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Be Aware! – False Teaching Ahead, Part 2
The Inevitability of Judgment
2 Peter 2:3-16
Bruce A. Hess
If you would, please take out the word of God and turn in it with me to the book of 2 Peter and chapter number 2, in the book of 2 Peter.
You may or may not know this: if you figure my age and you do a little calculating, I am literally a child of the turbulent 60s, the 1960s. Some of you were around then, some of you have heard about it, but I want to just share with you this morning the lyrics of a song that was done by a guy by the name of Bob Dylan. Now you are thinking, Bruce has really gone downhill, he is now quoting Bob Dylan on Sunday mornings, but he did write a song that is very interesting. The title of it was, ‘The Times They Are a Changin.’ Now, this was a song that he recorded just before the assassination of John Kennedy in November of 1963. So, he recorded it before Kennedy was assassinated, but it wasn’t released until several months later in January of 1964. Now, at that time there was a lot of upheaval going on in American culture on multiple fronts, socially, politically, and a lot of other ways. These are the lyrics of the song that he wrote:
The battle outside ragin’
Will soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a changin’
In many ways we have a similar feel going on in our culture today. Secular culture is speaking out loudly. I don’t know about you, but I’ve felt some identity with these words again. It seems like the battle outside is raging. Yes, it is happening. In some ways we’ve already felt, in recent years, it shaking our windows and rattling our walls. You get this sense, don’t you, at least I do, that the times they are a changing.
One of the myths that exists in our day is that God is not going to judge anyone. The Bible has something to say about that. We live in this era—we mentioned this last time—when we have the potential for the greatest exposure to spiritual deception of any generation that has ever lived. In 2 Peter, chapter 2, Peter is telling us that false teaching is a clear and present danger for us, but at the same time he is going to assure us that God will punish sin.
You know, it is the age-old strategy of Satan to bring confusion to the Gospel message. Satan wants to contradict the message of salvation; he wants to distort the message of salvation; he wants to add to the message of salvation.
Now, the title I have given to today’s message is ‘Inevitability of Judgment.’ We are going to be looking at a long section of 2 Peter 2, really beginning with verse 3 some and going down through verse 16. So, that is our title for the message today. Then, we have an outline for where we are going to head today. We are going to first look at The Reality of Danger. We’ve looked at this already, somewhat, last week in verses 1-3, but then we are going to look at Peter’s Primer on False Teachers in verses 3-16. You remember, a primer just gives you basic information on a subject. He is going to talk about their eventual demise in verse 3 down through verse 10a, and then he is going to give a detailed description of false teachers in verse 10 down through verse 16. He is going to talk a little bit about the DNA of false teachers, their character, their tactics, their motives and so forth.
Now, I want to remind you of a passage that we looked at last time, which is in Acts, chapter 20, where Paul is meeting with the leaders of the church at Ephesus. He gives these words to them, and this is against the backdrop of false teaching. He says, “Be on guard for yourselves.” Isn’t it interesting he says that? He is talking to the spiritual leaders, and he says, spiritual leaders you need to be on guard for yourselves when it comes to false teaching. And, he says, “And also for all the flock.” Then, he says in verse 31, “Be on the alert.”
So, let’s take a look at the reality of this danger again. We did this last week. If you weren’t here, I invite you to go back, and we give a very good present-day illustration of false teaching by looking at the Secular Social Justice worldview. But I just want to read these first three verses again and invite you to follow along in your Bible. He says, in verse 1, of chapter 2:
“False prophets arose among the people,” (talking about Old Testament history) “Just as there will also be false teachers among you. (That means among us) who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.” (What is the result going to be?) “Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them (the false teachers) the way of truth will be maligned and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”
So, what we want to do is take a closer look today at this idea of this primer that he wants to give us of false teaching and their eventual demise. I want you to look at verse 3. It says there, an interesting term, a little phrase, it says, “Their judgment from long ago is not idle.” I think the NIV says, “Their judgment has long been hanging over them.” He also says there in verse 3, “Their destruction is not asleep.” It’s not like God’s judgment is napping somewhere. You know, whenever we are faced with certain things in life, particularly even with false teaching, we just wish God would act quicker. But the assurance we have is, He is not napping anywhere. He is going to deal with this.
Part of what Peter is stressing in this whole chapter is that any false teaching that is a destructive heresy—that means it has anti-gospel ideas or it maligns the truth—it discredits the truth; it defames the truth. That false teaching God will judge. No one gets away with anything.
Now, when I was in middle school, which we called junior high back in the day, I would often run in to the post office to put some letters in there. My mother would have me do that. When I went into the post office, I noticed something on the wall there. I noticed there were wanted posters. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen these in a post office, but you had the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. So there were ten of these wanted posters on the wall, a whole wall of violators. A description would be given of these individuals, a list of the charges that were against them. Being middle school age, I think to myself, you know what? I might be able to catch one of these guys! So, I would go in and I would study these posters on the wall. A lot of times I would even get bold, and I would say to different people who were running the post office behind the counter, I would say, “Do you have any extras of those wanted posters hanging around?” I could study them at home. I could figure out who these guys were. Even sometimes after they would get ready to change the poster, because the Ten Most Wanted would shift, I would even sometimes say, “Hey do you have any of those ones that are out of date now? I would love to have one of those.”
Well, as we walk in to 2 Peter 2, verse 4 – down through verse 10, we are going to see three evidence posters that are hanging there that God will judge false teaching and God will judge rebellion.
So, the very first poster we have is in verse 4. The first poster is of the angels’ rebellion. One of the things that is interesting in these verses is, is here is what he says, if God did this, if God did this, if God did this, then you can count on this. That ‘then’ is actually in verse 9. So, the first poster that we see on the wall of violators is in verse 4. Look at verse 4 with me, it says, “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment.” Then, you would come down later to the ‘then’ statement. This is the first illustration, the angel’s rebellion.
Now, it is a little bit mysterious what event Peter is actually talking about. Which event, in which the angels sinned, is he addressing? One event he could be addressing, when he is talking about the angels’ rebellion, is what we might call the original rebellion of the angels, which by the way, happened pre-history. We don’t really have details given to us about that. We know that Satan appears in the Garden, right? So, this may be a reference to this pre-history rebellion.
I have given you some passages up on the screen. First, Isaiah, chapter 14, verses 12-15. Many people believe these verses give us the heart of Satan in his rebellion. And, in Ezekiel 28, verses 11-19, that is giving us a little more of the history of Satan’s rebellion. And, in Revelation, chapter 12, and verse 4, we know that when Satan fell and he rebelled, one-third of the angelic world followed him. So, when he is talking about the angels’ rebellion, it is possible he is talking about this first rebellion, but it is also possible that he is talking about another rebellion on the part of the angels where they sinned, and that would be the subsequent rebellion that we find in the book of Genesis and chapter number 6. What happens there is some of the demons who had fallen in the original rebellion, fallen angels, somehow—in a way that we don’t really understand, we have very little information on it—cohabited with women.
So, which one is he referring to when he talks about the angels’ rebellion? Well, I think personally, this subsequent rebellion is more likely for three different reasons. The first one is, as we are going to look at these other posters that are going to be mentioned, the other two posters come from events in the book of Genesis. It makes sense that all three posters would come from events in the book of Genesis.
A second hint comes there in the verse when it says, regarding these angels, that because they sinned, God cast them into hell. Now, this is not the normal word for “hell” in the Bible, which is the word ‘Hades.’ This phraseology only occurs here in all of the New Testament. The idea, really, behind it is that He, because of their rebellion, cast them into Tartarus (T-a-r-t-a-r-u-s), which the New American Standard translates as ‘pits of darkness.’
So, the angels rebel, and God committed them to pits of darkness, which seems to me to be a very parallel phrase to another place that is mentioned in the New Testament and that is “the abyss.” For example, in Luke, chapter 8, verse 31, that is where Jesus heals the demonic from Gerasene, and as He is asking those demons to come out, they say to Jesus, don’t send us into the abyss. Then, in Revelation, chapter 20, and verse 3, when Jesus returns to the earth, it says He is going to take Satan and He is going to place him somewhere for a thousand years while His kingdom reigns on the earth, and that is in the abyss. So, what I am trying to say is, this idea of pits of darkness and the idea of the abyss, seem to be very parallel terms, i.e.,being a holding place for demonic beings who have committed extraordinary infractions. So, I think the second option is more likely.
The third reason why I think it is more likely is, are Satan and his demonic beings, are they in some abyss or some pit of darkness right now? No. We learn from 1 Peter, chapter 5, and verse 8 and we learn from Acts, chapter 6, and verse 12, that Satan is still out, he is like a roaring lion going around seeking someone he might devour. And we know that in Ephesians 6 it talks about some structure in the demonic world. So, all I’m saying in all of this is, we may not fully understand what he is referring to, but it is very clear that these individuals that he is talking about—these angels who have fallen—and notice that it says at the end, they are reserved for judgment.
They are in a pit of darkness, I think in the abyss, for an extraordinary infraction, but they are being reserved for judgment. And the ultimate judgment that will come to these angelic beings, these fallen beings, will be the Lake of Fire. So, that is poster number one.
Poster number two, in verse 5, is the Ancient World and the Flood. Look at verse 5. Again, if God did not spare the angels, we could say in verse 5, if “God did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly.” Now, I have some good friends who would say when you look at the flood in the book of Genesis, they feel like that was a local flood, some sort of a local flood that occurred. I have never been able to “go there.“
To me it is very clear in Scripture that this was a worldwide flood that eliminated most of the world’s population. We know that in part from Genesis, chapter 7, verses 19 and 20, because it talks about, as the flood waters came up, they went fifteen cubits, or 22.5 feet over the tops of the highest mountains. So, if you were floating around in the water, you’ve got twenty-two and a half feet below you before you before you come to firm turf. This was a worldwide flood.
We learn from Genesis, chapter 7, verse 4 and verse 23, that every living thing was destroyed by this flood, except Noah and his family and the animals on the ark. We learn that it took four and a half months for any land to appear, it was all water. Here is one additional thing I would say—if this was a local flood, how could God promise He would never do it again? That only makes sense if it was worldwide.
But why did he judge the ancient world? Well, we learn from Genesis, chapter 6, and verse 5, that the wickedness of the people at the time was great and that every intent of their heart was only evil continually.
So, the first poster is the angels’ rebellion. Then we have the ancient world and the flood. Then we have the third poster that is hanging there, an evidence poster, and that is in verses 6-8, and this would be the events of Sodom and Gomorrah. Look at them with me. It says, “And if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (verse 6) to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter; and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (verse 8) for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds.”
So, you have this third poster and a couple of passages you might want to check out. This whole event, by the way, happens in Genesis, chapters 18 and 19, but we learn from Genesis 13:13 that they were exceedingly wicked. Then, we have some more insight into their character, in Ezekiel 16, verses 49-50. Basically, here is what God said of the world at the time, “They were inordinately proud and they had committed abominations before Me.” So, God with these two cities, decides to destroy them by fire and brimstone.
It is interesting, we’ve searched around, the archaeologists have, to try to find where Sodom and Gomorrah are located, we can’t find them anywhere. Many scholars believe that the remains of Sodom and Gomorrah are underneath the Dead Sea in Israel.
The question really is, will God judge false teachers?…and these three posters point to the answer: Yes, He will judge them. So, you have if the first poster, if the second poster, if the third poster, then you come down to verses 9 and 10, if God judged these, “Then the Lord knows (verse 9) how to rescue the godly from temptation (or from testing and troubles) and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment.” He is fully able to judge the wicked and simultaneously preserve the godly.
Now, if you know much about the event of Sodom and Gomorrah and you know much about Lot, as an individual, and the verse is talking about rescuing the godly, you might think, Lot was godly?? I mean, Lot? Go back and study and read about him. He made a lot of poor, spiritual choices. He made some sinful choices, he displayed poor, spiritual judgment in his life. Can he really be godly?? Well, you know, to be honest, at times we can also do that, right? We can display some poor, spiritual judgment. We can make some sinful choices, but it doesn’t mean we’re not righteous in God’s eyes.
It’s interesting, in verses 7 and 8, three times the term ‘righteous’ is attached to Lot. Look at verse 7, “If He (God) rescued righteous Lot.” Verse 8, talking about what Lot saw and heard, “That righteous man, while living among them…” Then, “Felt his righteous soul, tormented day after day by their lawless deeds.” See, while Lot was a struggling believer—and while Lot had his priorities at times out of order in his life–God still calls him…what? What does God call him? Righteous. Why is he called righteous? Because of his position in the Lord. That is true of you and me. God calls Bruce righteous, not because I make all the right choices and I always display the proper spiritual judgment. He calls me righteous because of my position in Him.
So, what are we learning? Well, there is a day of full reckoning to come. Revelation, chapter 20, verses 11-15 talks about this. 2 Thessalonians, chapter 1, verses 3-10 talks about this. We are seeing this primer on false teachers; we’ve looked at important information on these three posters; now we want to talk about, a little bit more about, A Detailed Description about them. By the way, I want to just say this, this day of full reckoning is to come—remember Revelation 20, verses 11-15 and 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10—but we want to now move to a detailed description about these false teachers. This is where it gets interesting to me.
We are going to look a little bit about their motives, we’re going to look a little bit about their character, and we’re going to look a little bit at their tactics.
It was many years ago, I was just sitting there contemplating some things and I thought to myself, when I thought about false teachers—people who willingly distort the gospel—I thought, what motivates false teachers?? Have you ever wondered that? I mean, it is a dark thing to be a false teacher. What motivates them to do what they do? Well, as I did this extensive study of Scripture, I realized that there are three motivations that the Bible talks about that motivate false teachers. And they can be false teachers inside the Christian community, or it can be false teaching that happens out in the world, like the Secular Social Justice worldview. But there are three motivations. You ought to write these down. These would be good to note.
The first motivation of a false teacher would be sensuality and sex. Sensuality and sex. They want to gratify their drives. In 2 Peter 2:2, he mentions the word ‘sensuality’ there, “Don’t follow their sensuality.” It is a word that has sex connected to it. In 1 Thessalonians, chapter 2, and verse 3, Paul says, we don’t operate as a teacher by impurity—that is another word that has sex tied to it. Then, we have in chapter 2 and verse 14, this little statement about the false teachers: “They have eyes full of adultery…enticing unstable souls.” So, one of the things that motivates false teachers is sensuality and sex.
There is a second one that the Bible talks about. That is money and affluence. Money and affluence. We actually see that mentioned in chapter 2, verse 3; chapter 2, verse 14; and chapter 2, verse 15. In verse 3, he talks about how, “In their greed they will exploit you.” Verse 14 has this idea, this little phrase, “They have a heart trained in greed.” Then, in verse 15, he is going to talk about an example of a false teacher from the Old Testament, which would be Balaam, and it says that, “Balaam loved the wages of unrighteousness.”
So, you can have the motivation of sensuality and sex, you can have the motivation of money and affluence. The third motivation the New Testament talks about, the Bible talks about, is the pride of power, influence and popularity. Let me give you a couple of passages, you can jot these down.
- In John, chapter 12, and verse 43, Jesus, speaking of the Pharisees, says this, “They love (literally He says) glory from men, rather than glory from God.”
- In Galatians 1:10, Paul says, “They seek favor from men.”
- 1 Thessalonians, chapter 2, verse 6, he says, we are not like the false teachers, “Who seek glory from men.”
So, you have these three motivations. It may be sensuality and sex, it may be money and affluence, it may be the pride of power, influence and popularity. Again, this can be inside of the church community at large; it can also be from the secular world. If it is false teaching, at least one of these three things is motivating them. Sometimes two of these things, sometimes all three of these things. So it is important that we be equipped to be on the lookout for these things.
As I talk about these things, some of you are thinking about situations where you have seen some of this surface. When I even think of the Secular Social Justice worldview, if you’ve been following things, you are going to notice these things popping up, because these are the motivations of false teachers.
Now, what I want to do is, I want to probe a little bit more deeply for a few moments into a detailed description of these false teachers. What is the reason why he is going into all of this for us? We’re not to be influenced and victimized by false teaching, but rather we are to recognize it and steer clear of it.
So, one mark that he wants to talk about in a detailed description of false teachers is authoritarian arrogance, authoritarian arrogance. We see that mentioned in verses 10 and 11. He basically says these false teachers are brazen, they lack accountability. In verse 10 he says of them, at the end, “They despise authority.” They recognize no authority because they are an authority to themselves. They tend to be dictatorial, rather than team, truly team-led people. In verse 10 he also uses the word ‘daring’ of them. It is a word that means to be defiant. In verse 10 he says, “They are self-willed.” They live, ultimately, for themselves. To them people—listen here carefully this is important—people are pawns to be used for their benefit.
Then, he mentions some attitude they have towards angelic beings in the end of verse 10 and verse 11. I don’t know exactly what he is referring to, but somehow, they display this attitude of despising authority, this authoritarian arrogance, towards angelic beings. I don’t know whether they are God’s angels or fallen angels, but there is disrespect that they communicate.
Another mark that they have as a false teacher, is they’re like unreasoning animals. They live by their flesh instincts. They’re like an animal that is driven by its instincts to find prey and he says they operate out of these flesh instincts. In verse 13, he says, “They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime.” They are accustomed to indulging their pleasures. They love luxury, they love an expensive lifestyle, and they love having their personal jets. There is really no attempt at discretion. They like to flaunt this kind of indulgence.
Then, he says something very interesting in verse 13. He says that “They are stains and blemishes.” That is an interesting statement that God would make. He says they are stains, they are blemishes, which is really interesting because that is the very opposite of what someone who follows Jesus is to be. In chapter 3, which we will get there eventually, in another series, in verse 14 he says, followers of Jesus, you are to be without spot or blemish. It is the exact same words; it just has the alpha privative put in front of them. As we live our life we are to be without spot, without blemish, we are to be without stain. But, these guys, he says, are stains and they are blemishes.
There is another mark that we mentioned briefly, that their eyes are full of adultery, there in verse 14, if you want to look there. He says, “Their eyes are full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls.” In other words, he is saying, these false teachers who are motivated by this motivation are regularly on a sexual hunt. When there is a spiritual gathering, they view that gathering as an opportunity for sexual encounters and their followers are objects to be ravished. Now, all of us, I think, if you’ve been around for a while, have heard accounts where we know this was true. It is likely that some of us who are actually here today and part of Wildwood, have actually experienced this kind of thing in other places.
It is interesting when he says, in verse 14, “enticing unstable souls.” This is little word that is translated “enticing” is a fisherman’s term. It was used of a fisherman baiting a hook. What is interesting is that…who is writing this? It’s Peter, who was what? A fisherman. Jesus called Peter and said, I want you to be more than just a fisher of fish, I want you to be a fisher of men. Peter is saying these false teachers are fishers of men, they are targeting the same people, but with selfish, evil intent. And, they love to have their followers join in on their immoral lifestyle.
Then, there is another big mark of false teachers and that is, we mentioned this earlier, they have their heart trained in greed. A very picturesque terminology, because the word that is translated ‘trained’ here, is a word that refers to systematic exercise. They have a heart trained in greed, they have been very premeditated in what they are doing. They are very planned out in what they want to accomplish. They have gone through a process, and they are very proficient at that process, they have “a heart trained in greed.”
Now, that actually raises a question and the question is this: should any pastor make a living from the ministry? A legitimate question to ask. Chuck Swindoll, I think, does a great job clarifying this. Here is what he says of a pastor:
“He may make a living preaching the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:14) but he shouldn’t make a killing. He serves others, not himself. He lives in a house, not an amusement park. He drives a car, not a limousine. He is accountable, not unaccountable. He is transparent with his finances, doesn’t flatter or sell out, refuses to cater to the wealthy, and exhibits none of the attributes of unbridled greed. (I like this part, too. He says) His private life is an open book, not a series of secrets.” Which, by the way, false teachers love to have a secret life that they are trying to hide from people.
Now, having said all of that, in verses 15 and 16, he wants to give an example of a false teacher from the Old Testament, which is Balaam. He was a Biblical example. By the way, I want you to notice verse 15. I almost forgot to point this out. Notice it says in verse 15, “Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray.” False teachers make a choice. It’s not an accident, it is a choice to abandon God’s way. He is going to illustrate this with Balaam, from Numbers 22 to Numbers 25. He really wants to talk through how Balaam is an example of this.
If you go back and you read about it, Balaam was a prophet for hire. He was a prophet of God, but he was a prophet for hire, for money and recognition. Balaam deliberately chose to go the wrong way. By the way, he was motivated not just with money, because he also goes on to promote sexual immorality in the nation of Israel. We learn that from chapter 25 of Numbers, in verses 1-3. So, the point of all of this, is that God will judge, God will punish sin and rebellion.
And, men and women, not just judge false teachers. There is a day of reckoning coming to this world. The problem is, we keep assuming everything is just going to keep going as it has, with no there is a day of reckoning coming. There is a day coming when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels and flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. He says these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction away from the presence of the Lord (2 Thessalonians 1:-7b-9).. There is a day of reckoning coming.
But there is good news! It is not necessary that anybody be judged. Jesus took your penalty, my penalty, He took your sin and your rebellion, and He put it on Himself. That is what He did on the cross. It is not necessary that anyone undergo judgment.
I’m always moved by what it says in John 5:24, where Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you,” which was God’s way of saying, hey, hey, I’m giving you the real bottom line here, “He who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life.” That is an amazing statement; “and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”
Do you know what that means, do you know what that verse means? It means even a false teacher, who has evil motivation and evil intent, if they recognize the error of their ways and they repent—it means they, even they, can find mercy if they turn to Jesus and trust in His work on the cross. I don’t know about you, but that is amazing to me! But that is the kind of God that we have.
Now, as we’ve looked at all this and we’ve had a lot of detail to cover and everything else, I want to talk for a moment, about some Life Response that you and I can have. How do we respond to everything we’ve looked at? Well, the first life response I would like to suggest is this—this is true for me, true for you—and that is, to Pray for and Share the Gospel with those in your world who do not know Christ. When we talk about that, we are talking about your friends, my friends, your loved ones, your neighbors, your co-workers, your fellow students. It is interesting how often we don’t do this. It all begins with praying for them. How long has it been since you’ve prayed for your friends, your neighbors, your loved ones, your co-workers, your fellow students? And when the opportunity is there, to share the gospel, the good news about salvation, with those who do not know Christ. So, that is the first life response. Very practical, we can all do that, even beginning today in a fresh way.
Now, the second life response that I would suggest, as we close, it actually begins with a quote. It begins with a quote from a man by the name of J.C. Ryle. Here is what he says, this is true for you and for me, he says:
“You live in a world where your soul is in constant danger. (Peter is telling us that.) Enemies are around you on every side. Your own heart is deceitful (Scripture teaches us that.) Bad examples are numerous. Satan is always laboring to lead you astray. Above all, false doctrine and false teachers of every kind abound…(That is true. So, what are we to do?)…To be safe you must be well armed…(What does that mean?)…Arm yourself with a thorough knowledge of the written Word of God.”
Men and women, His word is the ballast that we need to avoid being tossed to and fro like a cork on the waves of false teaching. So, what do I mean when I am talking about the second life response? This is what we need to do, we need to Learn the Truth, we need to Teach the Truth, we need to Heed the Truth. That is what God wants from you and me.
Let’s pray together. Father, we thank You again for the Scriptures. We thank You for the truth that we’ve seen. May we be men and women who are actively praying for those around us who don’t know You, and be willing to share the good news that we have embraced. Then, Father, as a church, as individuals, as parents, as young people, may we be men and women who Learn the Truth, Teach the Truth, Heed the Truth, for the glory and honor of Jesus Christ. And we pray these things in His name. Amen.
Questions for Reflection
The Inevitability of Judgment
2 Peter 2:3-16
1. Does Peter’s extremely direct and harsh assessment (i.e., ‘like unreasoning animals’, ‘stains and blemishes’) of false teachers surprise you? Why?
What reasons might Peter cite for his frank assessments? Elaborate.
2. What would you say are some current examples of false teaching in our day?
3. Paul clearly urged the Elders of Ephesus to “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock…be on the alert” (Acts 20 28; 31). Why is it that so many believers and churches fail to do this?
4. What were the three motivations for false teachers found in Scripture? Have you seen examples of each in the lives of any particular false teachers? Expand.
5. Peter stressed that the rebellious and unrighteous are reserved for judgment, while believers will be rescued (vs. 9). Take some time to again thank your Savior for His provision for you.
6. Some Bible teachers claim the Genesis flood was local. What are some evidences that it was indeed a world flood?
7. Rejoice afresh in the truths of John 5:24
8. Bruce encouraged us to pray for (and share the gospel with) those in your world who don’t know Jesus. He listed friends, loved ones, neighbors, co-workers, and fellow students. Think of one person from at least two of the categories and pray for them right now.