ENCOURAGING THOUGHTS TO THE CHURCH
There are different stages Christians exist in. This is in regards to maturity. The aged Apostle John wrote to the different categories. 1 John 2; 12-14, he speaks of the “little children, the fathers, and the young men.”
This is not all together a division of ages, however it can be. “Little children” those that are babes in the LORD, they know they have been saved and that is about all.
The “young men,” they a more mature, strong in body and mind. They physically know the Word.
Then there are “the fathers,” of which I am a little prejudice toward.
He wrote unto “the fathers” because they have known him that is from the beginning. They have a firm foundation in Christ. They stand on a solid rock of revelation that has come and endured in their lives that others have observed through the course of their life.
They may not have the physical strength of a young man or the sharp mind of the same. But through much pain and experience they have walked with the Word for a lifetime, not remaining a child in the faith, or possessing merely a quick mind naturally, but being rooted and grounded by time and experience. The fathers are not know-it-alls, as some would pretend to be. But they know how to use what they know.
That is why it is said they have “known Him that is from the beginning.”
A tower without a foundation will eventually fall. But that which is build upon a rock will stand, beyond the natural strength of the others mentioned in 1 John 2:12-14.
“The fathers” speak of maturity. Oh, something that is so sadly lacking, especially now when it is really needed!
YOUR STAGE IN THE CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE
What stage are you in; fearful and afraid as a child, full of strength and head knowledge as the young adult, but without the firm foundation that is needed to stand a lifetime. Do you hold the faith that came at the beginning of your Christian walk or do you vacillate with every “seemingly” great movement that comes alone. Everyone can see your strength and ability, but can they see you walking a straight line, never altering course in all you do in life?
There must be a growth that starts at the beginning, a foundation that is settled and sure. Many do not wait of the LORD for that to fully develop. Is your salvation made real by the applause of man or the “natural” abilities of others that you want to be like. That is a foundation that eventually will be moved and cause whatever on it to fall.
Those are things John wrote about as a old man, to those of the different levels of maturity that existing in the church. He was a straight line in a crooked world of religious apostates (those that were falling away)!
A strait line will always prove a crooked line to be crooked. Find a straight line and follow what they have followed.
Heb 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. 8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. 9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.
Understanding this will help you to stand in the midst of any pandemic which the world will produce, whether it be a natural pandemic or a spiritual one.
Pastor Bill Ivy – Campbell Missouri (Gibson Community) – www.livingwordtabernacle.com