This letter is from John, the elder. I am writing to the chosen lady and to her children, whom I love in the truth—as does everyone else who knows the truth— because the truth lives in us and will be with us forever. Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ—the Son of the Father—will continue to be with us who live in truth and love.” 2 John 1:1-3 NLT
When you read any of John's writings (John, 1st, 2nd, 3rd John, and Revelation) you can't help but clearly see that he is focused on two main things.
1. The absolute Divinity of Jesus Christ.
2. The love that followers of Jesus Christ should have for one another.
The book of John is uniquely different from Matthew, Mark, and Luke. There are no parables. John is intent on making Jesus known for who He is and what He came to do. Christianity, without the truth of who Jesus really is, is not legitimate Christianity. We cannot ignore the Person of Christ and call ourselves true Christians. After all, the word Christian is rooted in Christ. We are surrounded in our time, just as in John's time, with pluralism (the idea of coexistence). I often see the bumper sticker that spells the word "coexist" with various religious symbols. I must be honest - I despise this bumper sticker. There is an idea associated with it that says we should all just get along and simply love one another. Now, at first glance this seems harmless and thoughtfully tolerant. However, there is a fundamental problem. There is only One truth! We cannot let ourselves be pied piped down the road that leads to hell. Eternal destruction is the ultimate end of ecumenical inclusion. We must teach that there is only One Lord, One faith, One God, One Father. ““Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:4-5 NLT “For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all. However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. That is why the Scriptures say, “When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people.” Notice that it says “he ascended.” This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world. And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself.”
Ephesians 4:4-10 NLT Jesus is God revealed in human flesh. Anything else is destructive heresy! He is THE TRUTH!!! He is also LOVE! Truth and love are mutual. Truth establishes the basis of what we believe and teach. Love is understood within the boundaries of that truth. When "love" takes priority over truth, we stumble into ecumenical inclusivity and allow truth to be compromised. We cannot dispense of the truth in order to accept other "teachings". There is only one Truth - Jesus Christ. What we believe concerning Jesus is the issue. True love desires for those whom we love to know the truth. Why? There is freedom in the truth. “Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”” John 8:31-32 NLT We cannot truly love unless we love with the truth! Here in 2nd John, John is dealing with itinerant (traveling) teachers who are infiltrating the homes of the believers with false doctrine. These false teachers were, apparently, undermining the Lordship of Jesus by denying His Divinity. By denying Jesus as God in human flesh, they could insert their own ideas of who He was and what He taught. This kind of teaching was utter heresy. Although we are to love our fellow man, we are not to compromise the truth in order to create a community of peace. Error must be confronted! Genuine love and peace are built upon Divine truth. When truth is compromised we destroy the foundation upon which we live. Life must be built on the truth. Yes, we must also love. We must love with the truth! This means that we know, speak, and live the truth as we love those who either accept it or reject it. As the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, we must cling to the truth with our lives. John did just that. In fact, he was exiled on the island of Patmos (where he received the Revelation) for his faith. He was absolutely convinced concerning Jesus.
I am as well. Are you?
Rev. Curtis Norris