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::Devotion:: ‘Don’t Let Them In’

February 17, 2010

Knock Knock?  Who’s there?  – ever played that game before?  Ever taken that game way beyond the point of fun to where it becomes annoying?  Me too.  On a more serious note, have you ever heard that you are not supposed to entertain false teachers in your home?  I guess I had always heard a murmur of this thought here or there in life but I had never read it for myself.  Shouldn’t we do the Christian thing and show hospitality to anyone who comes to our home?  You know, WWJD?  John says otherwise.

As I was studying for a class I am teaching at church I spent some time in the book of 2 John.  It is more like a letter than an actual book.  What I found interesting is that he gives instruction on not letting false teachers into your house if you are a Christian.

If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching [the teaching of Jesus Christ], do not take him into your house or welcome him.  2 John 1:10 [clarification added]

I have to say I was a bit confused at first because John starts the letter by encouraging us to love one another.

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.  2 John 1:5

How is it that I am supposed to love one another and yet close the door in a visitor’s face at the same time?  That doesn’t seem like much of an act of love to me.  However, after reading over this a few times the Lord was faithful to reveal the truth.

John is referring to the law of Christ when he mentions a command “we have had from the beginning.”  Jesus said in Matthew 22 that the greatest commandment was to Love God and the second was like it, to love your neighbor as you love your self.  John also explains exactly what type of love he is talking about when he says, “I ask that we love one another.”

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.  2 John 1:6

As Christians, one way we are to love each other is by mutually committing to live in obedience to God’s commands.  In doing so we honor the law of Christ.  However, a false teacher who lives in disobedience to God’s commands and promotes a distorted truth of Jesus Christ is not part of that love.

There is real danger in being deceived by a false teacher.

Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.  2 John 1:8

What does that mean exactly?  Well to be honest, I’m not a 100% sure, but it doesn’t sound good.  John says that by bringing them into our home and welcoming them we are actually encouraging their efforts to promote a false teaching.

Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.  2 John 1:11

I struggled with understanding this for the longest time until I finally saw the reasoning.  We are called to love our neighbors as we love ourselves second to loving God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength.  When the two coincide there are no issues.  However, if the second causes us to forsake the first – we’re in trouble.

John is saying that by opening our home and welcoming false teachers we are encouraging their work.  In doing so, we are forsaking our first command to love God with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength, in exchange for the second command to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

Understand that John is not talking about people who are in need that may show up to your door.  He’s not talking about someone who has not received Christ in salvation yet.  He’s not even necessarily talking about one of your friends who happens to be a Buddhist.  He’s specifically referring to those individuals who come to your door with the express purpose to convert you to their belief system.  They are there to proclaim their false teaching as truth and when they are done with your house they will move on to the next.  John says we should not encourage them.

But what about the whole, WWJD?  Well, he wrote down in his word in 2 John 1:10 to not take false teachers into your house or welcome them, so my vote is that we stick to that.

So the next time you have a knock at the door, consider the warning of John and think twice about who you allow into your home.  I know I will.

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

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