Sunday School Material 4-26-15:  Watch Out for Deceivers

(II John 1-13; 4/26/15)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that believers are urged to love one another and avoid the influence of deceivers. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to work on loving one another and avoiding the influence of deceivers.

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Read II John 1-3

I. Basis of Unity. John presents himself as an elder in our Sunday School material. He is writing to the lady chosen by God.

This may be a reference to the church itself (i.e., Pastor likes this interpretation) or an actually lady in the church (i.e., commentator sides with this interpretation). John talks about loving and living in the truth. A greeting is given that includes God’s being with His people in truth and love.

Applications –

- Truly loving. Notice in vss. 1-3 that truth and expressing kindness are important. First, John talks about love in truth or love genuinely. He talks about knowing the truth or knowing what God declares to be right. He talks about truth being forever or unchanging.

Second, John greets his readers with a concern for their receiving grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Jesus (i.e., God the Son). Grace includes favor from God.

Mercy includes compassion for our short comings. And peace includes lack of inner turmoil and the presence of wellbeing.

Let’s work on truly loving one another based on God’s word. Such love should be based on our commitment to obey God’s word. And it should be seen in our being kind to one another.

Read II John 4-11

II. Threat from Deceivers. In our Sunday School material John urges the believers to continue to follow God’s command to love one another. He warns them about deceivers who are trying to lead believers away from godly teaching. John warns that entertaining them makes one share in their work.

Applications –

- The fruit of edifying. Notice in vs. 4 that there is great joy in seeing the fruit of your labor being that of people walking in the truth. We should work towards helping people get saved and grow in the Lord, so that they are known for living by God’s word.

To live by God’s word means loving God with all that you have and loving others, as you love yourself. Let’s work on helping people live by God’s word, so we can enjoy knowing that we at least sowed a seed in their godly living.

- The command to love.  Notice in vss. 5-6 that there is a command to love, and obedience to God is the evidence of such love. First, there is no such thing as a mature Christian who doesn’t love. You cannot be mature in the Lord as well as be grumpy and mean.

Second, loving one another is a command of God. It is not something that we do because we feel like it or because it comes natural to us. When we don’t feel like it and it doesn’t come natural to us, we are still commanded by God to love one another.

Let’s work on showing our obedience to God, by loving one another. Loving one another means being kind and responsive to one another’s needs.

- Deceivers. Notice in vss. 7-11 that there are deceivers to be aware of and who should be avoided. First, there are some deceivers in this world – people who are trying to get us to do something other than what God is calling us to do.

And they are doing it with trickery. We ought not to be so naïve (i.e., ignorant) as to think that everything a person tells us is the truth.

Second, if we follow after the deceivers, there are negative consequences for us. We are subject to lose rewards or blessings that would have otherwise been enjoyed by us. The Pastor underscores that one cannot lose one’s salvation.

However, we can miss out on joy and peace because of the stress caused by drifting from God’s will for our lives.

Third, we should not entertain or enable the deceivers with our hospitality. When we see people doing wrong or sharing things that are wrong in or around our church family, we should not simply act as if all is well.

We should clearly reject the acceptance of such. We should report such people to the proper authorities. For example, any Sunday School or Bible study teacher who is teaching something contrary to giving God at least 10% of one’s income and following God’s leadership should be rejected by the student and reported to the Pastor.

To sit under such false teachings is to be a party to their wickedness and makes you subject to miss out on some of your blessings. Let’s work on being aware of and avoiding the influence of deceivers.

Read II John 12-13

III. Complete in Joy. John closes by talking about how he has more to say in our Sunday School material. However, he wants to talk in person, instead of by way of ink and paper. There is a closing greeting and mention of another church.

Applications –

- Relationship development. Notice in vs. 12 that John has such a relationship with his readers that he wants to talk with them face-to-face, instead of trying to say everything in writing.

In like manner, the church should be a place where we develop relationships among one another that nurtures a desire to be face-to-face with one another on a regular basis.

In relationships of love, there should be some conversations and sharing with one another. We should be sharing our joys and concerns, so we can rejoice with one another and pray for one another. Let’s work on relationship development, especially in our churches.

Conclusion: Let’s work on loving one another and avoiding the influence of deceivers. God has much for those who obey His will.

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