Doctrinal and Devotional
of the book of
Rénald Leroux Jr.
A doctrinal and Devotional Commentary of the book of Second John
Copyright 2015 by Rénald Leroux Jr.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the author except as provided by the Canadian copyright laws.
"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission."
All other Scripture quotations are from the New King James Version (NKJV)(32 verses)
Complete Word Study New Testament, Edited by Spiros Zodhiates, A.M.G Publishers, Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.A.
Exhaustive concordance of the Bible, James Strong, Abingdon Pub., Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A.
Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, W.E. Vine, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A.
Interlinear Hebrew/Greek English Bible (N-T), Jay Green Gen. Editor and translator, Ass. Pub. and Authors Inc., Lafayette, Indiana, U.S.A.
New Testament Word Studies, John Albert Bengel, Kregel Pub. , Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.
Word studies in the New Testament, Marvin R. Vincent, Eerdmans Pub. Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.
Word study concordance, Edited by R.D. Winter and R.H. Winter, Pub. Cooperatively by William Carey Library and Tyndale House Pub., U.S.A.
Word study New Testament, Edited by R.D. Winter and R.H. Winter, Pub. Cooperatively by William Carey Library and Tyndale House Pub., U.S.A.
Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible. General Editor M.C. Tenney, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
01 - ‘Introduction’
Second and Third John are the shortest epistles found in the New Testament. They both have under three hundred Greek words! Abiding in the truth is the main theme in this epistle. There is a mystery to be found in this epistle – who is the ‘elect lady’? Is she a real person with children or does the ‘elect lady’ represent a local body of Christ? Much can be said for both camps of thought. It is to be noted that the acceptance of Second and Third John as being part of the Canon came later in time. Second and Third John were considered ‘sacred’ in the council at Hippo (393 ad) and also at the Council of Carthage (397 ad) This epistle warns against the lies of traveling false teachers who John refers to as ‘antichrists’.
02 - ‘To the chosen Lady’
2 John 1:1-3
1 The elder to the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth; and not only I, but also all who know the truth, 2 for the sake of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever: 3 Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
In our first verse we find that the title that John uses to introduce himself is elder (PRESBUTEROS) meaning: senior, old. In the church this meant an elder who was responsible for shepherding God’s people. One can wonder why John did not use such a title in his First Letter which was an open letter to the churches and where he uses his apostolic authority. Also why he would use it in his Second Letter which is much more personal! His letter was written ‘to the chosen lady’. There is a divergence of opinion on what is meant here. Some believe that this letter was a personal letter written by John to a dear lady friend of his. Others believer that ‘chosen lady’ meant the church and ‘her children’ those who belonged to Christ. I believe that this is a personal letter to a friend. The church has always been true believers – the Body of Christ. Why then speak of the Body of Christ in a mysterious way by naming them ‘chosen lady’ and then refer to them a second time as ‘her children’? I believe that the natural reading of this should be taken as face value.
This letter is written ‘to the chosen lady’. The word ‘chosen’ (EKLEKOS) means: favorite, select or chosen. When we see this word we can only relate it to God’s sovereignty in election. How all of this comes to be is quite a mystery. For two thousand years people have written on the subject and yet no one can fathom it! As for myself I can only say ‘AMEN’ that God has given me the grace to see myself as I truly am – a great sinner! And also to turn to Jesus Christ, repent and receive eternal forgiveness. The word ‘lady’ (KURIA) means: a lady but it is also a feminine name given to a child. If this is the case then John is simply writing something like this:
(1)The elder to the Kyria who is chosen and her children…
When I read it like this and also look at the entire letter I personally believe that it makes much more sense. This letter is also addressed to ‘her children’. The word for ‘children’ is TEKNON which means: a child, daughter or son.
It seems that this lady that John knew had children both boys and girls. This would be the natural setting for a grown woman. The husband is not mentioned, I would gather that either he is no longer with his wife or that he has died. She may have been abandoned if the husband did not appreciate her faith. We still see this today, not only in what is called ‘third world countries’ but in every country across the world. Paul spoke concerning marital problems between believers and un-believers in First Corinthians chapter seven:
1 Corinthians 7:15
But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace.
We can not say conclusively either way. She may even still have had her husband and if he was not a Christian John may just have written to her knowing that the husband would not appreciate being written to. It does not really matter, for her husband (alive or not – gone or not) is not relevant to this letter.
1 The elder to the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth; and not only I, but also all who know the truth,
The love of John for this lady was ‘in truth’. He loved her truly. In this very small section John uses the word ‘truth’ on four occasions and on each occasion it is the same word in Greek (ALETHEIA) which means: true, verily. John is not saying that he truly loves her (although he did) but rather that he loves her in the truth. Now which truth is he speaking of? God’s truth of course! So John loves her the way that God wants him to love her. This is not a physical love, or an intellectual love but rather an agape type of love, a pure love that reflects the character of God. This should be the way that all Disciples of Christ establish their relationship with others – based on Gods own character. May I ask how you love others? On what foundation does your relationship stand? Do you love out of interest, personal gain, pleasure or out of spiritual principles and to glorify God in this relationship?
The good news for this lady was that John wasn’t the only one who loved her.
(1)… and not only I, but also all who know the truth,
She was loved by ‘all who know the truth’. We can presume that John is speaking about the brothers and sisters in her area. The ones that she shared her life in Christ with. This also tells me that when you know the truth – really know it, then you are able to love others the way you should. The truth sets us free (John 8:32) not only for salvation but it also sets us free to love others the way God wants us to.
2 for the sake of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever:
This true love that John had for the lady Kyria was lived by him for ‘the sake of the truth’. This means ‘on account of the gospel’. His pure love for her did not flow out of his own heart but rather out from the work of the truth of the gospel that was living in him. The gospel had transformed his very being. He had become a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17) and he had been given a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26). John also had been renewed in his mind (Rom. 12:1,2). The way that he loved was now being dictated by the gospel he had heard. There is something that John states that is important for the believer to understand.
(2)… the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever
We are told two things concerning when we have received the gospel and it has its roots in our heart. The first is that it ‘abides in us’. This means that it stays, dwells or remains in the true believer. The gospel truth is IN the believer. No matter where you go you can not escape it! The gospel has made its home in you. You may begin to walk on the ‘wide road’ but the gospel truth is still there and draws you back to your Shepherd. The truth is in your mind. You may try to ignore it or to shut it down with all types of worldly pleasures but it just won’t go away. This brings us to our second thing– ‘and will be with us forever’. Not only is the gospel truth IN the believer but it is also IN the believer forever! The word ‘forever’ (AION) means: an age, perpetually or without end. Once more we can thank the Lord God that His truth is placed in the heart of every true believer. God will not leave his child empty! He is constantly filled with Gods truth. Whether he lives this truth is another matter! If you have the truth of God in you – His gospel, what are you doing with it? Does it guide your life and sustain you in your daily walk? Does it make you act the way holiness dictates?
3 Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
To end the introduction of his letter John mentions three things that are given to the believer. The first is grace (CHARIS) which is the favorable regard of God upon a person. This (of course) is unmerited. This is what all believers fundamentally need – grace. And this is also how our relationship with the Lord God begins – by grace.
(8)For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
(9)not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Grace is the unmerited favour of God and is freely given by a sovereign act of God for no one can force God to do or act in a way that is favorable to them. This is what Paul wrote about the true meaning of grace.
(5)Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
(6)And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.
John reminds us that Kyria and all that she has received (salvation, life, breath, etc..) has its very beginning in the grace of God and not in anything in her or her human merits. It is also a reminder to all who believe in Christ as their only redeemer that we should also be forever thankful for the grace of our salvation.
The second is mercy (ELEOS) which is an active compassion on the part of God. Imagine if God would never manifest any compassion! But he does and the Bible is overflowing with examples of this.
The two blind men said: ‘Lord have mercy on us’ (Mat. 9:27)
The Canaanite woman cried: ‘Have mercy on me Lord’ (Mat. 15:22)
The father cried: ‘Lord have mercy on my son’ (Mat. 17:15)
And they all did receive mercy from Him. I believe the greatest mercy that God has ever manifested is allowing His beloved Son to take upon flesh, live as a man, and die for the sins of mankind. The wrath of the Father fell upon the Son. Jesus took upon himself our condemnation – my condemnation.
(8)But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
(9)Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Yes, God has mercy on all who come to the cross, repent of their sins and ask Christ to save them. May we never forget the mercy that is given to us through Christ.
Third is peace (EIRENE) meaning: quietness, rest or peace. It is the Lord God who quiets our hearts when we are troubled. Do you remember these words of Jesus:
"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
There is a difference between the peace one finds in the world and the peace that is given by Jesus himself! Every soul that has tasted His peace knows that there is no comparison between them. Peace that surpasses all intelligence as Paul calls it!
(6)Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
(7)and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
So grace, mercy and peace are received by the true believer. But by whom is it given?
(3)…from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
They are given by God the Father and God the Son. It is foolish for the Disciple of Christ to try to find peace anywhere else. Notice that grace, mercy and peace are given in ‘truth and love’. They are not given for some obscure reason only known by God or given as some kind of trickery for you to follow his path. They are given in ‘truth and love’. If they are given in truth then there is no darkness in God’s thoughts and heart concerning you. So we need not to be afraid. If this is done in His perfect love we have been granted an unmeasurable gift.
As John reminded Kyria what comes out of her relationship with the Lord, may we also keep afresh the memories of what God has done in our favor and be filled with thankfulness towards Him.
03 - ‘Walking in the truth’
2 John 1:4-6
4 I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth, just as we have received commandment to do from the Father. 5 Now I ask you, lady, not as though I were writing to you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. 6 And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.
Once John has finished his introduction to his letter to Kyria (the lady) he now turns to the state of her family. I would like you to notice that John’s preoccupation is not with how they are doing financially, or if they are advancing in their ‘careers’ and so forth. He has one important concern about them and that is their spiritual health. I would say that most of the time we are preoccupied with the things of this world when we think about our children and grandchildren. We are concerned about ‘how they are doing’. What we should foremost be concerned about is if they are saved and growing in the Lord. This was John’s attitude. It should also be ours.
4 I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth, just as we have received commandment to do from the Father.
In our first verse we see how John truly loved Kyria and her children. He was ‘very glad’ (CHAIRO) meaning: to be cheerful, calmly happy. It rejoiced his heart to see what the children of Kyria were doing. I can imagine him rejoicing along with Kyria their mother. Here I find another spiritual principle – rejoicing with others concerning the spiritual state of their children. Normally women are better at this than men. Does this mean that in general they are more spiritual? Or does it simply mean that they naturally care more about other people? In any case we are ALL called to rejoice and also be concerned not only for people that we know but also for their children.
We also see in this verse a truth that most of the Christian couples have witnessed. John says: ‘to find some of your children’. John found (HEURISKO) meaning: to perceive, to see. He knew that ‘some’ of her children were walking in the truth. Not ALL but SOME of Kyria’s children were Disciples of Christ. Unfortunately in most Christian families not all children walk on the narrow road. They are all brought up the same, all have been taught the things of the Lord, all have participated in church activities with the youth, prayed around the table and sang songs with mom and dad – but not all are saved.
How we wish we could do something to bring them to saving faith in Christ Jesus. Parents would all love to be able to make the decision for them. To say: ‘Yes, Lord come and save me – I give you my life!” But we can’t. Each child, each teenager, each young person has to personally repent and cry out to God for his own salvation.
What we can also see is that even though as a parent we walk in the Lord, as Kyria did, this does not guarantee the salvation of our beloved children. Unfortunately some use Acts 16:31 out of context saying that this is a promise from God that if you become saved ALL of your children will follow you also.
So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household."
If you read this story carefully you will see that Paul and Silas spoke to ‘all who were in his household’ (16:32). All were present, all heard the gospel and all believed. In the same verse we also see that all were baptized that very day!. This was not some kind of magic – all needed to hear and all believed. Paul and Silas were simply saying that salvation was not only for the jailer but was also available for his entire family. We see in verse four that not all of Kyria’s children had come to the cross. May each God fearing parent understand this, may the weight of their salvation be taken off your shoulders – YOU DO NOT SAVE. It is a matter between God and them.
Now some of Kyria’s children were ‘walking in the truth’. Walking (PERIPATEO) means: to walk at large, to be occupied with. What does it mean to walk in the Lord? It simply means that you are occupied with the things of your heavenly Father. Remember the first comments that Jesus said when he was twelve and was asked by Mary and Joseph what he had been doing.
(48)So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, "Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously."
(49)And He said to them, "Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?"
Some of Kyria’s children were busy with their Father’s business. They followed Jesus Christ and were concerned with keeping their lives in line with the truth that is found in him. John uses one of his favourite themes – the truth. If you have read my commentary on First John you know that the truth was very important to him.
(4)…, just as we have received commandment to do from the Father.
This commandment (to walk in the truth) had not only been given for some to follow. John writes that ‘we have received’. All children of God are called to follow His commandments. Salvation is given by grace through faith in Christ Jesus but that does not give the believer the right to sin and live a life of sin, it only promises forgiveness from the condemnation brought because of sin. The apostle Paul strongly reminds this truth to the Christians living in Rome.
(1)What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?
(2)Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
(3)Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
(4)Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
It seems that some Romans believed that since they were saved from the judgment to come why not take advantage of this and ‘have a good time’ in the flesh. Paul severely intervenes and says – ‘Certainly not’. John knew this and tells Kyria that the Father himself had given this commandment to all who were born of the Spirit. May I ask if you have been living for the flesh thinking that ‘it’s O.K.’ since the grace of God has fallen on you? If you have, time has come to repent and turn back to the Lord.
5 Now I ask you, lady, not as though I were writing to you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another.
In verse five John will tell Kyria the commandment he was speaking about in verse four. Let’s first see what the word commandment means in Greek: (ENTOLE) an injunction, precept or authoritative prescription. God was not saying that we could follow if we wanted to, or if it pleased us or even if we feel like it.
It was a command that he gave and had all the authority needed to expect it to be done, not only because he is creator and we are his creatures but mainly because we are forgiven creatures and should manifest love and attachment to Him. John reminds Kyria that this is not a new commandment but an old one. He had also written this in his first letter.
Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning: the old commandment is the word which you have heard.
1 John 2:7
This reminds me that spiritual truths have to be taught over and over again. Children of God need to be reminded of their Father’s will for them. There is little new that is taught in the New Testament concerning the will of God for our daily living. John is doing what you and I should also be doing with our friends and family. Simply take time to repeat what God wants of us. We see that this commandment has its roots ‘in the word which you have heard’.
The commandment John will write of has not been ‘pulled out of a hat’ – surprise! It is a commandment that is from the very beginning. It has been taught from the first days that one comes to Christ. It is one of the foundations for Christian living. It is repeated over and over again throughout the Old and New Testament. It is the necessity of loving others even as we love ourselves (Mat. 5;43).
6 And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.
True love is not a sentiment that resembles more of what we would call lust than actual spiritual love. True love is rarely seen and rightly lived by man, even by followers of Christ! Jesus says that true love can be captured in this.
(12)"This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
(13)"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.
True love is loving as Christ did and also to be ready to die for a friend. Are we not far from what true love is? Has not our love for liberty and individuality literally killed what God intended love to be in ourselves and in our society? And what about loving God? What does that represent? What does it mean to love God and how can I manifest my love towards Him? In verse six John explains what loving God means and how we can manifest our love towards Him.
6 And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments.
What is love? What is this commandment that we have heard from the beginning? Love is ‘walking according to His commandments’. We can sing in church, give faithfully, participate in Bible studies (even give them) and be present at every church gathering and yet not love God! All religions gather together, sing, pray, give and so forth and they have not relationships with the true God. It is the keeping of His commandments that manifests our love for Him. This is not showing up of a few hours a week to a few meetings but actually being attached to His word and applying it in our lives. This is walking hand in hand with the Lord as a child does with his father.
When we wake up is that what we desire to do? And when we do get out of bed is that what we do? Not as a slave but as grateful children. Not because we have to earn our salvation but rather because it has been given to us. Not to look good but to glorify our Redeemer. Our lives should be a bouquet of flowers with a fragrance that pleases the Lord.
04 - ‘Watch yourselves’
2 John 1:7-13
7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. 9 Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he 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, and do not give him a greeting; 11 for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.
12 Though I have many things to write to you, I do not want to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, so that your joy may be made full.
13 The children of your chosen sister greet you.
In our last section John spoke of ‘walking in love’ this is one of his favorite themes. In fact John writes about loving others in all three of his epistles as he also so wonderfully does in his gospel. We all have different fingerprints and they, without fault, point to the individual. It seems that the fingerprint that a Christian needs to leave behind is the one of love, a different type of love – a love that has its foundation in heaven. But there is also another theme that John writes about in his first and second epistleand that is of the antichrist. This second theme will be spoken of in this section.
7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.
Verse seven tells about a special group of people that are out there. They are called by two names the first is ‘deceivers’ (PLANOS) meaning: imposters, misleaders, seducing. These are people who have their own spiritual agenda. They are not here to edify the Body of Christ but rather to cast their darkness over them. The apostle Paul often speaks concerning this type of doctrine.
1 Timothy 4:1,2
(1)Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
(2)speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
In Eph. 4:14 Paul teaches us that we should use wisdom and not be tricked by different doctrines, while in Rom. 16:17 we are taught to avoid divisions concerning certain doctrines. Jesus spoke of wolves appearing in sheep’s clothing (Mat. 7:15). Paul speaks of deceiving spirits. These spirits spread their demonic doctrines trying to pollute the minds of men and women even those belonging to the Father! They do this by speaking lies, by being hypocrites and by having their own conscience seared.
Paul writes that these people have departed from the faith. So we see that they come from the ‘inside’. It seems that they were seduced into believing lies and have departed from the faith. As believers we more than ever need to have an eye open to acknowledge who they are. They must be put to the test of the Holy Scriptures (in its context). They are everywhere and can be seen, heard or read all over the earth. They spread their lies and their tentacles reach every part of the world. Some groups are small while others have millions of followers. Some are new while others have existed for centuries.
The one thing that they have in common is that they are of demonic origin. John confirms here that they are ‘many’ (POLUS) meaning: much, plenteous, abundant. They are like weeds that have overtaken a garden. The gardener had been slacking in his persistence and had stopped pulling out the unwanted weeds. It only took a few days maybe a week or so and the garden has been overtaken. May we ever be diligent, getting rid of the spiritual weeds that our enemies are planting here and there.
These false teachers ‘have gone out into the world’. They are not isolated as though they were on an island and were not able to go anywhere else. They are everywhere, in every country, speaking all languages, living in all cultures. They have no boundaries and no limits. They are forever looking to spread their lies. In fact they are very good at proselyting. They normally have greater zeal in their ‘religion’ than we have with our ‘good news’! You simply can not hide from their poison!
(7)…those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh.
This is what they have in common. They simply refuse to acknowledge this about Christ -that he has come in the flesh. They do not accept the incarnation. The Greek word for ‘as coming’ (ERCHOMAI) means: to appear, enter or come. In the times of John a particular teaching was Gnosticism. Here is what the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia writes:
Gnosticism accordingly comprehends in itself many previously existing tendencies; it is an amalgam into which quite a number of different elements have been fused. A heretical system of thought, at once subtle, speculative and elaborate, it endeavored to introduce into Christianity a so-called higher knowledge, which was grounded partly on the philosophic creed in which Greeks and Romans had taken refuge consequent on the gradual decay and breaking-up of their own religions, partly, as will be shown, on the philosophies of Plato and of Philo, and still more on the philosophies and theosophies and religions of the East, especially those of Persia and of India.
Those who spread gnostic fallacies also taught that since the ‘flesh’ was evil in itself and only what was of the spirit was pure they refuse to believe that Christ (the Messiah) would take on ‘flesh’! If you study carefully the many religions of today you will see that this lie still abounds!
(7)…This is the deceiver and the antichrist.
Those who deny that Jesus has come in the flesh are liars. In other words those who do not believe that God himself has walked on earth as a man of flesh and bones, they are the antichrists. Antichrist simply means to be an opponent of the Messiah. That is the wonder of true Christianity, God himself became a man and walked among us! He lived as you and I but DID NOT SIN. He remained who he truly was - God even though he had become truly man! This is the mystery of the incarnation and it will always remain a mystery! Many teach that Jesus was someone else – a good man, a wise man, a prophet, a miracle worker, a great teacher, a humble master or even an extra-terrestrial! The Bible portrays Him as the Son of the Living God (John 1:1-14). When someone comes knocking at your door or simply speaks to you about spiritual matters find out from them what their thoughts on Jesus Christ are and you will be able to determine if they are antichrists!
8 Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.
This is an interesting verse because it speaks of a lesser known subject – the rewards that are given to the children of God. We all know that Paul wrote that all true believers will stand before the tribunal of Christ.
(10)But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
(11)For it is written: "As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God."
(12)So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
He also wrote the following to the Corinthians about this event.
2 Corinthians 5:9,10
(9)Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.
(10)For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
John adds information that touches this grave event. He first says to ‘watch yourselves’ (BLEPO) meaning: to behold, take heed. Since this event is certain to happen we need to prepare ourselves for it and the best way to be prepared is to keep mastering our ‘old man’ (the flesh). Jesus said it this way:
(37)"Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them.
(38)"And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.
The context here is to be watchful in regards to the Master – to be ready for his return. In Second John it is also to be watchful in regards to ourselves in relationship with our meeting with our Master – Jesus Christ. Are we living in a way that will glorify the Lord if he would come back this very moment? Will he find you busy at work for the kingdom of God (Luke 2:49)? Are you a pleasing member of the Body of Christ (Heb. 3:14)? We all need to be ready and therefore be watchful of what we do. Remember what Jesus said in Mat. 26:41 "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
(8)…that you do not lose what we have accomplished
The word lose (APAIRO) means to remove or take away. It seems that if we are not watchful of ourselves and fail to finish what we have begun then there will be no reward give to us. This is understandable. We do not pay for a lawn that is half cut or for a car that is half washed! Nor do we pay for a house that is partly erected. If humanly speaking this is what we do, is it not even better understood when dealing with spiritual matters? Jesus tells us to stop and think before we begin to take action. In Luke 14:28-31 he speaks of thinking of the cost before trying to build a tower and finding out later that he did not have enough. He also speaks of thinking before going to war to make certain that you have at least a chance of winning. We also need to be watchful, think and then act to be certain that we do not lose our rewards.
(8)…, but that you may receive a full reward.
The desire of the Lord is that we get our ‘full reward’ and not to ‘lose what we have accomplished’. The idea behind the word ‘reward’ (MISTHOS) is: to pay for service, wages. It’s difficult to capture the immense grace of God. He gives us salvation through which His son has paid the price. When we do things in His name the Lord even gives us rewards for them! What a wonderful Redeemer we have – may His name be forever glorified! So watch yourselves not to be distracted by either false prophets or the things of this world.
9 Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.
John continues to speak about the antichrists that exist today. He gives yet another glimpse at what they do – ‘does not abide in the teaching of Christ’. This is yet another sure sign of being a false prophet – their teachings. Before accepting people as our brothers and sisters in Christ we must use discernment towards what they believe in. It is not because they use the name of Jesus that they automatically are his disciples. Remember what Jesus said:
(21)"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
(22)"Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'
(23)"And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
Some even prophesize, cast out demons and do many acts of wonders and still they are unknown to Jesus! Why? – it is because they practice lawlessness! What they do is not from the Lord. The power by which these things are done is not from the Holy Spirit but from spirits of darkness. This is why it is of the utter most importance for all of us to investigate what the teachings of religious groups are. If they go further, if they do not abide in His teachings they simply are not of God. No matter how good they look or how wonderful their deeds are, it does not matter. They simply are not of God and are not known of God to be His children. On the other hand those that remain in Christ’s teachings are truly His disciples. It is our responsibility to be able to discern light from darkness.
10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; 11 for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.
These two verses are very strong and they are not practiced by true believers in general. We often think of doing what is best by using human psychology. Some would think that if you meet a person that teaches falsehood about Christ that it would be a good idea to become ‘friends’ with him and then slowly by having a good relationship with the person he might convert to Christ. I have known people that sometimes even go to ‘their Sunday meetings’ so that they will come to ‘their Sunday meetings’. This is not what the word of God teaches us. John first of all says that we should ‘not receive him into your house’. This speaks of having friendly fellowship, having a good time, being like old friends with them. They are not friends but spiritual enemies. They spread lies concerning the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Remember what Paul wrote:
And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?
Are we to evangelize them – yes! Are we to help them if they are stranded – yes! Are we to pray for them – absolutely! But are we to have them as friends and have communion with them in our house – no! As I said before this commandment is not taken at heart by many Christians. They prefer to think otherwise making God to be a fool! John even says that we should ‘not give him a greeting’. This means to give them a salutation, God speed or salutation. This might humanly seem harsh but when we do this we disown the Lord by wishing well to his opponents.
Do you see yourself having a good time and fellowshipping with Satan – of course not! Then why want to do the same with children of darkness? You see John reminds us that when we do this we actually participate ‘in his evil deeds’. We need to draw the line for if we do not then God sees us as participating with their evil deeds.
12 Though I have many things to write to you, I do not want to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, so that your joy may be made full.
13 The children of your chosen sister greet you.
These two verses are the conclusion of his short letter. John says that he has ‘many things to write to you’. Can you imagine having John as a guest in your home and listening to all the things that he has to say about the Lord Jesus! I know that I would drink every word from his lips wanting to know more and more about my Savior. John has a lot to say but says; ‘I do not want to do so with paper and ink’. Receiving a letter is great but actually having the person in front of you has no comparison. John wants to share face to face with Kyria. If Kyria was a church how then could he speak ‘face to face’? The purpose is simple ‘so that your joy may be made full’. His heart was open in making Kyria filled with happiness. What a Christian model John is for all of us! Is this the very wish we also have for those whom we know? Do we also desire to cause them to be filled with joy?
13 The children of your chosen sister greet you.
We do not know who this ‘chosen Lady’ is. All we can conclude is that this woman was known to Kyria the lady that John is writing to. Why are the children of this unknown lady greeting Kyria and not the lady herself? Probably because she has passed away or is not presently with John as he writes this letter. Could it be possible that John is presently at the home of this lady, her adult children are at the family home but she is absent for some reason? We simply do not know. But what we do know is that there is a personal relationship between these two chosen ladies.