- 3John 1:1 The elder unto
the well-beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
- 3Jo 1:2 Beloved, I wish
above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even
as thy soul prospereth.
This verse has been used to promote the
popular prosperity doctrine that started in the 1980s in the United
States. Unfortunately it has robbed us of so much, its hard to begin
to explain. First of all it robs us of giving because we "love."
Apparently threatening a curse and judgment from God if we do not
give was not enough so they changed tactics and started enticing us
to give so that we would receive back double or triple what we
Talk about robbing God, that has robbed us
of giving because we love to help, we want to further the gospel and
we love those that preach the gospel. I would much rather give to
provide a poor missionary with a bicycle to go from village to
village, than to give to a rich TV evangelist that has 4 or 5
vacation homes as well as his own mansion.
I don't want to give because I'm hoping
for a return on my giving. My return would be the joy of seeing
souls brought to Jesus Christ or see a hungry child have something
It has robbed us also of the correct
understanding of being blessed by God. When I think of being
blessed, I don't think of the material realm. I think of spiritual
blessings. The true treasure to seek is more of God and more of His
presence in our lives. To emphasize the material is to rob us of
concentrating on the things of the spirit that are unworthy to even
be compared to the material.
God has better things for us than what we
think are good things. A poor man who has the joy of the Lord is
better off than a rich man who is miserable because he is always
afraid of losing what he has. Jesus told us not to seek treasure on
earth but in heaven. This treasure in heaven is most probably not
jewels, silver and gold or things we consider to be treasure.
Whatever it is, it will be good, we can trust God for that.
I'm tired of hearing offering speeches
that promote prosperity as well as threatening speeches that scare
someone into giving. The apostle Paul says to give as the one
purposes in his heart. I know Jesus said to give and it shall be
given unto you but that is the law of sowing and reaping and applies
not just to giving money but to how we treat people. If we give
mercy, we receive mercy. If we judge harshly, we reap the same. If
we give, we shall not be in want but God will care for us. We reap
what we sow. This doesn't mean that we will get rich if we give to a
I would rather give when I see a need and
God puts it into my heart to help. I would rather give out of love
and not have to be prompted or talked into it by a big offering
speech or promises of prosperity. Its fun to give when we give with
compassion and love. Its not fun the other way.
I believe God is looking for those that give
because they love Him and have compassion on the lost.
- Luke 6:35 But love ye your
enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and
your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the
Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
Some compel us to give by encouraging
us to even go in debt and charge our credit cards. How can giving
someone else's money be right?
When John speaks of prosperity, I believe
he is talking of having a prosperous journey or having success in
our work for God. He wills that they be in good health and is
prosperous in what they do. I do not believe he is speaking of
material wealth here for most of the apostles were killed for their
faith and died without having anything in this world's goods to
- 3John 1:3 For I rejoiced
greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that
is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.
- 3Jo 1:4 I have no greater
joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
This also should be our delight, to see
people walk in truth. Especially those we have brought to Christ
through our testimony. To see one who receives Jesus Christ and
visit them years later to discover they are still walking in the
same faith is enough to make us shout and praise God for eternity.
What joy that should bring us.
- 3Jo 1:5 Beloved, thou
doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to
- 3Jo 1:6 Which have borne
witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring
forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do
- 3Jo 1:7 Because that for
his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the
They went forth to preach the gospel
but receiving no payment for the same from the Gentiles. It seems as
if people helped willingly here to support those that preached the
gospel to the Gentiles. The apostle Paul also refused to receive
wages for himself although he collected funds to help the poor in
It is well to take offerings to help the
poor and support those the leave secular jobs to preach the gospel.
We need to support them. However, we must remember that offerings
are just that, offerings. It is what we offer and willingly give to
help. It should never be forced by intimidation such as scaring
people with a curse or it should not be to promise them wealth. If
we really love God, we would not rob God of any offerings. If we
don't want to give then it wouldn't do us any good to give anyway.
Living by the law of love is so much
better. When we can get to the place in our walk with God that we do
all things or don't do other things because we love Him so much, we
will live in joy and not do things out of fear which is religious
This is joy, this is peace and this is
what the old timers used to refer to when they said, "He's got the
This is why we give, to help, to love
and support fellow helpers in the spreading of the truth.
- 3Jo 1:9 I wrote unto the
church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among
them, receiveth us not.
- 3Jo 1:10 Wherefore, if I
come, I will remember his deeds which he doth, prating against
us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth
he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would,
and casteth them out of the church.
Every congregation that has ever
existed will have those that envy, despise and do it in the name of
religion. We will have those that want to exalt self above others
and rule. We will have those with religious spiritual pride that
thinks themselves higher than they ought to think. The spirit of
humility will be in a true believer. Sometimes we may tend to think
ourselves lower than we ought to think.
- 3Jo 1:11 Beloved, follow
not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth
good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.
- 3Jo 1:12 Demetrius hath
good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we
also bear record; and ye know that our record is true.
- 3Jo 1:13 I had many things
to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee:
- 3Jo 1:14 But I trust I
shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace
be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.
John's word should be studied
diligently. He preaches love so strongly emphasizing it above all
things but he also warns against false doctrines, anti-Christ
spirits and tells us not to even invite them into our homes. So we
must take all he teaches and not just one side. Everything in God's
word must be balanced and taught in context and not emphasize one
doctrine and ignore all others. In all things we must walk in love.
Give in love, serve in love, serve in humility, and walk in sound
doctrine. Those that preach love and avoid biblical doctrine, are
not preaching truth. That is not real love. True love will be
accompanied by truth. Love that has to lie, deceive or ignore the
word of God, is not the love that comes from God.