The Book of  II PETER
James J. Barker


Lesson 03
WARNINGS REGARDING FALSE TEACHERS — Part 1

Text: II PETER 2:1-22


INTRODUCTION:


  1. In II Peter 2, Peter is not speaking of heathen idolaters.  He is warning Christians about apostates -- men who profess to be Christian but are in fact false teachers.
  2. Peter is not dealing with error outside the churches; rather he is dealing with error inside the churches.
  3. In Matthew 7:15, 16, the Lord Jesus said, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  Ye shall know them by their fruits."
  4. The apostle Paul also warned of these wolves in sheep's clothing.  He said in Acts 20:29-31, "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.  Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.  Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears."
  5. And Paul wrote to Titus, "For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake" (Titus 1:10, 11).
  6. "For filthy lucre's sake" (Titus 1:10). I read in the newspaper the other day that the shady TV preacher Creflo Dollar is interested in buying the Kingsbridge Armory in The Bronx.
  7. Mr. Dollar is a multi-millionaire who refuses to disclose his salary.  His shady operations and lavish lifestyle caught the attention of United States Senator Chuck Grassley (Iowa), who spearheaded an investigation by the United States Senate Committee on Finance.
  8. Mr. Dollar owns two Rolls-Royces, a private jet, a million dollar home in Atlanta, and a 2.5 million dollar home in Manhattan.
  9. The Bronx is in a deplorable condition. It is a spiritual wasteland devastated by crime, drugs, and immorality. The Bronx needs the true Gospel, not the false gospel preached by wolves in sheep's clothing -- like Creflo Dollar.

 

I. THE FALSE TEACHERS ARE CONDEMNED

II. THE FALSE TEACHERS ARE CARNAL

III. THE FALSE TEACHERS ARE CORRUPT

 

I. THE FALSE TEACHERS ARE CONDEMNED (2:9).

  1. Second Peter 2:3 says, "And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not."
  2. "Make merchandise of you..." -- this sounds like a warning regarding religious racketeers like Creflo Dollar and Benny Hinn, et al.
  3. "Whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not."   God will surely judge these false teachers, just as He has judged them in the past (2:1).
  4. Just as He judged Balaam (2:15, 16; cf. Jude 11).
  5. In II Peter 2:1, Peter says, "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you."
  6. All throughout the Old Testament, God's people were led astray by false prophets.  Isaiah said, "That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits" (Isa. 30:9, 10).
  7. Jeremiah said, "I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness; they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah" (Jer. 23:14).
  8. The LORD told the prophet Ezekiel, "Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!" (Ezek. 13:2, 3).
  9. Just as Israel had to endure false prophets, today we must endure false teachers. They are on every hand. They are all over the radio and television. And in the bookstores and on the Internet.
  10. The false teachers are condemned because they privily bring in damnable heresies (2:1; cf. Jude 4).
  11. The false teachers are condemned because they deny the Lord that bought them (2:1). He "bought them," but He did not redeem them. False prophets have never been genuinely born again. In fact, false prophets criticize or redefine the doctrine of regeneration.
  12. Robert Schuller, in his book Self-Esteem, says, "To be born again means that we must be changed from a negative to a positive self-image -- from inferiority to self-esteem, from fear to love, from doubt to trust” (p. 68).
  13. That is a false gospel, and Mr. Schuller is a false prophet.
  14. The false teachers are condemned because they lead many lost souls to hell (2:2). Consider what our Lord said about the Pharisees in Matthew 23.
  15. "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves" (Matt. 23:13-15).
  16. The false teachers are condemned because they lead many lost souls to hell (2:2).  They shall receive the greater damnation" (Matt. 23:14) because instead of directing people to heaven, they were leading them straight to hell.
  17. The word "pernicious" in II Peter 2:2 literally means "destructive." In II Thessalonians 2:3 and in Revelation 17:8, 11 the same Greek word is translated "perdition." These other references are all speaking of the antichrist. False teachers are antichristian.
  18. The false teachers are condemned because they are covetous (2:3a, 14b). Luke 16:14 mentions that the Pharisees "were covetous."
  19. False teachers enter the ministry for the wrong reasons. God did not call them. They seek after money and prominence, etc.
  20. The false teachers are condemned because they speak evil of the truth (2:2b).
  21. The false teachers are condemned because they employ "feigned words" (2:3), in order to deceive.  The Greek word translated "feigned" is plastos, from where we get our English word "plastic."  False teachers bend and twist their words like plastic in order to deceive.
  22. The false teachers are condemned just like the fallen angels that sinned (2:4).   Just as these fallen angels are condemned to eternal punishment in hell, likewise false teachers will spend eternity in hell for their unbelief.
  23. False teachers do not believe in hell.  They deny its existence.  But they find out hell is very real once they get there!
  24. The false teachers are condemned just like the ungodly sinners in the days of Noah (2:5).  False teachers mock and laugh at the Biblical account of Noah and the flood, but their laughter turns to weeping and wailing when they die and are cast off into the fires of hell.
  25. The false teachers are condemned just like the ancient Sodomites (2:6-9; cf. Jude 6, 7).   Notice that false doctrine and immorality go together.
  26. There are many warnings throughout the Bible concerning the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Yet our wicked politicians and their apostate allies in the churches have the audacity to push for so-called "gay marriage"!
  27. They had "gay marriage" in Sodom and Gomorrah, and God showed His displeasure by raining down fire and brimstone upon them.

 

II. THE FALSE TEACHERS ARE CARNAL (2:10).

  1. False teachers "walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness" (2:10).
  2. False teachers "despise government" (2:10).  Liberals, subversives, and anarchists "despise government."  In 1971, the Reader's Digest carried an article entitled, "Must Our Churches Finance Revolution?"  This article exposed how the apostates in the National Council of Churches were financing terrorism, insurrection, communism, draft-dodging, and other un-American causes.
  3. False teachers are "presumptuous" and "self-willed." "They are not afraid to speak evil of dignities" (2:10).  One of the requirements for a pastor is that he not be self-willed (cf. Titus 1:7).
  4. "Self-willed" means to be dominated by self-interest, and to be inconsiderate of others.  "Presumptuous" means "shameless" and "irreverent."
  5. False teachers are "as natural brute beasts" (2:12). The margin in the Scofield Study Bible says they are like "natural animals without reason." These false teachers resemble irrational animals.
  6. Jude 10 says, "But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves."
  7. They live as if the gratification of their bodily appetites is all that mattered.  That is why they advocate evolution, adultery, homosexuality, abortion, euthanasia, and other terrible sins.
  8. "But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed..." (2:12).  The false teacher lives a horrible life and dies a horrible death.
  9. These wicked false teachers "speak evil of the things that they understand not" (2:12).   They are not saved so they cannot comprehend the things of God.
  10. Lord willing, next week I will conclude my message on the dangers of false teachers.

 

CONCLUSION:

  1. I heard a true story about a very sick man who was in the hospital.  His pastor went to the hospital to see how he was doing.
  2. The sick man said, "Let's read some Scripture," and pulled out an old Bible.
  3. The pastor was surprised to see the Bible was full of holes, with many pages cut up or even missing entirely.  He said, 'What happened to your Bible?"
  4. The man replied, "When you first came to our church I believed every word in the Bible.  But you kept saying that certain parts were not true, so every time you said that I cut it out of my Bible."
  5. The pastor was shocked.  The man continued, "You said certain stories were fables and myths so I cut them out.   I do believe that if I were to sit under your preaching much longer there'd be nothing left but the front and back cover!"


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