Christians need to know what we believe and why about our salvation and our doctrine. A Christian who knows why he or she is “saved” will most likely not fall away from the “faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). That one will be able to ascertain the teachings of the Bible when it us preached or taught. They will be able to spot false teaching and false teachers more readily.
The Apostle John speaks of this in 2 John 7-11 in his short letter to the Elect Lady and her children. He stresses the need to stand on guard against false teachers.
The word Deceiver refers to a wanderer. John had in mind those who went out as missionaries spreading error. The devil has his ministers and missionaries also (2 Cor. 11:14-15). John says tat he has a whole lot of them (2 John 7; cf I John 4:1).
Hospitality is one of the themes of 2 John; but there are limits. John MacArthur writes, “Since Satan comes as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:13-15), believers must be on guard against error by having an intimate acquaintance with the Truth.”
One of the marks of a false teacher or a cult is that they do not accept, believe, and teach about the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is, for example, an “angel,” as the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe (the archangel Michael), a created being. To the Mormon’s he is the “spirit brother” of Lucifer, not eternal, but created and conceived just you and I were.
2 John 8 calls for a self-examination in the life of the believer. The Word of God continually admonishes us to look to ourselves or examine ourselves regarding our faith and spiritual matters. In fact, on a weekly basis, we are to examine ourselves before partaking of the Lord’s Supper.
Because Christianity is a here and now religion, we must be found living out our faith on a daily basis. We must abide in the faith. Abide implies a continual walking in the faith. If you follow that scripturally prescribed path, you will be grounded in the faith and will not fall for false teaching.
Larry Miles, May 19, 2011