“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.”
(2 Peter 2:1-3 ESV)
We live in a society where many messages are given to us. We live in a time when many people claim to speak for God. They have their holy book, which they present to us. They have their book, which they have written, interpreting the Bible. They have their “truth” which they seek to proclaim.
Many of these messengers profess to be Christian. And they claim that their messages come from the Bible. However, as we evaluate their words, we see that nothing could be further from the truth.
This is not unique to us, nor is it unique to our time. As we see above, the same was true even in the time of the apostles.
Peter had reminded the people of the truth of his message. He had reminded them of the reason they knew it to be true. And, now, he unpacks for them why this is so important.
Just as there were false prophets among the people in the past, there would also be false prophets among them. And the messages, brought by these false prophets, would not be insignificant. They would contain destructive heresies. They would even deny Christ himself.
Yet, even though their message would be very different than the one given by the apostles, many would follow them. Many would be deceived by their words. And this would lead to the truth being blasphemed.
These messengers would be self-serving. They would be greedy. They would be seeking to exploit the people for their own gain.
This is very different than the apostles, who had nothing to gain from their ministry. They sought the gain of others. They desired only that those who heard the message would receive it in faith, that they might receive the salvation of the Lord.
Peter is warning his readers that they might be on the look out for these false teachers. They were to remember the truth, and those who had brought it to them, that they might not be deceived. He did not want them to be led astray from the gospel, causing them to miss out on the blessing of God.
We, too, must heed his warning. We must be on the lookout for these false teachers who will come, not only into society, but the church as well. We must do so that we might not be deceived. We must remember the Word which has been proclaimed to us. And we must do so, knowing its truth and those who delivered it to us.