2 John 1:4-13

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"I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth, just as we have received commandment to do from the Father. And now I ask you, lady, not as writing to you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it. For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you might not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. Having many things to write to you, I do not want to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, that your joy may be made full. The children of your chosen sister greet you." 2 John 1:4-13

John begins this passage of scripture reminding us of the importance of walking in the truth and the importance of loving one another. John even states in verse 5 that he knows this is not a new commandment... he knows we have heard these words in the past. John knows, however, the importance behind following these commandments. They are worthy of repeating. Over and over.

The only way to abide in God is to walk in the truth. And not just a step or two here and there. But a full out straight path of truth. No crooked roads. Only the straight and narrow. The straight and narrow truth that can only be found in God.

Loving one another, and in turn, showing the love of God. This is how we show the world that we walk with God. This is how we show our obedience to God.

John goes on to tell us that while we walk in the truth, while we show our love for one another, we must not forget to always be on the lookout for false teachers. We know we must always be aware of false teachers in the world we live in today. And, John knew the same to be true of the world as it was during his time here on earth. They were everywhere. And John tells us we should not receive them into our homes or to greet them.

Now, some will interpret this to mean that we should not associate ourselves in any way with non-believers. From my study of this scripture and from where I feel the Lord speaking to me, though, I think we need to be around non-believers. For one, how can we show non-believers the love of God if we are not associating with them? How can we expect them to attend our churches when we say we cannot be around them (or them around us)?

Secondly, I think to really understand John's words, we need to look back into the customs of that day. It was very common for teachers and missionaries as they traveled to stay in the homes of the townspeople. They would simply knock on the door and ask if they could come in and spend the night. These teachers and missionaries could be persons that taught the truths of Jesus Christ or they could be teaching false doctrines. In looking at these customs and reading John's words, it is likely that John was speaking primarily about offering hospitality to those that TAUGHT false doctrines. After all, there is a difference between believing a false doctrine and further perpetuating or teaching others a false doctrine.

This is not to say we shouldn't be careful when we are with persons that believe false doctrines. However, we should be kind to them, we should speak with them, we should share God's love with them. We should also welcome them into our churches. After all, how else will we be able to fully share with them the love of Christ?

I know this can be a touchy subject. And, I also know that we all must approach it in the way we feel led to by the Lord. We are taught that there is a big difference between being IN the world and being OF the world. We can't hide under a rock and keep all of God's love to ourselves. We can't hide in our church buildings never allowing non-believers to walk thru the door... no matter the sinful lifestyle they may be living.

I challenge you today to find your place in sharing God's love... regardless of the type of lifestyles you may encounter. Yes, be wary and yes, reject those false teachings and those that perpetuate those teachings. But, at the same time welcome non-believers with open arms. Show them the wonders of God's grace and mercy by sharing how God rescued you. Show them Christ's love by loving them.

6 Thoughts Shared:

Jill said...

I love this post Melanie!

Beautiful! I was just talking to my dear friend Stacy about loving one another and how God calls us to this all of the time! His love pouring in and through us!

Don't forget to stop by my blog and pick up the Faithful Servant Award I gave out last Tues. I'm giving it out again tomorrow!

God bless you today!
Jill

Debra said...

Melanie,

I love what you said about straight forward truth...no crooked roads. It reminded me of the scripture in 1 Samuel 15:22..obedience is better than sacrifice.

Truth and obedience hand in hand. The outflow of that is most certainly love. I love your sweet heart. May the Lord bless you this day....Happy Monday!

Tricia said...

Hey Melanie,
A good and thought provoking post... there is so much false teaching out there, we need to make sure we know the Truth and are able, willing, and ready to share the Truth with those who have been deceived by these false teachers.

Thanks for sharing your insights! Have a wonderful day!

Blessings!

Cheryl said...

Melanie,

Very well put.

Have a great day!
Cheryl

LAURIE said...

thanks for your comment over at my post. This was a great post about truth and how we need that - no sugar coating - and if we don't know the Word we will not know when we are being fed truth or false teaching. May we all hunger to know Gods Word!

Tracy said...

Amen my friend...very well said. I know sometimes I've allowed myself to be "too cautious." I'm asking the Lord to help me discern when to be wary and when to be more forthcoming in my interactions with others, so that I can have more opportunities to show Christ.

Great reminder.

Blessings,
Tracy