“A Full Reward”
We'll answer three questions that arise from our text.
1. The Recipients
2 John 1:1-5 NKJV The Elder, To the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all those who have known the truth, 2 because of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever: 3 Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. 4 I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father. 5 And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another.
Q1: Who is the "lady" John addresses in verses 1 and 5?
- Answer 1: A female believer and her children. Lady (kuria) = A Christian woman
- Answer 2: A local congregation and its members/converts Both ekklesia (translated church) and kuria (translated lady) are feminine, not neuter or masculine. Why? We are a bride.
Ephesians 5:25-27 NKJV Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
2. The Recipe
2 John 1:6-8 NKJV This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it. 7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.
Q2: How can believers who wasted their lives enjoy heaven?
Answer: Because they are in God's presence, have a perfected nature, and are in an environment free of sin, anxiety, fear or death.
Q3: How can believers "earn" rewards if they are saved by grace?
Supporting verses for rewards:
Matthew 5:11-12 NKJV Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Luke 6:35 NKJV But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.
1 Corinthians 3:14-15 NKJV If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
Revelation 22:12 NKJV "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.
Answer: Because God is more gracious than we can even imagine!
This message has an accompanying Breakout Group lesson: