Summary: "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears what them to hear. They will turn their ways away from the tru
The Warning against False Teachers – 2Peter 2:1-9
INTRODUCTION- If the world ever needed a warning, it needs to be warned against false teachers. Why? Because false teachers lead a person to doom himself quicker than any other single thing. Too many people are to quick to believe a lie. Why? So they can go ahead and live like they want. They want some excuse to get away from the restraints and demands that Jesus Christ puts upon them. Therefore, they GROPE after any teaching that lowers the Person of Christ. The more He is lowered, the less binding His demands are. There is one major problem with false teaching. It’s a lie; it is not the truth. A person dooms himself to an eternal hell if he follows false teaching. This is the critical message of this section of 2Peter: the warning against false teachers. This particular passage describes false teachers for us.
1. False teachers have always existed.
2. False teachers teach destructive heresies.
3. False teachers mislead people.
4. False leaders exploit people.
5. False teachers shall be judged and destroyed.
1. False teachers and false prophets have always existed. They have always carried on their destructive work. Note verse one: There were also false prophets among the people, just like there will be false teachers among you (2:1). The false prophets were at work while God was giving His word to men. Imagine! Even while God was speaking and giving His word to men there were some who were denying His word and teaching destructive heresies and misleading people. There were false prophets all throughout the Old Testament period. They were the people that were denying God and His word. False teachers did not only exist throughout the O.T. period. Scripture declares plainly: “there will be false teachers among you.” The idea is this: there will always be false teachers; false teachers will fill every generation of man and they will continue to introduce their destructive heresies until the world ends. 1John 4:1 tells us, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirit to see if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” This means there are false teachers among us. We must, be alert to what every man and woman teaches. This does not mean that we should be on a witch hunt. It means that we should test all preaching and teaching by the Word of God. I love how Jesus puts it in Matt. 7:15, “watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”
2. False teachers teach destructive heresies. False teachers secretly teach destructive heresies. Scripture tells us that false teachers secretly introduce or bring in destructive heresies. They teach it, but they do not do it openly. They do it deceptively, quietly, secretly, slipping in false doctrine here and there. False teachers are all in every part of the world even in our churches, among believers. They have joined the church and they have been outstanding members long enough to become teachers and preachers within the church. This may also be in the work place. They hold leadership positions from which they can teach their destructive heresies. Note that the word heresies is plural. What are the heresies being referred to? Any teaching that goes contrary to the Scripture, that is, the Word of God or the Bible. This is clearly what is meant, for the exhortation has been given: “pay attention to the word of the prophets, to the Scripture.” 2Peter 1:19-21, “and we have the word of the prophets [Scripture] made more certain and you will do well to pay attention to it……for prophecy never had it’s origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” The point is this: any teaching that is contrary to God’s Word is a destructive heresy. It destroys God’s purpose for the church, and it destroys the lives of people within the church. Teaching that are contrary to God’s word are destructive and there is no escaping the fact. No matter how personable a person may be, no matter how much we may like him, if he is teaching a destructive heresy, he is destroying the church and the lives of the people. William Barclay states it well: “A heretic [is]…a man who believes what he wishes to believe instead of excepting the truth of God which he must believe. What was happening in the case of Peter’s people was that certain men, who claimed to be prophets, were insidiously persuading men to believe the things they wished to be true rather than the things which God has revealed as true. They did not set them selves up as opponents to Christianity. Far from it. Rather they set themselves up as fine fruits of Christian thinking. Insidiously, unconsciously, imperceptible, so gradually and so subtly that they did not even notice it, people were being lured away from God’s truth to men’s private opinions, for that is what heresy is”(The Letters of James and Peter, p.374)