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Beware!

2 Peter 2.1-3
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
The end of chapter 1 leads into the topic of his letter. Peter had explained that God had worked through humans to give His words to people (1.21). At the same time, however, evil was at work. The true prophets spoke and wrote God’s words, but there were also false prophets among the people.

All the apostles battled false teaching that infiltrated the new churches and threatened to turn the believers away from the truth. Like the false prophets of old, the false teachers were twisting God’s Word. These teachers were dangerous, for their teachings could cause many to turn away from the truth or never find the truth at all.

Peter described false teachers in detail in this chapter so that Christians would always recognize their characteristics and methods. The greatest sin of Christ-rejecters and the most damning work of Satan is misrepresentation of the truth and its consequent deception. Nothing is more wicked than for someone to claim to speak for God to the salvation of souls when in reality he speaks for Satan to the damnation of souls. Peter’s point is this: If you do not know truth, you will be easily fooled by error. If you are not able to discern the methods and teachings of false teachers, you will be easy prey for them.

We must be careful to avoid false teachers today. Believers should evaluate any book, teaching series, sermon, or TV message according to God’s Word. Look for Scriptural undergirding that backs up their points. Beware of special meanings or interpretations that belittle Christ or His work. The best way to recognize false teaching is by knowing the truth. This is why Bible study is so important. In what ways have you established in your daily life to grow in your knowledge of God’s Word? Remember, the more God’s Word is in your mind and heart, the better able you will be in detecting false teaching.

Pastor Jeff
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