"Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son."
-- 2 John 9 (NIV)
St. John the Evangelist wrote this beautiful letter in order to warn first-century Christians to be wary of false teachers and to refuse them hospitality if they enter your town. It is not out of hatred for the false teachers that John commands them to do this, but out of love for them and their neighbors. These heretics were seriously harming many people by spreading lies about their Lord Jesus Christ. The heresy these false teachers proclaimed was called Gnosticism. This taught that Jesus did not actually become man, and that our bodies are not important, but only our souls. To my great distress, many churches today flirt with this ancient heresy. It was the first-century Christians' duty to fight this and every other heresy wherever it was proclaimed... even by guests in their own homes. Even by trusted friends. And we must do the same. All heresy is evil, whether it is Gnosticism, Works Righteousness, or Antinomianism. It's all around us, and we must be wary of false teachers just as much as the Christians John was writing to had to be. For anyone who proclaims a gospel other than the good news of Jesus Christ does not have God. But, as John writes, whoever continues in Jesus' teaching has both the Father and the Son. I'm guilty of speaking heresy as well. Repent, and rejoice in the authentic Gospel of Jesus, the one who died and rose again for the forgiveness of our sins... Including the sin of preaching heresy.