Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. (2 John 8—NIV)

The implications for eternity are huge. The verse plainly states that rewards labored for may be lost. It is clearly a warning passage and yet a passage full of hope. There is such a thing as full reward. Those things worked for are identified as things "wrought" in the KJV. Much effort and force is applied to gain the thing desired and yet all the energy expended may be for nothing. How do we avoid such a consequence?

The book of 2 John teaches about the loving heart operating in the atmosphere of truth. The light of truth is at the center of the believer’s loving acts, remembering that true love can never be exercised at the sacrifice of truth. Love is regulated by truth in verse one, it is balanced by truth in verse three, and it is expressed by truth in verses five and six.

Put another way, truth sets the boundaries for fellowship according to verse one. Truth may be possessed according to verse two. Truth is the channel of God’s blessing in verse three. Truth establishes the principle of Christian service according to verse four. Finally, obedience to the commandments of Christ is the definition of love according to verse six.

As you can plainly see, fidelity to God’s truth is the key thought in the context. Loss of reward then is closely related to your relationship to God’s truth, both standing in truth as well as standing against error. Verse seven identifies the work of deceivers denying the truth of God, leading people astray. Verses nine through eleven teach you to distance yourself from unsaved teachers of error.

A common Scriptural theme may be summed up this way: The quantity of truth embraced along with another determines the quantity of meaningful partnership possible. When truth falls short so does the full reward. Labor on in love for truth’s sake and reap the full harvest!