Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. (2 John 8-9)
DO NOT ENTER. NO TRESPASSING. STAY ON THE TRAIL.
We recognize warnings to respect existing boundaries. We see them all the time.
WRONG WAY. ROAD CLOSED AHEAD. DO NOT TOUCH.
In 2 John 9, we are being warned by our Creator to respect an eternally-significant boundary. The “Holy and Righteous One,” the very “Author of life” (Acts 3:14-15), has revealed “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). If we love him, we will keep his commandments (John 14:15). Without him, outside of him, apart from him, there is no way to our heavenly Father (John 14:6).
But our Creator has also blessed us with free will. Day by day, we have choices: In what will I seek satisfaction? Who is my master? On what will I set my heart?
Each of us will make a fundamental choice today: will I abide in the teaching of Christ, or “go on ahead”? My “Leader and Savior” (Acts 5:31) offered himself that I–a self-proclaimed enemy of God–might find grace to “abide” in and with the perfectly holy Creator of the universe. But he has also warned me, because he loves me, of the dangers outside the boundaries of his will.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5)
Abide in or go on ahead: this is the fundamental choice, and it is a choice with consequences. To go on ahead is to go without God. To abide in the teaching of Christ is to be brought into harmony with the Father and the Son.
How will I handle that choice today?