Not in My House!

"The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us forever. Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him Godspeed. For he that biddeth him Godspeed is partaker of his evil deeds. Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen." 2 John 1:1-13 Free! Online Bible Study Lessons

Summary: The aged apostle John writes a brief but urgent pastoral letter to the church to encourage them to continue to walk in love and in the doctrine and commandments of Christ, and to beware of deceivers taking advantage of Christian hospitality to spread their false teachings about Christ and his word.

How can we apply the practical instruction given to us in John's second epistle to the church? We must first recognize that our standing as followers of Jesus Christ makes us separate and distinct from the world. John writes:  "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.  If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."  1 John 2:15, 16.  If you love the world you become transformed to the way that the world thinks and acts.  But if you are a disciple of Christ, you have chosen to walk in a path that is antithetical to all that the world stands for.  The world is hostile to the true knowledge of God and His ways.  The two cannot and do not ever agree.  If you partake of the ways of the world, the worldly spirit will influence your perspective upon things and change your attitude toward God and spiritual things.  Do not be deceived by a "pseudo-spirituality" that masquerades as being godly, but in reality is an adulterous mixture of darkness mixed with just enough light to give the darkness the appearance of being light.  That is a most dangerous, masterful deception of the adversary of our souls to attempt to make sin appear less sinful and more palatable. 

As followers of God, we must not only recognize our distinct standing apart from the world and its ways, we must also resolve ourselves to put difference between the holy and the profane, even if it means shunning formerly pleasant associations that we had or have with evildoers.  Like Jesus, we are certainly to receive sinners and eat with them.  See Luke 15:1ff.  But we are not to participate in sin by either (a) direct involvement with sin or (b) supporting and encouraging those who actively and purposefully engage in immoral and ungodly lifestyles.  In other words, we have to ready to say "not in my house!" to those who would bring iniquity under our roof.  And John is telling the church here very plainly that you have to watch for some who call you "brother!"  Everyone who says the name "Jesus" is not necessarily following Jesus.  And every one who went to church was not necessarily sent to church ("He who has ears to hear, let him hear"). 

So looking at this letter, we should take these two broad precepts and apply them our daily walk with God: 

  1. As a follower of Christ, I am called to be separate from the world and live a holy, obedient life that reflects the light of Christ.
  2. As a follower of Christ, I must put difference between what's holy and what's worldly and fearlessly, boldly stand for what's right, even if it means losing friends or associations that are not spiritual.      
Be blessed by the Lord today as you seek Him with your whole heart.  Amen.   

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