Don’t Be Deceived
Read 2 John 1:4-11
How happy I was to meet some of your children and find them living according to the truth, just as the Father commanded.
I am writing to remind you, dear friends, that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning. Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning.
I say this because many deceivers have gone out into the world. They deny that Jesus Christ came in a real body. Such a person is a deceiver and an antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked so hard to achieve. Be diligent so that you receive your full reward. Anyone who wanders away from this teaching has no relationship with God. But anyone who remains in the teaching of Christ has a relationship with both the Father and the Son.
If anyone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth about Christ, don’t invite that person into your home or give any kind of encouragement. Anyone who encourages such people becomes a partner in their evil work.
(2 John 1:4-11)
In John’s day, many false teachers taught that spirit was good and matter was evil; therefore, they reasoned that Jesus could not have been both God and man. In strong terms, John warns against this kind of teaching.
The term translated “deceivers” can also be translated “impostors”; it carries the idea of leading another astray. Notice that the verse refers to “many” such charlatans and pretenders. There are still many false teachers who promote an understanding of Jesus that is not biblical. 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. They are not easy to spot in a crowd. Usually they are winsome and attractive; otherwise, how would they gather people to themselves? 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.
In the past how have you evaluated the veracity of a speaker’s message? The way your teachers live shows a lot about what they believe about Christ. John’s advice in 1 John 4:1 can help you prayerfully evaluate what you hear this week. Diligent study of the Scriptures is a good way to be well versed in truth.
© 1995-2014, The Zondervan Corporation. All Rights Reserved.