2Peter 2:1-22, “vs. 1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber”
A few months ago I was reading and meditating on 2Peter 2 which deals with false prophets and false teachers in detail and I began to pen a series of messages off it. The more I read, the more I became burdened.
I was led as I am from time to time to address the subject of biblical discernment. Then around that time I was handed an account to work on only to find that it was an account of two ministers I would call false teachers with a very expensive private jet worth millions.
About 12 years ago I was hooked on their teachings among others and later I became aware of their false teachings primarily by their doctrine and their living. As I carefully began to study the word and listen to sound biblical teachings, I distanced myself from them and those like them. That is why this subject is dear to my heart. I want to see believers especially those we reach beware and distance themselves from these people and their teachings.
In many cases when I chat with believers, I tend to ask of those who influence their lives. Many times we address this subject in our conversation, and they will say how they can’t stand false teachers only to find that some in their list of their favorite preachers I would label false teachers, again based on their doctrines and their life style. I am very concerned for our brothers here in the US, in India and Africa because many have become victims of bad teaching and bad living and it’s spreading like wild fire.
As Peter’s life on earth drew close to an end, he dedicates this chapter to address a subject that must be dealt with so that believers can stand. The letter is a warning about false teachers and their doctrines. He wants us to know what they look like, how they act, how they talk, how they function and operate, and he describes them in detail.
At the expense of truth, there are some who have said, “Doctrine divides, can’t we just put doctrine aside and get a long?” It’s always hard to draw the line and call someone a heretic, false teacher or false prophet when they are doing some nice things, when they have some truth in their teachings. If anything, that’s what makes them toxic. They are hard to spot and the only way is to plumb line what they teach with the word of God. As Pastor Voddie Baucham puts it, “many of us are allergic to truth exposing false teachers”, if anyone brings it up, we feel uncomfortable addressing such a subject and sweep it under the carpet as fast as we can. And while we let things slide, we continue to enable those who practice such things that blaspheme the name of the Lord. Another thing that is prevalent in our time when you talk about false teachers, people say, “you are being judgmental”, I am guilty as charged but here is my question for you, hoow will you identify without judging? Right and wrong are identified by judging, so it’s needed.
“I’m afraid the church today is a bit witless on these matters. It has become very tolerant of error, and it literally absorbs the very deception that Paul warns about and Peter warns about. The cry today is for everyone to agree with everyone, to tolerate everyone who names the name of Christ no matter what he teaches. This sort of endless tolerance has produced indifference to truth. Mark that. Tolerance has produced indifference to truth. The church is witless, careless, foolish, blind”, John McArthur.
D.A. Carson wrote of this passage in 2Corinthians, “If we are embarrassed by the force of Paul’s denunciation, our embarrassment may only be testimony to the degree by which we have departed from the apostolic gospel.” If it embarrasses us that the Apostle Paul calls some in the church who name the name of Christ false apostles, deceitful workers who are headed for destruction, and if we think that’s a little much, it only indicates how far away we are from battling for truth and how tolerant we have become”
Jesus, Peter, Paul among others told us to beware of false teachers, but they did not leave it there, they gave us the means to identify them, God’s word. As Martin Luther said, “ Unless I am convinced by Scripture and by plain reason, …, my conscience is captive to the word of God. …”. This is beyond feelings; it’s the word of God that must be used to battle toxic gospel. We will dig in to find the words Peter gives us to identify false teachers. Blessings Ev