2 Peter 2
These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. – Vs 17
In this chapter, Peter warns the people to beware of false teachers showing up in their midst. In the Greek, Peter's language carries the idea that they will sneak in unawares. These individuals would look and sound good, but they would really be teaching "destructive heresies." This isn't talking about off-the-wall doctrinal falsehood. It simply means they'll have viewpoints and opinions that, in the end, will destroy the body of Christ from within. They'll start out subtle, but it will end up with them denying the very One who died for them – Jesus Christ. Sounds pretty serious. But listen to what Peter says:
And many will follow their debauched lifestyles. Because of these false teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. – Vs 2
Many will follow them – mimicking their lifestyles, willingly accepting their brand of truth over "the way of truth" – God's revealed plan for salvation through Jesus Christ alone. They'll come teaching "false words" and motivated by greed. Think your average, over-the-top, prosperity-preaching, TV evangelist. Except the people Peter is talking about were a lot less obvious about it. They were going to show up looking like one of the saints, but sharing viewpoints and opinions that were grace-less and truth-less.
Look at how Peter describes them. "These are springs without water and mists driven by the storm" (Vs 17). I love the way the New Living Translation puts it:
These people are as useless as dried–up springs of water or as clouds blown away by the wind––promising much and delivering nothing.
It reminds me of the description of false teachers found in the book of Jude:
These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted. – Jude 1:12
Hidden reefs in your love feast (Vs 12) - They are treacherous and can shipwreck your faith - They were part of the fellowship - Sharing in intimacy - They were shepherds feeding themselves
Clouds without water (Vs 12)
- They appear promising, but only disappoint
- They fail to provide
- They obscure the light
- They fail to meet needs
Carried along by winds (Vs 12)
- Blown by every wind of doctrine
- No substance or stability
Autumn trees without fruit (Vs 12)
- No spiritual fruit in their lives
- Their words supply no life-giving refreshment
- They fail to fulfill their purpose
Doubly dead, uprooted (Vs 12)
- Absolutely dead and worthy of destruction
Wild waves of the sea (Vs 13)
- Undisciplined and out of control
- Active, but non-productive
- Revealing only their own shame
- You can’t chart a course by them
- Their destiny is hopeless and dark
These kinds of people are to be avoided like the plague, but Peter warns that they are coming to a church near you soon! They may already be there. In fact, they're all around us. Speaking half-truths, offering tempting words that sound good, but lead to destruction. If fact, there's a prominent TV preacher who is filling the minds of millions of people with his "opinion" of the truth. See if you can spot the heresy.
- When one is born again by faith in Jesus, he is given a new spirit man that wasn't there before -- a spirit man that is divine in nature and God-like
- Never, ever, ever go to the Lord and say, 'If it be thy will'
- No Christian should ever be sick
- We Christians possess 'power in our mouths' to heal or kill just as witches possess it
- Job tapped into the negative side of the faith force by a negative confession
- Christ 'became one with the nature of Satan' and was 'born again' in hell
- Christ would have sinned without the Holy Spirit and would have remained in the grave 'if the Holy Ghost had changed His mind about raising Him from the dead'
- We are 'little gods' and even part of God with all the power of God
- We are 'little messiahs,' everything that Jesus ever was."
Do you see it? False words. Destructive heresies. Arrogant. Enticing. Promising. But totally wrong. And potentially destructive. So Peter warns his readers and he warns us to beware. But what's the best way to spot falsehood? Know the truth. Study it. Meditate on it. Apply it. Test it. Make the truth of God so real in your life that you can spot falsehood a mile away. Jesus put it this way:
If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of mine. and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." – John 8:31-32
Father, make me a student of Your truth. Help me continue in, to hold to, to obey the teachings of Your Son. That I might know the truth and have the freedom that only it can deliver. Never let me be enslaved to the false teaching that is so prevalent today. It sounds so right, but is so wrong. Because it is not of You. It's my desire to be a student of Your truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God. Amen