Loving in Truth Pt 2
Devotion in Motion
2 John 1: 7-11
For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.
Verse 7, “For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”
There was a busload of Politicians driving down a country road, when all of the sudden, the bus ran off the road and crashed into a farmers field. The Old farmer went over to investigate. He then after looking over what happened, began to dig a hole and start burying the politicians. A few days later the local sheriff came out and, noticing the crash, asked the old farmer where all the politicians were! The old farmer said , I buried them all. The sheriff asked him; Were they all dead? Well said the old farmer, some of them said they weren’t, but you know how all them politicians lie!
It was Mark Twain who wrote, “A lie runs around the world while truth is putting on her shoes.” Bad news travels faster than good. And this is very true in the church. Paul warned the Ephesians in Ephesians 4:14, about being “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive…” False doctrine constantly blows through the Church. Whether it’s those in John’s day who denied Jesus’ humanity, or those today who deny His deity – And so John says we need to be on-guard.
Warren Wiersbe once quoted a pastor of a successful church. He said, “If I took my eyes off this work for 24 hours and stopped praying, it would be invaded before we knew it.” He knew the importance of sound doctrine. It reminds me of the little boy who was asked by his Sunday School teacher if he knew how to define the term “false doctrine.” He thought the teacher had said, “false doctoring.” He replied, “False doctoring is when a doctor gives the wrong stuff to people who are sick.” And this is also the definition of the term “false doctrine” – it’s the wrong stuff to the spiritually sick.
Here again, John tells us how to spot the person who is false doctoring – Understand, they may be right on 95% of what they say and teach, but invariably they stray when it comes to what they believe about Jesus Christ. Someone once said (that 99% of the truth is still a lie) John noted the deceivers of his day as those “who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh.” Remember, John battled a heresy called “Gnosticism.” It was a system of belief that denied Jesus’ humanness. In contrast, most false teachers today deny His deity. Both are wrong, dead wrong. Our Lord Jesus revealed Himself as both fully man and fully God. He is the God-man.
Paul wrote to Timothy in 1 Timothy 2:3-7 “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of (God our Savior), who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, (the Man Christ Jesus), who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth”
Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.”
John had worked to lay a solid foundation of right teaching in the church of his day, but that foundation can be lost unless each believer takes responsibility to do what he or she can to insure its preservation. if we don’t continue to serve and support and give, we can lose the things for which we’ve worked. If we kick back and say, “I’ve done my part. I did my time in the nursery when my kids were younger.. I gave money to the last project.. I’ve already done the usher thing.
It’s someone else’s turn.” If we all just pass the buck we can lose what we’ve worked so hard to build. It’s said, “No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.” That’s why we need to own a personal responsibility for the part God has called us to play. Verse 9, “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.” This is why it’s so crucial that you be right in your belief about Jesus. If you’re not right about Jesus you can’t be right with God! Jesus is the means by which God has chosen to redeem the world to Himself! Jesus is the one bridge between man and God. There is a bridge in China, the Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge that purports to be the world’s longest. It’s part of the Beijing to Shanghai freeway. Its length is 540,682 feet – that’s a tad more than 102 miles long. Yet this is not the longest bridge. Jesus connects heaven to earth – God to man.
He spans the enormous gulf that’s been caused by our sin… Today, even though you’ve transgressed and violated God’s law you can still know God and have God through Jesus Christ redeem you.. And verse 10 works all this out practically, “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him…” In the first Church traveling apostles were all over. Many of the infant churches lacked adequate leadership so men traveled from place to place to fill the gap. The churches would put these fellows up, provide their needs, and support their ministries.
In a second century document known as the Didache or “The Teaching of the Twelve,” instructions were given to churches concerning these traveling apostles. “Every apostle who comes to you should be received as the Lord. But he should not remain more than one day, and if there is some necessity a second as well; but if he should remain for three, he is a false prophet.” If he stays more than a weekend without offering to pay you for his upkeep he’s a freeloader, a deadbeat! “And when the apostle departs, he should receive nothing but bread until he finds his next lodging. But if he requests money, he is a false prophet… And not everyone who speaks forth in the spirit (or who says, “Thus saith the Lord) is a prophet, but only if he has the kind of behavior which the Lord approves. From his behavior, then, will the false prophet and the true prophet be known… And every prophet, who in the spirit, (or who speaks as if it’s by the Holy Spirit) orders a table to be spread shall not eat therefrom; but if he does, he is a false prophet.” In other words, if the Holy Spirit speaks through a person and orders food and it’s for hungry, needy people – not the fat-cat prophet. “And whoever says in the spirit, ‘Give me money’… do not listen to him. But if he says that it should be given for others who are in need, let no one judge him.”
A greedy or lazy person in the ministry is still greedy and lazy. Don’t give in to their appeals for money – no matter how spiritual they sound. The church needs to discern. If there’s sincerity, there’ll be unselfishness. It reminds me of the old maxim, “Treat your guest as a guest for two days. On the third day give him a hoe.” In other words–let them work off their stay. it is not unreasonable to expect your guests to clean up after themselves, to help out with the chores, to stay at your home and treat it as a vacation. If you have someone at your home and all they do is lay around and expect you to provide for them, give them a hoe? Remember these instructions from the Didache’…
The Didache was probably written in the second century to correct the church’s lack of discernment. Apparently, the first church abounded in love, but at times they lacked discernment. (Read 1 Corinthians 5) The early church was in the habit of taking in everyone – true teacher or false teacher. They were so enamored with the need to love they failed to support the truth. John is teaching that a love that is not wedded to the truth is not real love. It seems this problem in the early church was so prevalent that Christian charity was actually helping the heretics and perpetuating the spread of their heresies. This is why John warns in verse 11, “for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.” Offer a false teacher support and you become an accomplice in their deception.
You’re aiding and abetting a deceiver. If two Mormon missionaries pull up to your house on their bicycles. They’re hot and sweaty – so in the spirit of niceness – you invite them into your air-conditioned house to take a nap and drink lemonade – that’s wrong! You don’t want to enable a false prophet to carry on in spreading their deception. You want to see them all pooped out and discouraged and ready to quit. Don’t encourage them. If you see them with a flat tire. You can see that they get to safety, but don’t help fix their flat. They’ll jump right back on their bike and keep pedaling their heresy.
There may be times to invite the Jehovah Witness into your house – and proper hospitality can be shown. Like during a tornado, hurricane, earthquake or some other disaster, But make sure your intention is to plant the seeds of truth in their mind, not just a hot meal in their belly. I’m not saying don’t be friends with the cultists. We need to be a friend of sinners if we’re going to lead them to Christ. But when they actively sow seeds of their lies, don’t help them out. One commentator writes, “John warns us not to unintentionally collaborate with the enemy… Don’t be mean, but when they come to your door, don’t moisten lips that lie with your lemonade.” Amen
” Never let us be guilty of sacrificing any portion of God’s Truth on the altar of peace or hospitality or fellowship”
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