3 John vv. 3-5

It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you.

As the time draws near for Christ’s return and this apostasy continues to grow there are a couple of interesting trends that appear to be emerging. Some pastors faithful to the Word have begun seriously thinking about the growth of the ancient Church through small house churches cooperating in a spirit of Christian love for the Truth, and for each other. At the same time there also seems to be more and more people becoming disgruntled with the lack of sound Biblical teaching within mainline Evangelical churches obviously caught up in the numbers game. No doubt as a pastor myself I fully understand how easy it would be to succumb to the pressure from denominational organizations–as well as that of fellow pastors–but what happens is that people who wish to grow in Christ are now being held back in favor of “milk” to keep new people interested.

In our text the Apostle John is writing to his friend Gaius after some men had come back from his home church and shared with the Apostle how faithful to the Truth this small church was. We do know from history that as the Church spread out from Jerusalem, especially due to pressure from Roman authorities, it had to be low key and this was the main reason it met “undercover” in people’s homes. But here we see something in verse 4 of our text that undoubtedly came through John from the very heart of Christ Jesus Himself – I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the Truth. And from the rest of this brief epistle we also know that they were walking together in love. This love, and we hear a lot about the subject today, is for God–the Truth–first, then for our fellow brothers and sisters, and after that comes our love for humanity in general.

We can see this as we look at verse 5 – Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you. With this in mind I close by sharing a little bit of what a very dear brother in the Lord and fellow pastor Richard Snider wrote me the other day:

There is something I want to run by you. In my study and prayer I have had insight through Gods Word and confirmation from the Holy Spirit about the modern Church. The Great Commission tells us to go into all the world and make DISCIPLES and teach them the things that Jesus has taught us. It comes to mind that the modern Church has not made disciples but converts. Converts that are sinners converted into “church-goers.”

I think of this country and how we call ourselves the great melting pot of the world; but as a chef, I know that when you put things into a pot to melt, they combine into one thing that is new. In our country, people from foreign backgrounds are not really blending into something new in our society. We still have many ethnic neighborhoods and each one really does attempt for the most part to stay separate from the rest.

In the same way, these converts of the new Church are the type that don’t really want to leave the old life behind so they only go to church on Sunday morning and the rest of the time they still live like before. For most of them they have no testimony about how they were saved or of how the Holy Spirit has changed their lives since they think they became saved. They end up denying the power of the Holy Spirit working in their lives and then simply go on with the life they lived before being “converted” into church-goers.

What do you think? Am I on the right track or not? I would appreciate your input.

O yes my brother, I do believe you are on to something here that we all can learn from…