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The Scriptorium

Bound for Destruction

2 Peter 2.12, 13a

12 But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, 13 andwill receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime.

The Story:So, does Peter think false teachers are a serious problem? In our day, when the spirit of pluralism and tolerance is so much afoot, and when just about everybody is reluctant to offer any word of judgment on anyone or any teaching, false teaching can – and does – spread like a wildfire. If we found ourselves some time, face to face with an “irrational animal,” a “creature” whose only instinct was for self-advantage, no matter who gets devoured in the process, do you suppose we would be so shy about denouncing his false views? A day of destruction is laid up for such people who care only about drawing others into their deception for the sake of fleshly or material gain. False teaching is not just someone’s benighted or misguided opinion. False teaching is blasphemy and wrongdoing. If we don’t know how to recognize false teaching, we’d better begin to prepare ourselves to do so. And if we’re not willing to confront, expose, and refute false teaching, then we may find ourselves caught in the net with it.

The Structure:The Lie of the devil takes many guises in this period in which the Kingdom of God is advancing on earth as it is in heaven. One of the favorite forms is as an “angel of light” (2 Cor. 11.14). Historically, the most destructive false teachers have used the language of the Gospel and Scripture, which they pervert in subtle or seemingly sophisticated ways, in order to mislead incautious hearers. Is this happening in our day? Count on it. And get ready for it.

How do the leaders of your church work to protect your congregation from false teaching?

Each week’s studies in our Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For this week’s study, “Beware False Teachers: 2 Peter 2.12-22,” simply click here.

T. M. Moore

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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