Categories: Apostasy, Bible, Compromise, Daily Living, Expository Study, Faith, False Doctrine, Fellowship, Jesus Christ, John, Obedience, Sin

            In reading II John, I must recognize that while verses like II John 9-11 tend to be used more often by brethren than others in the letter, these verses have a context that must be respected. Once I know I have placed what is said in context, it is then that I can make proper applications to myself.

            The context of II John 9-11 is that John told his readers to obey the Lord’s command and love each other (v. 6). He warned of deceivers and antichrists among them and told them to examine themselves and make sure they don’t lose what they had (v. 7-8). These thoughts then lead to the truth, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”

            Notice the unilateral aspect of this statement. In light of the fact that there are deceivers among us and because we all have a responsibility to examine ourselves and be faithful, then “whosoever” transgresses (goes beyond) the doctrine (teaching) of the Lord, does not have God. In contrast, anyone who obeys will have the Father and the Son. If anyone does not (whosoever) bring the doctrine that John has been teaching, then don’t receive or bid Godspeed to this person, because if you bid this person Godspeed, then you are a partaker (in fellowship) of this person’s evil deeds.

            “Whosoever” is a word that includes all people. Whoever chooses not to bring the doctrine of Christ does not have fellowship with God. It doesn’t matter who you are, what your name is, how much money you have, or where you live. It doesn’t matter about your past and how many people you have won to the Lord! If you now choose to deceive people and teach false doctrine, you will not be in fellowship with God (II Jn. 9). Furthermore, those who choose to accept a false teacher for any reason, and will not stand against his teaching, are also wrong and a “partaker of his evil deeds” (II Jn. 11). This teaching is parallel to the inspired teaching written by Ezekiel (Ezek. 18:20-32).

            I emphasize the word “whosoever” because men tend to “favor” family members, friends, and others who have some relation to us. Some will justify family members or friends in their false doctrine while lambasting someone they do not know as well. Sadly, it is evident that though those in the church of Christ do not teach “once-saved-always-saved” or the impossibility of apostasy doctrine, several tend to practice it! Remember, whoever is not teaching what God has said does not have God’s fellowship, and those who justify the error taught are just as guilty!

            “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward” (II Jn. 8), still applies! Take the time to examine yourself and make sure you are in the right relationship with God! This includes opposing the deceivers as well as supporting those who are teaching the truth! This is a tall order and demands daily discipline, but we can do it!

- Jarrod M. Jacobs