The Sinful Walk of False Teachers
2 Peter 2: 10 -16
We continue our topic about false teachers. Peter writes about their sinful walk, their conduct, their depravity. One thing that really makes me wonder is that despite of recent exposure in the internet about false preachers like Joel Osteen, and lots of popular Pentecostal ministers, their churches are still being attended by many people. Well, false teachers comes from within or out of the church and they have the capability to deceive. This is a letter of warning to us present and future believers. As I read our texts, I see 3 specific sins so I will try to show it to you one by one even if we have a short time.
I. They “revile” against those in authority (2 Pet. 2:10-12)
A. To revile means to abuse with hurtful language; to reproach (Jn. 9:28; Acts 23:4; 1 Cor. 4:12; 6:10; 1 Pet. 2:23).
1. They have no respect to those who are in high position and they speak evil against them.
2. They will never submit to authorities.
B. The reason for their reviling
1. They walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness.
a. They are immoral and always indulge in their carnal appetites.
b. In contrast to the apostles who emphasize purity and cleanliness before God
2. They despise government (dominion, power, lordship)
a. False teachers outwardly claims they are Christians.
b. In reality they will never submit to the Lordship of Christ in their life.
c. They scorn the government, the church, and the family.
3. They are presumptuous and self-willed
a. Presumptuous- they were “very daring, and bold” in the way they spoke about those in positions of dignity. There is a boldness that is heroic, but there is also a boldness that is satanic.
b. Self-willed – they “lived to please only themselves.” They were arrogant and would even defy God to get what they wanted! Prov. 21:24 describes them perfectly. While outwardly, they appeared to serve God and minister to the people, inwardly they fed their own egos and feathered their own nests.
4. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries.
a. To speak evil is to slander, mock, and blaspheme.
b. False prophets are not afraid to speak evil against God. This has to do with the way they treat the Bible.
c. They speculate that the Bible came from man, not God. These people are not afraid to blaspheme God.
d. False prophets are so arrogant that they show no respect at all for “glorious beings.” (This may be good and fallen angels). (2 Pet. 2:11)
e. This may refer to persons who would scorn “fallen angels” something even “angels greater in power and might” would not do. (2 Pet. 2:11, Jude 8, 9)
f. Even Michael the archangel when contending with Satan refused to speak evil of him but said “the Lord rebuke thee”. (Jude 8, 9).
g. Good angels do not revile false teachers
5. They speak evil of the things they do not understand (2 Pet. 2:12).
a. Peter compares false teachers to animals that have no reason. They operate on instinct, not their mind.
b. We are to think of false teachers as wild animals.
c. These “brute beasts” are destined for destruction, a truth Peter mentioned often in 2 Peter 2 (vv. 34, 9, 12, 17, 20). As they seek to destroy the faith, they themselves shall be destroyed. They will be “corrupted in their own corruption.” Their very nature will drag them down into destruction, Like the pig returning to the mire and the dog to its vomit (2 Peter 2:22). Unfortunately, before that event takes place, these people can do a great deal of moral and spiritual damage.
II. Their Reveling 2 Peter 2:13-14
A. The bodies and souls of false teachers will be punished by the just God.
B. The word “riot” and “sporting” has something to do with indulgence to sexual sins
C. False teachers do their sexual immorality during the day without the cover of darkness. A clear show of their wickedness and moral depravity.
D. “Eyes full of adultery” – False teachers eyes are so corrupt and immoral that they cannot look at any women without seeing her as a sexual object. Their lust for the flesh is uncontrollable.
1. Note that we commit adultery with our “eyes” before we commit adultery with our body (Matthew 5:28).
2. Some people would never commit physical adultery but they are involved in committing mental adultery.
E. “Cannot cease from sin”. False teachers cannot stop sinning.
F. Beguiling unstable souls means to “lure”. False teachers lead people astray because what they say sounds so feasible.
G. Apostates get their victims from untaught or poorly taught Christians. They are susceptible to error. Religion often appeals to them more than truth.
Illustration: Jim Bakker
It was reported today (7-24-90) in the news that former PTL leader and TV evangelist Jim Bakker, now jailed for various fund-raising improprieties, makes eleven cents an hour cleaning toilets in the penitentiary. And a federal judge ruled that the little money he has accumulated could be seized to pay penalties he owes of over $500,000. His empire crumbled when he had an adulterous relationship with Jessica Hahn. (The Moral Catastrophe, David Hocking, Harvest House, 1990, p. 64).
III. Their “Revolting” (2 Pet. 2:14b-16)
A. They have forsaken the right way – the apostates or false teachers knew the “right (straight) way” but they, by their own volition, rejected truth.
1. Righteousness was described as a path or road. The godly were to follow the path (Ps. 119:105; Prov. 6:23). Any deviation from the path was sin.
B. “Gone astray” come from Greek word meaning deceive by leading into error, to seduce (Mal. 24:4,5,11,24). False teachers love to twist truth. They make what is false seem like truth.
C. Balaam – The prophet hired by the king of Moab to curse the Israelites (Nu 22:1-24). He was later slain by the Israelites (Num. 31:8). The N.T. speaks of Balaam as an evil man (2 Pet. 2:15-16; Jude 11; Rev. 2:14).
D. Balaam’s sins were:
2. Teaching God’s people to compromise and disregard God’s command of separation. Balaam taught God’s people to mingle with the world (contrast 1 Cor. 10:7-8; Jas. 4:4; 1 Jn. 2:15-17).
E. Through a talking donkey, God kept him from cursing Israel.
Covetousness is the insatiable desire for more – more money, more power, more prestige. The covetous heart is never satisfied. This explains why the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil (1 Tim 6:10), for when a person craves more money, he will commit any sin to satisfy that craving. He has already broken the first two of the Ten Commandments, because money is already his god and idol. It is then a simple step to break the others – to steal, he, commit adultery, take God’s name in vain, and so on. No wonder Jesus warned, “Take heed and beware of covetousness” (Luke 12:15).
Three sins of the False teachers are presented by Peter here, reviling, reveling, and their revolting. All of these sins comes from sinful pride, and carnal lusts. The faithful servant of God is lowly, and always ready to serve. Does not need the praise of men, do the work of the Lord without thinking about monetary gain, loves the Word and is willing to give his life for Christ. Will you avoid the 3 sins of the apostates? Will you serve Christ out of love and obedience to His Word?