Hosea 5:1-15; 2 John 1:7-13; Psalms 124:7-8; Proverbs 27:13
NT: “Many deceivers have gone out into the world; they do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves so that you don’t lose what we have worked for, but that you may receive a full reward. Anyone who does not remain in Christ’s teaching but goes beyond it does not have God. The one who remains in that teaching, this one has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your home, and do not greet him; for the one who greets him shares in his evil works.” (2 John 1:7-11 CSB)
Not only is it important for families – whether a nuclear family or a church family – to walk in truth, it equally important to oppose deception. John didn’t say that there were a few deceivers that we had to be wary of. He said that there were many deceivers… and many of the many were probably part of the believing community at one time. It is amazing how quickly a lie will spread and how ready people are to believe it. Fallen human nature wants to believe titillating lies and resist steadfast truth.
John warned that we must vigilantly guard and keep watch over our families so that we don’t lose what we have worked for. False teachers and deceivers – people of the antichrist spirit – will often try to sell you some “truth” or insight that you don’t have. They claim that they can add to your understanding or enhance your experience, but what they actually do is steal all that you have received in Christ by causing you to fall away from the faith. How often I have seen children that were raised in the faith, fall away through lies and deception and end up losing the peace and abundant life they had in Christ.
John warned against going beyond the teachings of Christ. The Greek word there is ‘proago,’ and it means to progress further than what is right or proper. In our world today, we have what is called progressivism. Progressivism seeks to leave behind and reject fundamental truths and values for the sake of making “progress.” John said that if you progress beyond the word, will and ways of the Lord, you leave behind and lose God as well. The fundamental beliefs of the gospel of the kingdom are that Jesus is the Son of God come in the flesh; and that He is the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One of God that sacrificed His life to redeem humanity from sin and set them free to follow and be restored and reconciled to God. There is sin… and humanity is bound in it. Jesus Christ is the way provided by God to set people free from sin. Jesus Christ is the truth of God that sets people free from lies and deception. Jesus Christ is the life of God that rescues people from eternal death. Any teaching that progresses beyond that is void of God.
Finally, John warned to not receive deceivers into our homes, but deny them access. To welcome a false teacher or deceiver into your home and fellowship with them is to condone what they teach and to take part in their evil works. In our age, there are more entryways into our homes than just the front door. Deceptive teachings infiltrate our families through podcasts, social media, radio waves, television programs, school curriculum, and the like. When we “open the door” to lies and deception, we welcome them in to fellowship with us and have influence over our lives. The longer we allow that to continue, the more we begin to walk according to the lies and stray from the life of God that is found in Truth.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You that You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I thank You that You are the way to be redeemed from sin and reconciled to the Father. I thank You that You are the truth that frees me and leads me away from deception and darkness and into life and light. I thank You that through You, I have eternal life with You and the Father. Strengthen me and embolden me as I stand against lies and deception, and lead my family into all truth as I follow You. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
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