At some point, in some way, we all will find ourselves vulnerable to deceptive and destructive false teaching. It comes in a myriad of ways, but, in one regard it is always the same. Satan brings us teaching that affirms our own self-idolatrous lusts that rebel against God. We will be tempted to be true twisted ideas that sanction what God's Word condemns.
Key statements in chapter two expose why some end up falling prey to false teachers. "By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words" (v. 3). "They allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness" (v. 18). "They promise them liberty," but are "brought into bondage" (v. 19-20).
Rather than turn to the promises of God that offer us spiritual growth through partaking in divine life, we can find ourselves so drawn to a twisted view of the gospel of grace that we feel free to participate in crippling activitiesthe very things from which we can be liberated because of Christ's death on the cross.
From spiritual pride to pornography, Satan employs a long and varied list of deceptions to derail us from a path that brings us to greater and greater conformity to Christ. But the end is the same: it brings to pass the proverb, "A dog returns to his own vomit, and a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire" (v. 22, Prov. 26:11). To give ourselves over to destructive, false doctrine ultimately reveals the true heart condition of both the deceiver and the deceived. For this reason, Peter graphically warns not only the flock of God of the judgment that awaits them, but also their false teachers. Their judgment will be severe because they knowingly seek to destroy the seeds of grace and faith planted in the hearts of people.
False teachers can look forward to the same kind of extreme judgment God exacted upon fallen angels banished from heaven, a sinful world destroyed by the flood, and the obliterated cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. (v. 4-6). Peter's description of these false teachers reveals how fully deserving they are of judgment. They are presumptuous, self-willed, brute beasts, party to their own deception, trained in covetous practices, accursed, those who love money taken in unrighteousness (v. 10-15). Yet, like many of Satan's servants, they will appear to many as angels of light (2 Cor. 11:14).
When you feel the deceptive pull of false teaching, beware. Don't be like a dog that turns back to its vomit and reconnect with sin by the influences of evil deceptive teachers. Instead, let us turn with greater passion to God who is able to keep us and deliver us from temptation. Let us go to God's promises of a transforming life rather than a path of sure judgment.
-Calvary Church Boise
Created 10 months ago