2 John 7–13, “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.”
In the above verses the apostle John warns the church of the many false teachers who seek to deceive her and rob her of the comfort that comes from confessing Christ. These false teachers (deceivers) can be identified by their denial of the doctrine of Christ, “that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.” This passage is a strong defense of the doctrine of the divinity of Jesus Christ. The true believer should shun these deceivers so as not to risk losing the faith and assurance that we have. These verses have many applications for us today. Please consider the following questions as they relate to not only the above verses, but also the Christian walk of a godly young person today.
- It should not surprise us that there are false teachers (2 Thessalonians 2:7). How can a Christian young person prepare himself to recognize a “deceiver?” How should we prepare ourselves for the end times? (1 Thessalonians 5:1–8; 1 Timothy 4:1–10)
- These deceivers deny that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah. John also calls them “antichrists.” May we call the Pope antichrist? Is any heresy (such as Arminianism or the Federal Vision) a denial that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh? (Q & A 29, Heidelberg Catechism)
- John urges us to be watchful. In what way can young people be watchful? How can young men prepare themselves for office in the church? (1 Timothy 4:12–16)
- John speaks of losing our reward. Does “what we have wrought” mean that we must work for our salvation? (Philippians 2:12–13; Ephesians 2:8–9)
- The doctrine of Christ helps us to know God and walk a holy life (John 15:3). How do a holy life and the truth go hand in hand? As a young person, do you know God and love him and obey him? How is this shown in your life? How does this doctrine give us comfort?
- If we are hospitable to deceivers, we become partakers of their sins: “For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” In what ways can we become partakers of these evil deeds?
(Revelation 18:4) How does this affect the friendships (and marriages) we must have?
- Communion of the saints, face to face, is always wonderful and preferable to “pen and ink” (3 John 3, Romans 1:12). How important is it that we greet each other with courtesy and love and respect? Are we thankful for our fellow saints, our denomination, our sister churches? Is our joy full in their presence?