2 Peter 2:1-10Throughout history many monsters have attacked, mutilated, and tortured innocent people. From biblical history we remember Pharaoh and Nero. From modern history we remember Hitler, Saddam, Bin Laden, and others who have caused the streets to run red with the blood of innocent people. Although we mourn and weep as we remember such vile monsters of history, it seems that the most deadly and destructive monsters of history have come to attack people with the Bible in their hands rather than swords, guns, gas, or bombs. These monsters have done more than take innocent lives through violence, they have confused and convinced people to believe a lie – a false gospel – which in turn has damned their victims to eternal hell. These heretics are the most horrific monsters of history.Peter writes to his readers (a group of Christians who were scattered throughout Asia) regarding external persecution in his first epistle, but he writes concerning internal persecution in his second epistle. In 2nd Peter chapter 2, Peter writes a very sobering warning regarding the false prophets of his day. Peter wanted his readers to be forewarned of these vile monsters who were coming to attack – with a message of damnation!
False Prophets Former Assault (Vs. 1a)
The first verse begins with a reminder of the false prophets that had formerly attacked and assaulted the people of God. The phrase “among the people” refers to the nation of Israel in the Old Testament days. Peter was reminding his readers that false teachers / prophets have always existed and have been plaguing the people of God in every generation.
False Prophets Future Attack (Vs. 1b)
Peter moves ahead to the current situation – the false teachers were plaguing the people of God – and Peter wanted the people to be warned. He said, “even as there shall be false teachers among you.” Peter wanted the Christians to understand that just as the former people of God were assaulted by these false prophets – they would be under a similar attack in their day.The false teachers of Peter’s day would bring in damnable heresies which would lead to swift destruction for them and all of their followers. The damnable heresies actually means – destructive heresies. Heresy is a message that alters the gospel of Jesus Christ in some way. These teachers would be attacking the church – and they would bring upon them and their followers eternal damnation in a place called hell!
False Prophets Forceful Affliction (Vs. 2-3)
In these verses we see that the false prophets cause many to follow them through their sensuality and pernicious ways. Furthermore, they cause the truth to be tarnished due to their misconduct.Not only do these false prophets use lewd conduct, but they also attract and forcefully afflict people through feigned words. Peter was making a clear point – these people cannot be trusted! Peter stated that through their false words they were making merchandise of the people. Does that sound familiar?As Peter comes to the end of verse three, we see that he warns the people by speaking about the judgment of God that will soon bring to judgment these heretics!
False Prophets Final Appointment (Vs. 4-10)
Peter goes forward to speak about the final appointment of these false prophets. Peter is writing to a discouraged group of persecuted and afflicted people. He wanted to encourage them! Therefore, in order to encourage these people, he told them the end of the story. The story ends well for the saved – but tragically for the sinner! For Peter’s audience, these words spoke a great deal of encouragement and relief – because they needed to know that they win in the end!In Peter’s description, he reminded the people that God did not spare the angels that sinned with Satan, the old world that was full of vile sin, nor the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. He then finished up by reinforcing the truth of God’s final judgment upon the wicked by saying, “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.” These words would have brought relief and security to the hearts of the saints in Peter’s day.Application and Conclusion:In our day, we have the problem of false teachers as well. Today, multitudes of people are being led astray by false doctrine through the means of television, radio, XM radio, internet, and printed material. A new breed of false teachers are storming into the living rooms of millions of viewers – and we must warn the people!Although these new false teachers may comb their hair differently, speak in a different language, or live in a modern society – they have the same message of damnation – which will deliver many multitudes to a place called hell!
False teachers of our day to be aware of:
LIST: (not complete list)
1. Joel Osteen
2. Joyce Meyer
3. Paula White
4. Benny Hinn
5. Kenneth Copeland
6. Kenneth Hagin
7. Rod Parsley
8. Pastor Murray
9. John Hagee
Note: This clip is John Hagee promoting his book. In his promotion, he suggests that Jesus did not come to earth to be the Messiah!
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These people come with a message of money, doctrines of demons, and they cause much confusion in the hearts of people. The modern health, wealth, and prosperity gospel movement preaches a doctrine of money. With false words – they (the false teachers) are making merchandise of people by the thousands. How can we be spared from these evil monsters of history as well as these modern heretics? As always – context is the key! The previous chapter of 2 Peter (chapter one) deals with the Holy Scriptures. Therefore, it becomes clear that Peter was building his arguments on the foundation of Scripture. Peter wanted his readers / audience to find refuge in the Scriptures.In conclusion – it would be wise for us to heed to the same message of Peter in our day. If we want to be aware of these false teachers and their doctrines – we must know our Bible. The best way to spot a fake is to know the real thing so well that the fake sticks out like a sore thumb. May God grant us wisdom and knowledge according to His Word – in order that we may be spared from the destructive doctrines these men and women are spreading in our day!Although the false prophets of old as well as the modern heretics have put up a good fight – their fate will end in destruction. This was encouragement for the Christians of Peter’s day – may it be encouragement for us as well.All for the glory of our God!
Pastor Josh Buice