Summary: 1. Be warned about their deception (vs. 1-3). 2. Be wise about their destruction (vs. 3-6). 3. Be walking in God's deliverance (vs. 7-9).
God's Warning about Wicked Teachers - Part 1
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - April 7, 2013
*The last time we met, Peter was stressing the great value of God's Word. In 2 Peter 1:19-21, the Apostle wrote:
19. We also have the prophetic word made more sure, which you do well to heed (or "take heed") as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;
20. knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,
21. for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
*Verse 19 told us that we would do well to "take heed" to God's Word. The word picture is "taking hold of something," holding on to God's Word in our minds.
*God wants us to keep holding on to His Word. And Peter showed us why. In vs. 19, Peter told us that God's Word is both our surest source of truth, and a shining light for our lives. Then in vs. 20&21, Peter told us that we should also hold on to the Word of God, because it came from God's Spirit.
*Now one reason why Peter stressed the great value of God's Word is because he wanted to warn us about false teachers. And the Apostle gives us this warning in 2 Peter 2. This warning from Peter is our main focus tonight, so let's begin by reading 2 Peter 2:1-9. Would you please stand in honor of God's Word.
*Let me start this study by saying that God is not a fuzzy, fluffy teddy bear. Yes, God is compassionate, kind and merciful. But at the same time He is the holy, sovereign, Almighty Lord God of the whole universe!
*God is not to be trifled with. Hebrews 12:28-29 gives this caution to believers:
28. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
29. For our God is a consuming fire.
*Our God is a consuming fire. His warnings must be heeded. And here in 2 Peter, God gives us a crucial warning about false teachers.
-There are some vital lessons we can take away from these verses.
1. First: Be warned about false teachers' deception.
*Peter closed out chapter 1 by affirming that the Bible is the Word of God, "For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:21).
*"But," Peter says in chapter 2:
1. . . there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
2. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.
3. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
*There are many false teachers in the world today. And in vs. 2, Peter said, "Many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed."
*Surely we have seen this happen in our lifetimes. For example: There are liberal preachers who treat the Bible like a cafeteria line, picking and choosing some Scriptures to follow, and throwing others out as so-called "prejudices" of long ago.
*In vs. 1 Peter tells us that some of these false teachers even deny the Lord who bought them. "You don't need to trust in Jesus Christ to be saved," they would say. "All religions lead to Heaven."
*In 2006 & 2007, George Barna surveyed people who described themselves as born-again Christians.
26% didn't believe they "personally have a responsibility to tell other people their religious beliefs"
46% believed that Satan is "not a living being but is a symbol of evil."
37% of born-agains believed that "if a person is good enough they can earn a place in Heaven."
And 26% of (so-called) born-agains agreed that "while he lived on earth, Jesus committed sins, like other people." (1)
*Obviously a whole lot of people have been influenced by false teachers. But God is not mocked! David Holwick wrote that some "years back the (English) archbishop of Kent publicly denied the Virgin Birth. That week lightning struck and fire severely damaged Kent's ancient cathedral. Religious leaders weren't the only ones to suggest a connection." (2)
*We need to be warned about false teachers. Always let your measuring stick be the Word of God. Never put some man's teaching over the clear truth of God's Word.