Summary: Hungry wolves and Healthy sheep.
1. Hungry Wolves & Healthy Sheep. They go together.
2. Wherever there are healthy sheep, there are hungry wolves.
a. AND wherever the truth is taught, lies are pressing in.
b. It’s true in the physical world, but it’s especially true in the spiritual realm, in the church.
c. To put it another way:
“WHEREVER the Lord is doing a wonderful & glorious work, the enemy isn’t too far behind trying to destroy it!”
Paul tells the leaders in Ephesus: - Acts 20.27-30
NOTE: Peter, along with Paul, John, and all other spiritual leaders understood their responsibility in the church was twofold:
#1 – Feed, Nourish, and Tend the flock of God.
#2 – Warn and protect the flock.
Pastor Peter picks up on this very same theme to the scattered and hassled believers he’s writing to.
I. (1:1-3) NOT SPARING THE FLOCK
1. (1-3) False Prophets
a. Well, the Holy Spirit is holding back nothing here and identifies the false teachers for who they are!
b. Yes Peter said in 1:21, there were ‘holy men of God who spoke as they were moved by the Spirit’
c. BUT there were also men who spoke from their own selfish desires and deceits!
NOW I know there are false teachers OUT THERE, but in here?
• I mean OUT THERE, I can understand.
• People have wandered around our parking lots putting false teaching on our windshields! BUT IN HERE?
NOTE: Well, from time to time, FALSE TEACHERS do come through the fellowship with dangerous & harmful teachings.
• It’s so totally discouraging to see people raised up & then start teaching things that are off the wall drawing people after themselves. It’s wrong & sinful & hurtful.
REALLY it’s the way of the cults.
• They go after Christians and try to confuse them.
• Ever been confused by a false teaching or a cult member?
1 Corinthians 14.33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
• Cults always prey on the work that the Lord has already done because they don’t bring good news to a person but bondage!
• There’s NO POWER in a false gospel to change a life.
• So those in cults try to find common ground first, showing outwardly how things look so good…
• Then they sneak destructive heresies after they’re hooked.
THAT’S HOW Satan works: by subtleties, snares, & schemes. Right?
• He doesn’t just show up in red pajamas and a pitchfork.
• But Paul warns us…
2 Cor. 11.13-14 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
Unfortunately… at times v2 comes to pass.
• Many will follow their DESTRUCTIVE ways.
• And their COVETOUSNESS will become evident.
SO what do the false teachers covet?
• Well money right? Yes, but before we get to money, let’s look a few other things that they covet… so we can guard our hearts.
#1 – They covet the power of God.
• That’s really what they want, power & control.
• They like to control & manipulate people and often use spiritual language to do that.
#2 – They covet your time & attention.
• A real stroke to a man’s pride to win people over to himself.
• Think of the cults today and who they lift up and glorify.
• Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddy, Watchtower Society, David Koresh
#3 – Finally, They covet your money.
• Scheme upon scheme has been developed today to separate God loving people from their money.
• That’s why I believe the Holy Spirit teaches us to give as we’ve purposed in our hearts… not be persuaded by men.
SO Where does it begin? In the heart!
• Peter says they ‘deny the Lord that bought them.’
• The blood of Jesus Christ was poured out even for those that would deny him – for the world.
THAT’S GOOD NEWS: God so loved the WORLD, the lost, the sinners, the rebellious, the confused, the unwilling.
• You’re in the world. I was in the world. So God’s love reaches down even to those who reject His love.
• But if you receive Him?
John 1.12-13 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
GUYS HELL is a real place and those who go there do so willingly, openly, defiantly and of their own free will.
• But you don’t have to deny, you can receive Jesus today.