Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
(Matthew 7:15 KJV)
By Dr. Paul M. Elliott
Give No Access to False Teachers
Part four of a five-part series.
2nd John verse 10 has a dual focus: False teachers must have no access to the church, or to the believer’s home and family – and by clear implication, to our minds anywhere, any time.
In our last article, we focused on three particular elements of the imperative to act decisively against false teachers, as we find it in Second John.
First, when dealing with false teachers, it is vital for Christians to have a complete and well-balanced understanding of agape love. If Christians focus only on certain aspects of the Bible’s teachings concerning love and ignore others, we will develop an unbalanced and harmful view of Christian love that will expose us to spiritual danger.
Secondly, we saw that acting in agape love toward our true fellow Christians requires us to act toward false teachers in a way that some would mistakenly label as “unloving.” This false accusation stems from a myopic, unbalanced view of the Bible’s imperatives.
Thirdly, we saw that agape love, which is always rooted in truth, demands that Christians act decisively to block the deadly influence of false teachers upon themselves, their homes, and their churches. That is the basis of the command we are given in verse ten: “[D]o not receive [the false teacher] into your house nor greet him, for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.”
The agape love that is central to genuine Christian unity recognizes the fact that every believer in Christ is precious to God. Therefore, every one of your fellow believers in Christ should be precious to you. The climactic point of John’s second epistle, found in verses nine and ten, is this: Agape love may require that you do the difficult thing by utterly rejecting false teachers, in order to maintain a church unity that is genuine, and not a counterfeit – but a Christian must never hesitate to do it, because God commands it. Continue reading →