False doctrine is everywhere today, proliferating in our churches and on the internet. It’s almost impossible to escape and can be difficult to detect if we aren’t constantly marinating our minds on the Scriptures. As J. C. Ryle wrote, “False doctrine does not meet men face to face, and proclaim that it is false. It does not blow a trumpet before it, and endeavor openly to turn us away from the truth as it is in Jesus. It does not come before men in broad day, and summon them to surrender. It approaches us secretly, quietly, insidiously, plausibly, and in such a way as to disarm man’s suspicion, and throw him off his guard.” None of us are immune, so we all must remain diligent in discerning the truth.
In his first epistle, John encourages believers to “…remain in Him, so that when He appears we may have boldness and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (1 John 2:28). To remain in Him not only secures our eternity, it also leads to living this life to the fullest extent possible (John 10:10). Many proclaim they believe in Jesus, but far fewer say they know Him.
But how many will remain in Him until He returns? Abiding in Christ doesn’t feel natural to our fallen nature, no matter how much our soul longs to be with Him. Those who love Christ want to be full of Him and nothing else. They want to forsake the world and follow Jesus. Making such proclamations is easy. Living every day of our lives like we mean it is another story entirely.