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Read Introduction to 3 John

 

“Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church.”
 
And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren,
Not satisfied with undermining the authority of John and his team, he refused them hospitality on their journey making it difficult to advance the gospel. 
and forbids those who wish to,
The audacity of Diotrephes was amazing.  His pontifical impudence and effrontery was blatant.  His palpable nerve was something else.  He prevented others in the congregation from fellowshipping with a gospel team! 
putting them out of the church
The third area of his malice was to develop an intimidation policy of excommunication against the gospel team.  Against those who did not join him in not welcoming the gospel team, he personally vetoed their fellowship with the church. 
 The problem of 2nd John was doctrinal.  The problem in 3rd John is a practical problem.  John condemned Diotrephes publicly not because of his system of belief but because of his conduct of life.  He ran things with an iron hand.  He was a religious tyrant. 
PRINCIPLE: 
Conduct within the local church is important to the vibrancy of the church. 
APPLICATION: 
Trouble from within the local assembly is a real problem.  What cannot destroy the church from without but we can destroy it from within.  It is important what we say and do in the local church.  It is not only who we are but also the way we operate that is important to the function of the body of Christ. 
Ac 20: 29 “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 “Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.”
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