Summary: Watch out for false teachers inside and outside the church.
Let us continue to worship our God by listening to His Eternal Word given to us through the Apostle Peter. Please open your Bibles to 2 Peter Chapter 2…..
Last week we noted from the end of Chapter 1 of 2 Peter, Christians are to take seriously God’s foretelling of the future. What should excite us Christians about the future??
But now in Chapter 2 of 2nd Peter, God warns Christians of false prophets in the future. God also warns all false prophets of the judgment to come on them. Sadly, let us note that it is possible for a Christian to be a false prophet.
As we read the Chapter, let us ask ourselves, are there false prophets today? We noted from reading the first letter by Peter that these letters are meant for Christians till Jesus returns to earth. These warnings are for us today. Note the warnings as we read.
Read along with me now 2 Peter 1………
Look again at the beginning of v1 with me….
v1: There will be false prophets/teachers among the people (I.e. in the secular world).
They will pretend to be Christians proclaiming lies about the future to the world!
And what does the second line of v1 indicate?
v1: There will be false prophets in Christian churches!
Of course these false prophets will be judged by God. For this morning, we will only have time discuss to watch out for what these false prophets will do:
v1: They will secretly introduce destructive heresies; what does this mean?
What are heresies? Heresies are self-opinions. We noted last week not only from Chapter 1 of 2 Peter but from 1 Corinthians, that man’s wisdom (self-opinions) are foolishness to God. Heresies are additions, subtractions, alterations, and secular interpretations of the direct truths of the Bible. False prophets will interpret the Bible the way they want to rather than allowing God speak the truth! Is this happening today?
I am all for understanding the Bible in our own language, but we should not depend on a person’s own explanation of the Bible; here’s an example of what we should stay away from.. a “bible” called The Message; but yet, many Christians today totally depend on this “bible”. Why is this happening? The false prophet will secretly introduce heresy; in other words, it will sound good, but it will be sugar coated poison!
We also note in
v1: false prophets will actually deny the sovereign Lord who died for man’s sins. We will hear from false prophets that there are many ways to heaven.
v3: will exploit people with their stories… What does exploit mean? Exploit here is a business term; false prophets are like snake-oil salesmen, promising a cure-all for everything!
In v10 we note 4 things which false prophets do: they follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature; despise authority; they are bold and arrogant and not afraid to slander celestial beings. We can summarize these by saying basically, false prophets will disobey God and God’s plan.
In v12-13 we note that false prophets will blaspheme in matters they do not understand and they are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, and carouse in broad daylight; in other words, they are like wild animals without conscience only thinking of their own pleasures.
In v14 we note that false prophets will seduce the unstable and are experts in greed; in other words, they will take advantage of the weak for their gain!
What do you think it means in v15 that false prophets have left the straight way??
And from v18-19 we note that false prophets will appeal to the lustful desires of sinful human nature. We can summarize v15 and 18 this way: false prophets will stray from what the Bible actually states by pleasing people’s emotions; false prophets will focus on just feeling good!
Yes, we can just focus on the feel good message from this chapter; which passage in 2 Peter 2 talks about good news??
In the midst of all these warnings for us, God gives us good news: in v7-9 God tells us that He will rescue godly people although surrounded by evil.
And so, in applying Biblical principles for our lives today, let us start with this good news; but let’s make sure we read it in context!
1. What matters to God is not where we live but how we live!
We live in Metropolitan Milwaukee; how corrupt is our community? How many bars are around our church? How many people have been shot and killed this Summer? How foul is the language of the general public? There is a reason why God place us in this community. We are to be salt and light for God. Are we being salt and light to our society or do we just blend in?