2 John, Love Everybody?
In our study of 2 John, we will look at the impossibility of fellowship with
those who deny the deity of Jesus Christ. As we saw in his first letter, true fellowship is believers
gathering to share in the things of God. That first letter was written to the church in general but this
one is not. It was written to correct a situation that had invaded a local body of believers and that
situation was fellowship with deceivers and antichrists.
2 John 1 & 2
The elder, To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth - and
not I only, but also all who know the truth - because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us
John introduces himself as "the elder" and it could be that he was talking about
his office within the church or it could have been a reference to his age as he was about 90 years old
when he wrote this letter. The letter is addressed to a certain woman who was a follower of Jesus Christ.
It is interesting to note that the word "truth" appears alongside love and is repeated twice in this
passage. He says that he loves her because of the presence and work of the Holy Spirit which leads us into
truth which is Jesus Christ.
2 John 3
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father's
Son, will be with us in truth and love.
Truth is presented again alongside of love and we see here what is contained in
them. God is love and, because of that, He could not leave us in our fallen state. We throw the word
around without much thought in our world today but love is not passive; it is word backed by action. Love
itself does not save us from our sinful state as God loves even those who are on the road to judgment and
hell. That love led to the actions of mercy and grace. Mercy is the fact that God provided a replacement
to take the judgment on our behalf and so we do not get what we deserved. Mercy itself does not save
because it is the provision of the way but we would not have sought it on our own. Grace is the act of God
coming to us individually and presenting to us what we could not get on our own. Jesus was and is that
replacement and that is why He could say that He is the Truth (see John 14:6). Because of that mercy and
grace, we have peace (a right relationship) with the Father.
2 John 4
It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth,
just as the Father commanded us.
We see, here, that some of this woman's children were holding firm to Jesus
Christ and some were not. John said it in a loving way but still points out that some of her children were
not walking with the Lord. Love means that you tell someone the truth even when it is difficult for them
to accept and it must have been difficult for this woman. This applies to the local bodies of believers
(churches) of today as well in that many who enter the doors every week and profess to love God do not
walk in the Truth which is Jesus Christ.
2 John 5 & 6
And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from
the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his
commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
In his first letter, we learned that we, as Christians, will be known by our
love for each other.
True love is only possible for a believer in Christ because God is love and Jesus is the Way to God. We
demonstrate our love for God by walking with Him (following His lead). If we are following Him, then we
will also demonstrate His love to those around us.
2 John 7
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.
Now, John gets down to the tough truth which is the fact that people who deny
that Jesus Christ is the Son of God are of the antichrist. This is the same thing that he told the
church as a whole in his first
2 John 8
Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be
John warns the believers of the danger in these people. He is not warning the
believers that they could lose their salvation but is warning them that they could lose out on rewards
as he describes that judgment in Revelation 20.
2 John 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.
When he says "runs ahead", he is talking about going further than is right. At
this time, there were all kinds of people going around claiming to have a super knowledge of God. The
deceivers had gone among them and claimed to have a deeper knowledge of God and that did not include
Jesus as the Son of God. John was letting them know that, without the Son, they didn't have the Father
either. Today, there are many who consider themselves to be "super saints" or holy rollers" because of
some obscure bit of knowledge that they think they have. They get all caught up in what they think they
know or their own actions and leave Jesus out. But, as John told them here, without Jesus at the center,
we have no relationship with God the Father.
2 John 10 & 11
If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into
your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.
Here we have the "apostle of love" telling this woman not to welcome (and show
them love) these deceivers. He even warns her that to do so is to be a part of their evil work.
This passage has been used to cause much division among believers but it was not intended to be that
way. John gives a specific reason for not welcoming these people and that is the fact that they deny
Jesus as being the Son of God. There are many people in the world today that are trying to get Muslims
and Christians to join together for the common good in what has been commonly called "Chrislam". John is
warning against that type of thing.
2 John 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.
In our world of cell phones and all of the gadgets, it may be hard for us to
understand but John is telling them that he would prefer to talk to them face to face. That is how you
have fellowship and joy in coming together around the things of Christ.
2 John 13
The children of your chosen sister send their greetings.
No one is quite sure about who this verse refers to. It could be a sister or a