2 Peter 2:1-3 NIV
“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. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.”
What is a false teacher? He or she is someone who teaches what is false (a lie). But what if a teacher gets something wrong sometimes? Does that make him or her a false teacher? No! The Bible says we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect (Jesus) comes, and we see Jesus face to face, then we will know fully (1 Co 13:9-12).
So, then, what makes someone a false teacher? They secretly introduce destructive heresies even denying the sovereign Lord. They know the truth but they willfully teach what they know is false. And if they naively teach what is false because that is what they were taught, if then confronted with the truth, then they deny it, they are responsible to God for the lie they tell.
I’ve known many preachers who used to teach the truth. They used to teach the true gospel of Jesus Christ. They preached repentance, obedience, and submission to Jesus Christ as Lord. But then they started listening to men instead of to God, and they started following marketing books instead of the Scriptures, and they began to please the world instead of God.
They compromised truth in order to draw in large crowds of people from the world, and in order to grow their “churches,” i.e., their businesses. They diluted the gospel message to make it more attractive and acceptable to the world and to human flesh, too.
For, they wanted to please humans more than they wanted to please God, and they wanted to grow their earthly kingdoms more than they wanted to grow God’s eternal and heavenly kingdom. So, they let pride and greed rule their hearts, and many denied the truth when confronted, too.
That makes someone a false teacher, when they teach what they know is false, and they willfully deceive and they scheme in order to draw people to them rather than draw them to genuine faith in Jesus Christ.
Some of them do this out of pride and greed, while others do this for the sole purpose to lead people away from true faith in Jesus Christ. Both are very skilled in deception and in mind manipulation. They are taught this. For, this is all about deception and marketing, not about leading people to Jesus.
There is way more false teaching than I am probably even aware of, for I learn of new things continually. And even all that I know I can’t possibly cover all in one devotion. But the primary one, which is leading the masses away from true faith in Jesus Christ, and is thus leading them to hell, is what is called “the cheap grace gospel.”
Now, it isn’t that God’s grace is cheap. No way! It cost Jesus his life on that cross to provide us with forgiveness of sin and deliverance from our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin. And we must die with him to sin, be buried with him in death to sin, and be raised with him to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:24).
So, God’s grace is not cheap, but the false teachers have cheapened it because they have adulterated it. They have made it less than what it is. They have made it the opposite of what it is, in fact. Instead of them teaching we can be free from addiction to sin they are teaching that we are free to continue living in sin, only now without guilt.
Yes, it is by God’s grace that we are saved, through faith, and this not of ourselves, not of our works lest any of us should boast that we somehow worked to earn or to deserve our own salvation. For, we can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God the Father first draws us to Christ; unless he persuades us to follow Jesus with our lives (Eph 2:8-10; Jn 6:44).
But we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. We were created to be like Jesus in true righteousness and holiness. We were saved, too, from our slavery to sin so we would now be slaves of his righteousness (Eph 2:10; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; Rom 8:1-17; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9).
So, true belief in Jesus means we die with him to sin and we live to him and to his righteousness and we are no longer living according to our flesh. God’s grace to us is not freedom to keep living in sin without guilt, and it is not freedom FROM repentance, obedience, and submission to Christ as Lord.
Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, not that we would continue living in sin without guilt.
Many Will Follow
This cheap grace gospel is very appealing to human flesh because it requires no death to sin, no obedience to Christ, and no submission to Christ as Lord. One can merely claim to believe in Jesus, and he is told he is now part of God’s family, that heaven is guaranteed him, and that it can never be taken away from him, no matter how he lives his life on this earth.
God is not honored at all with this gospel. Jesus is denied as Lord and as Savior because he came to deliver us from our bondage to sin, not to give us permission to continue in our bondage. So, the way of truth has been brought into disrepute, especially since they accuse the truth of being false and the lies they claim are the truth.
But this false gospel is what is permeating the church, at least here in America. Multitudes are claiming faith in Jesus Christ but there is no fruit in their lives that proves their faith genuine. And that is because they deny the Lordship of Christ over their lives and they are convinced that their sins no longer matter to God because of his grace.
And so, they do follow depraved conduct because they believe God’s grace gives them free license to do so. And this is a big reason why the church is in such a moral decline and so is our (my) nation. Porn addiction is on an all-time high. Marriages and families are falling apart. And children are being sacrificed to the gods of their parents.
And yes, these liars and deceivers are very skilled at making up all kinds of stories, especially since they are still living in addiction to sin. So, they will twist the Scriptures to their advantage, and they will teach them out of context, and they will make up all kinds of false teachings which the naïve and the fleshly will accept without question.
It isn’t just the false teachers whose condemnation has long been hanging over them, but it is all those who follow their depraved conduct and who deny the Lordship of Christ and who willfully and defiantly choose their own path rather than the path of God.
God is going to judge them and he is judging them via all that he is allowing to take place on a global scale right now. If they do not repent and turn from their wicked ways, destruction is what awaits them, not heaven (Eph 5:3-6; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Rom 8:1-17).
But for us who have died with Christ to sin and who are living to him and to his righteousness, we have the blessed hope of eternal life with God.
There’s a Stirring
By Annie Herring
There’s a stirring deep within me
Could it be my time has come
When I’ll see my gracious savior face to face when all is done
Is that his voice I am hearing?
‘Come away, my precious one’
Is he calling me?
Is he calling me?
I will rise up, rise up
And bow down
And lay my crown
At his wounded feet
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