It’s a rainy Saturday morning and Jehovah’s Witnesses knock at the door. If I invite them in and share the gospel, am I violating 2 John 10?
First of all, I am delighted to know that you are seeking to share the good news of Jesus Christ with lost men and women. We must pray that the Lord would save them from their sin and misery. I am glad, too, that you are sensitive to some of the dangers and temptations that can come even – perhaps especially – when we set out to do the will of God.
The verses which are troubling you say, ‘If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him, for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds’ (2 John 10-11). In context, the doctrine in question is the true teaching and faithful confession of Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh (vv. 7, 9). The Jehovah’s Witnesses do not ‘bring’ (teach) Jesus Christ coming in the flesh, so they do not know God (v. 8) and are under his judgment (Galatians 1:8).
To get this right, we need to know what it means to receive someone into your house, and what it means to greet them. Would you have sinned if you invited them in because they were cold and wet, not knowing their teaching, or have you already sinned by opening the door and saying, ‘Hello, how can I help you?’