Bible Study

2 John Bible Study, Day 35: Wicked Work

Today’s passage: 2 John 1:10–13

Focus verse: Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work. (2 John 1:11)

Building upon his instruction about the deceivers—the antichrists—John warns the chosen lady to not welcome anyone who holds to their teaching and to not show them hospitality.

If she does, she aligns herself with their misguided ways and shares in their guilt of denying Jesus. John’s teaching refers to those who don’t acknowledge Jesus’s humanity, of him coming to earth as a person.

To extend John’s command to apply to other types of teaching—such as what we may disagree with or find distasteful—is an overstretch; it takes his words out of context.

Therefore, this isn’t a call to scrutinize the theology of other followers of Jesus, accepting those who align with us and rejecting those who understand faith differently.

Unfortunately, Jesus’s church has done just that over the past two millennia, splitting theological hairs over beliefs to decide who’s in and who’s out.

This divides Jesus’s church in the process and has resulted in over 42,000 Protestant denominations. Often, these factions mistrust each other, do not welcome each other, and don’t get along with each other.

Instead, Jesus prayed that we would be one, just as he and the Father are one (John 17:20–21). Despite our contrary actions, there is one church, and Jesus wants us to be unified in him and through him. 

John’s teaching doesn’t run counter to the unity Jesus wants. Instead, John gives one unique situation for us to watch out for. 

This is to be alert for people who don’t acknowledge that Jesus came to earth. We should have nothing to do with them, but this doesn’t cause division in Jesus’s church.

If they deny Jesus’s saving work, they aren’t part of his church to begin with (1 John 2:19). They oppose Jesus and try to take others with them.

If someone denies Jesus, don’t associate with them. Otherwise seek the unity Jesus prayed for.


  1. When have we made wrong theological distinctions that divided Jesus’s church? 
  2. How should Jesus’s prayer for unity affect us today?
  3. How can we pray for unity?
  4. What can we do to promote unity?
  5. Do you think Jesus is the one essential truth to our faith and everything else is secondary? Why?

Discover more about unity in 1 Corinthians 12:12–13, Ephesians 1:7–10, Ephesians 4:3, and Colossians 3:14.

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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