Today I was surprised by John’s words in his second letter concerning false teachers. In a day when we are encouraged to believe everyone’s profession of faith, and we are constantly reminded not to judge, John’s words stand in stark contrast to modern acceptance theology.
2 John 9-11 NKJV “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.”
John says do not receive people into your home nor greet them if they do not abide in the doctrine of Christ. So much for the doctrine doesn’t matter crowd in much of today’s church. Paul told Timothy to watch his life and doctrine (1 Timothy 4:16). Jude said he wanted to write about our common salvation, but instead, he used his letter to warn of false teachers. Peter, in his second letter, dealt with false teachers and false teaching. And now we have John saying don’t even greet a false teacher.
At the beginning of his letter, John praised the elect lady and her children for walking in the truth, yet he ended his letter with the harshest warning. “For he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.” That is a serious statement. God is Holy, His Word is truth, and He does not take false teaching lightly. We cannot walk in truth if we listen to false teaching.
In First Corinthians, Paul warns us that bad company corrupts good morals. We need to stay vigilant when it comes to teachers who misuse the Scriptures, and we must not allow falsehood in the name of hospitality or Christian love. I do not want to share in the deeds of a false teacher, and I’m sure you don’t either. It is not rude to question what a minister teaches, on the contrary, the Bereans were commended for checking what Paul said against the Scripture.
Take the words of Second John to heart. Evaluate the teachers you listen to and the books you read. Make sure what is being said lines up with Scripture. Listen to that “gut feeling” of something is off, that is the Holy Spirit leading you away from false teaching and in the way of truth.