Welcome to the footnote¹ blog. Our goal each day is to examine a verse and give a short summary in commentary form or simply an encouraging note to help you remain faithful to God throughout the week. Either way we hope that the footnote¹ blog will comfort you through God's word and give you a better understanding of His will.
“Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” (Rev. 2.6, ESV)
Many people believe it does not matter what one believes. Specifically speaking, one will say that it does not matter since we all believe in Jesus and beyond that, we are all on the way to heaven, just taking different paths. However, are there multiple paths to heaven (see John 14.6)?
Interestingly, one will not find the mindset that it does not matter in Scripture. In fact, the Bible calls for unity of believers (John 17.20-23), unity of doctrine (Eph. 4.1-6), and claims that only the truth will set us free (John 8.32) – while error will damn us to hell (2 Thess. 2.10-12).
Jesus answers the error of taking the position that one may believe whatever they will if Jesus is forefront in their life by commending the church at Ephesus for hating the doctrine (or teachings) of the Nicolaitans (cf. Rev. 2.15) – an apostate group of people misleading the disciples. If one can believe whatever doctrine – regardless of whether it is biblical or not, and still be faithful to God, why did Jesus hate the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, and why did the church at Ephesus reject them?
We contend it is because one can believe a lie and be damned. Have you believed a lie? How would you know? You can test all Bible teachers against God’s word (Acts 17.11; 1 Thess. 5.21; 1 John 4.1, etc.), including this writer.
Here is one example. Many teach baptism does not save. Have you heard this? Do you believe it? Notice the apostle Peter’s words (a spokesmen and messenger of Jesus Christ): “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3.21, ESV).
- The Bible teaches that baptism saves (Mark 16.16; Acts 2.38; 22.16, etc.).
- Many men say baptism does not save.
- Which one is the truth? Which source will you listen to? Will you believe a lie?
“And I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Blessed indeed,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!’” (Rev. 14.13, ESV)
Let us focus on dying in the Lord. First, to “die in the Lord” one has to first be in the Lord. Paul tells us that we are baptized into the Lord: “for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3.26-27). Secondly, to die in the Lord one has to remain faithful unto death. Jesus said, “…the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Mark 13.13). Thirdly, to die in the Lord one has to be a diligent worker. Paul taught, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15.58). Next, to die in the Lord means one will be an example to all. The writer of Hebrews wrote, “And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Heb. 6.11-12). What kind of influence will you be after you die? Hopefully, people will see the deeds we did for the Lord and continue in them!
Finally, to die in the Lord means one will rest from their labors. What a wonderful joy to look forward to!
1 John 2.22 "Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son."¹
¹Since many in the religious world misunderstand the passages concerning the antichrist, there are many theories as to his identity. However, the answer is simple. The word antichrist simply means "against Christ". Read 1 John 2.18-23; 4.1-6 and 2 John 7-9. Notice that these passages help us to define the antichrist. Any person who does not confess Jesus is from God and any person who denies that Jesus Christ came in the flesh is the antichrist. Notice that "now many antichrists have come" (1 John 2.18). This proves the fact that the antichrist is not one specific individual, but multiple individuals. Further, we learn that antichrists are "in the world already" (1 John 4.3). Therefore, we are not awaiting some future devil-like creature that has horns and red eyes. It is anyone opposed to Christ coming in the flesh. Those who deny Christ now will be denied on the judgment day (2 Tim. 2.12). Are you for or against Christ?
Are you interested in learning more about God's word? Contact Bryan Garlock