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“Summer of Love” // 3 John 1-8

Mary Ellen Ermis August 21, 2022 Devotionals, sermons, 3 John, cityrise, Crosspoint Church - Bellaire, houston, Roger Patterson, Summer of Love,

The following is a manuscript of the sermon presented by Senior Pastor Dr. Roger Patterson on Sunday, August 21, 2022 at our Crosspoint Church-Bellaire campus. To view the sermon in full, check out the link below.

It’s good to be with you. Summer has flown by, but it is always good to come to Crosspoint and share with you from the Scriptures.

Please keep Pastor Chris and Sonya in your prayers. They are moving Emma into her dorm in College Station. She and Cooper, my son, will start at Blinn College next week on their way to being Aggies.

You know there is a lot of work to do when you are moving someone in.

Our son, Cooper, got a job with Calloway House, the dormitory where he is living. We had to move him up there a few weeks ago in a temporary room, then we went back this past Sunday to move him into a permanent room.

Here is a photo of the work product of moving him into that room:

What was funny is that we said our good-byes when we first dropped him off…then we had him for a week of vacation the week before last…and so, when we were headed to the car, his last words to us were, “See you at Thanksgiving!”

Of course he had a twinkle in his eye…because he is living his best life!!!!

As he worked this week, everything was about getting the rooms ready for move in. It was a long week…lots of hours.

And Friday, was day 2 of move in. He was working from 6:45am – 10pm Friday night. Then he had to do rounds at 2am…I’m not sure if he has gotten out of bed just yet from that long day!

But I texted him Friday mid-day and asked him – How is it going?

He said, “terrible…I have to break down every single box in this hallway!”

So maybe he’s not living his best life now!

But it sure is good for him!!!!

Can I tell you something?

Hospitality is A LOT of Work!

Availing yourself to help others feel comfortable and at home requires a lot of effort.

I want you to watch this video from Dr. Hubert Ho and consider the impact of how opening your home for the Lord might make an impact on others.

Opening your home and welcoming people in can be a daunting task…like Cooper having to clear that hallway of boxes…But there is a payoff.

I want to talk to you today about various ways to use what God has given you to support the work He is doing in our church, community and our city.

3 John 1:1-8

The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth.

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.

3rd epistle, most personal of the three… written to an individual (like Philemon by Paul)

Who is Gaius?  (vs. 1)

3 John 1:1

The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth.

  • A very common name in the Roman empire, like John today..
  • 3 Gaius’ in the NT-  one in Corinth, one in Macedonia, one in Derbe…
  • Most likely not written to any of those three…
  • Gaius was almost definitely not Jewish, and thus most likely a recent convert to Christianity out of the Roman/ Greek culture.
  • John calls him “dear friend” in this letter 4 times. John clearly loves this guy (Vs. 1,2)
  • John is blessed by the report of how Gaius is living out his faith and calls him one of his children. So, most likely, Gaius is one of John’s converts and disciples. (Vs. 3,4)

3 John 1:3-4

For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

Now…here is the thing…Here is what is going on:

John encourages him in this letter with two basic messages

  1. First, he is to welcome and support faithful servants who are spreading the good news. John encourages his Hospitality and its ministry and impact.
  2. Second, he instructs him on how to deal with a problem person named Diotrephese. 

We will deal with Haters – the Diotrephese’s of our lives, next week. Today, we are digging into the message about how using Hospitality results in Kingdom Impact!

Now, we will get into the How’s of this in just a few moments. But first, let’s look at…

I. Who are “these brothers?” ( vs. 3,5)

3 John 1:3,5

For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. 

Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are…

Notice what it says about them:

  • They are Christians who are traveling around preaching the gospel to others in new places…
  • It appears that they were sent by John and are working with John.
  • They were not Gaius’ personal friends, but they were ambassadors for Christ and that’s all he needed to know, so:
  • Gaius welcomed them,
  • lodged them,
  • fed them,
  • donated to them,
  • encouraged them,
  • networked them,
  • and helped send them out in Jesus’ name.

John is rejoicing – It’s a HUGE WIN – for hearing this report about Gaius.

Now, the past few weeks we have looked at 2 John. Remember, we are looking at all of John’s letters side-by-side.

3 John is in contrast to 2 John in a way…

Where 2 John addressed the issue with traveling false teachers… (CF: 2 John 7-11)

But 3 John gives the admonition to receive and love and help these good and true and faithful teachers.

Look at this with me for a moment.

2 John 1:7-11

For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

Who were these that we were warned about last week? They are DECEIVERS – those who go out and mess with the IDENTITY of JESUS as Fully God and Fully Man. They are false teachers and false prophets.

Last week we are warned about being hospitable to them and receiving them. And notice verse 11.

2 John 1:11

for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

When you help the deceiver – the one who intentionally mars the name of Jesus Christ – you partner with them in their wickedness.

Last week in my message at our West U campus, I mentioned three to be on the lookout for:

  1. Jehovah’s Witnesses – these believe Jesus is not eternal…He is the first creation of the Father.
  2. Mormons – The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – though on the surface, it seems like they believe what we believe, if you dig deeper, you find that the Mormon church teaches Jesus is a separate god and he is Satan’s brother. In other words, the Jesus of Mormonism is not the Jesus of the Holy Bible.
  3. Christian Scientists – They separate Jesus and Christ. Jesus is the prophet of Galilee. Christ is the Divine healing idea that Christian Science reveals. Mary Baker Eddie, the founder of the Christian Science movement once said, “If Jesus the prophet of Galilee never lived on this earth, it makes no difference to me.”

Friends, when you work with these to help get their message out be being hospitable and supporting them with donations and the like, you participate in their wickedness.

In other words, the Scripture views you as an INVESTOR.

The same is true when you invest in and partner with True Believers…True Brothers who hold out the Gospel Message.  The Scripture Sees you as an INVESTOR, and as we saw in 2 John, there will be a reward.  In other words, there will be a Return on Your Investment.

Now, it’s verses 5-8 where I want us to live today in John’s instruction to Gaius and to us about using Hospitality as an investment into the Kingdom of God.

  • First, let us look at verse 8.
  • Then I want to say a word to you who are in the marketplace, as I want to help you connect what you do in the marketplace with the work your church is doing and how the two are connected.
  • Then, I want to give you 4 ways to use partner with kingdom workers.

3 John 1:8

Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.

Note the commendation — We Ought to Support People Like These!

And Note what follows along with it — THAT WE MAY BE FELLOW WORKERS FOR THE TRUTH!

So, when we give…when we serve…when we open our homes and our lives to those working toward the advancement of the Gospel in our city and around the world, guess what?

We are told that we are partners, investors, fellow workers!

Now, let me say something to you who are in the marketplace and you are giving and supporting ministry.

I want to commend and affirm you. I want you to know that what you do is SOOOOO important. You are lifting lives through starting businesses…by running companies…by employing people to earn a living. What you do in the marketplace is fundamental in lifting our city. Thank you.

I also want to share a kingdom economic principle with you.

Notice Proverbs 28:8 with me for just a moment.

Proverbs 28:8, ESV

“Whoever multiplies his wealth by interest and profit gathers it for him who is generous to the poor.”

I use the ESV in most of my preaching. But you may have a different translation. Some translations show this verse as something that is negative, because it insinuates that one is gaining their interest and profit from the poor.

But if we just look at the ESV for how it presents it, it shows three audiences and I think something very positive.

  • First, you have those who are gifted in growing their wealth. God has strategically gifted men and women with the capacity to earn wealth. It’s all through the Scriptures.
  • Second, you have those who are in the middle. They interface with the wealthy and they serve the poor.
  • The third audience are the poor. This may be poor who are economically broken and educationally broken. These may be refugees who have moved to the city. These may be people whose lives are broken from addiction. There is a pervasive brokenness that creates a poverty in their lives and they need help.

Notice how the flow of resources happens.

You have Kingdom Minded Wealthy people who see a leader who is trustworthy who is making an impact and they think, “This would be a good place for my kingdom investment! I’m going to deposit resources here.”

This kingdom leader receives these resources and puts them to work to make a difference in the lives of those who are bound in some sort of poverty. Again, that poverty could be economic, it could be addiction, it could be as a foreigner or alien.

The point is, that there is a flow of kingdom resource that lifts. This is why your work in business is so vital. This is why God has blessed so many of you exponentially.  You have been blessed to be a blessing. And when you see a kingdom leader, I want you to look at her or him and say, “Here is a great opportunity to invest!”

4 ways to support fellow workers for the truth:

4 Ways to Support Gospel Workers

  1.  Welcome them. (vs. 5)

 3 John 1:5

“Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are…”

  • John is saying essentially, you have done a good thing in welcoming these brothers, even though you didn’t know them!  Strangers!
  • Isn’t this amazing ?! Momma said don’t talk to strangers right?!
  • But in the Gospel there is this almost immediate and special bond with those who live for the Kingdom.
  • Have you experienced this ?
  • Ill: Russell in the D. R. — Russell has served as my translator as I have had opportunities to preach in that church. And our Lord has used that in powerful ways. And in those moments, God has connected our hearts in such a way that when we are together, we pick up where we left of.
  • Key word here- HOSPITALITY
  • Gk= labor or work.
  • Gaius put forth an effort.

Romans 16:1,2

I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, 2 that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well.

  • Hospitality is work, it’s a sacrifice, it’s a gift.  But it is core to our calling as believers.

We are open our home for Gospel opportunities. We serve on the hospitality team at the church. We help new comers move from guest, to friend to family.

How’s your hospitality?  Have you thought about opening your home for a small group ?

4 Ways to Support Gospel Workers

  1. Welcome Them
  2. Resource and Equip Them

3 John 1:6 NLT

They have told the church here of your loving friendship. Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God.

  • Provide — Gk= propempo= equip for a journey.
  • Basically, John is saying give them what they need!  Equip them well.  Provide for them generously, in a way that God is honored.
  • Key word here- PROVISION

The gospel spreads and multiplies when the generosity of God’s people fuels the mission.

We studied this during the Deep and Wide Generosity Initiative, but let’s look at this principle once again in 2 Corinthians.

2 Cor. 9:10-12  

“He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.”

  • This is what deep and wide is all about… cultivating generous disciples so that the message goes farther and farther.

4 Ways to Support Gospel Workers

  1. Welcome Them
  2. Resource and Equip Them
  3. Honor and Appreciate Their Sacrifices

3 John 1:7

“For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles.”

  • Note a couple things here…
  • “For the sake of the name”…the name of Jesus!  There is honor due to those who have given their lives to spread the renown and fame of the name of Jesus!
    • Cf: Acts 15:26 …men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    • Cf: Acts 5:41Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.
  • “Accepting nothing from the pagans”
  • In other words, they didn’t go around begging for help from outsiders. The lived sacrificially.  They depended on the generosity of believers.

Key word here- APPRECIATION

  • Stop and consider the sacrifices missionaries and Gospel partners make.

4 Ways to Support Gospel Workers

  1. Welcome Them
  2. Resource and Equip Them
  3. Honor and Appreciate Their Sacrifices
  4. Partner With Them

3 John 1:8, NLT

“So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth.”

Gk= to bear up.  Shoulder the load with…

  • key word here-  SUPPORT

Collaboration is the key to Gospel advance.  It’s the whole Body working together, sharing resources, shouldering the load together that reaches a city.

  • This is what CityRise is all about!  “Lifting our city by generously giving the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” and the strategic way we do this is through vital partnerships. 
  • I am delighted to tell you this morning, that this is an area we are absolutely winning in here at CityRise across our network and campuses…
  • Local: our friends at attack poverty, agape development, houston welcomes refugees, freedom church alliance, casa el buen samaritano, PRESTIGE LEARNING INSTITUTE, mercy house, project one day, STCH…
  • Global: Pastor Pedro Chan in Belize, Argelio Sanchez in Cuba, STCHMinistries in the D.R., Katty Aguire in Ecuador, Miguel Irias in Honduras, Onesmus and Joyce Weru in Kenya, Petr Samolyich in Latvia, Pearl Chui in Thailand,   And the list is growing!
  • Annual Events where the value of partnership is expressed- CityRise Conference,  Dinner and deploy…

Take away questions/ applications:

  1. Do you have the discernment to know who to resist and who to welcome when they come in the name of Jesus with a message about the Gospel?
  2. Who and where and how are you supporting fellow workers in the truth?
  3. Are you opening your home to be a place of ministry and ministry support?
  4. Are you giving generously to support the work of Gospel advance?

When you invest your resources here, we work to not only nourish our flock but deploy our influence in our city and around the world.

Let me show you one last picture of what I mean.

When the war in Ukraine broke out, it created a challenging situation for ministry leaders in the region. Because of our connections in Europe, in both Ukraine, Latvia and Poland, we were able to mobilize resources to help in relief work.

On Saturday morning, Pastor Chuck got this from our partner, Pastor Petr Samolych in Latvia.

Here was the note that Petr attached to his message.

Pastor Petr Thank You

Good morning my friend ! three new Ukraine sister baptised today in camp! praise the Lord!

Thank you so much help and support Ukraine refugee . we can do good harvest together.