Peter finished Chapter 1 declaring that no prophecy was ever produced by a human, but people hear God speak as they are “carried along” by the Holy Spirit. He now confronts head-on the issue of false prophets and teachers in Chapter 2:
“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. Any 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” (2 Pet 2:1-3).
If this were a school exam, we would call it a “true-false” test. I always liked true-false in school, until it disappeared in college and I really needed to know more than that. Here are some of the “true falsehoods” we must watch for to maintain and nurture our perfect unity with God and among ourselves:
- Secret heresies, developed specifically to lure us off the path, by “quoting” the Bible, but adding or subtracting or modifying a change or two to make their point.
- Denying the “Master” – God – (see Colossians 2:23 and Jude 4).
- Pervert the grace of God into sensuality rather than holy fear of God.
- Exploit people with false words of assurance that theirs is the correct path, but they really want your money and your soul.
“For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority” (2 Pet 2:4-10a).
Sorry for the long quote, but Peter (and I hope all of us) sees this as critical to our lives in this world.
This is the true-false exam we must pass every day of our lives!
We must first recognize that we are being tested severely.
But then we must turn to God in repentance where necessary (usually all of us!) and commit to God’s rescue plan.
This is a major pillar in committing to the perfect unity prayed for – with God and with each other.
Peter has more to say on this in the remainder of Chapter 2. Hurry back!