False Prophets and False Teachers Bring Fast Destruction

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My final target is the text of 2 Peter 2:9, but I want to read the verses that lead up to it. These are dark verses, but very applicable to the Church today. Let’s read:

2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

The Wise Pay Attention To The BUTS Of Scripture

Let’s stop right there. The Apostle begins with But. Anytime you see the word But, you know that it is giving you and EXCEPTION to something else. Peter tells us that there WERE false prophets also among the People. He’s talking about the Old Testament People, God’s Israel. False prophets came in among Israel.

Why would false prophets come in to God’s people? Because the devil is real, and will do all he can to destroy God’s people.

God has given a sure word of prophecy to His people. He has given us the Bible. Peter spoke of the Bible on the left side of this BUT. The POWER of God to save and to sanctify is found only through God’s Word. It is God’s Word that speaks life to the dead, and light to the darkness. God gave His Word through faithful prophets and apostles. We read:

2 Peter 1:20-21 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Prophecy is the Word of God. Prophecy is what we have in the Bible. True Prophecy does not come by the will of man, but it is Holy Spirit driven. This is plain. Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. False prophets plagued Israel. God warned Israel to be careful of the false prophets. He told them in:

Deuteronomy 18:21-22 .. How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken? 22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

But Israel was not discerning. False prophets rose up, and drew the people away from God. Elijah stood alone on Mount Carmel, facing 450 prophets of Baal and 400 Asheroth (Prophets of the Grove) [1 Kings 18:19]. All of Israel had been consumed by the false prophets endorsed by King Ahab and Jezebel, so much so that Elijah was by himself. Elijah asked the people:

1 Kings 18:21 (ESV) How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.

Though Elijah stood with God and won the day, the false prophets did not go away. One of the reasons the false prophets were so successful in Israel is because they ignored God’s first command when going into the Promised Land. God told His people of the Canaanites:

Deuteronomy 7:2-4 (ESV) …. You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them. 3 You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, 4 for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods.

Israel ignored God’s command. They made covenants with the lost, and entered into marriages with them. This caused Israel to drift away from God. When God called His true prophets out, men like Ezekiel and Jeremiah, Daniel and Hosea, these prophets fought an uphill battle against the evil spread by the false. God speaking through the Prophet Jeremiah said:

Jeremiah 23:13-14 (ESV) In the prophets of Samaria I saw an unsavory thing: they prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray. 14 But in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his evil; all of them have become like Sodom to me, and its inhabitants like Gomorrah.”

The false prophets do not teach Biblical and Godly Repentance, but rather “strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his evil”

Without repentance, there is no remission of sin. Israel became consumed by the sin of the lost, and lost her blessing before God. Peter tells us – again:

2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

Just as there WERE “False Prophets” against God’s Israel,
There SHALL BE “False Teachers” against Christ’s Church

The Wages of Sin is DEATH” (Romans 6:23). This is an absolute as sure as gravity. These false teachers bring in damnable heresies, that is, they teach doctrines that lead souls to be damned from Heaven. We assume that, as Southern Baptists, we are safe from this. Not true. Some of the books that Lifeway sells are departures from the Word of God.

Illustrate: Consider a popular fictional book called The Shack (author William P. Young). In this book God says this:

I don’t need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It’s not My purpose to punish it. It’s my joy to cure it.”

Is that what the Bible says? No, it’s not.

Psalm 145:20 The Lord preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.

You say, “well, this is the Old Testament”. All right, let’s see what Jesus said. Our Lord Jesus came to bring in the New Covenant, a Covenant where God writes His Law on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 10:16). Our Lord Jesus said those who are loveless and hateful to those around them (Matthew 25:41-46):

I was hungry and you gave Me no food,
I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink,
I was a stranger, and you did not welcome Me,
I was naked, and you did not clothe Me.
I was in prison, and you did not visit Me.

Jesus said, “As you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me. AND THESE WILL GO AWAY INTO ETERNAL PUNISHMENT, but THE RIGHTEOUS INTO ETERNAL LIFE(Matthew 25:46).

God will save from sin, but there MUST BE REPENTANCE. What did Jesus preach?

Matthew 4:17 … REPENT: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand

Matthew 9:13 … I am not come to call the righteous, but SINNERS TO REPENTANCE

God MUST punish sin, for God IS HOLY. If God doesn’t “punish people for sin”, then WHY the Cross?

See Him, the Christ, nailed to that Tree. See Him naked, bleeding, a crown of thorns pushed down on the head that once held the Crown of Heaven. See Him in the Garden WEEPING, tears like blood pouring from His eyes. “Father, if it be Thy will, let THIS CUP – THIS CROSS – pass from Me. NEVERTHELESS NOT MY WILL BUT THINE BE DONE (Luke 22:42).

God will punish sin. As Jesus cried out “My God, My God, Why hast Thou forsaken Me?”, this in itself shows us God’s attitude toward sin. Sin is an affront to His Holy Name.

Illustrate: The book written by false teacher Rob Bell called “Love Wins” undermines the Doctrine of Hell. He asks,

Has God created millions of people over tens of thousands of years who are going to spend eternity in anguish? Can God do this, or even allow this, and still claim to be a loving God? Does God punish people for thousands of years with infinite, eternal torment for things they did in their few finite years of life?”

Bell’s questions remind me of the questions that Old Serpent gave to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden: “Hath God really said that you shall not eat of every tree?”. Does God punish sin? If so, how long does God punish sin? Read in our context:

2 Peter 2:4-5 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

God did not spare the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell. God did not bind all the fallen angels, but left some – along with Lucifer – free for a certain amount of time. Yet Satan Himself can go no farther than God allows (for proof, read Job 1-3). In the end of time – when God’s plan is completed – the Scripture says:

Revelation 20:10 … the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Here’s a philosophic question for you. “Would a loving God drown children and babies”? Well, what does the Scripture say? God saw that the wickedness of our world had grown so great that – the Bible says –

Genesis 6:5-8 (ESV) The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

We see another “But” of Scripture, and we praise God for this. “But Noah found FAVOR – literally – grace – in the eyes of the Lord”.

God is holy, and must punish sin. BUT if one REPENT as Noah did, and turn UNTO GOD as Noah did, then Grace is to be found. If you reject the loving invitation of God to repent and follow Him, then the judgment of God is what is left. The Scripture declares that God flooded an entire world because of sin. A God Who offered love, but was shunned, did that. Man, woman, child, infant, all who were NOT on the ARK OF SALVATION drowned under that terrible flood.

The false teacher believes God grins at sin. God does not grin at sin. God is not faintly amused by it. God brought a “flood upon the world of the ungodly”.

Illustrate: Author Matthew Vines notes in his book, “God And The Gay Christian”,

Christians who affirm the full authority of Scripture can also affirm committed, monogamous same-sex relationships.” He says that once this “truth” be affirmed, that, “The fiercest objections to LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] equality — those based on religious beliefs — can begin to fall away. The tremendous pain endured by LGBT youth in many Christian homes can become a relic of the past. Christianity’s reputation in much of the Western world can begin to rebound. Together we can reclaim our light.”

There are six passages in Scripture that specifically decree that same sex intimacy is against the design of and forbidden by God (see Genesis 19:5; Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9; and 1 Timothy 1:10). How does God feel about same sex relationships? Peter addresses this. Read with me:

2 Peter 2:6-8 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an {EXAMPLE} unto those that after should live ungodly; 7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)

Why did God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? It was to give everyone a graphic {EXAMPLE} unto those that after should live ungodly. God considers a same sex intimacy to be “ungodly”. God did not destroy ALL of the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah. He sent His Angels to lead just or righteous Lot. Lot was saved by faith in God. Though horribly imperfect, when Lot was warned that God was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot followed GOD out of those wicked places. Repentance is to follow God’s lead, not the world’s lead. His family followed Lot so far, all but HIS WIFE.

Genesis 19:26 But {Lot’s} wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

Was {Lot’s} wife saved from destruction? She could have been, but she looked backward, and turned her heart toward evil. Once more we see a But of Scripture. What a sadness this would be! Jesus said,

Luke 9:62 … No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

Illustrate: When I joined the Air Force many, many years ago, I took an oath:

I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States; Against all enemies, foreign and domestic; That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; And that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States; and the orders of the officers appointed over me; According to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice; so help me, God.”

I pledged to support and defend the “Constitution of the United States” as an Airman. As Christians, we pledge our allegiance to our Jesus and to the Word of God, the Bible. He is our Commander in Chief, the King of kings and Lord of lords. His people do not look backward – else we will fall under the judgment of sin! Look to the example of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Though Lot was imperfect just as all Christians are imperfect, Lot never compromised his love for God and His directives. Though Lot was in the midst of Sodom and in the midst of evil, his righteous soul {was vexed} from day to day with their unlawful deeds. He did not seek to justify what God has said is wicked.

Why did Jesus come to this earth if God was willing to ignore sin? The father of John the Baptist, Zecharias filled with the Holy Spirit, spoke of Jesus’ coming.

Luke 1:78-79 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the Dayspring from on high (this is Jesus!) hath visited us, 79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Jesus Christ did not come to this earth to minimize or make light of sin. He came to save us, and to guide our feet into the way of peace. The Christian does not follow after sin, but follows after Jesus. When the Apostle writes of the lost, he says:

Romans 3:10-12, 17-18 … There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Those who are saved, are saved by REPENTING and coming, broken as we are, to Christ. We do not justify sin, but reject it. We come to Him Who died for us to save us. What was it the Scripture says?

Matthew 1:21 And {Mary} shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS; for He shall save His people from their sins …

Jesus did not die to justify our sins, but to justify US.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV) For our sake {God the Father} made {God the Son} to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

1 Peter 2:24 (ESV) {Jesus Christ} Himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might DIE TO SIN AND LIVE TO RIGHTEOUSNESS. By His wounds you have been healed.

Does God punish sin? Yes! Does God love us? Yes! How does God prove His love? He provides a way by which our sins can be covered, and our lives restored to a right walk with God. Where salvation comes, the life changes. What does the Apostle say?

Titus 2:11-13 (ESV) For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

Where the Grace of God is, it not only brings about salvation. But Grace train{s} us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age. The Christian is not perfect. No Christian is perfect. But the Christian follows a perfect God. The Christian is indwelt by the Spirit of God. The Christian, saved by faith in Christ, has written on his or her heart love toward God and love toward their neighbor. God is to be loved ABOVE ALL ELSE. And your neighbor, to be loved as God has loved you.

God Knows Them That Are His

This was the target I was aiming at. Read with me:

2 Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished

God’s children are godly. A Christian is a walking miracle. A Christian is born again of the Spirit of God” (John 3:3; 3:7). A Christian is born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, BY THE WORD OF GOD, which liveth and abideth forever” (1 Peter 1:23). A Christian is not saved by their works, but by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, receiving him as Savior.

Titus 3:5-6 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior;

A Christian will, like Father Abraham, “work the works of God”. A Christian “believes on the One Whom God hath sent” (John 6:29). A Christian has called upon the name of the Lord, repenting of their sins. Once saved, the Christian becomes a son of God by faith (Galatians 3:26). Those whom God saves, He knows how to deliver. “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations.

Do you know Jesus? Do you? If you have obeyed the Gospel call, the same message that has never changed:

Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

2 Timothy 2:19 … the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

If you are saved, you belong to God, not to yourself. You are his Child, His Workmanship, His Treasure, His Love. The Child He receives by faith is a miracle, a citizen of Heaven. His children are called to “walk in the light as Christ is in the light” (1 John 1:7). But if you reject Christ, if you refuse to repent and cast yourself upon the loving mercy of God, do not believe that you shall escape the wrath of God.

Illustrate: In the Book “Purpose Driven Life” Rick Warren wrote:

Wherever you are reading this, I invite you to bow your head and quietly whisper the prayer that will change your eternity. ‘Jesus, I believe in You and I receive You’. Go ahead. If you sincerely meant that prayer, congratulations! Welcome to the family of God!”

With all due respect to Rick, what is missing from this statement? REPENT. Those who come to Christ without repentance are not saved, but continue to live in godlessness. Jesus will one day say to them,

Matthew 7:23 … I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, YE THAT WORK INIQUITY

Salvation is an unconditional surrender of the sinner to the Lord Savior. We acknowledge that we are NOT God, but Jesus is God, and that we have no hope of salvation apart from Him. Love or wrath. That is YOUR choice. Which will you choose? May God the Holy Spirit draw you to Christ this very moment, for the glory of God, and the increase of His Kingdom. Amen and Amen.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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