A Danger, A Command, A Warning, and The Only Encouragement
…many deceivers have gone out into the world…[so] Watch yourselves…[because]…Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. [But] Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. [So,] If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting… – 2 John 7-13
Check out last week’s sermon here.
For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. – 2 John 7
Parishioner: “But pastor, isn’t it enough for people to just believe in Jesus? People can disagree about different aspects of who Jesus is (His divinity, humanity, purpose) as long as they all believe in Jesus’ name.”
Pastor: “There is deep Scriptural truth behind the name of Jesus. His person, His work then, and His work now are all essential truths to mine. The Word speaks of Jesus as more than a name (Colossians 1:15, Isaiah 53:10, John 4:6. John 8:58, Romans 8:34, 1 John 2:2). We encounter life from death through the name of Jesus. We encounter who Jesus is in His Word. If you unite around too little of the Christ of the Bible, you will find yourself worshipping a savior of straw.”
Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward…If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting… – 2 John 8, 10
Parishioner: “Pastor, this teaching seems too harsh. If someone speaks of Jesus and claims Christ, how can I be so cruel?”
Pastor: “The command for us is to be so serious about the truth of Christ that our love would be shaped into obedience to Him (2 John 6). Like Paul commanded we should seek to endure in purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, and genuine love (2 Corinthians 6:3-10). But we should be wise as serpents to never support, give a platform, or encourage things that are against the Jesus of the Word (Matthew 10:16).
Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God…[and do not treat a false teacher like a Christian], for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. – 2 John 9a, 11
Parishioner: “Pastor, how can I have any hope? This passage makes me squirm with anxiety. Could I walk away from Christ at any moment?”
Pastor: See below.
The Encouragement: Who is our shared hope in life and death?
Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son…[I have more to say and desire dearly to visit you to share together in the Father and Son], so that our joy may be complete. – 2 John 9b, 12
Pastor: “Two tremendously good things for you can occur at this moment. 1) Your self-reliance is being crushed, realizing if your hope is in yourself you would lose Christ forever. 2) In your despair, the sweetness of Christ may now seem more dear than ever. You have looked to yourself for salvation and realized you will never abide in Christ on your own.
You are at a crossroads. To return to your own strength will mean eternal despair. To turn to Christ is eternal joy.
In Christ, you will never be separated from him (Romans 8:35 the answer to Paul’s rhetorical question here is, “NOTHING!”). In Christ’s body (His Church), you will be built up into complete joy. Is that hopeful to you?”
*Christ our Hope in Life and Death
O sing hallelujah!
Our hope springs eternal
O sing hallelujah!
Now and ever we confess
Christ our hope in life and death
*This chorus is from a song by Keith & Kristyn Getty, Matt Boswell, and Matt Papa. I encourage you to give it a listen.