My initial thoughts when I read John’s second epistle, was Moses’s sermon in Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” [ESV] In verse 7 Moses instructs us to teach our children ‘diligently’ throughout the day and not just at bedtime. In today’s society this could be seen as indoctoration, brainwashing. But Moses understood that a child’s mind soaks up information, good / bad practices. And by exposing our children to the Truth we will be giving them a firm foundation, from which their faith can grow.
In this passage John is reminding the reader of the second greatest commandment which is to love your neighbour, John here is reminding the reader of the importance of “walking in it” where we not only love and serve God with our heart, soul and mind but to love each other on a daily basis. This is not to be mistaken in believing the false doctrine that we should be ‘nice’ to people by not challenging them when they are living contrary to Scripture. As he states in verse 9 “Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.” [ESV]
I find it encouraging that this epistle is applicable in current times, in verse 7 John warns the reader of those who have gone out into the world with the aim of deceiving people. There are numerous of deceivers in the world proclaiming false teachings, doctrines; and from this epistle we see that 2000+ years ago the Church faced a similar problem. In 1856 Charles Spurgeon spoke a sermon titled ‘Turn or Burn’ from Psalm 7:12 “If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow.” [ESV] You will read in his sermon that the church at that particular time in history was going through a challenging time similar to today’s church. If you would like to read his sermon click here.
As 2020 comes to an end, we need to reflect back and see how God has worked in our lives, during lockdowns have we used our time wisely or filled it with junk. Over the next few years society is going to be in hope where people will look for physical comforts, but as God’s people we need to show them that true hope comes from our Lord and Saviour who sacrificed His Son for the whole world and not just the select few.
All links and Bible verse quotes have been taken from http://www.biblegateway.com