Read verses 7-11
Q: According to v.7, what is the chief identifier of the spirit of deception, broadly labeled the antichrist?|
A: Perversion of the truth. The specific example provided is teaching that Jesus did not come in the actual flesh. But their general identifying behavior is to replace the truth with a lie.
Q: Is it possible for believers to be deceived?
A: According to v.8, yes, if we let our guard down and don’t stay vigilant.
Point: Remember this teaching whenever someone tells you something like, “Doctrine is not important — it just divides people.” This is a sure sign of a false teacher trying to change God’s truth.
Q: What is the defining difference between those who follow false prophets and those remaining with Christ?
A: Those following false prophets do “not abide in the teaching of Christ”; the one who continues to follow “abides in the teaching”. It’s another way of stating whether or not one adheres to the truth.
Q: How are we supposed to deal with those who we’ve identified as embracing the spirit of the antichrist, the spirit of deception?
A: The first thing is “do not receive him into your house” (v.10). That is, we are not to have a personal relationship with them.
The second thing is “do not give him a greeting” (v.10). That is, we are not to give them even a hint of legitimacy by recognizing them.
Q: What do you suppose is the purpose of our taking these measures against such deceivers?
A: In the first place it’s the best personal protection we can achieve by not allowing them into our life and making sure they understand to keep their distance. Secondly, it’s a witness to others that such individuals are, indeed, false teachers and destructive influences who should be shunned and avoided by everyone.
Q: Why is taking action against bad spiritual influences such an important part of John’s teaching?
A: As we learned above, there is no true biblical love without truth and obedience to same. If someone successfully attacks the truth in our life, biblical love ceases to exist.
- Do you think it “harmless” to watch any “Christian” television program or listen to any “Christian” recording or read any “Christian” book? How should you exercise discrimination?
- What possible influences have you allowed entrance in your life that need to be removed?
- Should any and all who come in the name of Christ be recognized by you? What happens when you don’t comment at all?