II John 10-11
v.10- “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house,
neither bid him God speed:”
v.11- “For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”
This is a Scripture that isn’t so much misquoted as it may be misunderstood.
I have heard some interpret this Scripture with a strict, legalistic view. Their interpretation is that nobody is allowed into their home who does not “abide in the doctrine of Christ” (v.9). While some interpret these Scriptures with a legalistic view, they do not observe it with a legalist view. Negligently, these verses are applied as matter of convenience.
For example, do we question the plumber, landscaper or the pizza delivery boy as to what they believe doctrinally before we invite them into our house? What about our family members who are not in the truth? Are they allowed in our homes?
This verse is not teaching us, in the home setting, to not be hospitable to somebody in need or to not show ourselves friendly with those whose doctrine may be different than ours. How many conversions to the Apostolic truth have been done through Bible studies in the setting of the home?
The issue at hand takes place in a public worship service. Interwoven in the New Testament is the fact that worship services did take place in the home. Many Christian homes fulfilled dual roles-they became a place for public worship.
The Apostle is warning us of those who propagate error. They are bringing/carrying false doctrine. These are false prophets, false teachers, false Christ’s, etc. They bring not the doctrine of Christ. “Know them who labour among you” certainly comes to mind. They are not to teach nor instruct the saints. They are not to be received in any leadership capacity within the church. Apostle John admonishes us to not even “bid him God speed.” Our stamp of approval on false teachers makes us a partaker of their evil deeds. It makes one wonder if John had one specific man in mind, from his day, who was trying to infiltrate the church with his false way.
Many speak of having dialogue with the “xyz” religion. I don’t have dialogue, I have monologue! It’s me talking to them. It’s me converting them.
The New Testament Church was hospitable in entertaining Christian ministers (III John 5-6). Jesus taught that those who received His disciples received Him; those who received a prophet and righteous man received their reward (Matthew 10:40-41). False prophets and false teachers knew the charity the Church had toward each other. No doubt, they would have used the Church’s hospitality to “prey” on them. With feigned words they make merchandise out of the saints.
II Timothy 3:6- “For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women
laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,”
In I John these false teachers have “gone out.” In Jude these false teachers have “crept in unawares…” False prophets and false teachers are creeps. They crept in-you can tell a lot about somebody by the way the walk!
These men are not to be received into the church in a teaching, leadership capacity.
Ezra 9:2- “the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands:”