Summary: We have come to far to turn back now. We must examine our hearts so we can walk with the Lord and maintain that which He has begun in us! John knew walking with the Lord was not easy in the midst of continual opposition, but he also knew that faith would one day end in sight.
The salutation "to the chosen lady and to her children" most likely refers to a specific woman and her family. This letter was written shortly after 1 John to warn about false teachers. Little has changed in two thousand years. Advocates of unorthodox beliefs still exist and still attempt to confuse and deceive the people of God. This second letter from John, should serve as a wake-up call to believers to Watch Yourselves, to be alert, to be careful and to be solidly grounded in the faith.
John refers to truth five times in the first four verses of this brief letter. In contrast to so many in our culture who dogmatically deny truth ("There are no ultimate realities") or absurdly define it ("Your truth is your truth and my truth is my truth"), John declared the existence of an Absolute. God is that ultimate standard by which all else can be judged. God is true, his words and ways are true, and whatever or whoever contradicts or opposes him is false, deceptive, and dangerous. Christian leaders, teachers, and parents must engage now in the difficult but critical battle for truth. We are at War!
• The Command (Love One Another) v.5 “and this is love”
The statement that Christians should love one another is a recurrent New Testament theme. Knowing God's command is not enough. We must put it into practice, "do what God has commanded us." Love for others was not optional. John knew if they were to be effective in ministry, love would have to be present in their lives and shown to others. John affirmed that his command to love had not originated with him. In fact, he had given nothing new. This had been commanded from the beginning. John offered the same foundational instruction Jesus had given. He was there when Jesus was questioned about the great commandment, hearing Jesus command the scribe to love his neighbor as himself. Jesus actually referred to the commandment given of God to Moses. Leviticus 19:18 – Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the LORD. We live in a culture that often lacks tolerance and genuine love for others, especially those who hold a viewpoint different than our own. However, this commandment is not negotiable. She had to love those who were good and those who were bad. She had not been called to reserve her love for those within the church, but also show love for the sinful. It is easy to love certain people, but others are often difficult. We love those who agree with our position, but we tend to dislike those with whom we disagree. We must model the love of Christ, even to those apart from the faith. We cannot forget His cry for forgiveness for those who had wronged Him at the cross. There is no greater proof of our faith in Christ than the ability to love others. John 13:35 – By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. The world in which we live has a skewed perception of love. We must walk in love in order to please our Lord. We cannot be the Christian He would have us be apart from real love for others. We will never reach spiritual maturity if we lack the ability to love. Jesus said, “If you love me keep my commandments.” John 14:15
• The Confession (Christ in the Flesh) v.7 “those who do not confess”
In John's day, many false teachers (deceivers) taught that spirit was good and matter was evil; therefore, they reasoned that Jesus could not have been both God and man. Many false teachers still promote an unbiblical understanding of Jesus. These teachers are dangerous because they distort the truth and undermine the foundations of Christian faith. The great danger of deceitful leaders is that they seem so sincere and believable... We do not want to become paranoid and suspicious about everyone we meet, but we do need to be wise in evaluating the character and conduct of those who would seek to influence people. The way your teachers live shows a lot about what they believe about Christ. ILLS: I don’t understand why folks are upset about our local prosperity preacher’s Ferrari? If I sold that many books, I’d buy one too! Our focus is on the wrong thing! The enemy always seeks to present a counterfeit to the truth and “alternative facts.” Their presence has not diminished; in fact, they are gaining momentum. We live in an age where people seek something with a semblance of truth, but that also appeals to their personal desires as well. John warned these deceivers deny that Christ had come in the flesh. They denied the atoning work of Christ for the salvation of mankind. In rejecting the coming of Christ, they deny the sole means of salvation. John also revealed the great danger in these deceivers – they were antichrist. These not only denied that Jesus had come, but that He was the Son of God. They denied His atonement, His deity, His sinless life, His resurrection, His ascension, and His intercession for believers.