The second chapter of 2 Peter addresses the issue of false teachers, people who profess they have the Truth, but they don’t. What is so terrible about this? They take others along with them and teach them their own version of the truth, misleading these people into thinking they have found the way to Jesus and His peace, but in reality, they have been taken farther away from Him.
“For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved. For if after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowlege of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.”~ 2 Peter 2:18-20
Jesus warns us that in the last days many false teachers and prophets will surface. Matthew 24:5~ “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.” Matthew 24:11~ “And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many.” Matthew 24:23-25~ “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance.”
Unfortunately, we have churches in America that aren’t quite preaching the Word of God. Some are close, but a bit off. Some of them are far off and taking people down the wrong path. “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it. Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.” ~Matthew 7:13-18
Be on guard. Check things you read, hear and see with the Bible. Is it the whole truth? Is there spin put on this issue to “soften” God’s tone? Does something sound a bit off? I occasionally will hear something in a sermon that I check out later, just to be sure.
What is the best way to guard yourself from false teaching? Be in the Word of God. Read the Bible regularly. The better you know it, the easier it will be to recognize when something isn’t quite right. 🙂