Today’s passage: 2 Peter 2:17-22
- The nature of false teaching:
- Waterless springs, which will always leave the hearers thirsty
- Mists driven by a storm, which seem to signal rain coming but fails to produce
- Speaking loud boasts = Being a “great public speaker” to whom people love to listen.
- Eloquence can be a great thing…but it does not make a preacher biblical.
- False teachers promise good to those who are fed up or confused with the struggles of this world, and then in their “success” are continually enslaved by their own greed, looking for more easy targets. A vicious cycle.
- Remember, false teachers come from “within”:
- They have stepped out of the world from a moralistic standpoint (They look like Christians from the outside).
- They have heard the Gospel and quite probably made some public profession.
- They subsequently give evidence of rejecting it with their teaching and actions.
- Their judgement, having heard the good news of the Gospel and still leading people astray, will be worse than if they had never heard. (e.g. The judgment for the leader of a cult would be less severe than the judgment for the leader of a Christian church who is a false teacher.)
- These false teachers are not and were never saved. Look back at verses 1, 3, 9, 12, 17.
Questions to consider:
- How could this passage be misinterpreted to argue that a person can lose their salvation? Why is that interpretation not a strong argument?
- What characteristics do we look for in leaders and teachers where, when we place too much emphasis on those characteristics (and too little emphasis on others) we open ourselves up to trouble? Is it enough for a new youth pastor to be “Fun and really able to connect with young people”? Should a church call a pastor because they believe “He will know how to bring in young families” or because “He really keeps their attention”? Is it OK for a pastor to mock these statements/desires to excuse himself for being unfriendly, arrogant, dispassionate and reclusive?