Posts Tagged ‘False Teachers


Falling Away

One of the issues that Christians fight about is whether or not one can lose one’s salvation. Are we “once saved, always saved”? Or can we fall from grace? It’s a very touchy and complicated issue. Peter warned his readers that by listening to false teachers who were encouraging unholy lives that they could “fall from” their “secure position.” Peter wrote:

Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. – 2 Peter 3:17 (NIV)

There were false teachers who were teaching unholy living. A holy God expects holiness from His people and lives that are different from the world around us. I believe that Peter is saying that when we persist in unholiness that we are in danger of jumping out of His hand. When we willfully live lives marked by disobedience and sin without care for what our salvation cost Jesus, we are in danger of falling away. God will never dump you, but be careful that you don’t fall away from Him by following the lies of false teachers.

Distorting The Scriptures

In Galatians 2, we read of a rift between the apostle Peter and the apostle Paul. It could have divided the church between their followers. They were able to patch things up, even to the point where Peter wrote about Paul’s sometimes difficult to understand teachings. He wrote:

He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. – 2 Peter 3:16 (NIV)

Peter defended Paul despite Paul’s rebuke of Peter. It goes to show you that there are more important issues than personal pride. One of those issues is the handling of Scripture. Peter says that those who distort the Scriptures are ignorant and unstable. When they do this, they are doing it to their own destruction. God’s Word is not something to be trifled with. It should be handled carefully and properly and not twisted and distorted to fit one’s own agenda. Pastors and teachers should be very careful when handling the Word of Truth, not only for their own sake, but for the sake of their audience.

The Heavy Responsibility of Handling God’s Word

Peter closes out his description of false teachers and their destiny by quoting the book of Proverbs. Peter wrote:

Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.” – 2 Peter 2:22 (NIV)

He was writing about how there were false teachers who were returning to a former sinful way of life. They had become followers of Jesus, but were abandoning their faith to return to a life of sin. Perhaps even worse, they were convincing others to do the same. Teaching carries with it a great deal of responsibility. The apostle Paul told his protege, Timothy, to handle the word of Truth correctly. We who preach and teach are held to a higher standard because so much is on the line. If we don’t handle God’s Word correctly, we could lead people astray from the Truth. It’s a scary thing to know that so much is on the line when it comes to teaching and preaching. God has given us His Word so that we would know the Truth and could be set free by it. We must be careful to not only preach and teach well, but to live consistent lives of holiness and righteousness, too.

A Stern Warning For False Teachers (And Us)

The apostle Peter warned false teachers about the consequences of turning back to worldly ways. These are believers who turned away from the world and turned to Jesus for salvation. Now, he says, they were turning their backs on the way of righteousness. Peter wrote:

If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. – 2 Peter 2:20-21 (NIV)

This warning goes for all believers and not just false teachers. It can be so easy to return to old ways of living like the world. We are all easily entangled by sin and we turn our backs on holiness. Spend time with Jesus daily and reflect upon His goodness and love. Take a moment now to thank Him for saving you from the corruption of this world and from your sins. Dedicate yourself to living for the One who died for you today by taking up your cross and following Him.

The Fate Of False Teachers

In 2 Peter 2, the apostle Peter continues to write about false teachers. He wrote:

These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” – 2 Peter 2:17-19 (NIV)

These false teachers were enticing new converts with promises of freedom that they couldn’t keep. These new converts were being told that they could sin with no need for repentance. They were told that they had a license to sin with no regard for the cost of forgiveness. These false teachers would have to answer to God for leading people astray and the punishment is to be cast out into the darkness.

Falling Prey To False Teachers

In 2 Peter 2, the entire chapter is devoted to false teachers. He describes their methods and their future. He wrote:

They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. 14 With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! – 2 Peter 2:13-14 (NIV)

We must be on our guard against false teachers in the church. This is why it is so important to know the truth. False teachers are greedy for power, prestige and money. They derive pleasure from seducing the unstable to follow them. Do not listen to the lies of false teachers! Instead, know the truth and what God really says and you will be less likely to fall victim to their schemes.

The Destiny Of False Teachers

In 2 Peter 2, the apostle Peter talks at length about false teachers. He describes them as bold and arrogant and writes about their destiny. He said:

Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings;11 yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from  the Lord. 12 But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish. – 2 Peter 2:10b-12 (NIV)

Peter says that they blaspheme in matters they do not understand. The false teachers will perish he said. These words should be sobering for anyone who teaches and preaches the Word of God. God will hold pastors and teachers accountable. Teaching and preaching are serious matters and should not be taken lightly.

%d bloggers like this: