Suggested reading: 2 Peter chapter 2 verses 1-22
In our previous meditation, the apostle Peter introduced us to the scoffers, who ridicule the prospect of Jesus Christ returning to the earth to reign. Peter also forewarned us about the destructive activities of false teachers; indeed, to be forewarned is to be forearmed!
Peter encourages us to:
SPOT THEIR DENIAL. Spiritual teachers stand or fall by what they say about the Person of Christ. If they deny His Deity and Lordship, they are false and must be shunned. Peter refers to them as, ‘denying the Lord (i.e. absolute Master) that bought them’, 2 Peter chapter 2 verse1.
SENSE THE DANGER. It is all too easy to be taken in by the persuasive words of false teachers. We need to be alert to the following dangers:
- they are often found among true believers. The apostle Paul’s words to the elders in the church at Ephesus are apposite: ‘Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after themselves. Therefore WATCH, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears’, Acts chapter 20 verses 30-31
- they make a deliberate choice to bring in ‘destructive heresies’, verse 1
- they attract a considerable following, verse 2
- they are covetous and seek financial gain, verses 3, 15-16
- they sound impressive but their words are devoid of any truth, verse 18
- they target new believers, who can easily be drawn away by error, verse 18
- hey promise freedom but they bring us into greater bondage, verses 19-20
- they refuse to obey spiritual authority, verse 10
- hey behave like animals, verse 12
SAVOUR THE SECURITY. It is encouraging for those of us who are Christians to know that ‘the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations’, verse 9. However, He also knows how ‘to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment’, verse 9. False teachers will not prevail; they will ‘utterly perish in their own corruption’, verse 12.