Remaining In Christ

OPENING PRAYER

Lord, help me today to hear Your voice and block out every message that is not true.

Read: 2 JOHN 1–13

1 The elder,

To the lady chosen by God and to her children, whom I love in the truth—and not I only, but also all who know the truth— 2 because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever:

3 Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.

4 It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. 5 And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. 6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

7 I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. 11 Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.

12 I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.

13 The children of your sister, who is chosen by God, send their greetings.

Reflect: IF THE APOSTLE JOHN WERE TO WRITE A LETTER TO YOU, WHAT WOULD IT SAY? WOULD IT REMIND YOU TO WALK IN LOVE AND HOLD FAST TO THE TRUTH?

It seems that some first-century teachers not only held views that went against the truth of the Gospel (7) but actively encouraged others to follow their “advanced” teaching (7,9). It is a salient reminder for us: the truth about Jesus laid out in the gospels does not need to evolve to suit modern sensibilities; it is complete and sufficient as it is. That is why John exhorts these Christians to remember Jesus’ original command (5,6).

Sometimes false teaching is subtle, like the current tendency to not mention sin for fear of offending people. As John pointed out in his first letter, ignoring or diminishing sin makes a mockery of Jesus’ death (1 John 1:8–10).

John’s comments (10) are not a contradiction of his earlier comments on practical love (5,6; 1 John 3:18) but a practical suggestion to limit the spread of false teaching. Christian hospitality allowed preachers to travel and preach their message. By giving hospitality to false teachers a Christian would be endorsing and enabling the spread of false teaching. John is not advocating rudeness. We can still listen to different views respectfully but we should not promote false teaching or allow it to go unchallenged.

APPLY

Where do you recognize teaching that has veered away from the truth in God’s Word?

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord, help us to hold firmly to the truth about Jesus. Help Your Church to recognize where false teachers are diluting the Gospel.

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Terry Schneider