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2 John Overview

Revelation, godly love, and antichrist teachers

Tod Kennedy, August 28, 2019

Theme

Walking in God’s truth (revelation) and godly love is vital for every believer, and an important application of this is the ability to identify and turn away those who reject Jesus Christ as the God-Man. Those believers who do fall prey to the antichrist false doctrine negate the apostles’ ministry in their lives, reduce their own future rewards, and do not experience God in their lives.

Summary

The apostle John, the Elder (Presbuteros), probably based in Ephesus, the third largest city in the Roman empire at that time, wrote to a believing lady (elect lady) and her children, whom he and many others love with godly love that is grounded in their mutual knowledge of the truth, God’s revelation. He was very glad that he found that her children were walking in God’s truth just as God the Father had commanded.

He asked her to love other believers, possibly because some incident had come up. He reminded her that godly love is living according to Christ’s command as given before. John’s reason for this reminder was that false teachers were on the prowl, and these teachers denied the true humanity of Jesus Christ, so she, her children, and of course all believers needed to be alert (watch yourselves). Falling prey to the antichrist false teachers had serious consequences: spiritual regression from the apostles’ ministry, loss of some of their future rewards, not abiding in the teaching about Christ, and not experiencing God in their lives while following the false doctrine.

Remaining in the apostles’ doctrine guarantees good fellowship with the Father and the Son. He also instructed them that if anyone came promoting antichrist ideas, they should not let him into the house (possible a house church), nor give him a welcome greeting or pleasing send-off. If they do, they participate in the antichrist work. John concluded by saying that he had other things to say, but he wanted to do so face to face. They may have faced questions and problems that were better discussed in person so there would be no misunderstandings and to prevent public notice of possibly private matters, and by this conversation restore any lack of joy. Finally he brings a greeting from the children of the elect lady’s sister.

Outline

  1. 2 John 1-3: John greets a Christian lady and her children, whom he and others love in the truth.
  2. 2.4-6: John is very happy to hear that she and her children are living in God’s truth and he reminds them to have godly love toward believers because this is God’s command.
  3. 2 John 7-11: John warns them about antichrist propagandists who are spreading the false doctrine that Jesus Christ was not true humanity.
  4. 2 John 12-13: John has other things to say, but wants to do it face to face, not by letter.

So What? Application

  1. Truth (God’s word, revelation) and godly love go together. God commands believers to live in and through both. Truth should instruct and guide godly love for us and for all believers.
  2. John was pleased that those he addressed were grounded in the truth and living in the truth.
  3. Be alert about what is passed off for biblical doctrine. Go back to the Bible. Compare what is said and written with what the authors of Scripture wrote. Know, believe, and apply God’s word. The church at Berea, described in Acts 17.11, is a model to follow.
  4. The person and work of Jesus Christ is the foundation for all doctrine and Christian life, for Jesus Christ is the way God is restoring creation back under his authority which was rejected in the garden.
  5. Be careful to not waste opportunities for ministry and gaining rewards. We waste opportunities by involving ourselves in false doctrine and therefore false application.
  6. Do not allow false teachers or those you are unsure about to promote false ideas by speaking in the church, in a home Bible study, or in the home where they may propagate their ideas.
  7. Sometimes it is best to handle a question or problem face to face, especially if you do not have personal knowledge of a situation, as John seemed to do in this