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. Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 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. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work." (II John 7-11)
In this passage, John gets to the main part of his message. He is warning the recipients about a heresy that has been intruding into the church--it is a heresy called Gnosticism that totally denies that Jesus was fully human and fully God. the phrase" runs ahead" meant to go beyond. "Any development in theology that does not continue in the teaching of Christ is to be condemned and rejected without compromise. there is no place for any type of universalism or inclusivism." (Akin, Commentary on I, II, and III John)
Any false teaching will cause disruption and division. He is telling them to "Watch out!" There are many false teachings in our culture today that are creeping into the church. It can be easy for some people to water down the gospel to please others or question whether or not absolute truth exists. Today, in our current lives, we must watch out that the doctrine of Jesus Christ remains true. We must constantly be on guard for anything that would distort the truth.
John has another command in this passage that says "do not take him into your house or welcome him..." this is NOT talking about building a relationship with an unbeliever in order to talk to him/her about Christ. What he is saying is not to help anyone who is spreading false teaching. We should not give anyone assistance to anyone who is trying to distort the truth of Jesus Christ. For example, we should not let Mormons use our church buildings for a function or allow them to come and preach. That would give blessing or a platform for a heretical group to spread their doctrine. We are commanded not to do this.
We must not dilute the message of salvation nor reduce Christ to something less than what He is.
This week, let's evaluate the teachings of Christ and His Word by scrutinizing TV shows movies, commercials, magazine ads, newspaper articles, etc. and see if we can recognize ways that the truth of the Gospel and of God's Word is being maimed or minimized.