Ezekiel 37-39 2 Peter 2
“Those false teachers only want your money, so they will use you by telling you lies. Their judgment spoken against them long ago is still coming, and their ruin is certain.” (2 Peter 2:3 NCV)
In this section, Peter reminds us that there have always been false teachers and that there will always be false teachers. In ancient days, people didn’t have access to the written word of God to study for themselves so those people who claimed to be teachers could twist the truth for their own benefit. One of the hallmarks of false teachers is that they’ll speak what they think people want to hear hoping that they’ll gain lots of money from their listeners. Peter noted that the very books that false teachers would misquote or take out of context spoke judgement against their behavior then, that the judgment still applies today, and they’ll be ruined by their false teaching.
How people get, and how they use money are great indications of their character. For instance, a person whose income comes from illegal sources isn’t the best person to use as an example of Christian giving, no matter how much that person gives to God’s work. Jesus reminded us that heart is more important than amount when it comes to giving. There are some people, though, who are more concerned about getting than giving and they’ll tell you anything to get your money. Peter dealt with the false teachers. They would lie, flatter, cajole, and adapt their teaching to make it sound good for the sole purpose of getting their hearers to give. One way to determine a false teacher is how they get their money, and what they do with it. An advantage we have over our brethren in the early church is that we have the written word of God that we can compare anyone’s teaching to. We should always check out anyone’s teaching by looking at the word of God. One of the reasons I include the Bible verses I read every day is so that you can check what I say in the full context of the Scriptures. When I, or anyone else makes a mistake, call it to that person’s attention. If they humbly explain why they think they’re right, or humbly accept what you say, they’re probably not a false teacher. If they’re arrogant and appeal to their own authority, be very wary.
Lord, there are many false teachers in our world. Help Your children discern true teaching from false teaching. As I write, may the words and concepts I share be true to Your word.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.