2 John 7-11 – “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. 8 Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. 9 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. 10 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; 11 for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.” NASU [Emphasis mine]
This is more than a message on tolerance because we are to Love, everybody. Yet, there are multiple warnings in Scripture about avoiding those who promote false doctrine and practice evil. I’ve been castigated by well-meaning believers who tell me that no matter what a person believes, so long as they are sincere I should tolerate them. Let me address that in two ways:
- According to the Constitution and Bill of Rights of these United States of America, Everyone, has a right to believe what they choose. They are free to practice their religion without interference from the government. Of course, limitations might be imposed if their practice becomes a “Jones’ Town and Jim Jones” type cult that endangers the lives of multitudes of people. Otherwise, they are at liberty to practice their religion. So, in that sense, I tolerate Everybody although I may Totally Disagree with them and want nothing to do with them.
- Spiritually, biblically, and from a Christian perspective this passage will not turn me loose and demands that I adhere to “sound doctrine” regarding Jesus and His coming in the “flesh” and all that goes with that in the purchase of our redemption from sin. Oh, I’m well aware of the perversions that have been put out there such as “Jesus Christ Superstar”, the false theories that Jesus had sexual relations with Mary Magdalene and did not die on the Cross but was quietly eased out of the country and lived and raised a family in the European area.
Notice verses 10 & 11 in this passage and their unmistakable message to the follows of Christ. If you are “in” Christ and believe that Jesus came in the “flesh”, lived a “sinless life”, gave his life a ransom for “whosoever will”, rose on the third day and is ascended to the right hand of the Father making intercession for us, and will come again to receive us unto Himself for Eternity, then this is a message to you. If any group comes to you with another message that dilutes, perverts or denies that truth as presented in the Bible then John tells you how to respond.
- Do not receive that person into your house. (That is important because the custom in that time was to entertain strangers and wayfarers as a way of life always showing kindness and generosity).
- Do not give him a greeting. (That goes directly to something that every Hebrew and then most Christians understood that comes directly from Numbers 6:22-7:1 – “Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 23 “Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them: 24 The LORD bless you, and keep you; 25 The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; 26 The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.’ 27 “So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them.” NASU)
If you remember what I presented on “The Blessing” it was important in the life of every Hebrew and thereafter many of the 1st Century Believers to have some speak the Blessing upon them when they greeted each other. Here John is advising us to follow the directive of Psalms 129:8 – “Nor do those who pass by say, “The blessing of the LORD be upon you; We bless you in the name of the LORD.” NASU
There are many cults and false religions in the world today and from time to time some of them make their way to my front door. I follow this passage and usually attempt to witness to them about Jesus, The Christ, the Son of the Living God and when I do they run like scared jackrabbits. I would be the first to acknowledge that I do not know ALL TRUTH as far as interpreting the Bible, but I do know HIM who is TRUTH! Therefore, I say without shame that I am a “follower of Christ” and believe that He “came in the flesh” and is truly the “Only-begotten of the Father” who died for my sins and through Him, I have Life Eternally!
I encourage you to make 1 Peter 3:15-17, a foundational principle in your life: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. 17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” NKJV
This is my prayer for you: “May the Lord Bless you richly as you go through your day in Him and give you a spirit of meekness and gentleness that exudes HIS LOVE so that all whom you encounter see Him in you.” I do not suggest that you be mean, rude, or vicious but I do suggest that you KNOW what you believe and stand by those convictions without wavering!
May the Rich and Bountiful Blessings of Our LORD be upon you this day and every day!