2 PET 2:1-3
INTRO: While it was true that the apostles were eyewitnesses of so many things which confirmed to them the certainty of Jesus claims (the transfiguration, for example) and that they presented the gospel positively in view of their own eyewitness experiences, there were those who would deny, bend, twist, modify, etc. the apostolic message. The tragic effect of this was/is they overthrow the faith of some (2 Tim 2:18). Jesus, at the very beginning of His earthly ministry said, Beware of false prophets... (Mt 7:15). As Peters second letter continues, he focuses his attention on the false teachers who were apparently already doing their harm and whose efforts would continue into the future.
I. THERE WERE FALSE PROPHETS
A. Peter has referred to holy men of God who prophesied in old time
1. he qualified his remarks by identifying these men as holy
2. and he makes clear that they were moved by the holy spirit
B. But there were also false prophets in old time
1. Jude referred to Balaam and his greed (Jude 1:11) - he would say good things such as in Num 22:18 ... and do things to hurt Gods people (Deut 31:16)
2. Jeremiah had to contend with false prophets - Jer 14:13,14 ... false prophets created confusion, apostasy in old time
II. JUST AS THEN, THERE WILL BE FALSE TEACHERS
A. What would/will they teach?
1. Peter mentions damnable heresies - false doctrines which would divide
a. consider: Rom 16:17,18 - Eph 4:14 - 1 Tim 1:10
b. their heresies might take many forms - all contrary to sound doctrine
c. note: 2 Tim 2:18 - here was one such heresy (resurrection is past)
2. Peter also mentions denying the Lord
a. denying His deity; denying that He came in the flesh; etc.
b. 1 Jno 4:2 - some of that day denied Christ came in the flesh
c. in effect, however, any teaching which takes people away from the truth of the gospel is a denying of the Lord!
B. What would be their method?
1. one key to their method is privily shall bring in (v. 1)
2. the language refers to bringing in something along side of ... so, the false teachers would not be open about their false and fatal doctrines
3. they would use enough truth to make their doctrines seem o.k.
4. feigned words (v. 3) is another indicator
5. feigned is from Gr. word from which we get our word plastic - so, words easily manipulated, bent, twisted - one wrote of the: The false teachers use our vocabulary, but they do not use our dictionary
C. Their ingratitude?
1. notice that they deny the Lord that bought them
2. remember 1 Cor 6:19,20 - ye are bought with a price
3. these false teachers were Christians who had become apostate!
4. their lives and behavior were demonstrations of ingratitude to the Lord - they sought to undo all that He had come to do!
D. Their motive?
1. Peter refers to their covetousness and making merchandise of you
2. what did they covet? Influence? Power? Followers? Money? - were not told exactly what - but covetousness is inordinate desire for something
3. Peter also mentions many shall follow...
4. Acts 20:30 - to have a following! Pride!
E. The tragedy of false teachers?
1. many shall follow their pernicious (lascivious) ways (v. 2)
2. the use of the word pernicious (or, lascivious) suggest that these false teachers were behaving in shameless ways ... is it possible that they were teaching that sinful behavior was acceptable behavior?
3. the way of truth was maligned by their teaching and behavior
4. in any case, their way was attractive to Christians whose faith may have been weak, wavering, not well rooted (Col 2:4,7,8)
5. the ultimate tragedy? Lost souls!
F. The fate of false teachers?
1. Swift destruction (v. 1) - their damnation (v. 3)
2. scripture has always taken a dim view of false prophets; false teachers
3. so, Gods judgment awaits those who fall into this category
CLOSE: Remember, the false teachers of whom Peter wrote were not unbelievers from the outside. They were not those from whom one would expect heresy. They were Christians who were people with charisma ... teaching things which were just not true! Sweet friends, there is a very important and needed message here for us!
Cecil A. Hutson
July 17, 2005
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)