Bible Study

2 John Bible Study, Day 34: Beware the Deceivers

Today’s passage: 2 John 1:7–9

Focus verse: Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. (2 John 1:8)

John moves from his encouragement to walk in love to a warning about being on alert for deceivers, whom he calls antichrists (see Day 10).

These deceivers share one particular trait that makes them easy to spot. They don’t acknowledge that Jesus came to earth as a flesh-and-blood man (1 John 4:2). 

This isn’t a trivial distinction but an essential one. It’s the core tenet of our faith. Here’s why:

If Jesus didn’t come to earth, we don’t have his teaching to guide us, his invitation to follow him, and his sacrificial death to save us and give us eternal life.

In the process, we lose the grace his love gives and the mercy his death provides. Along with that, we risk losing his peace (see Day 31).

By denying that Jesus came to earth, these deceivers remove Jesus from Christianity. This is why John calls them antichrists. They are anti-Christ or against Christ (1 John 2:22). 

If we remove Jesus from our faith, we lose the uniqueness of Christianity and make it no different than any other religion.

This leaves us with something we must do, rather than something we can receive. It means working to earn our salvation instead of accepting Jesus’s gift at no cost (Ephesians 2:8–9 and Revelation 22:17).

John worries that his dear friend might fall victim to their deception. He warns her to watch out for them, to stand guard and protect her faith. Though her salvation is not at stake, her eternal reward is.

Under their misguided teaching, she could lose part of her reward and not receive it fully. John desires that she receive her full reward.

He states the situation most clearly. If someone gets sidetracked in their faith and doesn’t continue to embrace Jesus’s teaching, that person doesn’t have God in their life. 

Yet everyone who continues to abide in Jesus’s teaching has both Father God and his Son. They will receive their full reward.


  1. What influences in the world might deceive us?
  2. Who might we need to stop listening to because they don’t acknowledge that Jesus came to earth in the flesh? 
  3. How does Jesus make Christianity unique from all other religions?
  4. How can we stand guard and protect our faith?
  5. In what ways might we be in danger of losing our full reward?

Discover more about God’s reward in Matthew 5:11–12, Matthew 6:1–6, Ephesians 6:7–8, Hebrews 10:35, and Revelation 22:12.

Tips: Check out our tips to use this online Bible study for your church, small group, Sunday school class, or family discussion. It’s also ideal for personal study. Come back each Monday for a new lesson.

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Discover practical, insightful, and encouraging truths in Love One Another, a devotional Bible study to foster a deeper appreciation for the two greatest commandments: To love God and to love others.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

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