Thursday, May 27, 2010


Some things don’t change. Two thousand years have come and gone since Peter wrote his final letter that we are now studying on Sundays here at Grace Church and one thing is as true now as it was then and that is the existence of false teachers. This coming Sunday we will see that Peter opens chapter two by telling his readers that there were false teachers then and still are false prophets among us today. So what exactly is a false teacher? Taking into consideration the closing verses of chapter one, you can define false teachers as those who give their own interpretation of Scripture. And the evidence of a false teacher can be seen through five certain characteristics.

First, false teachers distort the truth. Verse 1 says that they "secretly introduce destructive heresies." Verse 3 teaches that because of these false teachers, the "truth is maligned."

Second, false teachers deny the Lord. Verse 1 says that they "deny the Master who bought them." False teachers deny the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Third, false teachers deceive the masses. Verse 2 tells us that “many” will follow their sensuality. Do not be fooled by someone just because they have large followings and can fill stadiums and auditoriums.

Fourth, false teachers are devoted to no one but themselves. Verse 3 says that “in greed” they will exploit you. False teachers aren’t concerned most about God and the people they lead and teach. False teachers are moslty about their own name and their own careers.

And finally, false teachers deal in made up stories. Verse 3 calls them “false words.” They are the ones who cleverly devise ideas in order to deceive you.

And though it may appear that these false teachers are prospering and filled with success now, the truth of Scripture is that their ending is certain. This is based on both the conduct and character of God. Look first at the conduct of God in verse 3. According to this verse God will ultimately judge false teachers. Their judgment was determined from long ago. Peter is clear that God has not become idle and has not fallen asleep and forgotten about their punishment.

But this is also based on the character of God. There are two things we know about God. We know first that God always punishes evil. Peter gives three examples to prove this. He speaks first of the angels who sinned in verse 4. In verse 5 he speaks of the ancient world at the time of Noah. In verse 6 he speaks of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. But with that principle of the character of God comes the opposite side as well. Yes, God always punishes evil but He also always rewards obedience. Peter reminds us of this by citing the examples of Noah and of Lot.

So the two-fold conclusion to all this is seen in verse 9. God knows how to rescue the righteous like He did Noah and Lot, but He also knows how to keep the unrighteous for punishment. In the end all false teachers and those who follow their lies will get their due reward. But those who teach truth and follow truth will in the end be rewarded.

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