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Faith & Fruit

Sermon Series:

Final Words

Kevin Harney
Kevin Harney

Lead Pastor

Shoreline Community Church

Main Passage:
2 John


Well, when you say certain names, things come to people's minds and hearts. And there's people in my life that if somebody were to say their name, it brings us this warmth and this joy. A couple of those names for me would be Warren Burgess, John Shaw. Both pastors, both pastors who had a huge influence on my life as a young pastor. Watching them, learning from them, listening to them, asking them questions and just sort of soaking up their wisdom because these are men that were decades and decades older than me.

They're both with Jesus now. But I'm so thankful that God put older, wiser people, men in my life for me to learn from. And now today, I continue to have that. It gets, as I get older, it gets more and more challenging to find people older than me to pour into my life. But if I were to say the names Carl Overbeek or Paul Seder, you might not know those names, but Carl for probably a decade and a half and Paul for maybe the last 10 years have poured into my life. And Paul Cedar thinks I'm a young guy because he's 84 and I'm 60 and so he's a quarter century older than I am, right? And so so with Paul every month we spent time together and I asked him questions. And I just listened and I learned because he's older, because he's wise, because he's seasoned. And one of our times together a while back, I was with him and I said, I said, Paul, how do you deal with those people in the church who are just negative and critical and always have something bad to say and kind of come down hard on you all the time. When you see them coming, you kind of go, oh no, here it comes. Now, obviously there's no one like that at Peace Church. But other churches are different than this church. But sometimes there's people like that in the church. So I asked him, how did you handle that through your ministry? He said, let me tell you a story. And that's the people with wisdom in years. Often they'll just say, let me tell you a story. In the story comes the truth, right? So he said, years ago I was a pastor at Lake Avenue Congregational Church in Pasadena, near where Sharon and I went to seminary. And he said, I had a guy in the church who gave a lot of money and thought he kind of had the right to say and do whatever he wanted because he was very generous. But he said, every time I saw him coming, I knew it was going to be something negative. He was always critical of me, of the church, of other people. He was always negative, always critical. So he said, so I just took it to the Lord in prayer one day. I said, God, I don't know what to do with this guy. Could you maybe make him leave the church or do something? Because I'm just so tired of how he always treats me and other people. And he said, and the Holy Spirit just gently put in my heart this. He said, you know, Paul, you haven't suffered that much for me. You're not in a place in the world where people burn down your house or beat you up for being a Christian. So having one guy who's just negative all the time, he said, that's your suffering, that's your burden, that's your persecution, it's not so bad. So he said, can you give me a fresh perspective? He said, then I called the guy. I said, can I take you out to lunch? And I said, sure, he was kind of surprised. He said, sure, I'd love to go out to lunch. So Paul said, I took him out to lunch. We sat down and in the midst of the lunch, he said, I just said to him, listen, I gotta tell you something. I've been thinking about you and praying about you. And as I've been praying about you, it just struck me. You know, I haven't had that much persecution in my life, that much suffering, that much abuse, but then God brought you along. And he said, you become a source of pain and struggle and anxiety in my life, and I just want to thank you because my life's been pretty easy and God's using you to bring me pain and struggle. And if you know this guy, he's very gentle-spirited, but he's very honest. So I said, how did he respond? And he said, I didn't know you saw me that way. I didn't know that's who I was. But I'm going to try not to be like that anymore. Wow. So I said, well, so now did you like maintain a relationship with him? And he said, can I tell you what? I learned more from that five minute story that Paul Cedar told me than I did in some entire seminary classes I had. There's something about going to people who are older, who are wiser, who love Jesus, who followed him and sitting at their feet and listening and learning.

And this series you're in right now, that's exactly what you're doing. You're going to John the Apostle, the last living apostle, the oldest at this point, living apostle, and somebody who, you know, when we first meet John with, you know, he's part of Peter, James, and John, this inner circle, and if you want to get some background on who this John was, make sure if you weren't here for the first week, or if you weren't online for the first week, watch the first week in the series that Pastor Ryan preached. He walks through the background of who John was. It's a great background.

So if you haven't heard that, go back and listen to that message. But, but this is John who was this young, energetic, you know, we meet him in the Gospels, but now he's older, he's seasoned, and when we listen to him teaching, we really discover that this is a man who's grown in incredible wisdom. And he writes this postcard, he really writes a postcard, we call it a letter, we call it an epistle, but 2 John is really like a postcard written to a woman and her children. And we don't know if her children are spiritual children, because the Bible will sometimes refer to people as, you know, Paul will say, well, Timothy was my true son in the faith. We don't know if it's physical children or spiritual children, doesn't really matter. But this little postcard, as a matter of fact, the entire book of 2 John is on this little paper here, front and back, that's the entire book of the Bible.

So if you're gonna read like a whole book of the Bible in one day, you can try to read Psalms, it's 150 chapters, but this is the, if you want to do it, I read a whole book of the Bible today, go with 2 John, because it's a postcard right here. All right, so here's what I want to do. I've been reading this and reflecting on this last week and my average time in reading this is 93 seconds.

So I'm going to read an entire book of the Bible to you right now. I still have plenty of time to preach, okay? And you can turn in your Bibles to second John, near the very end of the Bible. If you hit the book of Revelation, just turn left and go back a little bit. But it's very into your Bible. You can open up in your Bible app, but I want you most of all just to listen. It won't be on the screens. Just hear this. This woman in the early church and her spiritual or physical children gets this letter from John and asks herself, why is he writing it? What's he getting at? What's the point of this little postcard? Here we go, alright?

Scripture Reading

The elder, that's John, the elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth. And by the way, if you have your own Bibles and you write notes, circle or underline the words love and truth. It shows up over and over in the first half of this little postcard. The owner of the elect lady and her children whom I love in the truth. And not only I, but also all who know the truth. Because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever. That's three truths in two verses. That's a lot of truth.

Verse three. Grace, mercy and peace be with us from God the Father and Jesus Christ the Father's Son in truth and love. I rejoice greatly to find out that some of your children are walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father. And now I ask you, dear lady, not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments and this is the commandment just as you have heard from the beginning so that you should walk in it now he gets to kinda heart of what he's trying to say John is addressing a specific issue notice what this issue is I continue that this little postcard he says to this woman for many deceivers have gone out into the world those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh the incarnation such a one is a deceiver and the anti Christ watch yourselves so that you may not lose what you've worked for but may win a full reward everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ does not have God whoever abides in the teaching has both the father and the son if anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting close the door for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works and then a little wrap-up so I have much to write to you I would rather not use paper and ink instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face so that our joy may be complete the children of your elect sister greet you.


living God speak to us as we walk through this entire book of the Bible this is this little postcard written for a wise seasoned elderly apostle to a person in your church who loved you and wanted to live for you. May we hear your word to us today as your spirit speaks. We pray this in Jesus name and for his glory. Amen.

So the call is to know and live in the truth. When you read this little postcard what you hear John saying is know the truth and live in the truth this is important guides everything you do when you know the truth when you live in the truth you're on the right path so again second John verses 1 through 4 there's only one chapter such as verses 1 through 4 listen again follow along and see the words love and truth jump out again the elder to the elect lady and her children whom I love in the truth not only I but also who know the truth all these other believers we love you too because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever now pause there for a minute because the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever it sounds like he's talking about Jesus who is the way the truth of sound doctrine, or the truth of Jesus? Is it A, B, C, or D, all of the above? I think this is D, all of the above. It's this whole body of truth and the person of truth and the life of truth. Then he says, Grace and mercy and peace will be with us from God the Father and Jesus Christ the Father's Son in truth and love. Those things go together. And then he says, I rejoice greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth just as we were commanded by the Father. So John is speaking with wisdom, with years of experience.

He's writing to this woman and her children, either her family or spiritual family. And he's writing out of a lifetime of walking with Jesus. This is a real letter to a real person in a real time in history. And so we have to kind of read it within that context. Now the difference between, you know, Warren Burgess and John Shaw early in my life as a pastor and Carl Overbeek and Paul Cedar now in my life as a pastor and their influences, these were godly men who spoke truth to me but they weren't speaking Holy Spirit inspired scripture.

When we're listening to John and 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and I'm hoping you're reading through these three books as you've been going through this series, at least this week, read all three of them a couple times. Get the word of God in your mind, get it in your heart. But just to say, listen, I wanna understand what God's word is saying to me. The word truth is used five times in the first four verses. So this is important. And this truth is Jesus. And this truth is the written Word of God. So the living Word of God, who is the truth. The written Word of God, which is the truth. And what you believe as a body, the doctrine you hold to. If you ask Pastor Ryan, is there somewhere we have written down what we believe as a church? He'd say, yes, it's on the website. You've got to look into that. If you're thinking about joining this church, don't just go, I like their music and the people are friendly and you know the worship service time works in my schedule I'm gonna go to this church. You better find out what a church believes before you jump in and What this church believes is biblical is solid is sound I wouldn't be here preaching if it wasn't. But make sure you know that personally so when the Bible talks about truth here I think it means Jesus the truth the word written word of truth and the truth of our belief our faith is true and given to us by God. And the truth guides love and love leads to the best life.

Truth guides love. So if we believe in the truth and we hold to the truth, it actually shows us what love looks like. Why do I do my best to humbly serve my wife and not always demand on my way, but try to think of her first. Because the truth of God's word says that I'm to serve my wife as Jesus served the church and laid his life down as a ransom for the church. The word of God tells me how to love. See, love isn't just this nebulous, squishy, weird, fuzzy feeling. I've talked to people, my relationship didn't work out, our marriage didn't work out because we kind of fell out of love. Then your love is based strictly on emotion. Love is more than that. It's based on the truth. Why do we as Christians, if you're a follower of Jesus, why do we try to share the love of Jesus with others? Because the last thing Jesus said is, go therefore and make disciples of all nations. Tell others about me. Our love, the truth speaks to us. It grows love in our heart, and it guides our lives.

All these things fit together. And so we've got to let God's truth guide our lives. We need to know the truth. Do you walk in the truth? Let me ask you a question. How often do you open this book up? Or how often do you, on your Bible app, listen to the Word of God? Is it once a week for Sundays? And the way you hear the word is because the pastor preaches it Is it every day is it first thing in the morning and maybe another passage in the evening? We live in a time where there's so many forces pushing against the truth And so many Christians get pushed over because they don't know the truth So then they don't know how to love the way God calls them to love and live the lives God calls them to live and so know this book and spend time sitting at the feet of Jesus. Pray, talk to him, talk with other believers, pray with them. Kind of marinate your soul and your life in the truth. The truth lives in us and will be eternally with us. Verse 2 of 2 John says this, because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever. I think that's more specifically there looking at the person of Jesus, but his truth, he Jesus, the truth, lives in us. He abides with us. He'll be with us forever. So we've got to know the truth, and we've got to live in the truth. Then we've got to understand that truth and love are connected in the heart of God, and should be connected in our lives. That truth and love are bound together in the heart of God. And so we've got to say, I know the truth, I know the scriptures, I know correct doctrine and belief, I know Jesus, who's the truth. I don't just know about Jesus, I don't just hear about Jesus, I know Jesus. He abides in me and I abide in him, and I walk with him. When the truth is in you, in your mind through scripture, in your heart through believing what is right, and in your life through connecting with Jesus, then you walk in that truth and you also walk in the love of Jesus. And God commands us to walk in the truth. And He delights. Do you know that God delights when we walk in the truth? John says, I hear that some of your children are walking in the truth. He's just so excited that whether it's your spiritual children or your physical children, He's so glad that they're walking in the truth.


And so Jesus, we pause right now, as we just begin this journey of walking through 2 John, and we pray, living Jesus Christ, You who are the way, the truth, and the life, help us understand Your truth. Immerse us in Your Scriptures. Connect us in spiritual community where we're growing in Your Word together. Help us experience Your presence every moment of every day. Let us not just be religious people, let us have a relationship with you. Let us not just know what we believe, but let us believe in you and walk with you. We pray that your truth, that you Jesus the truth, would dominate our hearts, our minds, and our souls. All we think and all we do. Jesus, the truth of heaven, teach us to walk in the truth to know the truth to love the truth we pray this in your name amen

Well, the next thing John moves on to is the call to live and walk in love so first he's saying know the truth believe the truth walk in the truth that'll impact your eyes and then he says now you need to live and walk in love so I'm going to continue reading from 2nd John verses 5 and 6 and notice how love is right in the center of the passage, all right? So John continues on. And now I ask you, dear lady, not as though we are writing you a new commandment, but one that you have had from the very beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. And this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in love. This is love. Now watch this. This is love that you walk in the commandments. You follow the truth.

See, the truth tells us how to love one another and how to love our world. But when we walk in love, what is love? It's obeying His commandments. It's our love for God. When Jesus was asked, what is the most important of all the commandments, of all the law, of all the prophets, of all the commandments, of all that came before. When Jesus asked, what's most important? You know what Jesus said. He said, love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, your mind, your strength. This is the first and the greatest commandment. Love God. Then he says, the second is like it. What? Love your neighbor as yourself. So what is love? To obey the commandments. What are the commandments? They call us to love. This is all bound together. Alright? right and so John is saying walk in according to commandments this is the commandment just as you have heard from the beginning so that you should walk in it walk in his commandments and that's walking in love and love has been the standard from the beginning and it is still our starting point it's our default love is if you are a Christian if you're listening online if you're here in their worship center if you're in the chapel or downstairs if you're a Christian, your default button is love. If you're not yet a Christian, you become a Christian, it'll become your default button.

If I go on my computer, I have a default. If I'm going to use a word program, my word program is set up where I start using it. It's 12-point font, New Times Roman, justified left. That's my default. And unless I change something, that's what I'm going to always get when I start writing a letter or doing anything, because that's the default. If you're a Christian, here's your default.

Every morning when you wake up, you wake up and you love God, you love the church, and you love people that are far from Jesus. That's your default button. That's who you are. So here's how a Christian lives. If you're looking down, look at me for a second here. Here's Open heart. Open home. Open church. That's your default button when you meet Jesus. Why? Because he who knew no sin, Jesus, became sin and gave his life that you might become the righteousness of God. This is love, not that we love God. This is 1 John chapter 4. This is love, not that we love God, but that God loved us and sent His Son as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. God came to us with arms open, heart open, heaven open, and He invited you in. How can we live any different than that? That's who we are. That's our default button. Just as sure as every time I open up my Word program, I know it's going to be 12 point, it's going to be New Times Roman, I know it's going to be Justified Love. If it's different, I've got to select it and change it. That's the default button. Your default button if you're a Christian is love. Open arms, open heart, open home, open church, open life. That's who we are. Now some of you noticed the title of the sermon as I started.

The title of the sermon is, When to Open the Door and When to Slam it Shut. Here's how we live. We're going to get to slam it shut in just a minute. But I want to start with the default. I want to start with how life is supposed to be. When things get weird and messy, sometimes we have to slam the door shut. And when we do it, we do it with confidence, we do it with boldness. But we're going to start with where John starts, where Jesus started, and where every Christian should start. It's love that moves us toward obedience. Love moves us toward obedience. that love has a power in it to obey God's commandments. And so I want to look at it this way. And there's a dilemma for some people. Some people, they're like, I'm a truth person. I'm about the truth. I'm about doctrine and belief. I'm a truth person. There's other people like, oh no, no, no. I'm a love person. I'm tender and caring and sensitive. I want to just, I want to love everybody. Now let me show you a dilemma. If you hold to the truth, which John talks about here clearly, right? If you hold to the truth, I know what the Bible says, I know what it teaches, and you have no love. You're all about truth. And your doctrine is strong, and you know what you believe, but you have no love, and no grace, and no tenderness. You become a hard-hearted, doctrinally sound, dogmatic pain in the rear end. And you will drive people away from Jesus, and you will break the heart of God. All truth with no love does not honor Jesus. And if you're all about love, warm, fuzzy, squishy, everyone, doesn't matter what someone believes, just invite them all in, everything's just fine. Then you become this sort of open-armed, easy target for the enemy to sneak in and deceive because you don't have any discernment, you don't have any truth guiding you.

So as Christians, as mature Christians, we cannot be all about truth with no love. We cannot be all about love with no truth because that breaks the heart of God too and pushes people away. Here's how we live as Christians. We hold to the truth and we hold to love. And we walk in that dynamic tension of both of them. So we know what we believe and it changes how we live. And so what ends up happening is then we start to recognize that love opens the door, love welcomes people in, but truth gives boundaries and parameters. And it shows us how we should live.

And so Jesus, again, we pause and we pray, we pray, Lord, that we be people of the truth, people of your word, people who walk with you and who live in the truth and know the truth. But now, Jesus, we pray that we will be people of love, people who have grace and understand that Jesus, you so loved us that you gave your life on the cross, that, Father, you so loved the world that you sent your one and only Son. We pray that we will be people of truth and people of love. And give us the power to not let either of those go, but to hold on tight and strong. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.

So here's the deal. The call of love and truth that leads us to slam the door closed sometimes. Here's our default button. Arms open, heart open, life open, home open, church open. Everyone's welcome. But, there's times you slam the door shut. And that's what John is getting to in this little postcard. The first half is establishing the base, our foundation, love and truth, and how it guides our lives. But now watch what he gets to in verse 7. 2 John verse 7. He says, for many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh, the incarnation. Jesus was bodily born because he wasn't bodily born. He couldn't die on the cross in our place for our sins. This is all about the gospel. wrong belief is a deceiver and the Antichrist watch yourselves so you may not lose what you have worked for but may gain may win a full reward everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ as a hold of the truth does not have God who abides in the teaching as both the father and the son if anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, slam the door shut. Don't give him any greeting, slam the door shut. For whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works, slam the door shut because if you let them in and let them have their way, you're part of the problem." Kind of a shift here in the middle of this little short postcard, isn't it? But he's writing, he gives the foundation of how we function. Open hearts, open arms. Holding the truth, we walk in love and we live in that dynamic tension every day of our lives. But there's a situation going on here. In the ancient world, when people were preaching and teaching and traveling with the gospel, anytime they came to the home of a Christian, it was just standard. You open the home, you let them stay there, you provide food. But there were some people who were traveling around in the name of Jesus, so to speak, but they were working against Jesus. They were teaching false belief. You know what John says? Here's our usual posture, but now it's this. Doors open?

Not now. Boom, it's closed.

There's times where we have to recognize that what someone is teaching, how they're living, what they're doing is so damaging, we can't let them in because it will affect our children our grandchildren our own faith the church our community some people are like I just want to slam the door to everybody know our we're like this we're open we're Christians that's how Jesus came his arms wide open to the all the way to the cross right so Jesus can that's how we live but and this is why you have to know the truth sometimes the truth says the loving thing is actually to slam the door. Do you know when that is and how that works? Deceivers and people who are against Jesus are out there and sometimes they're in here. We have to recognize that. If you have someone teaching kids classes at your church and they don't believe the truth of the gospel and they're misleading children, that's a problem. Boy, we can't let them teach anymore, but that would hurt their feelings. Okay, that's the love part. The truth is they're teaching something that's false. For years, my wife Sherry grew up going to Camp Geneva, a wonderful Christian camp in Holland, Michigan here, not far away. Some of you may have connections with that camp. When our boys were growing up, they went to Camp Geneva. And when our boys were still young, they asked me if I'd be a chaplain there for one week each summer.

So for a number of years, I was a chaplain. And our boys were young boys still. This is three decades ago. But in the midst of one of the weeks I was chaplain there, I had a couple of counselors come to me and they said, hey, we got a problem. I said, what's that? And they said, well, the person coming next week to lead the camp, the chaplain next week, doesn't believe in Jesus. Doesn't believe Jesus is Savior. And also has really weird views about male and female and sexuality and all kinds of stuff. And I said, now that can't be right. And they said, no, it's his name. Everybody calls him Doc, but he's gonna be here next week. He's been coming for like 12 years in a row. I said, Doc who? And they told me the guy's name and I was like, oh, I've read some of this guy's articles. The technical term is he's a heretic. He doesn't believe the gospel. But every summer for 12 years, he was coming to this Christian camp and leading a week of... and it was a special needs week.

So I talked to him and I said, why are you letting this person who doesn't believe in Jesus lead? And this one person said to me, well, it's just a special needs group. I thought, you better be, you know, if you got young children or special needs people, you better make sure you're absolutely clear you're not giving them false teaching. And so I heard a couple people say, well yeah, we kind of know that, but it's really complicated because he's been doing it for a long time and there's a lot of people who really like him and he's really a nice guy. Love, love, love, love, but guess what they missed? Truth. Right? And so I said, I think I'd like to write a letter to the board and raise the concern.

So I wrote a letter to the board and I basically said, here's what this person believes, and here's examples from the Kalamazoo Gazette, from the Grand Rapids Press, of things he's written, things he's said. It's clearly not... And then I gave them a copy of their own belief statement. And I said, these don't fit together. Do something about it. And they did, and they told him he wasn't able to come be chaplain anymore.

But they also told me I also wasn't welcome to come as chaplain anymore. Why do people laugh at that? That's not funny. It was a sad moment, but I realized because that's how they kind of made peace. We'll ask him not to come, but we'll also ask you not to come. For like four years I was blackballed and I couldn't come. Now, I'm glad I did that because the truth demanded, it's exactly what 2 John's talking about. These people who are working against Jesus and you're letting them in. So in that case, they closed the door. And I got to tell you, Camp Geneva has a solid mission statement, they have a biblical mission statement, but at that moment, they had just gotten so squishy-lovey, not wanting to hurt someone's feelings, they didn't do the right thing. Some of you are sitting here thinking right now, well, I think that's mean that you did that. And if you think that, go to the Word.

Read through 2 John. Hear what God is saying, because we need to hear the truth that overcomes our own emotions and feelings. We have to be on guard and discerning. Be on your guard, be discerning. Do you know the word of God? Do you know what you believe? If there's false teaching, do you recognize it? Or will it go right over your head? You need to know what the truth so that you can then walk in love with appropriate boundaries. And we have to hold into the teaching of Jesus. This is the key. Hold the teaching of Jesus. Open this book every day, or listen to the scriptures every day. Get your kids in boys group and girls group here at Peace Church. They're gonna learn about Jesus, they're gonna learn the word of God. Get them at Sunday morning programs, get them at Bible study, get them in men's group, a woman's group, a small group. Open the word of God and read it every single day. And immerse yourself in the scriptures so you know the truth and you recognize when something is errant, when something is wrong, when something is off the rails. And understand that there are times, as hard as it is, where we slam the door. Now one more time. Everyone, eyes up here for a minute.

You've got to see this. Our default button, who we are as Christians, we are loving, open arms, open heart, open church. But if somebody comes into your home, into your church, into your life, and they're teaching what is false and they're trying to mislead special needs kids or children or your kids or grandkids or you there's a point where you go wait a minute the truth demands that at this moment the love the most loving thing I can do is slam the door shut the loving thing for those special needs kids was to not hear this guy teach anymore and the council the counselors came and said last year he this when this guy was here he gave me a really bad counsel for my own life unbiblical counsel for their personal lives so that's the act of love it's a hard act of love you slam the door shut you make sure you know you're on the right footing doctrinally and then when you have to let you slam the door and so if there's a somebody teaching something false in your church you deal with it you don't look the other way well but they've been working with kids for ten years well then they've been misleading for 10 if they're if they're in the wrong you have to address you have to deal with it if you immerse yourself in your family and watching shows, streaming video shows that work against the gospel of Jesus, and there's many of them now that do, and you wonder why your kids start wandering, slam the door. Well, I can't tell my kids what they can and can't watch. I mean, they're six and seven years old. I can't tell them. Hello? Right? There's times where you close the door, where you discontinue the cable service, whatever it is to make sure that you don't have a flow of stuff coming in, there's times you close the door.

If there's an institution that you support that used to be neutral or Christian but isn't any more, I talk to more people who give more money to colleges. Well I went there 40 years ago and I'm still, and I cheer on their sports team, but that college has an express intention of destroying the faith of young people. Please don't give money anymore to that school. Call the provost, call the president and say, listen, I can't give there anymore because I know in the classes you're teaching this, this and this about sexuality, you're teaching this and this, you're fighting against Christianity. So I'm going to take that money, I'm going to be really crazy, I'm going to give it to my church. I have friends, I wish that they would do that. To slam the door and close the door on their flow of finances and support of certain organizations because they know a lot. And even sometimes even if a school says they're a Christian school, you better make sure they're a Christian school. You better make sure that their doctrine is sound. If you haven't read the doctrinal statement and make sure that they follow that, you should know. If there's people in your life who are misleading, sometimes in family, you may have somebody in your family who's actively working against Jesus, trying to influence your kids or grandkids away from Jesus. You gotta love them, you gotta care for them, you gotta navigate carefully, but there might be times where you have to limit their access, because they are becoming a negative force.

Now everybody, one more thing, look at me. What's our default button? What's our starting point? Open arms, open heart, open home, open church. That's where we want to live all the time. But just like John says to this woman and to her children, there's some people coming in who are misleading and deceiving. And then don't even let them into your house. Don't even greet them. You know what he says? And if you do, you're part of their work. If I would have ignored that, this guy, this chaplain, if I would have ignored that, and for the next two, three, four, five years, that person was still coming and deceiving counselors and children, especially these children. I answer for that, because I saw it, I knew. And out of tender love, I'm not gonna say anything, no. When we know the truth and we hold onto the truth, love demands sometimes that we slam the door shut, tight and hard, and don't let that in.

So may God open your arms and your heart and your home and your church to anyone He wants to bring. But when somebody is working against the gospel, may you have the knowledge of Scripture, the love of Jesus and the courage to close the door tight. Jesus, this is our prayer, that we can navigate this challenge, this little letter, this little postcard opens our eyes to the need to know the truth, to walk in love, to bring those together and sometimes Jesus it means that we close the door. Maybe with tears when we block someone out of our life because they're having an ungodly influence. With tears we have to stand against things but Lord we want to do it with courage, with boldness, and with confidence.

And so Jesus says, we sing right now, I pray in this moment of reflection, this moment of worship, you'll speak to each of our hearts. So if there's a place where we're not paying attention or where we've noticed something utterly wrong, but we haven't had the courage to address it, even as we worship together, speak to our hearts. Give us courage to walk in the truth and to walk in love, to keep the door open and when we have to, to close it tight. tight. Speak to our hearts as we worship together.

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