Summary: #4 out of 2 Peter. In 2:1-10 Peter warns the believers that false teachers will introduce destructive heresies to lead them away from Jesus.
DON’T BE LED ASTRAY!
“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep” (2 Pet. 2:1-3 NASV).
On October 28, 2012 a sermon was delivered that has become the most viewed religious talk in the history of Youtube. Oprah testified that this sermon changed how she viewed her life. As of September 23, 2018, it has been viewed 2,979,499 times. The title of the sermon is “The Power of I Am.”
Now, brethren, as people of the Book and students of the Word and disciples of Christ, I would hope that if you and I heard the phrase “I Am,” we would immediately think of either Moses barefoot before a burning bush from which the voice of God proclaimed “I AM WHO I AM,” OR we would think of Jesus in John 8 stating that “Before Abraham was born, I AM.”
But not once during the ‘most viewed’ Christian sermon was God ever referenced as the “I AM,” or was Jesus linked to the “I AM” statement.
Not only is that poor exegesis, but it’s also unconscionable!
For twenty-seven minutes (the length of the sermon), the “I AM” proclamation was applied solely to what you and I say about ourselves: I am healthy, I am prosperous, I am happy, I am smart, I am attractive, I am powerful!
I’m not saying those things can’t be true or that they’re not true, but before you and I can get our ‘I Am’ straight, we have to get the great “I AM” straight!
The gospel is first and foremost about Jesus Christ and before I can become what I was created to be or become what I have the potential to be, I need to accept the truth that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting our trespasses against us (2 Cor. 5:19).
The only reason I can be something other than what I am is because Jesus emptied Himself of His “I AM-ness” for me. If we don’t get that, then we don’t understand the Christian faith. Yes, He did what He did for you and me, but without Him – ‘I Am’ lost!
The danger that you and I must be aware of is how easy it is to be misdirected by subjective sleight-of-hand into believing what we want…what we really, really want! Our identity, in and out of Christ, is based on what He says about us. Out of Christ, ‘I Am’ a sinner; in Christ, ‘I Am’ a saint!
But we know that only though the Holy Spirit inspired Word recorded by the apostles and prophets.
That’s why we need to know and understand that we are in a spiritual battle for the truth. The truth of who we are with or without Jesus. A truth that is too important to leave to preachers and teachers who are not committed to rightly dividing the Word of God.
And that’s why we’re told to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 Jn. 4:1). Jesus told His disciples to “beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matt. 7:15).
The New Testament writer, Jude, warned the brethren about certain persons who would creep in unnoticed and “turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (verse 4).
The Apostle Peter said it like this: “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves” (2 Pet. 2:1 NASV).
What’s note-worthy is that both Jude and Peter referenced the denying of Jesus.
Jude says the false teacher denies Jesus by turning His grace into a license for immoral living: “Let us sin that grace may abound.” That is a complete and total denial of His nature, character and personality!
Peter says the false teacher denies Jesus by rejecting His prophecy/word that a day of judgment is coming: “Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation” (2 Pet. 3:3-4 NASV).