The second epistle of John, was written by the Apostle John around the same time as First John, A.D. 90. The theme of the book is the essentials of a personal walk in the Lord during perilous times. The phrase, “the truth” is the focus and tells us that the Scriptures is our only authority for faith and practice. It is a time of apostasy and deceivers coming into the church and teaching doctrines contrary to the gospel and doctrine of Christ. The scriptures deal with three main heretics; the Judaizers, the Arians, and the Gnostics. This particular epistle deals with the apostasy teachings of the Gnostics. This letter can be divided into three mains parts; 1) The pathway of truth and love 2) The peril of heretical teaching 3) The plans to come and encourage the saints in person.
The Apostle John begins his letter addressing the church and the saints therein, and tells them how much he loves them because they remain in the truth. He tells them in verse four that he rejoices greatly that they are walking in the truth. In verse five encourages them to follow in obedience to the Lord’s command; to love one another. This is no new commandment, but one that was received from the beginning, and that they should continue to walk in it.
Beginning in verse seven, John warns the church that many deceivers are in the world teaching that Christ had not come in the flesh, but spiritually only, and that there was no actual blood shed, or physical resurrection. These heretical teachings are the spirit of the antichrist, and John encourages the church to continue in what they have received; the truth, the doctrine of Christ. John also states in verse nine, that those that teach heresy are not of God but of the devil.
Then concerning the church and dealing with these heretics, he tells them not to receive them into their homes, or even bid them God’s speed as not to partake in their evil. This is biblical separation.
John concludes with encouraging news, that he has many other things to discuss, and that he plans to come to them and speak face to face, that their joy might be full. He then ends the letter by saying, “your sister churches, your fellow believers say hello.” There is such a sweet relationship that other Christians can have one with another in the love of Christ. If we use the illustration of the triangle; the Lord being the top point and two groups of believers being the two bottom points, the closer to the Lord that we become, the closer to each other we become and the more love we have for each other. A great lesson to learn is that because Christ loved us, we also should love one another, guard against wolves in sheep’s clothing, and grow more in love with our Lord and Savior.