Are These Things Important? II John-III John

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. II John 7

10 So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church. III John 10

A closer friend visited a neighboring church (To where he lives) during a recent special service.  Here was his text to me describing his experience:

“The preacher go up and talked (not preached, or taught) for about 15 minutes.  He told just enough truth for it not to be a lie.”  He began the text with: “You did not miss anything.”

Question:  “Does the church miss anything when it does not focus on the whole counsel of God?”

Allow me to leave this question before you for a moment and come to context in our readings for today.

The Apostle John is addressing (I believe) two churches who have two distinct and strongly different issues:

  • 2 John addressed the issue of those who were teaching the false doctrine of Jesus not really being human.
  • 3 John addressed the issue of one man who refused to care for the needs of the traveling evangelist.  Everything was for one.

Here is the deal:  2 John addresses the question of Christian doctrine and 3 John addresses the question of Christian duty.

Some people believe the subjects of doctrine and duty are not important to God.  Brothers and sisters, nothing is more important to the Christian message than doctrine and duty.

Doctrine teaches us who God is and what God requires.   How can anyone be saved apart from the truth of Scripture?  Romans 10:13-17.  How can anyone fulfill the call of God for their life apart from service (duty)? Matt. 16:24.

If Jesus was not the “God-Man” you and I are still lost in our sins.  Because He was the “God-man” He was able to purchase our redemption and to understand our weaknesses( Hebrews 9; 4:14-16).

If duty is not important we find ourselves doing things not for God but for ourselves.  We find ourselves building a kingdom to ourselves.

I want to encourage you to think deeply on these two issues.  I know, as a pastor who is deeply committed to doctrine and duty, first hand the pull to build a church on feeling instead of fact and to engage in a church life that experiential based instead of expectation based.  Unless we stay grounded we will build churches that magnify ourselves and fool people into thinking this is the way to heaven.  The words of Jesus occupy my thoughts in this moment:

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:21-23

Brothers and sisters, “May our New Year’s Resolutions include a stronger commitment to doctrine and duty.”

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