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. Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God (2 John 7-8, 9).
When the Apostle John wrote this short letter, Christianity was being challenged by a false idea we call Gnosticism. Gnostics taught that Jesus was merely a man who one day realized his own god-ness, full potential, and greatness. This is something we can all do. We can be great when we discover our own god-nature.
John’s assertion is quite the opposite. He wrote that Jesus is God coming in the flesh (cf, John 1:1, 2, 14). He wasn’t a man who discovered greatness while standing in a river, Jesus is eternally the Great One (Isaiah 19:20). John unequivocally states that anyone who disagrees with this is a deceiver … an antichrist … and does not have God.
Both religion and politics today promise greatness. We’re told that if we just follow one great man he will do great things. All he does is great and empowering him will empower you. He even has the godlike power to make a nation great again. Like King Herod, he has the voice of a god and not of a man (Acts 12:21-23). You name it, it will be great. He knows the secret of greatness because he is the secret of greatness, and if you don’t believe it, just ask him!
After America’s founding, a visiting Frenchman named Alexis de Tocqueville wrote:
Making America great again isn’t found in a man’s slogan on a baseball cap; it’s found in the character of her people as they rely upon the One who was once her God. Present political philosophy presents a great danger, robbing God of His greatness to redistribute it to mere mortals. It vests a man with a sovereign power that can only achieve great disappointment. True greatness belongs only to God (2 Chronicles 29:11-12) who raises up and brings low. Rather than entrust to man what only God can do, we ought to pray that God shed His grace on thee.
Prosperity and greatness are not wrapped in arrogance, but in humility and service. It is not the great, but the meek who shall one day inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5).