Connect The Testaments


June 28: Meet and Greet

Esther 1:1–2:23; 2 John 7–13; Psalm 116:1–19

“If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house and do not speak a greeting to him, because the one who speaks a greeting to him shares in his evil deeds” (2 John 9–11).

This passage is sometimes used as support for forming exclusive communities—ones that don’t interact with people who don’t believe in the gospel or who have a different faith. Based on this passage, some believe that we as Christians are not permitted to interact with nonbelievers. Is that what John is really teaching?

John issued this warning during a time when false teachers were spreading confusing doctrines about Christ. He exhorted believers to “test the spirits” to see if these teachers were actually from God (1 John 4:1). They would know if these teachers were from God if they confessed the true message of Jesus Christ—specifically that He had come in the flesh and was from God (1 John 2:1).

John wanted the community to be aware of false teachings so they wouldn’t become confused or weakened in their faith. We, too, need to be intentional about the teaching we adhere to. If we are weak and troubled in our faith, we should seek out mature believers who can teach and minister to us. However, if we are confident in our faith, we should be ready and willing to share the message of salvation with those who need to hear it—both inside and outside our communities.

How are you sharing the gospel with those who need to receive it?

REBECCA VAN NOORD

EZC

  • In the days of Ahasuerus (this is Ahasuerus that reigned from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred, and seven and twenty provinces.) In those days when the king Ahasuerus sat on his throne, which was in the palace of Shushan, In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants, even the power of Persia and Media, and to the captains and governors of the provinces which were before him, That he might show the riches and glory of his kingdom, and the honor of his great majesty many days, even an hundred and fourscore days. And when these days were expired, the king made a feast to all the peole that were found in the palace of Shushan, both unto great and small, seven days in the ocurt of the garden of the king’s palace, Under an hanging of white, green, and blue cloths, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple, in silver rings, and pillars of marble: the beds were of gold and of silver upon a pavement of porphyry, and marble and alabaster, and blue color. And they gave them drink in vessels of gold, and changed vessel after vessel, and royal wine in abundance, according to the power of the king. And the drinking was by an order, none might compel: for so the king had appointed unto all the officers of the his house, that they should do according to every man’s pleasure. The Queen Vashti made a feast also for the women in the royal house of King Ahasuerus. Upon the seventh day when the King was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven eunuchs, (that served in the presence of king Ahasuerus) To bring Queen Vashti before the king with the crown royal, that he might show the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look upon. But the Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s word, which he had given in charge of the eunuchs: therefore the King was very angry, and his wrath kindled in him. Then the King said to the wise men, that knew the times (for so was the King’s manner towards all that knew the law and the judgment: And the next unto him was Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshiah, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan the seven Princes of Persia, and Media, which saw the King’s face, and sat the first in the kingdom.) What shall we do unto the Queen Vashti according to the law, because she did not according to the word of the King Ahasuerus by the commission of the eunuchs? Then Memucan answered before the king and the Princes, The Queen Vashti hath not only done evil against the King, but against all the Princes, and against all the people that are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus. For the act of the Queen shall come abroad unto all women, so that they shall despise their husbands in their own eyes, and shall say, The King Ahasuerus commanded Vashti the Queen to be brought in before him, but she came not. So shall the Princesses of Persia and Media this day say unto all the King’s Princes, when they hear of the act of the Queen: thus shall there be much despitefulness and wrath. If it please the King, let a royal decree proceed from him, and let it be written among the statutes of Persia and Media (and let it not be transgressed) that Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus: and let the king give her royal estate unto her companion that is better than she. And when the decree of the King which shall be made, shall be published throughout all his kingdom (though it be great) all the women shall give their husbands honor, both great and small. And this saying pleased the King and the Princes, and the King did according to the word of Memucan. For he sent letter into all the provinces of the King, into every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language, that every man should bear rule in his own house, and that he should publish it in the language of that same people. Esther 1:1–2:23
  • For many deceivers are entered into this world, which confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. He that is such one, is a deceiver and an Antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not the things which we have done, but that we may receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that continueth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not to house, neither bid him Godspeed. For he that biddeth him Godspeed, is partaker of his evil deeds. Although I had many things to writ eunto you, yet would I not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak mouth to mouth, that our joy may be full. The sons of thine elect sister gree thee, Amen2 John 7–12 (original source indicates a v. 13, but my 1560 nor 1599 Geneva conclude at v. 12)
  • I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my prayers. For he hath inclined his ear unto me, when I did call upon him in my days. When the snares of death compassed me, and the griefs of the grave caught me: When I found trouble and sorrow. Then I called upon the Name of the Lord, saying, I beseech thee, O Lord, deliver my soul. The Lord is merciful and righteous, and our God is full of compassion. The Lord preserveth the simple: I was in misery, and he saved me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul: for the Lord hath been beneficial unto thee. Because thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I shall walk before the Lord in the land of the living. I believed, therefore did I speak: for I was sore troubled. I said in my fear, All men are liars. What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits towards me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the Name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Lord, even now in the presence of all his people. Precious in the sight of hte Lord is the death of his Saints. Behold, Lord: for I am thy servant, I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast broken my bonds. I will offer to thee a sacrifice of praise, and will call upon the Name of the Lord. I will pray my vows unto the Lord, even now in the presence of all his people, In the courts of the Lord’s house, even in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem, Praise ye the LordPsalm 116:1–19
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