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Sep 12, 2021

2 John

2 John

Speaker: Matt Petty

Series: Little Letters, Big Truths

Category: Sunday Sermons

Keywords: jesus, sermon, matthew 28, christian living, great commission, bible study, 2 john, who was jesus, the resurrection of jesus, truth in the bible, little letters big truths, scripture truth, how to live as a christian, sacrifice of jesus, why is the cross important

This week, we turn our attention to 2 John as we continue to look at small books of the bible that contain big truths for our lives. We see in scripture some foundational truths such as the bible is the authority and word of God, and that the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and the resurrection is enough. We must truly repent and invite Jesus into our life to be saved, and we are to live out the great commission that Jesus gives u sin Matthew 28. There’s a lot of big truths that really mold how we are to live as Christians found in this bible study today. Have you made a decision to follow Jesus, but have not repented? Do you want to know how to live out the great commission? We’d love to answer any questions and pray with you. Reach out to us – burnthickory.com/next

God bless y'all. I love when we get to celebrate people who take steps in their faith. I think it's important for us to keep that in front of us to watch people progress in their faith because this Christianity is not something that we just are saved to sit. It's a continual process of watching God, do something in our lives, whether we're six years old, or whether we're 70 years old, God wants to move in us. Well, I guess today is the first official day that I can say happy fall y'all. Today, I know I saw this week I walked into the house this week and I can smell the smell of fall, pumpkin spice has officially been plugged in to the plugins the candles are rolling football is happening and when one leaf hits the ground, every Christian girl breaks out the flannel, amen. It is coming right now. And it's happening. And man, I'm really glad. Can I just tell you why? I love the fact that God gives us seasons. I love that he changes things up. He gives us newness, and I'm not only just praying for a seasonal coolness. I'm praying just for a new season of a whole lot of things. Amen. I mean a whole freshness in the news of freshness and narrative and unity. And I'm just praying for just a fresh encounter with the Lord. Really is where I'm at this week. Well, last week for the 12 of us that were here. We started a new series. I'm just kidding. I know y'all weren't here because you kids weren't here. So, you played hooky, and it's okay. We still love you. Okay?

Last week, we started a new series called Little Letters with Big Truths. And we said last week, what we're going to do over these next couple weeks is we're going to show some love to the books of the Bible that we skip a lot, or that we just look over a lot. Or if you've got a new Bible, it probably just sticks together. And you didn't even know that it would be there. One of the students up at fall retreat when I went to speak to them last Sunday night said, "Matt, what did you speak on this morning?" I said, "Oh, I spoke on the book of Philemon." And they're like, "Is that in the Bible?" And I was like, "Uh, we have failed. We have found that yes, it's in the Bible. It's this little bitty letter towards the back." And that's why we're doing this, we're going to look over these next weeks, each one of these messages can stand alone. But what you're going to realize if you're here every week is you're going to see that God has some consistent truths in these small letters in these little bitty books. We're, really what we're getting to do is we're getting to kind of look over the shoulder of one of these personal conversations, one of these little conversations that one of these men of God are writing to a person to address something specifically that's happening in their lives. Last week, if you weren't here, we looked at the book of Philemon, the book of Philemon. And it was this incredible story about this really influential guy that God called into this relationship to be influential in God's mission. And we put ourselves in the story last week as believers, and we just quite simply asked ourselves last week, how has God called me to be involved with his mission? How has God called me to serve? How has God called me to give? How has God called me to sacrifice, because that's really what God has called me to do. really and truly because He sacrificed everything for me. So as a result, I'm called to sacrifice to Him. The second thing we asked last week is how has God called me to be an Onesimus. And we really don't know if that's the pour over. We just decided that's where we were going with it last week. And that just means this; how is God calling me out of in my life that has me in bondage, so that I can be useful in His Kingdom. Because let me promise you this, God does not want you to stay where you are. He wants to deliver you to Himself, no matter where you've ended up.

So last week, we looked at this incredible redemption story of us walking in our ways being separated for God's mission into God's service. And we got to see ourselves as Philemon’s, as Onesimus's in God's kingdom. Well, this morning, we're going to go into another one of the small letters. And we're going to look today at the small letter of 2 John today. So, if you've got a Bible, I want you to go ahead and find that and don't feel bad if you got to go to the table of contents, but I will give you a little hint. It's towards the back between 1st and 3rd John. It's pretty easy to find if you look at all of those reference points, but don't be ashamed if you got to use the table of cards. tense. Second, john, let me give you a little background to it before we actually get into it. Actually, I want to kind of really spend a minute ramping up into it, because it's important to see, 2 John is tiny. In fact, it's the smallest book. If you look at it, it's about 245. words, if you read Greek. If you don't, it's about 315 words in the NIV just in case, you know, it does take some time to count those up. By the way, just to let you know, it's about 315 words. And really, when you get to see this, it's a personal letter from a guy named the Apostle John. The Apostle John and that is incredibly important. And we're going to see in just a minute, John wrote this letter as a personal correspondence as a letter in the year somewhere between 85 to 90 AD. Now, if you're a Bible student, you'll begin to realize, wait a minute, John was pretty old, evidently, between 85 and 90 ADS to which I would say, you are correct. He was an older guy; he was an old apostle at this time. In fact, John, when he wrote this letter that we're about to look at, John was considered the authority of the church, he was considered one of the last apostles, he was an elder, he was the authority, at least of the Church of Asia, they looked at him as an influential person. So, people would regularly ask him questions, people would also regularly ask him how he would deal with situations. And you've got to think and put yourself in this mindset that John, at this point was enjoying his golden years of life, but yet, he was still pouring into the church.

Now notice this, some of you that are in your golden years, John is giving us a guide right here, that we're not to just hit this stage in our life, check out of serving because somebody else can watch their own babies, we already did that. Right? John is showing us at this time that no matter where we are in life, that we should still be active in the kingdom of God, he's still participating in the church. Actually, when you look at the history of this book, you'll see that really when he wrote it, were about 60 years from the time that Jesus died, and rose again, to the time that Jesus is designed the john wrote this book. And that's incredible. Why? Because the church had been operating for 60 years, it already been going for 60 years, we'd already seen just about two, maybe three generations even come through the church. And John is still standing and still serving as Check this out, the only apostle still alive. He's the only one is still alive. So, when you think about when John wrote this letter that we're going to look at, he's the only man that was one of the 12. He's the only guy that got to participate in those campfire discussions, right? With Jesus walking the streets of Galilee. He was the only one that got the backside disciple conversation and experience all the miracles. He was the only one that walked the Passion Week and got to be with Jesus at Pentecost got to sit on the shore. When Jesus restored his pal Peter, John was present. He was there. John, in fact, was the only one that Jesus spoke to while He was on the cross. Do you remember this? Jesus is on the cross. And in John's Gospel, he tells us in chapter 19:26, listen to this, Jesus addresses John, listen, it says, "When Jesus saw his mother," that's Mary "there, and the disciple in whom he loved," that's John, that's how he refers to himself, "standing nearby, Jesus said to her, 'Woman, here is your son,' and to John, he said, 'Here is your mother.' From that time on, this disciple took her into his home." Now, I just want you to feel this for a minute, because John, not only was one of the disciples, but John also welcomed the mother of Jesus into his home, because Jesus’ father was already dead. Now John is taking care of none other than the mother of Jesus. So, when John writes this book that we're about to look at, and I'll keep saying next, I want to build it up a little bit. He not only is one of the disciples, but he's been living with Mary for the rest of her life. So, he's the most influential person, the most experienced person, the more weight can be given to what he says in this moment than literally any person on the planet. Any person. So, when we read this letter, we don't just need to read it flippantly. Like, it's just another letter. No, this guy knows what he's talking about. And I want you to know this. He could have said anything in this moment. He could have why? Because you remember, he already wrote his gospel. He had already written it years earlier. And you remember how John closes his gospel in John chapter 21.

Listen to this interesting line right here in John 21:24, says this, "This disciple who testifies to these things, and who wrote them down, we know that his testimony is true. He's talking about himself and his gospel, like, hey, I know this is true, I was there. But then watch what he says, this is interesting. Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. So, you got to know that at this moment, John is sitting on some things that we don't even know about. How cool is that? We didn't even know Jesus did. We didn't even experience what Jesus did. And so here 16 years later, I want you to notice something about the book a 2 John. John doesn't introduce one new truth. He doesn't give us one new story. He doesn't pour into one new nuance that he needs to clear up. John, and his eldership of life, could have said anything, but John doesn't give us one new thought here. And I love this. You know why? Because John says, hey, look, we really probably just look back at the things that you already know, because you're not living them yet. That's what John does here. In fact, I think it was John Maxwell, who said it right said it. He said, most believers are educated well beyond their level of obedience. And I think that's kind of what John's doing right here. John says, hey, let's put into practice the elementary truths that we already know. And let's just live those things. That's what we're going to see here in this book. So, John gives us three ancient truths this morning. Is it going to be new? Probably not going to be anything you've never heard. Probably not. But I want you to feel what John says and what I just want you to pay attention to these challenges. 2 John 1 why? There's only one chapter, verse one here it is. Let's read it together. "The elder," that's John, “speaking to the lady chosen by God and her children." Now, would you stop right there? I promise, we're not going to do this much. But I want you to stop there. Because I want to be really honest with you and 100% transparent on the things that are in the word, the things that we know, and the things that we don't know. Now, here is one of those things that we don't know. All right, who is this lady? Here's the answer to that. We don't know. We don't know who this lady is. And I love the fact that we don't know, because it gives us some freedom to think about it. And it gives us some freedom to put ourselves into the story. Who is this lady? Let me give you a couple of ways that people have tried to explain this away throughout the centuries.

I love some of them. Some of them are absolutely ludicrous. And some of them are there, okay. Some people believe that this lady was none other than Mary, the mother of Jesus. Some people believe that because John was caring for her that John was writing this letter back to her and instructing her about some things that were going on in her life, to which I would say. Hey, nice try, but that's a horrible way to look at it. Because really, and truly, Mary is already dead. We already know that because of history. And also, the thing that we're about to see that is the struggle in the book is the fact that these false teachers were coming in saying that Jesus was not here in the actual flesh. And if there's one person on this planet that knows that Jesus was here in the flesh, it would be the person whose flesh that He came from a man, it would be the mother of Jesus. So obviously, it's not Mary. The second kind of funny way that people try to explain this. I said, it's not really a lady. That's an elect, it was a lady named Electee. And I love this. I love this thought, because Electee was a name during that time, as weird as it sounds. But Electee was not a lady. It wasn't a lady's name. In fact, if it was, why in the world would verse 13, in this text later on, have a sister named Electee, who will be Electee to my sister Electee, that doesn't work. Alright, it's not really a deal. So, let's throw that one out as well. The third, which I think gives a little more credence, the third explanation to who John is writing this, too, is, that it wasn't a lady at all. Then John was just making a reference to the lady because he was speaking to a church, which I would go, Okay, maybe I mean, that could be maybe the thing that John was saying, Hey, I am in a church and you were in a church and your church has children we're about to see in just a minute, and that's the members of the church and I am just speaking to them to which I would say, that's an okay theory. We could go with it. But here's where I'm at. I'm in camp number four. And this is where most scholars are. It's just the John is writing to this lady. That's a friend of his. It's pretty profound, isn't it? That John, he's writing to this lady that he's met at some point in ministry that's having this problem or having this issue in her Church and John wants this lady to hear this message.

And as a result, the Bible wants us to hear this message, the Holy Spirit has preserved it. And so, God is speaking to this lady, but he's showing us some things from this lady's life. Glad we got that out of the way. 2 John 1, it says this, "The elder, to the lady, chosen by God, and to her children, whom I love, in the truth." Now, you may want to circle that word truth, it's going to be important in just a minute, "Who I love and the truth, and not I only, but also all who know the truth, because of the truth, which lives in us, and will be with us forever." Verse 3, "Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father, and from Jesus Christ, the Father, Son, will be with us in truth, and love," verse four, "It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in hope," you're seeing the theme here? "Truth, just as the father has commanded us," I'll stop right there. Because I think, I hope, at least we're all pretty educated people. Even just a cursory reading of the first four verses of John's letter to this lady, and to us gives us the first of these foundational challenges that he wants this lady to have, and he wants us to have in the first one is this we are to walk in the truth. We're to walk in the truth. Did you see five times in four verses? The Bible uses the word truth, the Apostle John uses truth. Do you know there is not another place in Scripture that is so saturated with the idea that truth is important? There's not another place in the Bible like this one. So, which leads to this question, what is the truth that John is speaking of? Quite simply, it is the absolute truth of who Jesus is, and what Jesus does. And you've got to know that in this moment, right here, this was an incredibly relative conversation to this lady. This lady is struggling, she's trying to decide what she is going to do in this situation, how she is going to receive or not receive this problem that she's about to have. And John comes out of the block and says, hey, listen, don't decide out of your emotion. Don't decide out of your history. Don't decide out of your culture, decide because you're walking in truth. Does that sound pretty familiar? Isn't this exactly where we're living today? What have we done to truth in our society today? We have stripped truth down, and we've made it what we feel and not what truth really is. You see, truth is truth, no matter what history it is, truth is truth. No matter what year it is, no matter what country it is, no matter what the situation is. and by golly, no matter what I feel at the time, truth in this moment, is what we are to walk into, we are to walk by truth, not our feelings. Not the majority thought, not what we feel like my progress is a little bit more. Here's the main point. I didn't put it in your notes, but you may want to just write it somewhere off into the margin. The main point here that John wants her to remember and us to remember is this; truth is not a what, truth is a who. And His name is Jesus. Truth is not a what. Alright?

So, get that out of your mind that truth is a what? Why? Because the words change all the time. The what's in the situations change all the time. But truth is a who, and His name is Jesus. In fact, look at verse 2, it tells us “Because of this truth, which lives in us, and will be forever with us who lives in us as believers? It's Jesus. Who will be forever with us? It is Jesus. Look at this, verse 3, "Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father Son will be with us in truth and in love. What does this mean? This means that Jesus is truth. And Jesus gives truth, pay real close attention. Look at me right here. The only standard in which we should measure anything on this planet is, is through who Jesus is. That's what it's saying right here. Why? Because we get grace from the truth. We get mercy from the truth we get peace from the truth. We do not get those things from the feeling in our heart. I know that some of you are struggling right now what to do in situations Your heart is telling you one thing that when you read the Word of God is telling you something So what do you do and those two things combined, you have to reconcile it through Jesus, not your emotion. Some of you are dealing with identity issues, you're dealing with your marriage, you're dealing with your family, you're dealing with all of your heart pointing you in a direction and let me just say this, your heart is a horrible guide. It's a horrible Guide. You will always drift away from the heart of God, unless you're looking at the truth of God. Unless you're filtering through the truth of God. That's what he's telling us right here. Now, I love what John does here, because he leaves us hanging a little bit about what is truth? And what are some truths? But you got to remember that this is a short letter, you got to remember that this is a small little thing. Actually, in the end of the letter, he says, hey, I wish I could write more, but I'm coming more. But what are some biblical truths that we should be walking in is the question. Let me give you a couple since John doesn't. From the Bible, number one, we need to walk into truth that the Bible is the authority and the very word of God. It's the very words of God, it is the foundation of who we are. And it's the foundation of what we should follow, in your opinion, and my opinion, comes way secondary to what God's word says, no matter the emotion, and no matter where I'm being drawn to. In fact, 2 Timothy 3:16, says, "All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." The first truth in our life has to be that the word of God is the very words of God. We can't skate around that issue. The number two, check out this one. Number two, the truth that we need to walk in is that Jesus is the only Lord.

He's the only Lord, I can guarantee you, if you do live long enough, you're going to come across someone that looks at you and says, hey, I'm really glad that Jesus is your Lord. But I have another one. I guarantee you that something in your soul one day is going to put up something in your heart that has to almost get as far as Jesus being Lord. But listen, the truth is, that Jesus is the only Lord, he's the only Savior. Acts 4:12 tells us this Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven, given to mankind which we must be saved." What does that mean? That means that we can rely on anything else on this planet, but it is not going to get us where we should go. It's not going to get us to heaven, it's not going to get us to eternity, and we cannot rest on anything else. So, no matter what else we're trying to put up as Lords in our lives, it's never going to make it. It's not going to do it; we're always going to be found wanting the third truth. Number three, is that the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and the resurrection, catch this. It's enough. It's enough. You know, I just feel like someone this week, and you just needed to hear that, that it's enough. No matter where you've been, and no matter what you've done, no matter how you failed, no matter how you've dropped off, no matter where your life has taken you through these last weeks, let me just tell you this. The crucifixion and the resurrection were enough to save you. It was enough. There's nothing you can do to get there more. There's nothing you can do to work yourself. They're more your goods are never going to outweigh your bads and that's doesn't even matter. That's not even in the equation. Why? Because of Jesus, you now have access to the King. It's enough. Nothing else can. Romans 5:8 tells us, "But God demonstrates His love in this that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." We were sinners. Watch how Paul says it in 1 Corinthians 15. He says, "For what I've received, I'm passing on to you as of first importance that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures that he was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures," therefore, skip all the way down in the same chapter to verse 54. "Death has been swallowed up in victory." That's a good place to say, amen. Great, there's six of us that love that here it is, "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting." The sting of death is sin. Okay? The power of sin is the law. But watch verse 57, "But thanks be to God! He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore my brothers and sisters, we can stand firm. Why? Because it's enough.

It's enough. Salvation is enough. It's available, but once you see truth number four, but we must truly repent invite Jesus into our lives to save us. Do you know you're not saved on the basis of where your family was born, you're not saved on the basis of that you were born into this country, you're not saved on the basis of that you feel like you've done better than bad? You do not get to rest on your parent's coattails for your salvation. It's not how it works. I know it feels like that in the deep south, right? I was born a Christian. No, you were born separated from God. You were born, a deceiver, a sinner, a liar. And your life displays you drifting over and over and over away from God until one day you reach the point where God calls you and you feel yourself needing to repent and come to trust Jesus, to which I would say to all of us, if you have not trusted Jesus, trust Him. He's enough. He is enough for you. In fact, Romans 10:9-10 says this, "If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and you believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, then you will be saved. Don't stop there. Look at verse 10. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it's with your mouth that you profess and are saved. Let me just ask you this morning. Have you made that step? Here's truth five, though. Truth five is this, that we're to live out the Great Commission.

We're to live it out. We talked about it last week that God doesn't save us to just let us sit. He doesn't save us to just let us soak. He doesn't save us to have a great little Christian community that doesn't tell other people about the hope that we have. He saves us why? Matthew 28:19, "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." He's called us to put our faith into action. And what is that that is walking in the truth? I love that John starts with truth. Why? Because if we don't know the truth, we don't know where to walk. That when we know the truth, we know how to set the direction of our life in the direction of truth. Number one, John says to this lady, he says to us, the ancient challenge is to walk in the truth. But let's keep going. We got some more, so we got to hurry. "And now dear lady," sounds so cool. "I'm not writing you a new command but one that we've had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love; that we walk in obedience to His commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love." So, what does he say? He says, hey, once we figure out the direction of truth, then we can adequately number two, we can obey out of love. We can obey out of love. Now, this is important. From the text, I want you to notice that John is not giving them anything new. In fact, these people are a lot like most of us, right? They're hearing this command and are like, hey, that sounds a little bit like I've heard that before. Well, the good news is, because you have heard it from the Old Testament to the New Testament, Jesus, Paul, all the boys have talked about this commandment. And it's not new, but it's profound. Why? Because he says two things here in talking about love. The first thing he's just kind of bringing out is this. That your actions always display what you love. Do you realize that, that you can tell me what you love all you want to, you can post about what you love all that you want to, you can wear a T shirt and tell me what you love all that you want to, but you will act on what you love? You say Matt, what are you talking about? 17 hours of college football yesterday, that's what I'm talking about. You will do you will serve, and you will walk in what you love is a fundamental truth in life. No, I won't, Matt. Yes, you will. You're just lying to yourself. You will always do what you love, you will always make time for what you love, you will always chase what you love. That's what he's saying here. And he's also saying this. He's also saying that your long-term obedience will only come from love.

In other words, the law is not going to get you to love anybody. Look at the Old Testament. It didn't work out for many of them, did it? Here's what he's saying to us. He said you're going to always chase what you love. And your love is what's going to set the trajectory for long term obedience in your life. Long-term moving in your life. You can boil it down beside this, you cannot say that you love Jesus, but yet go live like the devil. You cannot say that you're a Christian and keep living a self-centered life. It doesn't work. You can't say you're a follower of Jesus. And then just pick and choose the verses that you like. And you think the rip app go to your life? It does not work. Jesus clearly says right here, God clearly says, you are Jesus's friends if you love Him, if you obey Him. Look at verse 6, you may want to underline this verse. People ask, how do you define love where it is, "And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands." You know what the litmus test of love is, is just if you obey or not, you can talk about all you want to but that's the litmus test. So, here's the question that just kind of hit me this week, ask questions, my mind is always in question. Why do we obey God? Have you ever thought about that? Why do we obey God? You see, non-believers get this wrong all the time, non-believers will walk up to you and say, Listen, I don't want to be a Christian because I don't want to obey God. And that's very honest to them. And then they'll say something like, hey, I don't want to be a Christian, because you believers, you just obey out of fear, you obey out of guilt, or you obey out of an obligation and non-believers will look at us all the time and go, hey, I just don't want that for my life. I don't want that to be part of my life. But here's the question, why do we really obey God? Can I just give you the simplest answer to that? We love Him because He first loved us.

It's that simple. It's that simple. We obey God, because God loves us, not only because He loves us, because he knows what's best for us. He's eternal, and he loves us catch this, like nobody else on this planet can love us. He loves you eternally. He loves you fully, and He will never forsake you. I promise that person sitting beside you right now will forsake you. That's my wife Matt, don't talk about her. She will. She will. It just happens. We're human. But I can say this about God, He won't. He will not do it. We love God, why we obey out of love because He loves us. You know, the Bible says that the only reason that there is love is because God is love. We don't obey out of guilt. We don't obey out of obligation. We don't obey out of law, that stuff never last. But some of you grew up in places that that's what they taught. That, nevertheless, we obey, we love because of what God has done for us. We obey God out of love. I was in college, and I remember specifically one night, it was late one night, and it was college. So, things were happening around that were a little bit crazy. And a guy walked up to me and said, "Hey, Matt, can I ask you a question?" I was like, "Well, sure, go for it." He says, "Do you ever feel restricted?" And I was like, "Where is this going?" And he had had a little truth serum? And I was like, "What? What are you talking about?" "Dude, I feel restricted?" He's like, "Do you ever feel like you just can't do the fun things that the rest of us do? Because you're a devoted Christian?" And I was like, oh, okay, this is where this conversation is going. I was like, "Well, I tell you what," and I just remember looking at him dead in the eyes and saying this, "Man, can I tell you?" I'm not going to tell you the names. You may know. "Can I tell you something?" I looked at him dead on as I said, "Listen, man, I could, I could do all the drugs that I want to do. I can drink myself into a bitters, every single night, I could get stoned all I want to, I could go to all of the extremes that you do. I could sleep as many people as I want to sleep." But I looked at him and said, 'Here's the difference. Jesus changed my want to. He changed my want to, and I don't want those things. I don't." And he was like, "What?" I was like, "They're cheap. They're phony, they don't last, they're temporary. And all that those things that you're talking about do is lead me farther into despair, further into depression, and put me in places that I don't even know where I've been."

Listen, there is no lasting joy in not operating out of love. But listen to what John said in his gospel, John 15:9, he says, "I have loved you even as the father has loved me.... when you obey my commandments, you remain in my love just as I've obeyed the father’s commandments and remain in his love." Watch this. "I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy." What happens when we obey? What happens when we love God? Yes, look at the last four words, "Yes, your joy will overflow!" That's what following Jesus looks like. That's what He says. He doesn't want us to obey Him out of obligation or out of guilt or out of fear or being afraid of Him. God wants us to obey Him. Because we love Him. Because he loves us. Look at the progression. John says, walk in truth, obey, out of love. And then it gets to the heart of the issue. Look at number three, this was quick. He says watch for the deceivers says watch for the deceivers. Watch. The progression is this.

If you don't know the truth, if you're not walking in the truth, and if you're not obeying a love, you are never going to be able to identify those things that stand contrary to where God has you to be. You won't. That's why John, this elder, walking with Jesus now for 60 plus years, looks at them and says, you got to know the truth. You got to know the truth. You got to experience the truth, you got to walk in the truth, you got to obey me out of love, obey me out of love and then when you do that, you will be able to identify those things that are contrary to who Jesus is, you see this lady that he's writing to, she's in a rough situation. She's in a rough situation, because she has invited this traveling evangelist into her home that was a phony prophet. He was doing it to make money, he was doing it to kind of shame the name of Jesus. And he was preaching a gospel that was not about who Jesus was. And she was struggling in this time, because now John's going to tell her what to do with this outside influence that has infiltrated her home. Now listen, we don't live in a culture that we're going to invite weird people into our houses most of the time, but we do invite weird influences into our lives a lot. So, watch what John says to this lady and to us. Verse 7 says this. "Because many deceivers who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ, as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and an antichrist. Watch out for those so that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully," now pause there he's not talking about you're going to lose your salvation saying, Hey, listen, you have been storing up gifts, treasures in heaven, status in heaven, watch out that you don't blow it right here so that you lose some of those things. That's what he says, verse 9. "Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teachings of Christ, does not have God." Pause, because John gets really serious right here, where some of us in this room are. He says, If God and Jesus had not been a constant theme for a season of your life, if you've just given lip service to it, or if it was just an emotional decision, then chances are you're not a true follower of Jesus, you've been deceived. Maybe you just made some little commitment, and it wasn't of God keep going. "But 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." Now, wait a minute, Matt.

Is John telling me right here not to have anything to do with unchristian struggling people? No, that's not what John is saying. You know me better than that. I would never say that we just talked about the Great Commission, you can't speak both of those things in one. But here is what John is doing. John is saying that we should be incredibly hospitable, we should be loving, inviting to all but when those things, catch this, pay close attention, when those things begin to affect us and when those things begin to infiltrate our souls. When those things begin to grow in us, we should distance ourselves from them. That's what this letter is about. John is saying. Let me just translate it into today's culture. He's saying who's influencing art? Whose influence are you welcoming into your life that is not pushing you towards the truth? In the love of Jesus? That's this morning's question. That's what the whole book points to.

The whole book builds this case of you got to know love, and you got to know truth. And you got to realize who God is. And then when you do that, you can't identify those things. This is going to be hard. And those people in your life that are pushing you away from the true Jesus. So, here's my question this morning. Who is it for you? What is it for you? Do you know Satan's plan is the same then as it is now? You say, Matt, I don't invite people in my house? No, but you invite them into your heart. You invite them into your life, you invite their ideals, their half-truths, because he did what Satan does most of the time, saying he's not going to wake you up tomorrow and go, Hey, today, you're a murderer. No, we hope he's not. What he's going to do is he's going to begin to distance you with half-truths. He's going to begin to distance you with broken relationships. He's going to begin to put a virus in all of our lives that distance us from the church and from the people that we worship with. He is going to put success catch this, Satan put success in your life. Do you know why? Because he knows that if he can make you successful enough your reliance on who Jesus is will begin to wane. You know what else he's going to do? He's going to make your kids successful at things you know why? Because then you begin to worship them and you begin to put away from what Jesus is, and you begin to hold them in high esteem, and you forget about this whole Jesus thing. He's going to make them the best ballplayers in the world, the best athletes in the world, the best musicians in the world. Why? So, you got to chase their tails around for years and years and years, and you forget about what church looks like. That's what Satan does. He'll make you feel like you have it all together, so you forget who Jesus really is, he'll make you doubt who Jesus really is. Let me ask you again, what are who is influencing you right now?

That is not pushing you towards the truth of God. What does john say to this lady and us? kick them out of the house? In a loving way? Kick them out? What is he saying? He's saying, when you feel, yourself being drawn to something that is not full of truth, and full of love, have nothing to do with it. Have nothing to do with it. So, here's where we walk this morning. Because all he does is gives kind of a little closing there. It's okay. We don't have to look at that.

I just want you to answer that question for yourself. What is it? for some of you this morning, there's going to have to be some ties that are cut. That has been a ball and chain that has been dragging you for years. It's keeping you from who Jesus is. For some of you. It may be an activity, for some of you, it may be a success that you have. But you know, it's turned you into something that is driving you away from Jesus. John looked at the lady and says, hey, listen, it's okay. You got to make the decision. Are you going to walk in truth, you going to obey out of love and are you going to identify the deceivers to the point where you go, no, no, no, Jesus is so much more worth it?

Lord today, these next couple of minutes, Jesus, we just ask you to move in our hearts. God, I know sometimes it's easy to get lost in the history of the stories. But God, I think today, the truth has been incredibly simple. But the challenge has been incredibly profound. God, I just pray that all over this church and all over homes, literally across the nation and world today, you will begin to point at some things in our lives that are not necessarily pointing towards the real Jesus. And that God today out of love and out of your truth, we would begin to distance ourselves from them. And we will begin to see that you are enough. You're enough. Lord, I pray that if there are souls listening that need to give their hearts to Jesus today, for the first time for real, and they need to settle that today that the during this invitation moments that this would be their moment to find myself or find one of the other counselors in this, these rooms and just say, hey, I need Jesus today. I'm not really sure I've ever submitted my heart to Him and today, I want to make sure. God, I pray for people that need to join this church and need to lock arms with us today and walk in community. That God they would do that today. God, I pray, there's people all across this room. That today would just say yes, Jesus, you're enough. Yes, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. God, we give you these next couple minutes and it's in your name we pray Jesus. Amen. Amen.

Let's stand and sing together for just a minute.

 

Follow Along with the Message


2 John

September 12, 2021

John 19:26–27
26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
John 21:24–25
24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true. 25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
2 John 1–4
1 The elder, To the lady chosen by God and to her children, whom I love in the truth — nd not I only, but also all who know the truth — 2 because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever: 3 Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love. 4 It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us.

3 Foundational Challenges

1. Walk in .

2 John 2–3
2 because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever: 3 Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.

Walk in the truth that:

1. The is the authority and very words of God.

2 Timothy 3:16–17
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2. Jesus Christ is the only .

Acts 4:12
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

3. The sacrifice of Jesus on the and the resurrection is enough.

Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
1 Corinthians 15:3–4
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…
1 Corinthians 15:54–58
54 “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

4. We must truly and invite Jesus into our life to save us.

Matthew 16:24–25
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.
Romans 10:9–10
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

5. We are to out the Great Commission.

Matthew 28:19–20
19 “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
2 John 5–6
5 And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. 6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

2. Obey out of .

2 John 6
And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands.
John 15:9–11
9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me... 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!”

3. Watch for .

2 John 7–11
7 I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 9 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. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. 11 Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.
2 John 12–13
12 I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete. 13 The children of your sister, who is chosen by God, send their greetings.

Additional Notes

 

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