2 PETER 2
Both Peter and – as we will see in a few days – Jude warn their readers of the dangers of false prophets and false teachers, who introduce destructive heresies and manipulate the faithful for their own ends. 2 Peter 2 and Jude 1 have some very similar sentences, and most scholars reckon that Peter had Jude’s letter in front of him as a resource.
Having just underscored the power and inspiration of scripture and its prophecy, Peter moves onto the topic of false prophets – in the old and the new testaments. The latter might more accurately be called false teachers. Heresy is a subtle and deliberate action – aimed at disuniting and disabling God’s Church – and propagated by people who have at least as much character flaw as doctrinal distortion. On the surface these people might have a lovely smile, but inside there is a greed, a grasping for power and a desire to fulfil their lustful thoughts. These false teachers are full of lust and adultery, experts in greed, promising freedom whilst being in slavery to depravity, and they even heap abuse on celestial beings!
The other fact about them is that they are empty. Their inflated promises amount to nothing. People who have just escaped the error of the world need to watch out or they will be enticed back into greater lies. These people who promise freedom are themselves the biggest slaves of all! Sin has them on a tight leash!
Peter reassures us that “…the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the Day of Judgment” (2:9). (See also Jude 1:9-10). Judgment is impending for these teachers of lies and they will certainly be paid back for their crimes against the Lord. What has been hidden for so many years will suddenly become exposed to the white-hot light of the Judge! Never forget it.
In meantime, we need to be wise. We need to immerse ourselves in those scriptures that Peter speaks of so eloquently. We need to know the full revelation of God and the God of revelation. The best way to spot a counterfeit is to know the ‘real thing’ fully. Let’s commit ourselves to reading and meditating on the scriptures and to listening intently to their Author.