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In the Truth

In the Truth

Words of Faith 3-10-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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2 Peter 2

    But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves. [2] Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. [3] In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

 

       One of the biggest concerns that Peter saw was an infiltration of destructive heresies through greedy false teachers.  Satan's counterfeits with their insidious activities are always present. False teachers appeared in Israel during the days of the writing prophets, and they were present in the first-century church.

        False prophets often rose out of Israel, not from surrounding peoples (Jer. 5:31; 23:9-18). Similarly, false teachers appear from the midst of the church. They secretly introduce their false teachings, which are destructive heresies. 'Secretly introduce' mean literally to "bring in alongside" or "infiltrated.”  False teachers will often bring false teaching alongside truth so that it is disguised.

      "Heresies" comes from the Greek word haireseis and simply means a "different view.” These different views are "destructive" because they lead people away from Christ and into spiritual ruin.  The focus of these heresies was the sovereign Lord, Christ, whom they denied.  This, in turn, led to their own spiritual destruction or ruin.

      So how can these false teachers, who were said to be among the people, and whom the Lord had bought, end up in everlasting destruction?  It appears that though they were "redeemed" in the sense that Christ paid the redemptive price for their salvation, but they did not apply it to themselves and so were not saved.  Peter made it clear that while Christ's death is "sufficient" for all (1 Tim. 2:6; Heb. 2:9; 1 John 2:2), it is "efficient" only for those who believe.

       The tragic fact about many false teachers is that they are successful.  They look good and sound good.  People listen to them and follow them.  They are entertaining and have clever stories.  They gain a great deal of attention, but popularity is not necessarily an endorsement by God.  Peter goes further to point out that people are led by such teachers into shameful ways, referring to debased sexually immoral practices.  The mixture of sexual debasement with false teaching is common in cults and false movements.

       Throughout the ages, ministerial charlatans and quacks have often troubled the flock of God. In their greed, they use others for their own mercenary purposes and turn the church into a dirty marketplace.  The word "exploit" means to commercialize-- "buy, sell, trade or carry on business.”  When matters of the spirit are turned into a business for personal profit, and the people of God become customers, profit centers, or giving units, the fundamental heart of the Gospel is betrayed.

      Peter says that the method of the false teacher is to use "fabricated words.”  For the false teacher, truth is irrelevant; Impact and results are all that matter. When there is a need for an impact or a point, the false teacher will simply make something up, whether a heart-wrenching story or special healing.  The false teacher is artificial, not genuine.  Sadly, their end is condemnation and destruction. They fall into the same doom which God has planned for other violators of truth and righteousness. Their destruction has not been sleeping. God's justice does not sleep, and it is never late.

       This may seem to be a heavy message for a New Year.  But the reality is that we live in a world in which the lines of sounds doctrine are blurred and the most popular places don't teach the Bible.  As we enter a New Year, we will do well to focus on the Word of God and the sound teaching of that word, not clever and entertaining stories.

 

       God. Keep me close to Your Truth.  Give me discernment as I seek You.  Keep me away from the tickling of ears with clever stories.  Draw me into Your Truth.  In Jesus' Name.

 

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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