3 John 1:5-8 ESV
“Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.”
It is a wonderful thing to receive encouragement from other believers in Jesus when one is out there daily sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ – confronting sin, and calling for repentance and for obedient faith in Jesus Christ, and for submission to Christ as Lord.
For there is much opposition to the gospel, even coming from others who proclaim Christ as Savior. And, we are on the front lines in a serious spiritual battle against our enemy, daily refuting the lies and proclaiming the truth of the gospel of Christ – of the whole counsel of God.
We who are following our Lord in doing what he has called us to do, who are proclaiming the truth of the gospel, and who are refuting the lies of Satan, are in the minority. And, we don’t usually have a lot of friends, if any. We often face much opposition, and we don’t always get much encouragement.
We work for the Lord, not for men, and we don’t work for the approval of humans, either, but for the glory of God. So, we will do what we do if we get no encouragement. And, we will keep speaking truth even if no one is listening. So, when the encouragement comes, it is a blessing.
3 John 1:9-10 ESV
“I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.”
There are many within today’s church, at least here in America, who are like Diotrephes, who do not acknowledge the authority of God’s Word, and who speak evil against the true gospel of our salvation and against those who are proclaiming the full gospel message.
But they aren’t content with just disapproving of the message of the true gospel of Jesus Christ, or of talking evil against its messengers. But they are willfully trying to persuade other Christians and the world that the true gospel is the lie and that the lie is the truth.
So, they are on an all-out attack against the truth of the gospel to try to discredit it, and they are fully engaged in persuading Christians and the world that their diluted half-truth gospel is the truth and not a lie.
But the message they are teaching is a misrepresentation of what the Word of God teaches, because they take Scriptures out of context to make them say what they want them to say, which if taught in context would rend a different understanding altogether.
For, they are teaching a gospel absent of repentance, and of obedient faith in Jesus Christ, and of submission to Christ and to his cross. They are teaching a gospel message absent of the honor and respect of God, too, for they teach a very selfish self-centered gospel that honors human flesh, instead.
Their gospel has all to do with what God can do for us humans, and how God views us as special, and how he is enthralled with us, but it doesn’t teach that we need to be enthralled with God and honor him as special and how we need to do for him what he has required of us to do.
Their gospel promises people deliverance from hell, freedom in Christ, and heaven as their eternal destiny, but it frees no one from slavery to sin, it does not honor God as holy, and it encourages continuance in sinful practices under the guise of God’s grace and salvation by faith alone.
So, if you are one who is proclaiming the true gospel message, you will most likely not be welcome in many of today’s modern “churches” (businesses), and you may even be invited to leave and to go someplace else where you will be a “better fit.”
3 John 1:11-12 ESV
“Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God. Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself. We also add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true.”
It is important for us to not believe everything we read or hear or think we see, but that we test everything in prayer against the Word of God.
For, liars and deceivers abound everywhere. And, the masses are being fooled by the lies, because the lies tickle their itching ears and they tell them what they want to hear, for they console them in their sin rather than confront them in their sin, and they tell them God will not judge them.
So, we need to be students of the Word of God, and we need to read the word in context, chapter by chapter, verse by verse, and book by book. And, we need to read the Word with open minds to hear what the Spirit wants to teach us, for many of us learned things wrongly early on in our lives.
We are often are taught the Scriptures topically, which has its place, but often these are taught by using Scriptures out of context, and thus we get the wrong idea of what the Scriptures are really saying until we read them in context, and we have a “Wow!” moment where we see the truth.
So, please know what the truth teaches, for it does not teach an easy road to heaven and to eternal life with God. It teaches that faith in Jesus Christ involves dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness, and that this is daily, by the Spirit, for the glory of God.
For, if we walk (in practice) according to the flesh (in sin), we are going to die in our sins, not have eternal life with God. So, we are not to imitate evil but good. We are to walk in obedience to our Lord, surrender our lives to him, and leave our lifestyles of sin behind us (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).
All The Way My Savior Leads Me
Lyrics by Frances J Crosby, pub. 1875
Music by Robert Lowry, pub. 1875
All the way my Savior leads me,
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.
All the way my Savior leads me,
Cheers each winding path I tread,
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the living Bread.
Though my weary steps may falter
And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see.
All the way my Savior leads me,
Oh, the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way.
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