Summary: Beware of False Teachers - (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
(1). A Corrupt Doctrine.
(2). A Corrupt Character.
(3). A Corrupt Experience
• A grandmother was looking after her two little grandchildren;
• A 7-year-old girl, and a 5-year-old boy.
• Both of them had been really naughty.
• But as the time approached for their mother to pick them up,
• The little girl said to her grandmother, "Are you going to tell Mummy?"
• The grandmother replied, "No, I'm not. But if she asks me, I can't tell a lie."
• The little boy looked up to her and said,
• "Why not? I'm only five, and I can lie great."
In the early Church it did not take very long for false teachers to arise:
• Wherever God sows the truth;
• The enemy will quickly show up and start sow lies.
• 2 Peter chapter 2 is almost word for word the same as the letter of Jude;
• Now this is not a ‘one off’ other parts of the Bible share the same text.
• i.e. Isaiah chapter 2 and Micah chapter 4 also include identical text.
When we come across this occurrence in the Bible:
• There are a number of possibilities as to why!
• You probably have a choice of five explanations.
• (1). Peter borrowed it from Jude.
• (2). Jude borrowed it from Peter.
• (3). Peter & Jude borrowed it from somewhere else.
• (4). Peter & Jude got together and discussed the problem;
• and agreed on the solution, and sent it in different letters.
• (5). The Holy Spirit gave both of them exactly the same words.
• All of those suggestions could have happened, although I would rule out the last option;
• Because the Holy Spirit does not use people as word processors.
• The writings of the Bible are inspired truth through the personalities of people.
• I would go with the suggestion that there was collaboration;
• Peter was a key disciple, the unofficial leader.
• Jude was one of Jesus’ own half-brothers, it is highly likely that they knew each other.
• The overlapping material is short, the whole letter of Jude is very short;
• About the same length as chapter 2 of 2 Peter.
• When you read the letter/postcard of Jude;
• And 2 Peter chapter 2,
• Then you will see that there are four corruptions that were in the early Church.
(1). A Corrupt Doctrine.
“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories.”
• Last year we had a family in Turkey, in the town called Kalkan.
• If you go into the town centre and along the sea front shops,
• You will come across a Jewellers shop,
• In the window of that shop is a great big sign that says; ‘Genuine Fakes’.
• TRANSITION: The apostle Peter warned his readers about religious leaders;
• Who like many a watch that looked like a Rolex or a Versace on the outside;
• But on the inside of you removed the cover;
• You would find cheap parts and probably the words made in China.
Peter warns his readers then and now about false teachers:
• In fact in verses 1-3a:
• There are four telling characteristics of counterfeit communicators.
FIRST: false teachers deceitfully present heresy (vs 1):
• There was a story in the papers not long ago which read:
• In China, parents of twin boys tried to save money on their sons' education,
• So they sent one twin to school on odd days and the other on evens.
• It took the school six months before they figured out what was going on!
• TRANSITION: The trouble with deception is it often appears to be the real thing!
• ill: Counterfeit money – most people get duped because it looks so real!
Note: The effect of these deceptive false teachers:
• Their teaching is called ‘destructive’.
• It is like a malignant cancer,
• They will either destroy or be destroyed.
• Because lies, falsehood cannot co-exist with truth
• It will either destroy or be destroyed.
SECOND: They openly deny the truth (vs 1):
• “…even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them”
• False teachers are better known for what they deny than for what they embrace.
• They are often negative in their beliefs;
• Because their real founder the devil comes only to “steal, to kill and destroy”