There Will Be False Teachers

Text: 2 Peter 2:1-3

The threat of false teachers is ever-present and cannot be ignored. In these few verses, Peter makes it clear just how dangerous false teachers are to us.

The Existence of False Teachers is a Reality

  • There will be false teachers today – not unique to the first century
  • They will come from outside of the church and arise from within (Acts 20:29-30) – in order to prepare them (and us), Peter warns about what false teachers are like

They Work Secretly

  • They do not wear a sign that indicates that they are false teachers, nor do they announce any intention to lead us away from Christ
  • Their success depends upon their being covert (Jude 4; Galatians 2:4; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15)
  • Therefore, we must always be on guard (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:8) and mark them so others will know (Romans 16:17-18; 2 Timothy 2:16-18)

They Introduce Destructive Heresies

  • Not just a difference of opinion or some harmless error – souls are at stake
  • Following error leads to destruction – if we do not believe the truth or obey the truth we cannot be saved (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12; 1:8-9)

They Deny the Master Who Bought Them

  • The term Master (despotes) denotes one with absolute authority – He has bought us (1 Corinthians 6:19-20); we belong to Him and must do His will (Luke 17:10; Colossians 3:17)
  • This also tells us that Christians can fall away (Hebrews 3:12-13; 1 Corinthians 9:27) – the false teachers had been redeemed

Many Will Follow Their Sensuality

  • Many will follow the path of error (Matthew 7:13-14)
  • The appeal of sensuality – focus on the temporal over the eternal (Matthew 6:19-21; 1 John 2:15-17; Colossians 3:1-2, 9-10)

The Way of Truth Will Be Maligned

  • We should expect people to speak evil of the truth (Acts 18:5-6) – what is it about false teachers that leads more people to do this?
  • They promote worldliness among Christians (Jude 4) – this leads to charges of hypocrisy, which is possibly the most common charge against “Christians”
  • They cause division (Jude 19) – not only will people speak of the divided state of “Christianity,” they will also assert that the Bible is not understandable (Ephesians 3:4) or believable (2 Peter 1:16) because of all the people who supposedly follow it that cannot agree; but God is not the cause of such confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33)

They Will Exploit You

  • Make merchandise of you” (KJV) – they are not helping you
  • This is a general statement – Peter’s point is not that we should judge motives; error makes one a false teacher, not attitudes (1 Corinthians 15:12-15)
  • To keep from being taken advantage of – be loyal only to Christ (Galatians 1:10); adhere only to truth (Acts 17:11); do not follow men (1 Corinthians 1:12-13)

Their Judgment is Not Idle

  • God has always condemned false prophets and teachers (2 Peter 2:4-9) – this is nothing new
  • They will be held accountable for their sin – do not be swept away with them; be faithful to Christ and you will be saved

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