Jesus Christ and Belial have nothing in common (2 Corinthians 6:15). Neither does the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9) have anything in common with the doctrines of devils (1 Timothy 4:1). Thus, when John wrote this epistle to the church, “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds,” he was reminding them that true love for Christ does not compromise with error.

Roving evangelists were common in John’s day, and there were many spiritual imposters going from door to door claiming to be followers of Jesus Christ, but proclaiming a doctrine about Jesus that diminished His deity and real humanity. These false teachers, whom John calls deceivers and antichrist (1 John 4:1,3; 2 John 7), were seeking to undermine the sound teaching that was given to them from the apostles (Titus 1:9; 2:1). They claimed to have a deeper understanding of Scripture. They claimed to be given a new revelation from God about how men are saved and the “true” identity of Jesus (2 Corinthians 11:3,4,13,14). When these evangelists came to the Christian community, John told the Christians that if the preachers did not adhere to the Biblical understanding of who Jesus is, they were not to be given hospitality, nor were they to bid them Godspeed (2 John 9-11).

In no way, shape, or form is the body of Christ to encourage false doctrine about Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 4:1-4). These false teachers are to be marked (Romans 16:17,18) and God’s people are to be warned about their damnable heresies (2 Peter 2:1). This is all a part of what it means to follow Jesus (Matthew 4:19) by walking in love and in truth. Love and truth are important ingredients in the Christian life, whether they relate to how we minister to one another in the household of faith (Galatians 6:9,10) or in ministering to the lost.

John the elder is once again demonstrating his love for His Master and his love for the flock of God by admonishing them to embrace sound doctrine and reject false teachings, and by encouraging them to love God supremely and love their neighbor (Luke 10:27), and in a very special way, love one another in the body of Christ (John 13:34,35). Amen!