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Love Is Not Naïve

2 John 1:7
I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist (NIVUK)

John had been reminding this godly lady that 'walking in love' meant 'living in obedience' to Father God's commands. Now he says that there are many people who do not love the Lord, or want to obey Him, and so she must not be naïve or welcome them as true brothers or sisters. Although they speak about God and preach with confidence they are deceivers.

Such spiritual illusionists are identified by what they believe about Jesus. If they do not proclaim that Jesus is God who have come in the flesh, they cannot truly know God (John 6:27-29) or speak truthfully about God, salvation, heaven or hell. Alas, there were many such people who troubled the fledgling churches.

They were certainly sincere and confident, but false prophets were dangerous because the fully-divine and fully-human identity of the Lord Jesus Christ was critical to His salvation mission. Without those characteristics He cannot be the anointed Christ of God, and apart from Him there is no salvation. So the people who deny that Jesus is the Christ are antichrist. Their mission (whether or not they realise it) is to deceive people into adopting a different salvation-philosophy, which can never save.

We must not be naïve. We live in a spiritually dangerous world where the Evil One, through his agents with many disguises, denies the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Most of those people will be apparently devoutly religious while some will be militant secularists – but they share the same desire to flout the authority of Christ. It is right to love everybody, but we must love and obey God first. Real love cannot compromise on the uniqueness of Christ. We need much grace and prayer to navigate through a world where many despise the true identity of Jesus and would like to derail our faith too.

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank You for showing me true love when Jesus Christ died for me. Forgive me for sometimes being naïve by assuming that all who speak of God have a relationship with You through Jesus Christ. Help me to be discerning and not deceived by false teaching which denies the deity of my Saviour. May I be strong to know what is true and then to obey You by doing it. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams