New International Reader's Version

2 John

I, the elder, am writing this letter.

I am sending it to the lady chosen by God and to her children. I love all of you because of the truth. I’m not the only one who loves you. So does everyone who knows the truth. I love you because of the truth that is alive in us. This truth will be with us forever.

God the Father and Jesus Christ his Son will give you grace, mercy and peace. These blessings will be with us because we love the truth.

It has given me great joy to find some of your children living by the truth. That’s just what the Father commanded us to do. Dear lady, I’m not writing you a new command. I’m writing a command we’ve had from the beginning. I’m asking that we love one another. The way we show our love is to obey God’s commands. He commands you to lead a life of love. That’s what you have heard from the beginning.

I say this because many people have tried to fool others. These people have gone out into the world. They don’t agree that Jesus Christ came in a human body. People like this try to trick others. These people are like the great enemy of Christ. Watch out that you don’t lose what we have worked for. Make sure that you get your full reward. Suppose someone thinks they know more than we do. So they don’t follow Christ’s teaching. Then that person doesn’t belong to God. But whoever follows Christ’s teaching belongs to the Father and the Son. 10 Suppose someone comes to you and doesn’t teach these truths. Then don’t take them into your house or welcome them. 11 Anyone who welcomes them shares in their evil work.

12 I have a lot to write to you. But I don’t want to use paper and ink. I hope I can visit you instead. Then I can talk with you face to face. That will make our joy complete.

13 The children of your sister, who is chosen by God, send their greetings.

The Message

2 John

1-2 My dear congregation, I, your pastor, love you in very truth. And I’m not alone—everyone who knows the Truth that has taken up permanent residence in us loves you.

Let grace, mercy, and peace be with us in truth and love from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, Son of the Father!

4-6 I can’t tell you how happy I am to learn that many members of your congregation are diligent in living out the Truth, exactly as commanded by the Father. But permit me a reminder, friends, and this is not a new commandment but simply a repetition of our original and basic charter: that we love each other. Love means following his commandments, and his unifying commandment is that you conduct your lives in love. This is the first thing you heard, and nothing has changed.

Don’t Walk Out on God

There are a lot of smooth-talking charlatans loose in the world who refuse to believe that Jesus Christ was truly human, a flesh-and-blood human being. Give them their true title: Deceiver! Antichrist!

8-9 And be very careful around them so you don’t lose out on what we’ve worked so diligently in together; I want you to get every reward you have coming to you. Anyone who gets so progressive in his thinking that he walks out on the teaching of Christ, walks out on God. But whoever stays with the teaching, stays faithful to both the Father and the Son.

10-11 If anyone shows up who doesn’t hold to this teaching, don’t invite him in and give him the run of the place. That would just give him a platform to perpetuate his evil ways, making you his partner.

12-13 I have a lot more things to tell you, but I’d rather not use paper and ink. I hope to be there soon in person and have a heart-to-heart talk. That will be far more satisfying to both you and me. Everyone here in your sister congregation sends greetings.