In these spiritually confusing times, it may be appealing to think nostalgically that in its earliest days, the Christian church was a tranquil place of unity, joy, and peace, which only gradually became fragmented and contentious as the centuries rolled on. The history of the church is a history of disagreements and schisms that have led to the three major segments of Christianity we see today—Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, and Eastern Orthodoxy—and to thousands of denominations and groups within each. Nevertheless, here we are, nearly two thousand years after the John wrote, and the gospel of Jesus Christ is still alive and active, still reconciling people to God and transforming their lives as they read the NT. What a wonder! ... and here in the letter called, 3 John, we learn why!
1 The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth.
2 Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. 3 For I was very glad when brethren came and testified to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth. 4 I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.
5 Beloved, you are acting faithfully in whatever you accomplish for the brethren, and especially when they are strangers; 6 and they have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. 7 For they went out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. 8 Therefore we ought to support such men, so that we may be fellow workers with the truth.
9 I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. 10 For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church.
11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God. 12 Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself; and we add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true.
13 I had many things to write to you, but I am not willing to write them to you with pen and ink; 14 but I hope to see you shortly, and we will speak face to face.
15 Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.
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