilled during their lifetimes — this proved that they were true prophets of God. They made prophecies about the coming Messiah, and hundreds of years later those prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus of Nazareth — and this proved that Jesus is the true Messiah of God. They made prophecies about Judgement Day…and by this point you will to well to pay attention to them.

So, to summarize here: Peter is concerned about a rising tide of false teachers. He is pretty confident that his particular friends in Roman Asia are not going to be fooled, because they are firmly established in the truth. But what is going to happen to the next generation, and the generations after that?

Peter’s solution is to write down the truth, so that it will be preserved for all the generations to come. He is confident that, whatever changes of culture and language and society might happen in the future, the things he writes here will still be relevant, because they are such fundamental, basic truths — truth that transcends every culture, every language. Peter’s solution is to write down a training program so that Christians from every generation and culture will be able to tell the difference between true teachers and false teachers, between true teachings and false teachings.

And he started last week with Step One of his training program: the first step in identifying false teachers is checking your own behaviour, and the behaviour of your church community. True Christians and true churches that have a true knowledge of who Jesus is are going to make every effort to live according to Jesus’ values, and they are going to encourage one another to do the same. False teachers and false churches are going to do the opposite.

So, Question One: how can we identify false teachers? How can we tell if our church is being taught by true teachers?

Answer: we can identify false teachers by their behaviour. If we are being led to make every effort to add love and godliness to our faith, then we can be sure we are in the right Church, growing in the true knowledge of Jesus.

But this just leads us to Question Two: how can Christians tell which version of the truth about Jesus is the real version? Because these 2nd-gen teachers have their own versions, their own explanations and interpretations of who Jesus is.

For instance: Peter is saying that true Christian love looks like self-control. But these 2nd-gen teachers are saying that true Christian love looks like complete freedom. Peter is saying that true Christians learn to make wise judgements about themselves and others because they know that Judgement Day is coming. But these 2nd-gen teachers are saying that true Christians know Jesus would never be so closed-minded as to actually pass judgement on someone else’s behaviour — and therefore neither should Christians.

Who is right? How can Christians tell which set of teachers is telling the truth about Jesus’ character?

This is Peter’s answer: test their knowledge of Christ, using this simple, two-step test:

Step One: is this person’s knowledge of Jesus based on direct eyewitness testimony of Jesus’ life?

Step Two: does their eyewitness testimony of Jesus match up to Old Testament prophecies about Jesus?

Here is an example of how the Christians of ancient Roman Asia might have applied this test:

Let’s say that two teachers visit on a Sunday, and they both offer to explain what Jesus’ feeding of the 5000 means. So we let them both preach! — but then they end up saying very different things.

How can we tell which one is the true teaching? We test them:

Step One: where did these guys get their knowledge of Jesus? And it turns out Teacher A was an eye-witness of the event, he was one of the 5000, Jesus gave him a piece of bread with his own hand. So Teacher A is a 1st-gen teacher. Teacher B only heard about the feeding of the 5000 from others, so he is a 2nd-gen teacher.

But hang on! — let’s not jump to conclusions. Because there are good 2nd-gen teachers out there, guys like Timothy and Titus. And there are some false 1st-gen teachers still wandering around. After all, hundreds of thousands of people saw Jesus face to face, and we know that there are many who followed Jesus for a while after the feeding of the 5000, but then left him. What if Teacher A is one of those false disciples?

This is why there is a Step Two: can Teacher A explain how his eye-witness testimony about Jesus either fulfills or strengthens our faith in the prophecies of the Old Testament?

A true Christian teacher will know that their testimony alone is not enough: it needs to be confirmed somehow. And even in ancient Roman Asia, Christians understood that doing miracles or healings or exorcisms is not confirmation, because the Roman empire was full of miracle-workers from a thousand different religions, many of them very convincing!

No: true Christian testimony about Jesus needs to be confirmed by something that is beyond that teacher’s manipulation or control; it needs to be confirmed by something that has already been proven to come from God — and that means a teacher’s testimony must be confirmed by ancient Jewish prophecy.

And so when we go back to Teacher A we find that he is unable to explain how Jesus’ feeding of the 5000 connects with Old Testament prophecies. He insists that the reason Jesus did that miracle was to prove that Christians’ bank accounts will always multiply 5000-fold if they have enough faith.

So we go back to Teacher B, the 2nd-gen teacher. And we find out that, even though he was not an eye-witness of the feeding of the 5000, he was taught by the apostle John, who was an eye-witness. And John taught Teacher B that the reason Jesus did that miracle was to fulfill the prophecy in Isaiah that says, “when the Messiah comes you will all be taught by God: all your children will be taught by the LORD.”

So now we know: Teacher B is the true teacher; Teacher A is the false one. And if both of these teachers stayed back in our church for a while, we would soon find that this is confirmed by their behaviour. Since Teacher B believes that Jesus is the Chief Shepherd, the true Teacher of his people, he will be humble. But Teacher A, because he believes Jesus came to make all Christians rich, is going to be greedy, he is going to live a life obsessed with money.

That is how Peter’s two-part test of the truth was designed to work among the Churches of ancient Roman Asia.

But what about among us? Does this two-part test still work today?

Yes. It does. It still works, and it still works in exactly the same way.

Remember, Peter said that he is writing so that you — all of you — will always be able to remember these things. Peter knows he is not just writing to the Christians of Roman Asia, he is writing to all of us. Peter fully expects that the truth he writes down here will still be just as true 1000 years later, 2000 years later, just as Psalm 2 was still just as true in Peter’s day as it was 1000 years earlier, when it was first written by King David.

So, let’s summarize again for our context: we are also concerned, as Peter was, about false teachers, false teachings, false churches.

So our first question, last week, was: how can we identify false teachers?

And Peter’s answer was: we can identify false teachers by their false behaviour, because false behaviour always grows out of false teachings.

But this just led to our second question: how can we identify false teachings before they lead to false behaviour?

And this was Peter’s answer: we can identify false teachings by testing their quality. When a teacher comes to us claiming to have a true knowledge of Jesus’ character, all we have to do is ask two simple questions:

1. Does this person’s knowledge of Jesus come from direct eyewitness testimony of Jesus’ life? and 2. Does this person’s eyewitness testimony match up to Old Testament prophecies about Jesus?

So, let’s do our own modern thought experiment:

Let’s imagine that, here in KL, we have Teacher A over here with his church, and Teacher B over here with his church. Both teachers claim to have a true knowledge of Jesus, both churches seem very successful, but they are clearly following two very different sets of values. Which one is teaching truth? Or could it be that neither one is preaching the true Gospel?

So we start the test: where did these guys get their knowledge of Jesus?

And it turns out Teacher A claims he got his knowledge of Jesus directly from Jesus: he is an eyewitnesses of Jesus’ majesty, just like Peter. And he calls himself an Apostle!

So we think: “This guy is crazy if he thinks we are going to believe that he is 2000 years old!” But no, no, no, no, that’s not what he means. Teacher A means that Jesus visits him in visions, like he appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus. Sometimes the voice of God comes to him to him from the Majestic Glory, and gives him new insights, new revelations, new perspectives on how the bible should be interpreted for this modern age. And he is able to prove it because sometimes he is able to offer a supernatural word of knowledge about people in his congregation, things that Teacher A could not possibly have known about their lives. And this is why we should trust his testimony and join his church.

Well, friends…no. Teacher A is definitely a 2nd-gen false teacher, the kind of false teacher Peter warned us about. And we can tell because Teacher A is directly contradicting what the apostles taught. Just last week, the apostle Peter started this letter by saying God’s divine power has already given us everything we need for a godly life. We do not need any new revelations from Jesus! It is not as if the Holy Spirit is sitting around going, “Dang it! This was really important, and I forgot to tell Peter or Paul about it. Lucky thing I can tell Paula White and Kenneth Copeland! Sure, it’s 2000 years later, but better late than never, amirite?”

So we go check out Teacher B. And he claims he got his knowledge of Jesus from the apostles — not by talking to them directly, but by reading what they wrote about Jesus in the New Testament.

So we say, “Oh, thank God!” Because that is how we are supposed to get our true knowledge of Jesus: from the apostles’ writings.

But still, sometimes Teacher B says some things that are a bit unusual, things that do not seem to come from the New Testament. So we move on to the 2nd part of the test: we ask him if he can tell us how some of his more unusual teachings can be explained from the Old Testament.

And that is when Teacher B says, “Oh, the Old Testament? No, no, no, my church is a Christ-centered church, and we only find Christ in the New Testament. The Old Testament is for the Jewish people, and while those old stories and laws and prophecies were important for them — that was God’s Word for themwe are New Testament people. We are Christians, not Jews, so we mostly focus on the New Testament…”

Uh oh. Teacher B has just proven that he is also a 2nd-gen false teacher. He is not actually interested in confirming his unusual teachings by comparing them to Old Testament prophecies. At the very best he is an immature teacher who really should not be teaching yet. And if he does not repent and begin to realize that the whole bible is God’s Word for all of God’s people in every generation…Judgement Day is going to be a very uncomfortable experience for him and for the people in his church.

But then we find Teacher C. And he loves the Old Testament. He is a scholar, he can read Hebrew to himself without having to move his lips, his insights into ancient Jewish culture are just amazing! We learn so much from him.

But after a while we realize that Teacher C does not believe the Old Testament was designed to point forward to Jesus Christ. Yes, he calls himself a Christian, but really he believes that the Old Testament should be applied directly to modern Christians: he thinks Christians should follow all of the Old Testament laws about food and religious festivals, he thinks that the job of the Church is to redeem the nations by leading them to live according to the Law of Moses. He loves the Old Testament, but he ignores the apostles’ New Testament teaching. He basically wants to create a sort of Judeo-Christian political kingdom of God on earth…

So it turns out that Teacher C is a 1st-gen false teacher, the kind of politically-oriented false teacher Paul warned us against in his letter to the Galatians.

This is a lot to take in. So, let’s definitely keep talking about this during Q&A afterward.

But in the meantime, as we close, let’s keep things simple:

The easiest way to identify false teachers is by watching their behaviour, the quality of their lives.

But it is possible to identify false teachers even if they are hiding their bad behaviour. And we do this by testing the quality of their teaching. Do they teach consistently from the whole bible, from the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament apostles? Are they able to demonstrate how the things they read and the things they say all point to the hope that is in Jesus?

And on that note, I do want to finish here by pointing us all to the hope that we have in Jesus, just as Peter did: We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and we will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in our hearts. We do live in a dark and confusing age, but we have this light shining among us, this promise that one day the Son will descend on the shining clouds of glory, and all darkness will flee away.

I do believe that we have been firmly established in the truth. So let’s keep our eyes fixed on the light. Let’s stay close to the Word, for if we do, then we will never stumble, and we will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Amen. Let it be soon.

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