Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.
- 2 John 1:9-11
Would you give your Social Security information and your credit card number to a person pretending to be the IRS? Would you let a person convince you that your identity has been mistaken and your whole life is a lie? I sure wouldn’t! It may happen to us once, but we would be foolish to let it happen again.
As much as you value your money and identity, you should value your soul much more than that. If you wouldn’t be negligent with your vital, personal information, neither should you ever let a lying, Christ-denying deceiver into your home or your church with a hearty greeting.
Imagine letting a thief enter your home and steal everything you own while smiling in your face and promising they’re doing everything in your best interest. That would be insane.
The apostle John’s stark warning is “watch yourselves!” (2 John 8). Today, there are many lies and heresies that abound as liars attack the church. One such heresy is that Jesus was not and is not God in human form. Some Christian cults have denied the deity of Jesus in favor of a Unitarian—God in one person—view of Father, Son, and Spirit. Others have denied that Jesus really took on a human body—they imply that He is God but not man. Many of them may be earnest, knowing that God is one (Deut. 6:4). However, they fail to take the Bible and it’s full teaching about Jesus into consideration.
Paul clearly refutes such nonsense, saying that Jesus “was in the form of God“ and had “equality with God“. He is wholly God. In becoming human, Jesus “emptied himself“. He did this not by giving up his divine nature, but by taking on a human nature (Phil 2:5-8). If a King puts on street clothes to rescue someone from a ditch, he is no less a king with his street clothes than he was with his kingly apparel. Neither is Jesus, in the flesh, any less God than he was before he took on flesh. To say otherwise is to clearly deny passages of the Bible in the old and new testaments.
Falling into such a mess of denying Jesus’ human and divine natures will cost the full reward of the apostles works (2 John 8). It will render the apostles’ work in vain (Phil. 2:16). To have a human-only Jesus, God-only Jesus, black Jesus, white Jesus, republican Jesus, democrat Jesus, or any fill-in-the-blank Jesus will lead you to eternal separation from the real Jesus. It is eternal to know Him—the real Jesus (John 17:3).
Our Necessary Response
First, let us go on ahead and abide in the teaching of Christ (2 John 9). Stick with the basics. Remember the truth that has been preached from the beginning. Church history is replete with documents and statements about the plain and clear doctrines of Scripture. Many modern heresies are just old heresies dressed in new clothes. Let the word of God and the witness of church history be your guide as you seek to discern truth from lies. You don’t need any other Jesus. If you abide in another, you will not have God. If you stay with the teaching, you will have father and son (2 John 9).
Second, keep false teaching far from you, your family, and your church! “Many deceivers” have gone out into the world (2 John 7). They need to be met with fierce rejection. They shouldn’t enter our homes or our house churches. They shouldn’t be allowed into our congregations with open arms. If they show up, they should be met with solemn warnings and exhortations to repent and renounce their repulsive rhetoric. They need to be sharply rebuked (Titus 1:9-14).
This response is necessary because “whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” John isn’t mincing words, here. We can’t keep letting political, ethnic, or any unbiblical versions of Jesus into their homes without a fuss. Too often, we don’t take Jesus serious because we won’t take the time to read the Word and see who He says He is! He has a lot to say!
Know the Real Jesus!
We must all commit to seeing Jesus as he really is! If we aren’t careful and rigorously biblical, we may be swept away into deception and lies. I don’t mean that a true believer can lose salvation. That is not possible! However, many people in churches today are not in the faith and are not safe from these lies. However, the true believer shouldn’t be overly fearful. The God who started a good work in us will bring it to completion at the day of Christ. He can’t be stopped! The Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead will not only reveal the truths of Christ to us, He will make us more like Christ as we behold Him!
Do you know the real Jesus? Or have you been settling for a cheap deception? Don’t receive a false Christ. If you do, you won’t have God. It’s a matter of life and death.