The elder, To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth--and not I only, but also all who know the truth--
because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever:
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, will be with us in truth and love.
It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us.
And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another.
And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.
Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.
Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him.
Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.
I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.
The children of your chosen sister send their greetings.
The elder, To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.
It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth.
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you.
They have told the church about your love. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God.
It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans.
We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth.
I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us.
So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.
Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.
Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone--and even by the truth itself. We also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true.
I have much to write you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink.
I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. Peace to you. The friends here send their greetings. Greet the friends there by name.
Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.
For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe.
And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home--these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.
In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.
In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings.
But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"
Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals--these are the very things that destroy them.
Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion.
These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm--shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted--twice dead.
They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.
Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones
to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him."
These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.
But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold.
They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires."
These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.
Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
Be merciful to those who doubt;
snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear--hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy--
to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.