Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wednesday, March 13th

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Numbers 25-26, Psalm 52, Luke 8
Today's scripture focus is 2 John 1:9-13


Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.
12 Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete.
13 The children of your elect sister greet you.


MacArthur's sermon on this series entitled Truth: The Test of Christian Hospitality

nothing is as dangerous as deception because nothing is as precious as truth

That quote by MacArthur really hits the nail on the head, doesn't it?  Truth is absolutely precious.  If we do not know the truth of the gospel message, we will not be able to recognize false teachers when we see them and we could be led astray and we could even mistakenly endorse those false teachers and, in so doing, lead others astray!

John uses some very strong language in this text.  
do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting

First thing to note - he is not speaking about non Christians in general, he is speaking of false teachers.  He is speaking of those who claim the title of Christianity and claim to speak for God but who, in fact, do not believe in the truths of the gospel.  They could be wrong on many issues - they may not believe in salvation by grace alone, they may not believe that Jesus was the Son of God, they may not believe that Jesus was also fully human, they may not believe that Jesus' death paid the penalty for our sin.  Simply put - they do not believe the truth, but they talk like they do in an effort to deceive and lead astray.  We are not deceived by Buddhists or Muslims - we know that is not the truth.  But we are always susceptible to something that sounds like the truth but really isn't.  That's why Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  A lie is so much more believable when it has a hint of the truth in it, when it sounds like it is the truth.  We have to know the truth in order to discern who those false teachers are!

He's speaking of dangerous wolves, Acts 20. He's speaking of thieves in the language of Jesus in John 10 who come to kill and destroy the flock. Any hospitality, any commendation, any acceptance of them would be dangerous exposure to antichrist influences. You can't overstate this. It would be impossible to overstate this. 

We are to love fellow believers, but not at the expense of the truth.
We are to speak the truth, but speak it in love.
We are to know the truth - study the Word!
We are to live in the truth - obey the Word!
And we are to look for the truth in those who claim Christ and who claim to speak for Christ.
And if we find false teachers, we cannot embrace them.  We cannot.  Because doing so puts the flock at risk.  Because doing so helps deception flourish.  Because doing so condones deception.  Because doing so would make us just as guilty as the false teachers themselves.

nothing is as dangerous as deception because nothing is as precious as truth

Let us not be too cowardly or too caught up in "tolerance" or the world's definition of love, to stand up for truth, to protect truth.

The truth is precious.
The gospel is precious.
We cannot stand by and allow it to be maligned or twisted.


Tomorrow's scripture focus: 3 John 1:1-8
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Numbers 27-28, Psalm 53, Luke 9

2 comments:

LaughingLady said...

This is so difficult to live out, I find, because my FEELINGS too often get in the way. I'm more concerned about how I feel about someone or something than whether or not God's Word is being honoured and upheld.

Miriam said...

"We are to love fellow believers, but not at the expense of the truth.
We are to speak the truth, but speak it in love.
We are to know the truth - study the Word!
We are to live in the truth - obey the Word!
And we are to look for the truth in those who claim Christ and who claim to speak for Christ. "

So, so important, and sometimes so hard to do.