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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

The Goal of False Teachers (2 Peter)

2 Peter has become one of my favorite epistles. Its warnings of false teachers looks like it could have been written today, for our time. Yet in the midst of these warnings, Peter gives us tremendous hope and understanding of why Jesus has not yet returned.

Peter starts out telling us that there were false teachers in his day just as there will be false teachers in our day. But as he describes the behavior and goals of these false teachers, we may be astounded to see that nothing has really changed.

2 Peter 2:1 But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you.

The goal behind false teaching is always the same, to justify the sin rather than glorify the Savior.

Pride and selfishness dictate that our sin must not only be accepted by others but that others must wholeheartedly agree with our sin or be persecuted for rejecting it.

Peter says that the sins we are often drawn to fall under the category of sexual immorality.

2 Peter 2:6-7 Later, God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and turned them into heaps of ashes. He made them an example of what will happen to ungodly people. 7 But God also rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a righteous man who was sick of the shameful immorality of the wicked people around him.

2 Peter 2:10 He is especially hard on those who follow their own twisted sexual desire, and who despise authority.

Then Peter tells us how false teachers will attempt to justify sexual immorality in two ways:

(1) claiming you should be free to do what you want with your own body:

2 Peter 2:18-19 They brag about themselves with empty, foolish boasting. With an appeal to twisted sexual desires, they lure back into sin those who have barely escaped from a lifestyle of deception. 19 They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you.

(2) trying to prove that God's Word is not true.

2 Peter 3:3-4 Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. 4 They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.”

It would be hard to look at our world today without seeing how both of these deceptions are being used prolifically.

But then focusing on the 2nd deception, that nothing has changed since the beginning of time and that Jesus has not come yet, Peter quickly and easily disproves this logic.

First, he points out the obvious things which have changed in our world such as the worldwide flood, described in the history of almost every major people group.

But then second, Peter tells us why Jesus has not returned yet:

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

Jesus has not returned because of His great love for all of us!

Jesus is waiting to rapture His followers, until more choose to repent of their sins and trust in Him as their Lord.

What does that mean for us when we also look at verse 15?

2 Peter 3:15 And remember, our Lord's patience gives people time to be saved.

If God is patiently waiting, not wanting any to perish, that should be my mindset also.

I should be patiently waiting and praying for everyone close to me and far from God to repent of their sins and trust in Jesus while there is still time.

If this is truly my heart, then I should also be living my life in such a way that points people to Jesus so that they too can be freed of their sins rather than enslaved by them for all eternity.

Dear Lord, Thank you for your patience and your longsuffering love. Thank you for giving us chance after chance to repent and choose You until our very last breath. Lord, I pray many more around me would choose You now so that they don't have to live another day as a slave to sin and brought down by the deception of pride. Lord, every day that I am alive in this human vessel, I know I am going to struggle with sin. So please strengthen me to keep the eyes of my heart focused on You with the armor of Your Word indwelling me. Lord, please shine Your Light through me so that others will turn to You. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries

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