(1-2) This is the second of my beloved John’s “epistles,” or letters, written to a congregation of believers, whom he addressed as “the elect lady.” Like his first letter, he grounded his words in love and truth, which work hand in hand and are made perfect in my Son.
(3) My grace, mercy, and peace always surround you when you rest in me and my Son. Remind others about my truth and love as often as you see each other and put love into practice.
(4-6) It delights me when my Son’s love continues between father and son, mother and daughter. Sometimes my followers pretend that the command to love was new with Jesus, but it is not. Love is as old as I am, which is to say, eternal. You fulfill my call to love by following my commands for living. You follow my Son by loving well.
(7-8) There are many people proclaim a different message. They make following my Son a condition of church membership, right doctrine, or giving up certain choices or lifestyles—there are thousands of distractions from my truth. These deceivers, who do not believe in my Son’s completed work, are anti-Christ. Pay close attention to what you believe and proclaim. Do not invest in what is ultimately false.
(9-11) You may feel the temptation to look for some new way of following my Son, but I am telling you, stay close to the center. When you remain near the center, you remain with me and with my Son. If people come and bring in some new “essentials,” whether they be doctrine, worship practices, or beliefs, do not allow those ideas to draw you away from my Son. If you provide support or assistance to those who are promoting new ways to believe, you are contributing to an “anti-Christ” message.
(12-13) This letter is only 13 verses long, though John admitted that he had much more to say. Letters are great, but they cannot hold a candle to face-to-face contact. One day soon, we too shall be face to face, and there you will find perfect joy as my whole church gathers in the presence of my Son, my Spirit, and me. Oh what a party that will be!