Bible Baptist Church

" Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." ...... John 3:3

The Rise and Fall of False Teachers

II Peter 2:1-6


·         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."

·         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."


I.                    Their presence- v. 1

a.       Even as there were holy men of God who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21), so also there were false prophets and false teachers. Peter stated this as a fact and not as a possibility

b.      They were not just outside of the church but “among you.”

c.       Their work: Privily- False teachers work secretly. It isn’t that their teaching is secret, but the deceptive nature of their teaching is hidden. No false teacher ever announces himself as a false teacher.

d.      False teachers bring in damnable heresies that destroy by telling lies about Jesus Christ and His work. Many lives and many souls have been destroyed because of heresy. Think of what is at stake! Heresy isn’t harmless.

e.      V. 1- they appear to be saved, but are not

f.        He "bought them," but He did not redeem them. False prophets have never been genuinely born again.

II.                  Their popularity- v. 2-3

a.       Many will follow their destructive ways: This reminds us that false teachers may be popular. Just because something succeeds in attracting a crowd of followers, it doesn’t mean that it is of God. See v. 18-19


c.       False teachers and their followers ruin the testimony of Christ- v. 2

d.      covetousness – Many false teachers, both today and in previous times, present a gospel that has self-gratification at its core. All this is presented with deceptive words because false teaching never announces itself.

                                                               i.      Joel Osteen packages self-help, and modern psychology with a gospel bow on top.

                                                             ii.      Illustr- Joel Osteen’s wife preaching In the clip, Mrs. Osteen implores the audience to “realize that when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God… we’re doing it for ourselves.” As her proud husband nods approvingly, Osteen continues. “Do good for your own self. Do it because God wants you to be happy. When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God, really — you’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy.

                                                            iii.      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).

e.      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.

f.        "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).

g.       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.

III.                Their pending doom/ punishment v. 3-6, 9

a.       V. 3-  Peter assured us that false teachers will be judged. Even though it seems they prosper, their judgment is not idle. Treasuring up wrath- Romans 2:5- But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God

b.      The ungodly will be judged! God will surely judge these false teachers, just as He has always judged them in the past (2:1). Just as He judged Balaam (2:15, 16; cf. Jude 11).

c.       God judged these wicked angels

d.      setting them in chains of darkness. Apparently some fallen angels are in bondage while others are definitely unbound and active in the earth as demons.

e.      It is clear that at some time, angelic beings had a period of choosing and testing when their future destiny would be determined. “How long that probation was to last to them…we know not; nor indeed do we know what was their sin; nor when nor how they fell. Jude says they kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation; which seems to indicate that they got discontented with their lot, and aspired to higher honours, or perhaps to celestial domination.” (Clarke)

f.        Redeemed mankind will be lifted in honor and status above all angelic beings (1 Corinthians 6:3; 1 John 3:2). Satan and his angels resented a plan that would glorify these lower beings to places above them.

g.       i. The sin of angels can be thought of in two main ways: in the original rebellion of some angels against God, and in the sin of the “sons of God” described in Genesis 6:1-2.

h.      God judged the ancient world, the world before Noah’s Flood (Gen 6:5)

i.         God judged Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 18:20)

j.        V. 6 These three examples of judgment show us the important principle that Peter wants to highlight. Therefore the ungodly have no reason to think they can escape God’s judgment


·         Thank God in the midst of this judgment, the righteous will be delivered- Noah, Lot

·         We will take a look more at this next week- especially the peculiar case of Lot