2 PET 2:18,19
INTRO: In Rev 12:4 there is an apocalyptic picture of the birth of Jesus and of Satans standing ready to devour Him as soon as He was born. Then, that chapter also gives us a picture of Satans efforts to destroy the church from the moment of its birth. In both respects Satan failed miserably. But he was not and is not done with Christians. He is still waiting spiritual new borns ... waiting to do he can to destroy their fledgling faith and entangle them again in his web. We have been looking at the persons, the work, the methods of ungodly teachers whose aim is to create a following with no regard for the spiritual well being of others. In the verses of our text, and in the verses following, are some of the most sobering words and emphatic truths we find in the epistles. The Calvinistic doctrine that once a person is saved he is always saved is exploded here.
I. THE METHOD OF THESE SERVANTS OF SATAN?
A. They speak great swelling words of vanity
1. their words are sound without substance!
2. they are doubtless great public speakers - persuasive speakers
3. their vocabularies are extensive; their grammar impeccable
4. they sound so well educated - so knowledgeable - so wise
5. how could an infant Christian fail to be impressed ... and led by them?
6. Col 2:4 - the danger? being beguiled with enticing words
B. They allure through the lusts of the flesh
1. if these new borns were coming from paganism, this is very telling
2. in essence, these ungodly teachers were telling new Christians that they could live pretty much as they did in their pagan immorality
3. the word wantonness is often lasciviousness - sensual
4. when the so called missionaries came from Europe to teach pagan Indians, much of the paganism was permitted to continue - they made disciples of their error, they gained a following by teaching a doctrine including some elements of pagan practice
5. the effects of these teachings are profoundly seen in Latin America
6. Jude 1:4 with 1 Pet 4:3
II. THE PROMISE THEY MADE TO THE NEW BORNS?
A. They promised liberty
1. now, liberty is most assuredly the great promise of the gospel
2. we recall Jno 8:32,36 - freedom
3. Gal 5:1a - Stand fast therefore in the liberty...
4. but they were using a definition of liberty foreign to the gospel!
5. this use of familiar Biblical terms with unBiblical definitions is very much a tool of false teachers even today!
6. this is one thing which often makes it difficult to identify false teachers
B. What might they have meant by liberty?
1. freedom to think their own thoughts - no submission to mind of Christ
2. freedom of expression - no concern for the pattern in scripture
3. these false teachers apparently taught a do your own thing faith
4. and I have no doubt that they accumulated many disciples to their conviction less, non judgmental ethic and open ended theology
5. 2 Cor 10:3-6 - this is far from the liberty being preached these days
6. and notice 2 Cor 10:18 - self expression versus expressions of faith which He has revealed
III. THE TRAGIC RESULTS OF SUCH TEACHING?
A. In 2 Pet 2:18 note those that were clean escaped from them ... in error
1. these are the new borns whom Satans servants seek to influence
2. they had escaped from them that live in error - escape from paganism
3. and in their escape they were clean
4. but their true liberty, their being clean is now in jeopardy - Gal 4:17
B. And the false teachers are servants of corruption
1. they are not servants of righteousness - Rom 6:18
2. they serve that which corrupts, ruins, depraves
3. the effect? they, themselves, are in bondage
4. so, Rom 6:16 - whom do you serve? who is the dominate influence in your life?
CLOSE:2 Cor 11:2,3 ... This was Peters concern. This was Pauls concern. This is the Holy Spirits concern. And this is my concern. We are, my dear friends, living in spiritually perilous times.
Cecil A. Hutson
23 October 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)