But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them – bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.
2 Peter 2:1-2 (NIV)
Read: 2 Peter 2:1-12
Consider: 2 Peter 2 contains a very vivid description of false teachers. There are many in the world who, as Peter says, deny ‘… the sovereign Lord …’. There are indeed many people outside the church who have no regard for Jesus and his claim on their lives. More worrying are those who are within the church, yet deny ‘… the sovereign Lord who bought them’. How can someone claim to be a minister or pastor if they don’t believe Scripture, or deny the saving work of Christ on the cross? I came across this description of John the Baptist in Luke 1:76-77
And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.
What a wonderful dscription! This could equally apply to any minister or pastor who is called to share with their congregation the knowledge of salvation and the need for forgiveness of sins.
In certain parts of the church we see a tendency to replace the sovereignty of God with the sovereignty of man. This may be evident in the so-called health and wealth gospel, the claiming of healing or in many other areas where man is put centre-stage and God is there for the convenience of man. Personally I have always found it hard to reconcile the idea of church leaders adopting their own name followed by the word Ministries, as if they are more important than Christ.
Notice what Peter says about false teachers – ‘They will secretly introduce destructive heresies’. This gives the impression of someone deliberately setting out to deceive, but can also refer to a leader who gradually and almost imperceptibly adopts a heretical stance and leads their congregation astray.
While false teachers lead people astray, they also ‘… bring the way of truth into disrepute’. What an indictment on an individual or church if they bring disrepute on the name of Christ.
Pray: Father, protect our minds and hearts from false teaching that appeals to our vanity or sinful nature. Thwart the plans of those who seek to lead people astray by denying the sovereignty of Christ. Amen