2 John

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I just want to say thank you to those of you that have played a part in just the help that has been needed for India. I know some of you have given with some of the bags that we’re going to take over to help the orphans and lepers in need. And some of you have been praying for the group going to India and for the ministry that’s been taking place there that we’ve supported for years now. And some of you have given even monetarily to help with some of the costs that have have come and have been accrued with the team that’s going to India. We’re actually going to pray for that group at the end of the service today. But it’s good to know Mason’s place. Actually one of the places that will be doing ministry is brand new. We will be the first team that has ever gone to that area to do some ministry there. And so we’re excited about that. And this morning I’m going to share something relevant to what we’re discussing or relevant to Mason’s place and what we discuss together. It’s going to be in second. John. So if you want to turn there in your Bible, we’re going to look at two important truths that I think just resonate with what sets helps set Christianity apart in the realm of teaching and understanding and belief that transforms our lives. And together we’ve started a series on just the small books of the Bible.

We’re looking at the the one chapter books of the Bible and really answering the question, how how does the Lord use this for us to be able to make an impact in our living for Him in the world? And the first book that we studied together last week was The Book of Philemon, and the concept of Philemon ends itself in the latter half of the book in verses 1516, where Paul encourages Philemon to think outside of himself in order to be an impactful person for Christ. You’ve got to go from being an individual. That’s me focused towards thinking outside of yourselves, towards what the Lord wants to accomplish in and through the lives of people around you. And so important teaching. And today we’re going to look at the book of Second John Probability is these small books that we’re going to touch on together. You’ve probably not heard many sermons on these these books of the Bible. They’re very short, but they make poignant messages that I think are significant for us to understand as the body of believers and knowing the book is 60 or the Bible is 66 books or manuscripts together, sometimes it just it just helps us. If you’re if you’re a to do list person, maybe you got the goal to to make it through the Bible in a year when you can just knock out the six smallest books of the Bible in six chapters, you’re like, Check that off the to do list.

Look at me, big reader here, right? And reading God’s word is important. It’s powerful. God’s Word is what transforms us. Anytime we get to dive into that, that’s good for us. And so we’re going to look at in John’s letter second, second, John, second letter that he writes in and out of the John’s first, second and third. John. It’s the fourth book from the end of your Bible. When we look at this, John is writing to a church. In order for them to make an impact in the world for Christ and we can make the same application to our lives. So we’re going to look at two truths, John emphasizes, and we’re going to make a sub point that’s a little bit freaky. Okay, A little freaky sub point on top of two important truths that we’re going to walk away with holding together. And so I’m not going to waste any more time than that. I really want to dive into the text and make sure we give enough attention to it This morning. But this is the way John begins his introduction. Second, John, chapter one. Well, there’s only one chapter. Here we go. All right. Verse one. The elder, who is John writing to? The chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth, not only I, but also all who know the truth for the sake of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever.

Grace, mercy and peace will be with us from God, the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father in truth and love. I was very glad to find some of your children walking. In truth, just as we have received commandment to do from the Father. These opening lines are a typical introduction that you often find in Scripture. It lays the foundation for John wants to go on the journey with us as as he unfolds what he thinks is significant to the church. And I want to start off verse one and just explain to this. Why is John writing writing to a lady? Right? What is this? He’s he’s he got some sort of, you know, person that he’s interested in in life. Is he about to get married? Why is he writing this, this this story in this letter to this lady? Well, when you study John’s literature, he tends to sometimes make things apocalyptic or encrypted. He doesn’t necessarily direct specifically to the people he’s often writing to. And I think the word lady here signifies that in this passage of scripture, he’s not writing to a specific woman and her children. But rather what John is doing is identifying his letter to a particular church. But in order to mask the identity of that church, because of circumstances in the environment around them, whether it be persecution or peer pressure from individuals, he just addresses it to the lady. So those that receive the letter, their identity is concealed when other people see who this letter has been written to.

And so John writes this to the lady. Interesting thought about the word lady is that this word lady is is the feminine form of the word lord. And we know ultimately the Lord is Christ. And when he’s writing to this, I guess every lord needs a lady. And so writing to writing to God’s people, he refers to them as lady, the feminine form of the Word Lord. And the Bible refers to us as Christ’s bride. Ephesians chapter five, verse 25 to 27, We are Christ’s bride, whom it tells us in that passage Jesus gave his life for to love us in sacrifice. And so he’s writing this in to a lady, but it’s addressed to the church or a church whom he loves. And it says as he’s writing this letter, this important point he makes is for the sake of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever. This idea of the truth that is with us is written in the heiress form, which which means this in Greek. It means this, that this truth that’s been delivered to the church is with you right now and will be with you for all of eternity. And you think about that, the things that you’ve learned about the Lord that are true, that are biblical, that are real, those truths you will continue to celebrate for all of eternity.

That’s how significant these are. And John is saying that this truth has been entrusted to us. It says in Jude chapter three that that we’re to earnestly contend for the faith that has been once for all entrusted to the saints, once for all time entrusted to the saints. So he’s identifying this truth now has been culminated in Christ given to the church and it is ours forever to hold on to and walk with in Jesus. In fact, in verse four, he says to walk in truth. This idea of walking in truth connects two thoughts that John really focuses on through the rest of his letter. This idea of walking in truth is both knowing and doing it’s creed and conduct. It’s believe and behave. It’s duty and doctrine. There is a, well, somewhat semi-famous preacher that used to say what we live is what we believe, and everything else is just empty religious talk. And if you really want to know what you identify as true, look at how you live your life. And that is. Your identity towards what you believe is true. And so, John, in just these these few verses in his letter, he he emphasizes just a particular words throughout this passage of truth and love and walk and command and teach this idea of living in truth and love. And so what John is saying to us. Same thing Paul said in Ephesians chapter four, verse 15, which is a theme verse for us as a church.

Speak the truth and love and we will grow up in him. It’s the second, John, is the application of the expounding upon that, that verse in Ephesians chapter four and verse 15, Paul is saying or excuse me, John is saying to the church, church that’s being under persecution, who have had to mask your identity to call you a lady rather than to refer to the specific church. Here’s the message I want you to understand in order to live triumphantly in your circumstances of hardship. These two thoughts, these two thoughts are the power for the church to live significantly and with impact in this world, both in your life and in those around you. Walk in this. Belief and behavior. Truth and love. This truth is with you for all of eternity. Now, John, in a positive note, is referencing how he desires for us to live. I want us to just think this way. The goal that God has for us in mind is to be transformed in the image of Jesus. That is what we’re pursuing. And in order to further provoke the significance of this truth, the importance of this love, as you’ve seen in this video this morning, the significance of who Jesus is really shines forth and the lives of individuals who are called deletes. How would you like that? I’m a delete. Just delete me. Right? And everything that happens to me is because I deserve it.

Yet the truth of who Christ is and his love extended towards us. And while we are sinners, penetrates that darkness gives us significant meaning. The truth that you hold to. It’s impactful for eternity. And so he says on the back end of this, if you think about what the alternative represents, if I if I skipped ahead to to verse seven, you’re going to give me a click on it and verse seven of this passage of scripture, he gives then the the flip side of this. We’re going to go back and cover the other verses in just a moment. But in verse seven, Oh, oh, wait, there we go, verse seven. 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. The alternative to this? The ever present Antichrist. I’ll use the the word antichrist. People just get off on all this crazy stuff sometimes and where this path could lead. But this particularly is one who is is anti Jesus. And and the Bible tells us in Scripture that that those that are of the Antichrist. John is saying is here now, this is the deceiver and the antichrist. Those who don’t acknowledge who the true Jesus is. This is what delineates from truth and the way the church lives in love. And this is the challenge against you. Those that hold to the purity of who Christ is. Now, some people may say, you know, when I think about the antichrist, isn’t that something like down the road or in the future? Well, what the Bible says to us in plenty of places in Scripture is that those days are now.

And Hebrews chapter one. Let me read one first, because it ranks in order. First, it says God, after he spoke long ago to the fathers and the prophets in these last days. He’s referring to today as the last days has spoken to us in his son, whom he appointed, heir of all things, through whom also he made the world. So God saying yeah, he revealed his truth in the past and the prophets. But today you find it all in Jesus. Everything relates to Jesus in Hebrews nine, verse 26. But now, once at the consummation of the ages, everything culminating here, he has manifested to put away sin by sacrifice of himself. So the end of everything is Jesus Himself and First John Chapter two Children. It is the last hour. And just as you have heard, the Antichrist is coming. Even now, many antichrists have appeared. For this we know that it is the last hour. Verse John four three. Every spirit that does not confess Jesus is from God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist of which you have heard that is coming. And now it is already in the world. Now, here’s John’s point. He’s identifying for us. There is deception. There is the antichrist, there is that which is anti Jesus.

Anything that isn’t for Jesus is against Jesus. How do you respond to that? Sometimes when we read passages that are doomsday, the tendency is to stick your head in the sand and and just say the world’s heading to hell in a handbasket and that’s it. My aunt, my aunt used to she, she was afraid of heights. And growing up in a West Virginia, everything’s a hill. There are no flat parts. And so you find yourself constantly on hills and downhills, on hills and down hills and being afraid of heights. Every time you get on a hill, that’s when she starts to get spazzy. And I always found myself in cars with her on that situation. I don’t know what that was about, but she would say the same thing. Every time we get to the top of a hill. She always had the dream. The brakes would go out and then we’d just go careening down the hill without brakes, and she would always look at everybody in the full panic. She would hold it together until she got to the top and then full panic. She would look at everyone and say, okay, put your head between your legs and kiss your rear end goodbye. This is this is it, Right? And when you read verses about the Antichrist, that’s the tendency. It’s like zombie apocalypse. People now can can mess with Christians. We have this formal place together in the same bunkers hiding because the world is just over.

But John’s point is the opposite of that. The reason he’s writing to the lady is not so he can cower and hide, but rather understand our position in Jesus gives us a place to live in victory. I are the thoughts that he brings with this. Look, there is opposition that you’re up against. But rather. God’s called you to more. This truth that is eternal and what you stand for. It has the power to not only transform you, but impact lives. It is it is a song of victory that you sing and you live in victory in him. And so if, you know, verse seven, where where John is leading, let’s go back and look at verse five and six, the the two thoughts that John carries. Now it comes comes in verses 4 to 6 really. And then it goes in verses 7 to 9. And then he adds a couple of thoughts here at the end or 7 to 10. It adds a couple of thoughts at the end. But he says this in verse five, Now I ask you, lady or the church, not as though I were writing to you a new command. But the one which you have had from the beginning that we love one another. And this is love. That we walk according to his commandments. And this is the commandment. Just as you have heard it from the beginning, that you should walk in it.

And John saying that God desires for us to follow him and his commandments. If you want to know what the commandment is, it’s this love that he’s talking about. Not a new commandment, but a but an old commandment. I think John here is alluding back. To John chapter 13 and verse 34. His final moments with Christ. And just before Jesus has been crucified. Jesus looks to his disciples and says, a new commandment, I give him to you. That you love one another. The thought of loving one another isn’t new to the Bible. But then Jesus adds this thought. That you love one another as I have loved you. You also love one another. By this. Others will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another. Jesus contextualized the type of love that he talks about. You know, biblically speaking, when we talk about the word love culturally, it clashes. Loving our culture tends to be fluffy. Tends to be fleeting. Tends to only offer itself when it’s convenient. But according to Jesus’s example, his love is not the pansy kind of love that our culture often reflects upon. Sense of honor and duty that endures through the hardship. John is saying no doubt to the church. Church, you are up against adversity. But the victory is yours. And the place that you find your victory starts in the way that you respond toward one another’s and the purity of who you are in Christ, that you love one another as Jesus has loved, that we ourselves become a community, that that is intended to encourage one another to remain in the Lord.

Why? When there is an Antichrist. But to more important than that, the truth for which we stand will endure for all of eternity. While we look at who the Antichrist is. The point of what John is saying is not what we are trying to avoid, but rather who we are becoming in Christ, which makes the battle that you fight far more significant because the truth of who he is endures forever. On the thought of that. Reminds me of a passage of Scripture that is found in the book of Galatians in chapter two, where Paul references a time in the church when there is adversity among the believers, and they’re they’re fighting over the gospel. People are false deceivers representing something that isn’t of Jesus comes into the church and begins to teach a what they claim is a truth that conflicts with the gospel and identity of what Christ is and what he stood for and who he is. So much so that when you read the book of of Galatians chapter two, verse 11, Paul uses the conflict as an example. And this is what he says. But when Cephas who is Peter? This is Peter’s other name, but when Cephas, who is Peter, came to Antioch. Paul says, I opposed him to his face because he stood condemned for prior to the coming of certain men from James.

He used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision, which are the Jewish people. The rest of the Jews joined him in the hypocrisy with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the Gospel, I said to Cephas or Peter, in the presence of all, if you being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews? We are all Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles. Nevertheless, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but through faith in Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus so that we may be justified by faith in Christ, not by the works of the law. Since by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified. What’s happening here? Story tells us that in Galatians. Paul goes throughout the region of Galatia and he preaches the gospel, and then he finds that people have infiltrated the church and began to teach a salvation by works. You have to obey the law in order to be a true believer. So live out the Jewish law. And Paul comes in at the end of this and he concludes that it’s not the law that justifies, but rather the law condemns it’s Christ alone who justifies us the reason Jesus died.

But yeah, what you find in the story. Was that the pressure around Peter by the Jewish community who was teaching this, those were his people. And so he abandons what he believes to to live in harmony with the people that contradict the truth of who God is. Why does Paul bring this up? Why would Paul share this story? Do you think? So we look at. Peter and shake her finger at him. How horrible are you, Peter? What an awful guy that Peter is, right? I don’t think that was Paul’s intention. I think Paul uses this illustration one because he’s talking about false teaching and the influence it has. But two, he’s saying to us that even. If. Peter. An apostle of Christ. One who walked with Jesus. If an apostle of Christ, one who walked with Jesus, is able to deny the truth. Who are you? The purity of who Christ is makes community significant in that sense. Now we have opportunity in the midst of the adversity around us to encourage one another to continue in the purity of who God is. And maybe like this for us, rather than just point the finger at Peter, we say this. Do you believe the Bible tells you to love your neighbor? Oh, yeah. Yeah, sure. Of course he does. Do you even know your neighbor’s name? How you behave is what you believe, right? Or at least the quote from the beginning of what I said.

Or if you do happen to know your neighbor, if you really believe that Jesus transforms life, have you ever, ever mentioned the name of Jesus around them? So it gets easier for us when we begin to think specific, not particular to Peter, but we look at the illustration as a larger picture of what Paul is trying to encourage us to, to recognize that all of us in our lives need encouragement to the significance of who Christ is and the love of the community is what helps us to promote that in this world. You think about this passage and where the conflict was that Peter faced within this story? Bible tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. We talk about fearing the Lord. I think it’s important for us to understand that the fear of the Lord is the biblical Christ that is pictured in talking about fear. When we talk about fearing God, if your picture of God is not a healthy picture of God, then it can be a detrimental thing to talk about the fear of the Lord. But when we use the reference proverbs chapter one, verse seven, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. This idea of fear is one of reverence. One of all, one of surrender, one of living your life to honor as a parent with a child.

You know, if your child reveres you, especially in moments where they are either obeying you or disobeying you. Right. When we talk about fearing or revering a parent or an authority figure, you see it in the life of a child when they hear what the parent says and follow whatever the parent’s command is or desire for their lives. The same thing is true with Christ. What the passage is telling us is when you Revere Jesus, when you understand his authority over you, that you’re more attentive to what he has to say rather than what you want to say to yourself. You Revere that in his authority and position. And what happened with Paul and Peter in this passage of Scripture is that that Peter feared man rather than God. And in following after the community that contradicts the truth of who God is. He found himself going down the slope of rejecting the truth of Christ. And so what’s important for Peter in this passage or when you think about this, this story of second John is to see how the loving community can can encourage you towards the truth and the importance for all of us to walk in truth. Because when you understand the fear of the Lord, according to the biblical picture of who God is. You see a God in his magnificent magnificence and glory. Who stands for the church, not against it.

Who justifies you and declares you righteous and your sin as you turn to him. Who takes the head that hangs low in condemnation and raises it high and gives you gives you purpose to live for and calls you a child of God and gives you the the spiritual blessings of heaven. It tells us in Ephesians chapter one, verse 3 to 14. Because God is for you. And God desires for you to live in victory. And saturating yourself in that truth and the justification of who you are in Jesus allows you to let go of the shame and guilt. Listen, the Antichrist. The Bible tells us in Revelation 12 he is the accuser of the Brethren. And what he desires to do is put the past that you have failed in upon your shoulders. And he used that to shame you for the future and living for God. But who Jesus is. Here’s your justifier in that darkness. The one that declares you righteous. Second Corinthians 517 says he makes you a new creation. Old things have passed away, and behold, all things have become new. Tells us in that same chapter, Second Corinthians chapter five and verse 21, he who knew no sin became sin, that we might become the righteousness of God in him. So what Peter needs in this moment, rather than fearing man, is to Revere the Lord. So here in his mind and believe in his heart the truth of who he is.

And the loving community is intended to help us embrace that. Listen, if you’re here this morning and you carry the burden of shame and guilt in your life or anything that that carries you contrary to Jesus, the significance of who Christ is in your life is so important and Christ desires to be for you. Which is why John says then in second John seven and on talking about the church living with impact in this world, he says many deceivers have gone out into the world. Just know that they’re there, Peter Just know that they’re there. They’re there who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the Antichrist. Watch yourselves that you do not lose what you have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teachings of Christ does not have God. The one who abides in the teaching. He has the Father and the Son. Verse seven. The acknowledges that false teaching says something about Jesus. You realize every major religion in the world says something about Jesus. But it’s not. Jesus. Right. And if I were just to pick on somebody that everyone would know this morning, like, I don’t know, let’s just use the president for a moment. And I argued with you that he is a three foot tall, purple man. Would you think we’re talking about the same person? I said the president of the United States, you know, the three foot tall, purple man.

No. Just because I’m referencing the president doesn’t doesn’t mean that I understand or know who he is. Same thing is true with religious beliefs. Just because someone uses the term Jesus doesn’t mean that it’s Jesus. In this passage of Scripture, what’s happened is the teachings of Gnosticism have have started to creep into Christianity. And this is what Gnosticism believes, that the the physical world is bad and the spiritual world is good. Jesus is good. Therefore, let’s insert our belief into the into the Bible, which means Jesus couldn’t have come in the flesh because bad things are in the flesh and Jesus was good. Therefore Jesus never came in the flesh. And John’s like, What the I walked with Jesus, man. I ate with Jesus. I saw Jesus. We high fived each other. Verse eight. His encouragements to keep running for the right team. And he goes on and says this in verse nine Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teachings of Christ does not have God. And so what he’s saying is this idea of going far means you’ve gone too far. It’s it’s looking for new teaching. It’s it’s saying, well, we need more revealed to us, more revealed to us, more revealed to us. And John says in this passage, listen, you don’t need. You don’t need a new commandment. But an old one. The whole point of Scripture is Jesus.

And the sacrificial system was intended to point to Jesus. Jesus called the Lamb of God. The temple was intended to point to Jesus. Jesus, Jesus says, and destroy it. In three days I will rebuild it. Talking about his death and resurrection. The Sabbath was intended to point to Jesus. The word Sabbath means rest. And Jesus says, Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden, I will give you rest. Everything in Scripture is intended to point to Jesus from Genesis chapter three, verse 15. We studied recently the first statement in the first book of the Bible telling us that Jesus is going to come from a virgin and die for sin. It’s all about Jesus. So who Jesus is becomes paramount to our identity and our fear of the Lord and and statement in that and walking in that and living in love and community, encouraging one another into that and not letting that slip. That is how the church lives in victory. Jesus himself said in John 824 Unless you believe that I am he, you will die in sin. In. John 424 You must worship in spirit and in truth. Christ becomes the pillar for our faith. As you think about the significance of the truth this morning and us walking in it, I think, especially in light of India. How significant that is. Well, I can’t wait to see the face of those young children and hearing their whole lives that they’re exactly where they need to be because they deserve what they are receiving.

And just say to them, no. Jesus sees the significance of who you are because he’s created in you, in his image, and he loves you where you’re at. In fact, he died for you because of his love for you. That you could experience life with him forever. So the teaching that they have goes like this. That. They’re in a state of of reincarnation until they reach the place of Brahman or Nirvana, where where eventually they will be received into what God is this blissful state. And so they have to continue to be reborn until they’ve paid enough penance in order to to go into the presence of what they think God is. And Jesus tells us that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. And in First Corinthians 15, that he has transformed all things in the twinkling of an eye that we who are flesh will become with him in spirit because of what Jesus has done for us. So we think about the truth of this. Can I just share some some thoughts for you as a church this morning? Some some ways that I think this should impact us. One, who you believe Jesus is is paramount. And knowing that I don’t think you need to go out and argue with the world. Simply share them. I’ve heard it said before that I would I would rather defend a lion than defend Jesus, because Jesus in the Bible is described as the greatest lion.

Makes no sense to defend a lion. All you have to do is let it out of the cage. Jesus speaks for himself. And so when we turn to the truth of God’s word and we share it with with people, we’re not we’re not trying to guilt them into accepting Christ, but simply just showing them the truth of what Jesus says. So a verse and just say, What do you think this means? Look, if you’re here this morning and you don’t even know, I mean, you’re just speculating and maybe you’re interested or you’re seeking and you’re trying to find out the truth of of who Christ is. Can I tell you or encourage you? Can you just grab a believer that you might know here at the church or even me? I don’t. I don’t care to do this just to be able to sit down, open mind, look at Texas scripture and just see what it says about who Jesus is. Second thought, when you study world religions today, I think this is more true in America than anywhere else. But when you study world religions today and you look at the statistics of where religions are according to the world, the the second or third leading religion in the world today is non-religious or atheist. So is Christianity, which I’ll tell you right now, this is a very broad, very broad description of religion.

And so there’s going to be sects of each of these with different people groups. And so Christianity is a third of the world, Muslim is second. Third is the non-religious or atheist. But I’ll tell you, in my interaction in America with this population. You know, I find a lot of them. Doing. I don’t think really when you talk to them at first they’re rejecting Jesus. What they often are are people that are struggling or angry or frustrated because they’ve met some of these other people. And they gave him a foul taste of the truth of who Christ is or just the idea of claims towards truth in general. I think what John says about love and truth becomes significant in that way. People are angry. They have hurts that need healed. They need to see Jesus as their healer. As a recent statistic. I was I was listening to someone quote that said that they went around to thousands of universities in America and they asked college students, what’s the number one thing that you want? And some of them said to be really rich. You want. Three fourths of them said 74%. They want to find significant meaning to life. They want a bigger purpose for why they’re living. Can I tell you? That was the thing that brought me to Christ. When I was in college trying to figure out a career. What in the world am I going to do with my life? I started thinking, Man, there’s got to be a purpose.

If there’s got to be a purpose, there’s got to be something bigger than me. What is it and what’s his name and what does he want? Let’s start an investigation for me into religions. Before I eventually put my life in the hands of Christ. And I think it’s important rather than just approach the world and just shoving what we would call truth or bashing them over the head with truth, finding out where their heart is and and just sharing with them. How Jesus scares. How his life is intended to intersect into ours and to bring us healing in him both now and for eternity. And in that. You become the light in the darkness. A place to pierce the night. A place that doesn’t have to cower by the claims of the Antichrist. But knowing that you’ve already been shaped in Jesus and your identity is wrapped in in Him, you have the security of eternity in Christ, and that identity matters far more. What anyone would say around you. And then the application of everything that John says, this is how he ends his book, these last four verses we’re going to look at real quick. I want to just touch on this because people use this very heretically sometimes. And in the end, he says, if anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, talking about the purity of who Christ is, do not receive him into your house and do not give him a greeting for the one who gives him a greeting, participates in his evil deeds.

And so I just told you love people, share truth with them. And now you’re looking at this verse and it’s like, don’t even invite them to your house. What is this talking about? Right? If Jesus loves and cares for us, then we should be able to invite people into our house and love on people and care for people because they’re created in the image of God. I think John would agree with that. And what he’s saying in this passage, remember, he wrote this letter to a lady, the church, and now he’s talking about the lady’s house, the place that people gather to worship. And so what John is saying in this passage of scripture is there is a place where God’s community gathers together, where they give attention, reverence and all to the word of God. And when you do that. Teach it with truth. What John is not saying is don’t receive people in your he’s not saying don’t receive people in your home that believe contrary to you, but rather what he is saying is teach the word of God and the place where people gather to learn about the word of God with with purity and truth. Our church will stand for something. And we use the pulpit as a place to do that. But when it comes to your real homes.

God tells us to love everyone. When Jesus was the friend of sinners. And the criticism of his life was that he ate with tax collectors and drunkards and sinners. And Jesus saw the importance of of living in community. And, you know, when it comes to influence in the world or to live in victory. Do you know where people start to really lay their hearts down and understanding who Christ is? So when we feel safe. It’s when we feel like we can let down our guard. It’s when you can finally be honest with where you are and who you are. Not in fear of judgment. But in recognizing that, in laying it down, Jesus gives you the new identity in him. And you talk about my past. I can today do it with ease without worrying about judgment from other people. Because the security I have in Christ. The guilt and shame is gone. Jesus has made me new. This is what makes love and truth so important. Because when you walk in this world with love, you give them a place to lay down their armor. Cast aside their battle gear. And just feel safe. And hearing the truth of who Christ is. That in the darkness, the light of his name can pierce the heart of men.