Sermons

Summary: There are times when Christians can be inhospitable towards those who are seeking to deceive or cause us to lose enthusiasm for eternity. Who are you accepting and giving credibility to when it comes to directing your spiritual life?

You can listen to the full message here:-

https://nec.org.au/knowing-you-have-eternal-life/

Message

2 John 1-13

"Sometimes Be Inhospitable”

Let’s open our Bible to the letter of 2 John.

It is a short letter

… 315 words in the NIV translation.

… 245 in the original Greek

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.

As a church we have been making our way systematically through the letters of John and, for those of us who have been here, there would be much in this letter that we are familiar with.

Knowing the truth … especially the key truth that Jesus is God in the flesh.

Following the command to walk in the love … the sacrificial “agape” love of Jesus.

The warning against deceivers and antichrists.

John has spoken about all of this before. However, in this letter, John takes all of these teachings and applies them to a very specific situation.

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.

What teaching can’t the visitors bring?

They can’t say the Jesus is not God in the flesh. They can’t deny that Jesus is the Son of God and part of the Trinity.

In our age religions which deny the Trinity include Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus.

Even Jews deny the Trinity … and so do atheists.

So, does that mean we can’t invite our atheist family member into our home for a meal? What about inviting a Jew over to have an honest discussion about Christianity? Should we refuse to have a Muslim, or Hindu, or Buddhist exchange student at our place?

Is that what John is saying?

And if we are not able to be hospitable to people who can’t say that Jesus has come in the flesh … well how do we build friendships with them? Or share the gospel with them?

Even as I ask these questions you know that John is not saying that we need to be inhospitable to everyone who doesn’t affirm the deity of Jesus.

We are called to be in the world, not of the world.

We are called to be salt and light.

We are called to love our enemies.

So that is not what John is talking about.

However, it is clear that John is placing some sort of limitation or boundary around offering hospitality to anyone and everyone.

So how do we put the teaching of this Scripture in place?

Well, where we need to start is with the historical situation which John is addressing.

In John’s day there were many itinerant teachers, philosophers and religious leaders. These people would go from city to city seeking to get support for their particular teaching. It was a method they used to receive an income, but it was also a method which required them to find a hospitable welcome from someone in the town.

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