“For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”
John now moves to the occasion for his writing of 2nd John – safeguard of truth. This is a challenge to resist false teachers. Verse seven is the reason for the challenge in verse six. It is a warning not to propagate error by hosting false teachers and thereby giving them credibility. Love requires a condition to its integrity — the truth of God’s Word.
John gives 3 warnings:
Warning against many deceivers abroad, v 7.
Warning against receiving a half-reward, v 8.
Warning against apostates who reject the deity of Christ, vv 9-11.
For many deceivers have gone out into the world
There were few suitable motels in the first century, so traveling teachers stayed in homes of the locality where they ministered. Many of these teachers were imposters. Some of them taught Gnosticism, which held that, since the matter is evil, God could not dwell in human flesh.
The presence of false teachers proves damaging to the exercise of mutual love because their teaching negates the essence of Christianity, the incarnation. The false teacher, Cerinthus, preyed not on pagans but true Christians.
who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh.
The essential error rampant in John’s day related to the doctrine of Christ. They denied that He came in the flesh (1 Jn 5:1). They could not conceive of the fact that Jesus was both truly God and perfect man. All of Christianity revolves around this doctrine.
1 Jn 4:2-3, : 2 “By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.”
There is a need for great discrimination in the present-day culture of non-discrimination.
We live in a day when almost no one wants to exercise spiritual discrimination because we live in a culture that neutralizes truth. No one wants to be dogmatic or claim anything definitely. David Wells, in his book No Place for Truth, concludes that evangelical Christians of our day have arrived at the point where there is no place for truth. He chronicles doctrinal death among evangelicals. He says that this cliché culture has taken a dreadful toll on the human spirit, emptying it of “meaning, depth, and morality.”
Churches today refashion their faith increasingly on therapies centered on self. They have lost the truth that stands outside human experience. Instead of standing apart from the blandishments of the world, they are absorbed into it.
We have to be accurate in the truth of God. If a chemist is not exact in his measurements, he may blow the lab into pieces. We live in a day when anything is good enough when it comes to truth. Anything is not good enough, and almost is not close enough. Two plus two never equals five. There is no place for sloppiness in expounding the truth of the Word of God.