Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds. (2 John 1:9-11)
Joining False Doctrine
The challenge of truth was first evidenced when Satan said to Eve, “Has God indeed said?” What the tempter wanted the woman to see was how unfair the Lord was in prohibiting the tree of knowledge from them and that she should do what she wanted to do. Throughout the ages of history, man has continually rejected the clear teaching of God for his own doctrines so that he could worship himself as a god and only ruler. Apostasy is as old as the earth.
The lure of false doctrine has been the nectar of the deceiver to draw the hearts of men away from God. This is especially true among the people of God who at one time devoted their wills to the commandments of the Lord but continued to fraternize with the tenets of evil. The result has always been the soul lost on the battlefields of compromise. When the sons of God began to marry the daughters of men, evil reigned and the world was destroyed save the eight in the ark. The nation of Israel failed to remove the evil influences of the Canaanites which led to the final downfall of the once glorious nation of God’s people. When the early church began to grow a spirit of compromise began to creep into the hearts of the people and the great apostasy developed.
John warned of the impact allowing evil influences to become part of the fabric of New Testament doctrine. Many deceivers had gone out into the world who did not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh and the church lost many souls to apostasy. The apostle warns against those who would move away from the commandments of the Father that they have no relationship with God. This was a clear declaration for separation from those who did not teach the faith once delivered to the saints. Doctrine had to be upheld as the only truth that man could be saved. Anyone who did not abide by the teachings of Jesus Christ was to be rejected. False doctrine is called by God as evil deeds or evil work.
It would have amazed the heart of John to see the religious division so prominent today. John knew of one church with one doctrine. False teaching began early among the saints with circumcision being required, roles of leadership confused, abuse of miraculous powers, despots ruling over churches, and a host of false teaching permeating the early church. For many in the Lord’s church today they see no difference between the Lord’s church and denominations of the world. They send their children to denominational schools, engage in holiday events put on by churches of men, use their buildings for great occasions and in the case of the Salvation Army, contribute to the false doctrine by giving them money either in red pots or buying from the Salvation Army stores.
The Holy Spirit expressly said through the writing of John to not have fellowship with those who deny the teaching of Jesus Christ and still many of God’s people openly accept and participate in the tenets of false doctrine. Anyone who encourages such people becomes a partner in their evil work. Jesus said there was only one way to the Father. He also said there was one church. The Lord taught one doctrine and commanded one avenue of salvation. Anything that is contrary to the doctrine of Christ is to be rejected – disallowed – excluded – and refused. There can be no other choice.