2 John 7-13
7 I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch out that you do not lose what we[a] have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. 11 Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work. 12 I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete. 13 The children of your sister, who is chosen by God, send their greetings.
In a world fraught with dangers and sin, worldly power brokers, crumbling empires and countless temptations, John could call on his immense wisdom to warn his followers of any number of risks and dangers in this life. The culmination of this short letter is to warn the reader about the dangers of false teachers, detractors of the truth about Jesus. He goes so far as to call these people antichrists!
For me, the reason for this stern warning is clear: while other risks and dangers may provoke great anxiety or perhaps even physical pain or torture, what we actually believe from what we are taught is of utmost importance. We need to believe the right things about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit because the consequences of wrong belief have eternal consequences.
In 1 Timothy 4:16 Paul urges Timothy to watch his life and doctrine closely. He also warns the Roman church of deceivers in Romans 16:17. In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus warns his disciples about those who will try to deceive them (7:15, 24:4-5).
Lord, this is a big deal not only because of the eternal consequences of my beliefs, but first and foremost because what I believe about you will effect my relationship with you. Help me to have right thinking and correct belief and to deal appropriately with those who teach anything that is contrary to Your truth.
Written by Ps. Justin Ware