The Danger of False Teachers (2 Peter 2:1-22) *All Verses in NLT*
– Example: Guy in high school invited me to a “church meeting”, they said stuff that didn’t sound right like no instruments, but when I challenged them on it, they simply said, “Show me in the Bible.” I realized I needed to know my Bible much better to be able to refute false doctrine.
– 2 Tim 3:16-17, All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
– In 2nd Peter, the Apostle Peter wanted the Christian believers to Consider their truth source!
– Peter told them that HE was actually there at the transfiguration and heard the voice of God speak over Jesus, “This is My dearly loved son… Listen to him.” (Mark 9:7)
*You can believe what Peter is telling you, and he says to trust the scriptures!
– Peter encouraged them to be confident in the words of the Prophets (scripture), because…
2 Peter 1:20-21, Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, 21 or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.
– This is a long portion of scripture, and Peter is on a rant here, but it all goes together, and all deals with false prophets and teachers, and the harm they cause to both believers AND non-believers.
– Read 2 Peter 2:1-22
– This passage highlights that these “false prophets/teachers” were intentional in their deception.
– Motives matter, and their motives were: Greedy for money, and sexual immorality.
– They make up clever lies to get your money.
– They follow their own twisted sexual desires and basic instincts, like an animal would.
– They reject authority, and want to lure other Christians back into sin.
– Example: Robert Tilton, TV evangelist in the 1990s, sent out prayer clothes, cords, paper arrows, holy water, anointing oil, etc… for people to send back with money, promising he’d pray for them.
– He promised deliverance, healing, wealth, prosperity, whatever you needed…
– The return address went straight to a bank that Tilton owned, and the items thrown away.
– Tilton’s followers were sending in approx. 80 million a year.
– The truth eventually came out, and he lost his TV show and church.
– HE’S BACK! His is still online pushing “Whole Person Prosperity”, and the “Success in Life Club” memberships. Also a book titled, “Strike it Rich in Christ.” (No prices listed, but you can sign up to be contacted by a “personal representative”.)
* The list of people like this is almost ENDLESS! (Many have been exposed as frauds.)
– Example: W.V. Grant, another prominent TV evangelist and faith healer, at one point began telling the audience he was raising funds for an orphanage in Haiti… pictures with kids and the whole bit!
– He was raising $350,000 a month from donations, but less than $4000 made it to Haiti.
– In 1996 he went to prison for tax evasion.
– As of 2022, he still does crusades called “Miracle Revivals” with healings and everything, AND a Haiti outreach on his website that you can sign up to sponsor a poor Haitian child!
– Sexual sin has also plagued well-known religious leaders. That list is also very long!
– Titus 1:16, Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.
– These incidents give Christ a bad name and push believers AND non-believers away from the faith.
– This is why you Do NOT build your faith on people, but only on Jesus.
* Sin is sneaky and shameful! We must ALL be mindful to not fall into the same deceptions.
– 2 Peter 2:2-3, Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. 3 In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money.
1. Know the truth and you can spot the lie.
– Example cont… When I went to that “Christian” group in high school, they were very convincing, but I sat under the truth, so I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know exactly what it was.
– My knowledge of the truth fell short! I only knew the 2nd hand gospel.
– The 2nd hand gospel: Many Christians don’t read their bibles. They rely on podcasts, worship music lyrics, books, and daily devotionals… this is not a substitute for reading the Bible.
– When all the bible you know has been filtered through various media sources, it is much easier to miss the subtle heresy that can be intertwined.
– Examples: A “bible study” that is actually just reading through a “devotional book”. Or, a well-known pastor/influencer who pontificates for an hour loosely anchored to one verse, or partial verse.
– False teachers will use partial truths to (verse 14) “lure unstable people… and those who have barely escaped a lifestyle of deception” back into sin. (Those w/o solid doctrine are most at risk!)
– Spotting counterfeit money: To find the fakes, look for these 4 things: 1. Rough to the touch, 2. security thread, 3. color-shifting ink, 4. micro print.
– According to Currency Operations employees: The feel of the currency is one of the primary factors their staff uses to determine the authenticity of the note. U.S. currency is made of 75% cotton and 25% linen, and when you’re handling it every day, you definitely know what it feels like. “So all of a sudden, you get piece of paper in your hand, and you’re like, oh, that’s different.”
– Reading the bible works the same. When you read the truth every day, lies really stand out.
– There are mega-church “Christian” pastors that say things like there is no hell, or that Jesus is not the only way to heaven, or they celebrate sexual sin, or guilt you into sending them money… and they have millions of followers world-wide.
– 2 Cor. 11:13-14, These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve.
– How do you refute and expose their lies? Ask yourself, “What does the Bible say?” If you don’t know what your bible says, then you’ll be in trouble!
– 2 Tim 3:13-14, But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived. 14 But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you.
– 1st hand gospel: Read the Bible for yourself! AND follow up on what you are being taught.
– The books of the bible were brought together because they are comprised of first-hand accounts and were all widely trusted and accepted documents. (Inspired by the Holy Spirit, of course.)
– Peter, John, and Matthew were original disciples. James and Jude were brothers of Jesus. Moses, David and the prophets testify to their own experiences with God. And of course, the Apostle Paul.
* Consider the source: 2,000 years of history, or a charismatic internet preacher’s fresh word?
2. One degree off still leads to destruction.
– Only one degree from based line will be almost unnoticeable at first, but will end in a wide gap.
– Small compromise to biblical truth will lead to you to a place you never thought you would be.
– Don’t be complacent about sin. Don’t compromise with the world on your values!
– In 1 Corinthians Chapter 5, Paul rebukes the church for being complacent about sin: (These words could easily be spoken to many churches TODAY!)
– Paul says, “I can hardly believe the report about the sexual immorality going on among you… you are so proud of yourselves, but you should be mourning in sorrow and shame.”
– “Your boasting about this is terrible. Don’t you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old “yeast” by removing this wicked person from among you.”
– 1 Cor. 5:9-11, When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. 10 But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. 11 I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.
– The world is going to do what the world does, but you don’t have to accept it in the church! The church should not compromise its beliefs to appease the shifting values of the world.
– It starts with a little sin, a small compromise to keep the peace, or to avoid persecution, but will end in forsaking obedience to God in order to not get “cancelled”.
– Example: Cambodia, playing with the kids, gummy bear in filthy hands, but child insists on team member eating it. What harm could it do? Don’t want to offend or hurt feelings…
– Team member was violently ill for 3 days! Don’t eat the gummy bear!!
– The world wants you to compromise, and eat a little dirt, but it is contaminated, don’t let it in!
– Proverbs 1:32, For simpletons turn away from me—to death. Fools are destroyed by their own complacency.
3. You will be persecuted, but God will rescue the righteous.
– Christians are getting “cancelled”, losing jobs, public respect, accused of being bigots and haters, or wacky nut-jobs, etc… their credibility destroyed for simply standing by their beliefs.
– In 2 Peter 2:4-8, God protected Noah while he destroyed all of the ungodly people in the flood… and rescued Lot before He rained down fire on Sodom and Gomorrah.
– The destruction is coming, and God did not spare the wicked people in the past, but God DID rescue the righteous among them!
– 2 Peter 2:9, So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while keeping the wicked under punishment until the day of final judgment.
– Psalms 34:18-19, The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. 19 The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.
– Let this be an encouragement for you today! GOD IS BIGGER than the struggles of this world!
– Psalms 30:5, …Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.
– alter call & prayer –
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