At the end of Chapter one we read that we do not follow cleverly devised myths, but had eyewitness accounts and the prophets to guide us. We learned also that no scripture comes from man but were from God as they (men) were carried along by the Holy Spirit. Wonderful news ~ God's word is trustworthy!! Then there is this pesky little word ~ “BUT”!
vs. 1-3: People always have to come along and try to ruin things. In Chapter 2 we read again about False Teachers who “secretly” ~ (craftily) bring destructive heresies into the church. Even to the point of denying Christ. Sound Familiar? God knows who these people are, after all he is God and knows all. He says that they are bringing swift destruction on themselves. It's not an if they will be destroyed, it's when. The sad thing is though they will bring many with them. Those that are weak will follow their “sensuality ~ (Unbridled lust, excess, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence)”. They will “exploit” ~ (To use a person or thing for gain) the truth because of greed. Because of them the way of truth will be “blasphemed” ~ (Maligned, dishonored, reviled).
Does this all sound remotely familiar to you? Have you had concerns over certain things you have heard either from a TV evangelist or pastor from the pulpit, or even from someone you trust to know the word well? I know I have. I also know that we cannot judge the heart of man, that is up to God, (Mark 7:14-23, speaks of Jesus knowing the heart and understanding.), but there are most definitely signs that tell us what direction a persons heart is taking him/her. This is another reason it is of the utmost importance for Christ followers to know the word of God! We will get into that a little more later, but how are you supposed to be able to detect a False Teacher, if you do not know the text book he/she is maligning?
vs. 4-10: Peter goes on to explain why we can trust that what God says will happen, will happen. He gives the people a little history lesson. He uses those 2 little words “For it”:
God did not spare angels when they sinned (which is an interesting thought, isn't it?), but cast them into hell, committed them to chains until judgment.
If he did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah (a herald (Messenger, preacher) of righteousness) and 7 others.
If by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what will happen to the ungodly.
If he rescued “righteous” Lot who lived among the ungodly and was greatly distressed by their “sensual” conduct.
“then” don't you think He knows how to rescue the “godly” ~ (you) from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, especially those who indulge in the lust (remember the definition) of defiling passion and despise authority? God has got it all under control! There is nothing that goes on in this world that he has not allowed! Do we understand it, NO. Do we wish it were different and that he would "smite" (cool word) them right on the spot, YES. Would he have to smite us too! Most Probably! But God will handle those who lead people astray, he will!
Yes there are those among us (we will hear more of this in the next post), that are not truly part of the church. We need to be wise as serpents (Matthew 10:16) when it comes to identifying them. We need to know the word of God. We cannot rely completely on the preaching we hear on Sunday. It has to go further, as Paul says in Acts 17:11 “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”
Are you in God's word faithfully so that you are able to fight against False Teachers?
Do you know of someone who may be falling for destructive heresies?
What does God call us to do when we see or hear a false doctrine being taught?
What are you going to do?