Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward.
2 John 8
John's encouragement to a little house church near the end of the first century speaks to our struggles now in the twenty-first century. As we are called to be faithful to Christ in a world that needs, yet often denies Him, we must watch ourselves very closely. We must pay attention to our faith and practice. We must know the truth, Christ's truth, about doctrine and character. We must stay faithful to biblical orthodoxy (right beliefs) and authentic orthopraxy (right living).
Too much is at stake to hold to just the bare minimums. Jesus is not interested in us being a church that embraces and teaches a "Christianity Lite" (all the wonder and feel good moments, half the commitments). Disciples are called to guard against losing our grip on doctrine and holy living, which means that we are in very real danger of doing so at any moment.
John's motivation offered to us is found in the two words "full reward". We want a full reward from our Lord. We want to stand before Jesus one day having done our best and to hear Him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of Your Lord". We want this not to earn salvation or because we are inherently good, but instead, we want to live out the perfect salvation and the call to holiness commanded of us, by His grace and power, and not our own.
I know I will face Jesus. I know I will be judged by my Lord. I know that much wood, hay, and stubble will burn away at His holy, perfect gaze. I long to offer Him the gold, silver, and precious stones that His grace has given me and that should remain if I am faithful to His Word and the gospel's work in me. Only His redeeming work will help me to be faithful to that His Word teaches, Only Jesus will help me to live it out in holiness. And all believers will face this same prospect. Why wouldn't we want to thus please our Lord and enter into His joy forever?