“If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him…”
do not receive him into your house
John warned his readers not to provide hospitality to false teachers. There is no compromise here: “Do not recognize him as a genuine Christian by giving him hospitality. Do not give him the credibility of a Christian.” The elect lady already had extended hospitality indiscriminately to these false teachers because the phrase “do not” means to stop doing something you are already doing. She provided food and lodging for antichrists! She invested her resources for the devil!
nor greet him
The first century person used the word “greet” for the arrival and departure of a visitor (2 Co 13:11). It was a cordial salutation. John says in effect, “Do not encourage false teachers. Don’t give them a warm welcome to your congregation.” This applies solely to antichrists. We should not over interpret this to mean that we should forbid anyone who disagrees with our point of view. John’s reference here is to teachers of false doctrine and not merely the believers of it.
False love loves without discrimination.
Dealing ruthlessly with false doctrine seems unduly harsh to the modern mind. The problem, however, lies with modern man, not with God. North American and European culture tends to be exceedingly tolerant of religious differences. God does not mollycoddle this same distortion. God cannot contradict His own absolutes. Man is relative and God is absolute. The more absolutes in which one believes, the more conviction he has about what is true and right.
There are two extremes to this issue: 1) There are those who coddle any idea that comes down the pike; they use no discrimination regarding with whom they fellowship. These types are maudlin and mawkish in their love. 2) Then there are those who separate themselves from almost anyone who even slightly disagrees with them. Both of these extremes are wrong. The issue at hand concerns those teachers who deny fundamental Christian doctrine.