“Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.” (2 John 1: 9-11)
2 John only has a few verses, but they are extremely important for faith’s practice today. Just a few days ago, we looked at what the apostle Peter had to say about false teachers…and here we go again. If it was that important in the first century, it’s even more important today! But why? With the power of the Internet and worldwide television and radio, all kinds of would be teachers are out there. Many have no formal theological education, but what they lack in education they make up in emotion. You don’t have to flip through many channels on television nowadays before you run across someone who is more air than substance. New revelations from their “heavenly advisors and instructors” make up a false gospel. True believers need to remain on guard and refuse to support them.
John cared about the local church and those believers who were following Christ as best as they could. False teachers had traveling circuits and made their way through the country, garnering support for their teaching errors. Think of this situation. A man, a well-meaning man, comes to your first century town, using the name of Jesus. Immediately, as a believer, you welcome him, presupposing he believes the same as you do. You don’t want to turn him out…what would Jesus do? That’s a dilemma!
John made it perfectly clear that to support a false teacher in their work is to share in their wickedness. That’s a strong word. When you support any ministry, either by financially giving to their ministry or even by buying their newest book, you are supporting them. Make sure where you spend your mental energy and financial endowment. Remember, not all who use the name of Jesus actually know Him. (For further clarification, see Matthew 7:21-23.) John is just putting practical application to the words of Christ. Heads up! Don’t get caught with your resources in the wrong place. Good intentions should never be blind.