The emphasis of this passage is to know liars. John is showing us what a believer is not in preparation for what a believer is. But because of what he is about to teach, he has to remind us that we already have the anointing from God, Jesus Christ. He needs to remind us that we know all things. How many of us really feel like we know all things? My guess is no one feels like they know all things, yet we are reminded of our inheritance of this knowledge in scripture:
Now for the hard part.
“Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things
are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;” - 1 Corinthians 3:21-22
“As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things
” - 2 Corinthians 6:10
That seems pretty clear to me. Liars deny Christ. Deny Christ, deny the Father. Deny the Father and you are lost, dead already from His perspective. Who is a liar?
“Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” - 1 John 2:22
Pretty clear, huh? We’re all liars, but what does it mean to deny Christ?
Jesus said a couple of things that might enlighten us on this topic.
Jesus spells out denial and its result pretty clearly in these two passages. To NOT deny Christ means you must deny youself. Therefore, to deny Christ is to NOT deny yourself. If you deny Christ, He will deny you. Paul clarified denial in the simplest way possible,
“But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
” - Matthew 10:33
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
” - Matthew 16:24-25
In case that is not clear, anything you do that is expecting a result, is for your gain. Anything you do without expectation of a result is done for God. If you give, and seek recognition from men, you deny Christ. If you do a kindness and expect the kindness to be returned, you deny Christ, if you invite someone to a dinner party, and expect a return invitation, you deny Christ. I hope this is starting to get through. ALL MEN (and women) DENY CHRIST DAILY, HOULY, EVEN MOMENT BY MOMENT!!! Any thought, action or word that denies Christ is the antichrist. All men have the spirit of antichrist!
It is no wonder John had to start the passage by reminding us that we have knowledge of all things!
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.
“ - John 8:44
Now that we know we are the antichrist, John brings us back. He reminds us to abide in Christ, that which we knew from the beginning. He reminds us that the temptation to NOT deny ourselves is everywhere. He reminds us again, that the complete knowledge of Christ is within us.
And so, abiding in Christ, lets us do the works of Christ without consideration for self. In short, if we abide in Christ, we do not consider what our actions look like to others, we do not care about the result. Noah built a boat on dry land, Abraham chose the dry lands while Lot chose the fertile, all of Israel marched around Jericho and yelled, David stood up to Goliath when the entire army of Israel cowered. From the perspective of the world, these were foolish acts, yet wisdom to God.
The last phrase of verse 28 reads in English, “and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” An alternate translation could be, “and not be disgraced by your separation from Him when He is present.” You either abide in Christ or you don’t. You either live in shame or you don’t. There is no grey area, there is no twilight. We are in a digital world; on or off. You know the difference, you can see it in others. Pay attention. You know righteousness when you see it, therefore you know who is born of Him and who is not.