Discover His heart: His cautions protect us from today’s false prophet
Christmas is the time of year when the gift of hospitality is in full swing. Homes are cleaned and decorated, ovens are filled with special treats for the holidays and families and friends meet to celebrate. By January 2, most of us are exhausted from all of this frivolity and are happy to stay in the quiet of our homes with a bowl of soup, but it was grand while it lasted.
As a rule, we open our homes to our families and friends and even occasionally to those who are simply acquaintances, but we would never intentionally open the door to those who would disrupt our home or harm us. Unfortunately, sometimes it happens, and the apostle John wrote a little letter of warning to us about it.
2 John is the second shortest book of the New Testament, second only to 3 John, but its size doesn’t limit its importance. Some believe it was a letter written to a particular woman in the church who hosted traveling preachers as well as small meetings. Others believe it was a letter to the church in general and a caution regarding the traveling preachers that it welcomed. Regardless of its recipient, the message is a caution for us today as well.
John began his letter with yet another admonition to love, “Love means doing what God has commanded us, and He has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning. I say this because many deceivers have gone out into the world. They deny that Jesus Christ came in a real body. Such a person is a deceiver and an antichrist.” (6-7) In the same breath as his message of love, John warned about false teachers who had infiltrated the church with the false message that Christ did not really come in the flesh to the earth but only seemed to have a body that died on the cross. It was a heresy known as docetism, and it is still around today.
The same deceiver who perpetuated this lie in the early church will do everything he can to dilute the power of the cross today, and if we’re not diligent, we will invite these false prophets into our homes without realizing it. When a popular television talk show host introduced a more “enlightened way to spiritual living,” many who claimed to be Christians ran to the stores to buy the suggested book. In their very own homes, they watched the host and her spiritual guru on television spit out false doctrines that diluted the gospel of Jesus.
“If anyone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth about Christ, don’t invite that person into your home or give any kind of encouragement. Anyone who encourages such people becomes a partner in their evil work.” (10-11) Not wanting to be partakers in their evil work, we want to be cautious of all those who enter our homes whether it be through the front door, through television or radio or through any form of media.
I especially enjoy entertaining family and friends at this time of year, but if I entertain someone I don’t know, let it be a dear soul in search of the Savior or perhaps an angel, “Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!” I’d be willing to take in the whole bunch of Heavenly Hosts who announced the birth of Jesus and serve them, none other than, angel food cake!
Moving Forward: May we protect our homes and families today from anything that would dilute or deny the Christmas message or the power of the cross.
Tomorrow @ Deuteronomy 26-28