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  • Prelude:

    There is some disagreement as to whom this letter was sent to. Some believe it was written to a woman in the city of Ephesus and her congregation, while others believe it is a general epistle using metaphors to describe the church as the “elect lady” in the opening. Given John's poetic nature and the Old Testament book of the Song of Solomon, the second opinion would appear to be valid. I believe the former, based on John's statement toward the end of his intent to travel to the recipient and speak with them directly. But either way, I think you will agree this letter is a beautifully crafted condensing of First John.


    John, the apostle, to the lady who leads the church in Ephesus. I want you to know how much we all love you. You and your children are precious to all of us; for we know you are followers of Christ and witness to His love for all mankind. Grace, mercy, and peace be with you and yours from our Lord and Savior, Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God in truth and in love.

    I rejoiced loudly to all when I heard the reports of how you and your children are witnessing the truth, just as the Father has told us to do. Continue on this path, for this is the commandment He gave us from the beginning; that we love one another. The perfection of that love is when we follow His commandments, for when we do, we witness perfectly to His love for all mankind.

    There are false prophets even now who are going about saying Jesus is not the Son of God, that He is not the Messiah. They are deceivers and liars sent by Satan to tempt us away from salvation. So be very careful. We do not want to lose all we have gained, but continue on the path which we have chosen that leads to eternal life.

    Anyone who commits sin and does not repent is not of God. Those who know Jesus will obey the commandments and walk in the light of righteousness.

    If outsiders come to you with some other doctrine or teaching, and deny Jesus, do not accept them into the congregation; do not even wish them well. If you encourage them in anyway, you are a partaker of their sins.

    Since I have many more things to tell you, I have decided to come and visit you rather than write them all down. I think this will be better if we are face to face, and this will give me the chance to share with and rejoice with your children in the love of Christ.

    All of the congregation here and your sister send their love to you.

    Amen.

    Short, simple, and to the point, don't you think? Basically, he touches on the three key elements of the first letter (the divinity of Jesus, universal love, and false teachers) as if this were merely a prelude to a sermon. And by what he says at the end, I think we all know what sermon he is going to preach when he gets there. I believe I would have enjoyed that sermon.
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