The Apostle John wrote three letters towards the end of his
life. He was an "elder" not just because of his
age. An elder was a Christian believer who could be looked
up to as one capable of guiding and helping believers.
This second letter is addressed to "the elect lady and
her children". This may have been a Christian lady known
to John or possibly it is a way of speaking of the Christian
church in a particular place. The word "elect" means
John was pleased to learn that the "children" were
"walking in truth" (v.4). Knowing "the Truth"
(the true message of God) is vital. If we do not "abide
in the doctrine of Christ" (v.9), we shall not receive
eternal life at his coming (v.8).
In John's day, false teaching was already being spread within
the ecclesias by "many deceivers". They are called
the "antichrist" (v.7). True believers are asked
to keep the distinction between truth and error. The ecclesia
of Christ must continue to show true love, God's love, by
being concerned for the eternal life of others including their
fellow believers (v.5).