1Jn 3:1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. It is a hard thing to deal with but the truth is that everyone deserves to spend Eternity separated from God. In the Letter to the Romans we find the reason in chapter 3. But God showed us the reason for creating us in Genesis, God spent the cool of the Evening in fellowship with Adam. God loves mankind so much that He created an entire universe for His Prize Creation to dwell in. When we chose to turn from Him and to go astray, He sent His Son to pay the penalty for our actions, that we might be able to find our way back to Him. Not every man will choose to humble him or herself before God but those that do then are burdened to see their loved ones avoid eternity in Hell also. For this we, the Saved, are teased, cursed and accused of Self Righteousness. It is no wonder that the World hates us. I will venture so far as to say that if you are not disliked by the World that you ought to be taking a Spiritual Inventory. 1Jn 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. When we were saved we were indwelt with the Holy Spirit of God, from that moment forward. And yet, there is this mystery that needs our examination. The very moment the Spirit overcame me there was a peace I had never known before and since that time I have not been brought low again. 1Jn 3:3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. My situation today (and I pray it is yours) is much the same as when my Dad was raising me. My dad was my hero and I wanted to be just like him. God is my hero now and I want to be just like Him. Not to be Him but to be the very best representation of Him that I can possibly be. 1Jn 3:4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. 1Jn 3:5 You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. 1Jn 3:6 No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. This is the part that folks really do dislike. Before I devoted my life to the service of the LORD I planned every Friday and Saturday night, from Sunday until Friday Evening. I had an expected itinerary for the sins I would commit. When I turned my life over to God, I ceased to plan and instead became led. Apart from the leading of the Holy Spirit there is not a man, woman or child that can live a Holy Life! 1Jn 3:7 Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; 1Jn 3:8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 1Jn 3:9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 1Jn 3:10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. Just as I warned, this steps on a lot of toes. In these past twenty-plus years I have known folks that, like myself, love the people of Southern Louisiana and though they declare themselves to be the followers of Jesus, they have time set aside from work and plans for the Mardi Gras in New Orleans. They have well thought out plans to sin and you cannot plan to sin and follow God. These people and anyone else that plans any type of sin need to do a Spiritual Inventory and figure out, just, where they are headed. 1Jn 3:11 For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; 1Jn 3:12 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. 1Jn 3:13 Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you. This is hard teaching but if you are professing Christianity and do not find yourself at odds with the World, it is check up time! I grew up with two men that were six days or less older than myself and we all played music and sang in a band together. From this association we also got drunk, high and chased wild women together. The week that I took Christ for my Savior I walked off stage, in the middle of a performance and every one of my, life long friends, men and women, told me I was crazy and they left! You cannot be "in Christ” and not be at odds with the World. 1Jn 3:14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. 1Jn 3:15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 1Jn 3:16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. Here's another hard teaching, not for Baby Christians. This is the meat of the Word and must be chewed on. Becoming a Christian is just like becoming a Professional Soldier, you must be willing to die for the cause! When I was a young Killer Spade we were hated by the French newspaper reporters, we made the French Army look bad in Vietnam. At the same time the Grunt, that 17 to 19 year old kid on the ground, loved us because no matter how bad it got he knew we would die getting to him. Every true follower of the Christ have escaped the second death and it is just a matter of timing for the first death, we all will experience the first death except the Rapture come. At the first death, the body dies but we live on in Heaven, so what is there to fear? I am not, nor will I ever ask anyone to become a radical but can we refuse to do good because we might die for our brother? 1Jn 3:17 But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Jesus set an example on the Cross, that day. He did not rise up in defiance, He did however die to pay the sin debt you owed. 1Jn 3:18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. 1Jn 3:19 We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him 1Jn 3:20 in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. You see, unlike Mohamed to his followers, Jesus does not teach war and the extinction of entire peoples, rather He teaches the same "love” He exhibited on the cross. When I was gently descending into the jungles of Vietnam to extract men and when we were swooping in to a Hot LZ I was always scared! If I balled up my fist I could punch right through the skin of my aircraft, it didn't take much to shoot us down. In spite of the fear of all those fifties, quad-fifties, B40 rockets, SAMs and other ordinance, my military brothers were counting on me. Your brothers and sisters in Christ are counting on you! 1Jn 3:21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 1Jn 3:22 and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. 1Jn 3:23 This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. 1Jn 3:24 The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. The Instruction given to John by Jesus is not easy, it is however essential to the continued growth of the mature Christian.