Summary: 1. Avoid their ways (vs. 9-16). 2. Avoid their words (vs. 17-19). 3. Admit your weakness (vs. 19). 4. Accept the wonder of God’s salvation (vs. 20-22).

God’s Warning about Wicked Teachers - Part 2

2 Peter 2:9-22

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - April 14, 2013

*Almost everybody knows about the woman who got burned by spilling a hot cup of coffee on herself. She sued McDonalds, and won because they didn’t warn her that the coffee was hot. After that, companies went overboard with the warning labels.

*I like these examples:

-On a frozen dinner: "Defrost before eating."

-On a chain saw: "Do not stop chain with hand."

-A fishing lure, with this warning: "Harmful if swallowed."

-A baby stroller warned: "Remove child before folding."

-And a cardboard sunshield that keeps the sun off the dashboard warned, "Do not drive with sunshield in place." (1)

*Those warnings are silly. But God’s warnings are always serious. And here Peter continues to give us a strong warning about false teachers.

-What lessons can we take away from God’s warning about false teachers?

1. First: Avoid their ways.

*We must avoid their wicked ways. That’s why in vs. 9-16, Peter went into detail about their corrupt way of life.

[1] In vs. 9-12, the false teachers are rebellious and presumptuous:

9. The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,

10. and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed; they are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries,

11. whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.

12. But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption,

*What Peter says here can be applied to both human and angelic authority: We should respect their place of authority. Of course, Peter is not telling us that we should put men or angels over God. He is not telling us that we should respect the evil ways of fallen angels or sinful men. And Peter is not telling us that we should obey governments who command us to disobey God. But we should respect their place of authority.

*The Book of Jude gives us insight on these verses, when it says:

8. Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries.

9. Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!''

10. But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.

*We should never respect what the devil does. He is the enemy of God and everything that is good. But as confusing as it may sound, we are to respect his place of authority. The bottom line is that God wants us to respect authority.

*Some of you know that before I answered God's call to preach, I had the privilege to work for the Air Force for six years. One of the best things that came out of that work was this: For the first time in my very rebellious life, I learned to respect authority.

*I had a great boss named Henry Hearne, and I will always be grateful that he taught me to respect authority. But false teachers are rebellious and presumptuous.

[2] In vs. 13-16, they are also adulterous and covetous:

13. (They) will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you,

14. having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, beguiling unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children.

15. They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

16. but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man's voice restrained the madness of the prophet.

*The story of Balaam is told in the Old Testament book of Numbers. Three times the king of Moab tried to get Balaam to curse Israel, but God would not allow Balaam to do that. Instead, bountiful blessings for Israel poured out of Balaam’s mouth.

*But Balaam did love the wages of unrighteousness. And that greed led him to teach the king of Moab how to seduce God’s people. The Lord Jesus Himself told us this truth, as He spoke to the church in Pergamos in Revelation 2:14.

*There Jesus said, "I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality." Balaam caused great harm to the people of God, and he did it for greed.

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