In the Second Epistle of John, the elder writes to encourage his fellow Christians in two virtues, walking in truth and loving one another, and warn them against the influences of those who would have them do otherwise.
While our God is a God of truth and justice, the first villain is the deceiver. He is the one who opposes truth, preferring instead to glorify in a lie. His goal is to lead the spiritually weak astray by any means possible. To defeat him, we must continue to walk along the straight and righteous path, resisting the urge to detour into darkness.
The second villain is the antichrist. He is the one who fights against the Lord’s anointed, both Jesus Christ and His elect followers. While our God is a God of love and mercy, the antichrist would have us hate our neighbors and do ill toward them. To defeat him, we must remain faithful to the second commandment: that we love one another; looking to the sacrificial love of our Lord on the cross as the example for our daily lives.
While we Christians can expect to frequently meet deceivers and antichrists during our time spent in this world, and that these evil people will tempt us to turn away from God’s law, we have this note of encouragement from the apostle and his reminder that, in due time, we shall reap a reward for our trials.
This devotional was written as an assignment for Robert T. Davis’ course on “Johannine Literature,” which I am currently auditing at the Southern California School of Evangelism at Buena Park Church of Christ.