2 John 1
The Apostle John writes this brief letter as an Elder, to the “elect lady and her children.” Some believe the elect lady is to be taken literally and refers to a sister who opened her home for God’s people to meet for fellowship (the early church often met in houses); while others believe the elect lady to be a reference to the church as a whole, as the bride of Christ.
The motive is love – John loves the people and wants to protect them from false teachers.
We don’t know the whole scenario, but somewhere along the line John ran into a few people from the fellowship and he rejoiced greatly because they were walking in truth; (we’ll see later in 3 John 4 John says there’s no greater joy than when you see that…the children walking in truth). I’m speculating here, but maybe those children informed John about some of the people who were attending the fellowship and bringing the Gnostic heresy into the church. Maybe that conversation spearheaded this little letter of warning about deceivers who do not confess Jesus Christ as “coming in the flesh.” Now, this is an interesting statement in the Greek language because it speaks not only of Jesus’ incarnation in the flesh, but also His resurrection in the flesh, how even when He rose from the dead He had a body that could be touched and Jesus even ate with them. The Jehovah Witnesses deny the bodily resurrection of Jesus and so, this branch of Gnosticism is to be avoided.
John warns the church, “Look to yourselves,” watch out, or you may not receive a full reward when you stand before Jesus Christ! We don’t want to lose the things we’ve worked so hard for…all these years, through a moment of indiscretion, wherein we think it’s loving to be inclusive with the cults. That’s not love. True love warns, it makes a stand, it holds to the doctrine of the disciples found in the pages of Scripture. We are not to allow false teachers into our fellowships, into our homes, or into our churches so that they can have a platform to propagate their lies and potentially deceive others. This is why I as a pastor need to be so very careful in who I associate with or allow to speak from our church pulpit.
Jesus also warned us in Matthew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”
Friend, test everything you hear, and protect yourself, your family, and friends by not fellowshipping with false teachers.
John closes the letter with a wish to see everyone in person – that would bring him joy and bless his heart. Nowadays we like letters, or text messaging, or maybe phone calls, but best of all, is face to face, and heart to heart.