Some Will be False
2 Peter 2:1-3
1But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
One of the catch phrases that chases across social media today is “fake news”. We hear it all the time from the president all the way down. It’s an easy label to slap on anyone who doesn’t agree with us. But the question always arises; how do you tell if it’s “fake news” or a true story? Honestly, when it comes to the media, I have no idea. But, and this is no surprise, Peter was dealing the same sort of issue. There were people moving through the church who were false teachers and who were spreading fake news about Jesus and His saving work. The sad thing is that this is still happening today.
When we think about false doctrines being taught in the church, many names flood through our minds of people who are doing just that today. They usually have a grand stage with tens of thousands of followers. But their message is often counter to the teaching of the Scriptures, with just enough doctrinal sounding material to make them look like they are the real deal. If you scratch through the thin veneer of their theology, you will generally find the foundation of their ministry is their own greed. But we fall for it all the time.
So what is our protection against those who would lead us away from God rather than toward Him? Is there a way to protect yourself from slick words and wild promises? Yes, there is.
First – you must be reading the Word of God for yourself. If you don’t know what God says about Himself and His ways, you will fall for all kinds of smooth talk and false theology. If you actually know what God’s Word says, you are able to ask questions and do the research concerning what you’ve been told that might not follow in a straight line toward God.
Second – surround yourself with wise and godly people. If the only voice we are hearing is our own, we are apt to stray in the wrong direction. An echo chamber is a dangerous place to be and strange ideas can grow from that place.
Third – be aware that these false prophets and teacher exist – today in 2018. In fact, they are everywhere. Just because someone claims to be of God doesn’t make it true. Test the spirits and see if they match up to God’s standards. (See 1 John 4)
While these false teachers are around, we need not be their victims. Paul tells us in Romans to be as innocent as doves and as wise as serpents. You don’t have to be anyone’s patsy.