Good Packaging (2 John, 3 John, Jude)

About five years ago, I was at a Christian conference with a variety of speakers. Because I really, really care about adoption, I was particularly drawn to a speaker who had recently adopted two children. I sat at the edge of my seat as she talked about her family’s adoption journey. She was hysterically funny and real and I instantly wanted to read everything that she had ever written. At the end of her session, I sprinted to the merchandise table and bought all of her Bible study books. I couldn’t wait to get home and dig into them.

The next week, I sat my very pregnant self on my bed with my Bible, my brand-new Bible study book, one of my good pens and got to work. I was a little surprised, however, when I was on page six of my new Bible study book before I had read a single verse of scripture.

Over the next several days I found many inspirational quotes, some well-written stories, much impassioned commentary by the author about social justice issues, but very little scripture. I soon set my new book aside.

Over the past five years, this particular author has become relatively famous with a huge following on social media. Anything that she posts online will get thousands of “likes” and comments. As I have closely followed her career, I have been dismayed to see this extremely talented and passionate communicator stray from what the Bible actually says in some key ways. The authors of the New Testament warned us that this would happen.

The books of Second John, Third John and Jude are tiny, with just a handful of chapters between them but they have a common thread. Each of them warns of false teachers. Second John says that “many deceivers have gone out into the world,” (vs. 7).

Jude, verse four, alerted his readers that certain godless men had, “secretly slipped in among you.” He goes on to say, “These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit” (vs. 19).

So, what are we to do? Jude gives us the answer. “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit…Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them” (vs. 20 and 22-23).

The more that we build up our own faith, through the study of scripture and prayer, the better able we will be to recognize teaching that strays from the truth, no matter how well packaged it is. This will help us to preserve our own faith and save others with theirs.

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Reading Plan- Week Forty-Eight

Day One- 2 John
Day Two- 3 John
Day Three- Jude
Day Four- Revelation 1
Day Five- Revelation 2