2 John is addressed to a very special woman and her children. She is loved by John and many other believers. And John asks her to continue in loving. He is aware of her children and the fact that they are living according to God’s laws, which include loving one another.
And then John warns her about false teachers. He tells her to be careful, and not let them destroy all that they have worked for, and to not even invite them into her home or even greet them, because doing so helps them with their mission.
And on this point I would like to say that this is how I deal with Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons who come to my door. I don’t invite them in and I don’t even engage them in a conversation. I take the teaching of 2 John verses 10 and 11 seriously. I simply tell them that I’m not interested and say goodbye. I don’t even say, “Have a nice day.”
“But Steve,” you say, “Don’t you tell them why? Don’t you try to show them the truth?” And my answer to you is, “Rarely.” You see, these folks are generally very well trained and prepared, whereas I’m just doing my normal Saturday activity of preparing all the media and tech for Sunday worship at my church. I’m not in the mind set to debate, and the truth is, these folks aren’t interested in having an honest conversation. They have a set agenda, and a ten minute talk on my front porch is not going to change that agenda.
Remember, in almost every case, you have to have a relationship with someone before you can really have a meaningful discussion about faith. And I have had these conversations with friends who were Jehovah’s Witness or Mormon. It’s not that I am against engaging them in conversation, but when they come to my front door, I take 2 John very seriously.
Now, 3 John is addressed to a man named Gaius. There seem to be several men with this name in the Bible, one of whom was Baptized by Paul. We don’t really know anything more specific about this Gaius, except that John considered him a dear friend.
John commends Gaius for the good reports he hears about him, and for the fact that he supports those who travel about, preaching the Gospel. It is a good thing to support missionaries. Even though we may not personally go out to preach the Good News, our support for them makes us an important part of the team.
Then John has a warning against a man named Diotrephes, and good words about one named Demetrius. John says, “Never imitate evil, but imitate good. The person who does good is from God. The person who does evil has never seen God.”
So we must be aware of those around us, and watch to see what their fruit is.
What do you think?