Dear Brethren,

We are in the end time, and Jesus Christ warns us of many dangers as time draws to a close. He tells us that the Church brethren are blind to what is going on all about them. Sometimes we think we have it all together more than ever, and yet Christ tells us that we have become lethargic and complacent in our practice of Christianity.

We look around ourselves and see a world of trouble, but we also see a world that calls itself “Christian.” Many of those “Christians” in the world seem like pretty good people. Our neighbors and the folks in our town are pretty good people for the most part. Some of our professed church leaders reason that we should invite them to services, and that we must be very careful not to allow the doctrine of Christ to offend them.

Those leaders reason that if we can get these outsiders to think that we are a lot like them, perhaps our numbers will begin to grow and our congregations will become larger. That approach is wrong and motivated by a spirit of error. There are a few brethren who understand the warnings of Jesus Christ and the apostles, and they are concerned about the direction in which the greater Church of God is headed. But if they say anything about their fears, they immediately become suspect by the administration – and after all, where else could they possibly attend services?

Diotrephes did not hang out a sign announcing his association with the great false church – but that connection was there none the less. The true saints had nothing to do with Diotrephes (3 John :11). The true saints of God have often found themselves standing alone for the truth of God.

Some brethren justify their fellowship with people who oppose the true saints of God by saying that it would be rude and disrespectful if they did not treat everyone equally. So the question comes up, “Should we fellowship with just anybody and everybody no matter what they believe, or how they conduct their lives?” The answer is found in Second and Third John. The theme of these Books is: A warning to persevere in the Truth – while rejecting the deceivers. “If you encounter anyone who does not hold the doctrine [of Jesus Christ], receive him not into your house, neither wish him greetings of 'all the best'.” (2 John :10)

Do we understand that true Christians are under attack by the same forces of evil that plagued the early Church of God brethren?  How do we recognize the enemy?  Do we think that the mystery of iniquity has ceased to be a threat to true Christians (2 Thessalonians 2:7)? What agreement do the children of God have with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)?

Was Jesus Christ being rude and un-Christian when He said that we are to kick the dirt off of our shoes when the precious Truth is not received with a right spirit and attitude (Mark 6:11)? Was Jesus wrong for speaking in parables so that they could not understand? Of course not! When false doctrine and apathetic conduct begin to enter the congregations of the Church of God, it is the responsibility, not only of the ministry, but also of everyone who loves God and His Truth to combat that aberrant behavior and refute it by sound doctrine.

We have a job to do – we have to preach the Gospel to the world for a witness, not to get large numbers of converts. We have not been called to build social clubs. The Bible speaks about the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. Pray that God will give His people the wisdom to discern the difference between the two.

“We are of God: he that knows God hears us; he that is not of God hears not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.  ”(1 John 4:6)


Sermon:  "Diotrephes"
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