Cecil Hutson Sermon Archive
November 23, 2003 AM
DANGERS TO OUR JOY?
2 JNO 1:7-11
INTRO: Over the course of the past few weeks, we have explored the little New Testament book of 2nd John. Our studies have focused on those things which John mentions which might be reasons for our rejoicing in Christ. But in this little letter addressed to the elect lady John also gives a warning. There are dangers to our joy! While it is much more enjoyable and positive to talk about the reasons for our joy and the sources of it, there is a place for reminders, warnings, too. That is even the case in this letter to an apparently very faithful Christian lady ... and, perhaps, to her children. There are, it seems to me, three very distinct dangers which John addresses.
I. THE DANGER OF DECEIVERS TEACHING ERROR ABOUT CHRIST
A. The specific error he mentions? That Jesus did not come in the flesh
1. from a Jewish perspective? The denial that Jesus is the Son of God in the flesh would be essential to continuing Mosaic system
2. from a pagan perspective? The denial would be necessary for one to calmly continue in his pagan ideas
3. from a Christian deceivers perspective? The particular group then - gnostics
a. did not believe that Deity could actually dwell among/with sinful men
b. so, the Jesus people saw was a sort of emanation of the real Christ
c. so, 1 Jno 4:1-3
4. but other deceivers and their notions about Christ are very present now
B. Deceivers are a very present danger
1. Gal 1:6,7 - perverting the gospel message in order to gain a following
2. 2 Cor 11:3,4 - concern? That they would tolerate such teachers and be drawn away after them
3. deceivers are clever, subtle, attractive, exciting - it is so easy to be caught up in their net
4. and to people in danger of being deceived? Gal 5:1-4
II. THE DANGER OF FAILING TO ABIDE IN CHRISTS TEACHING
A. A first fact: failing to abide in His teaching is transgression, sin
1. abide is not a word with which we are unfamiliar
2. a simple definition: to dwell within ... and abode is a dwelling place
3. so, His teaching is our dwelling place within which we are to dwell
4. if we fail to abide in His teaching, we are transgressing, sinning
B. Abiding is a word suggesting permanence
1. so, one who is spasmodic in obedience is not abiding within
2. Jno 8:31 - If ye continue in my word...
3. what Jesus taught He intended to be kept as a manner of belief & life
4. now look closely at 1 Jno 2:3-5 - at v. 5 is the expression hereby know we that we are in him - there is abiding ... abiding is in the keeping his word
C. Our hope for this life and eternity in found in this abiding in His teaching
1. Col 1:21-23 - we are to continue ... not move away
2. our hope is revealed in the gospel, and we are directed to that hope by that which the gospel reveals
3. and I like the words grounded and settled - a decided issue in our lives
4. notice a bit further Col 2:6,7 - the Christian life has deep roots upon which it grows and upon which it stands
III. THE DANGER OF ACCEPTING THOSE WHO TEACH ERROR
A. I recognize that 2 Jno 1:10,11 may sound harsh, unkind, mean spirited
1. it is certainly not in my nature to refuse fellowship to anyone
2. my desire is to offensive to no one - to let a kind spirit reign
3. but there are eternal issues here, and we cannot overlook that
4. and John is not calling for ugliness, meanness ... love and kindness continue
B. There are two things here ...
1. giving fellowship, comfort, a forum to one who espouses error - I would return to Pauls thoughts at 2 Cor 11:3,4 - ye might bear well with him
2. exposure to error taught by people with charisma is too apt to affect!
3. then, bidding a teacher of error God speed - God be with you ... as you go and teach your error
4. in this one becomes a partaker of his evil deeds
C. So, our reason for joy in Christ is lost in what might seem to us to be a sort of innocent, passive gesture of goodwill!
CLOSE: One last thought. At v. 12 John refers to the joy of face to face meetings with dear saints in Christ. How very true this is. In this life we most assuredly enjoy such meetings. But wont our face to face meetings in eternity be so much sweeter?
Cecil A. Hutson
23 November 2003
God's Plan of Salvation
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)