May 19, 2024

See that We Receive a Full Reward (2 John 8)

Written by:
Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy

“Look to yourselves,” says the apostle John, “that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward” (2 John 8). This is a call to vigilance in the light of the danger posed by the religious “deceiver” or “antichrist” that John mentioned in the previous verse. This verse begins with an imperative or command—“Look to yourselves”. It is a command to be constantly watchful. There is no room for complacency because false brethren or teachers will always attempt to seduce us into false beliefs and rebellious ways.

No church on earth is hazard-free. The deceivers would act as genuine believers and attempt to lure one into a stupor if he is not careful. When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he offered similar concern and advice in 2 Corinthians 11:1–4, “Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” Like John, Paul was also concerned that those under his care would not be caught off guard by the deceivers in the church.

John further cautioned believers to be on their guard, “that we lose not those things which we have wrought”. John did not say, “that you lose not those things which you have wrought.” John wanted the elect lady and her children not to lose all the wonderful spiritual truths and realities that the elder (John himself) and his associates had worked to provide for them. John, the elder, had worked to make the truth of Christ known to them, so that they might know God and have eternal life. Having laboured in the elect lady’s and her children’s lives, John wanted to see the full fruit of that effort; he did not want them to lose what they had accomplished together.

Likewise, present-day churches that have inherited a rich biblical legacy of doctrine and practice should not waste the efforts of their spiritual fathers, who provided them with the heritage of biblical truths. What the spiritual fathers handed down to today’s church must be preserved at all costs. Men of God throughout history have preached, taught and defended the true Gospel, often at great cost (of time, effort, suffering of persecution, and even martyrdom)!

Every believer and every church must be vigilant and discerning because what is at stake is most vital. Turning aside and giving an ear to false teaching will result in tragic loss. The tragic consequences of their spiritual regression include failing to receive “a full reward”. Even though salvation is secure (see John 6:37-40; Romans 5:1; 8:1, 28-39; Hebrews 7:25; 1 Peter 1:4), believers who stray from the right path may miss out on some of the spiritual rewards they could have earned by staying faithful. Similarly, the apostle Paul also said, “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind” (Colossians 2:18). To turn aside and give an ear to false teaching can only result in loss. To walk away and not continue with Christ proves you never received him in the first place. “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (2 John 9).

Having strong religious beliefs is vital. Avoid being indifferent to the teachings of God’s Word. Carefully examine all teachings, holding on to what is true and rejecting falsehoods. Actively seek understanding through Scripture to solidify your faith. Maintain a strong spiritual life so that you may not be vulnerable to error. The best way to safeguard yourself is to focus on Christ. Some Christians start strong but lose momentum. Don’t let that be you! Pursue God’s truth and holiness, and fulfil your duties to receive the greatest reward: a triumphant entry into Christ’s eternal kingdom!

A Ministry & Study Report

This report would be presented from two perspectives: during the semester break (Nov-Dec 2023) and during the semester (Jan-May 2024) itself.

“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14). With thanksgiving to God, I resumed my speaking engagements with our brothers in TGCM on Tuesday mornings. I also thank God for the privilege to teach children on the theme: “Be Strong in the LORD” during Daily Vacation Bible School (Nov 2023).

The LORD is good! He opened the door for me to lead a Bible Study in Reformative Training Centre (RTC) on Monday afternoons starting in December 2023. RTC houses young prisoners, but there are some adults who have been assigned there for work. As such, the Bible Study group consists of both youths and adults. It is my prayer that some young men might be saved to serve the LORD.

Far Eastern Bible College (FEBC) reopened on 2nd Jan 2024 with a day of prayer. The LORD is to be praised! He has helped me to maintain my Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 in the last semester. For this semester, I have registered 8 courses with a total of 14 credits. Admittedly, I experienced some difficulties in my studies, especially with the biblical languages of Hebrew and Greek. Trying to memorise vocabulary has been a constant struggle. But there is sufficient grace from the LORD. Furthermore, the LORD also helped me to be focused in my writing assignments, especially outlines for Homiletics. This in turn has helped me in my ministry in Gethsemane Young Adults’ Fellowship, where I have to come out with an overarching theme for every chapter in the Epistle of James. These are some of the spiritual blessings from my studies in FEBC.

Besides, I thank God that I was assigned to lead groups of three students on Wednesday afternoons to visit Mr. Mahadevan (a member of True Life BP Church) in All Saints Home (Hougang Centre). He was 96 years old and bedridden. As I visited him week after week, I did not hear him complaining about his afflictions; he was always looking forward to receiving visitors and thankful to the LORD. On two occasions, his prayer request was to go home peacefully to the LORD. This prayer was answered on 7th May 2024. The faith of Uncle Devan (as he was affectionally called) has demonstrated to me one spiritual truth: “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). This is a spiritual blessing outside of my studies in FEBC.

Another thing that I thank the LORD for was the retreat organised by FEBC in Mersing, where I got to hear the thesis presentations by various graduates. May the LORD lead me to a thesis topic of His will that I could write for the edification of His saints!

Now, to update on the two Muslim converts of my Bible Study class in prison. One of them was denied permission to continue in the class. Please remember him in prayer, that he would persevere in the faith and not be stumbled. As for the other brother, he is currently placed on a half-way house scheme. I am hoping to bring him for our worship service. God willing, one day he would become our member, just like Vijayandran.

Finally, I am thankful to the LORD for seeing me through another semester (Jan-May 2024). “It is of the LORD’s mercies that [I am] not consumed, because his compassions fail not” (Lamentations 3:22).

Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church adheres to the system of faith commonly known as the “Reformed Faith” as expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith together with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
Our Worship Address
SingPost Centre
Level 5 Auditorium
10 Eunos Road 8, Singapore 408600
(next to Paya Lebar MRT station)
Our mailing address
Gethsemane Media Centre
33 Ubi Crescent
Singapore 408584
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