2 Peter 2:1–3
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.
Yesterday, Ben read a blasphemous quote from the great atheist, Richard Dawkins. From inside the church we recognize Dawkins as both brilliant and against God. We recognize that he does not recognize that even his brilliance is a gift from God before Whom even he will one day stand.
But the Apostle Peter is not talking about deceivers outside the church. He is warning of false teachers within the church. It is deceivers within the church who are far more dangerous than those on the outside.
Beware of any who: 1. Sneak in private teachings. If someone pulls you aside to tell you their pet doctrine, take it to the pastor and ask the pastor if this pet doctrine is in line with the whole of scripture. False teachers do teach the whole church just those whom they think they can influence. 2. Deny the Lord Jesus in either His person, He is 100% God, or His work, He fully paid the price for God’s judgment of our sin. Anything less is heresy. Those who teach that Christ is less than God and has done less than fully pay for our sin will bring destruction upon themselves. 3. These false teachers are covetous. They are teaching for their own benefit. Beware of preachers who get rich off of their congregations. If they are in the ministry for personal gain they are in it for the wrong reason. Their doctrine will follow their covetousness. 4. Use deceptive words to make their case. The Bible is clear. God intended for it to be clear. When teachers begin using words that twist the clear meanings of scripture or use words with shady connotations beware.
God wants us to know that He is aware of all false teachers and that their judgment is in His hands. In the meantime, we need to be aware that false teachers have been in the church for a long time and have infiltrated the people of God long before the formation of the church. Thus we must be students of the scriptures able to discern truth from error lest we be pulled away by a deceiver.
I plan to be bringing a message from Isaiah 30 this Sunday. We will see that God wants us to look to Him for all of our personal and national security. When we trust God and God alone He is able to watch over us and care for us. This timely message for us today was timely 2500 years ago. Pretty amazing stuff.
Have a great day in the Lord, PS