Scripture: 2 Peter 2:1-3 (NLT)
1But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. 2Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. 3In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed.
Peter warns the church to pay attention: false teachers will show up.
They are cleaver teachers with “destructive heresies.”
They deny Jesus.
They will get a following.
The “way of truth” will be slandered because of the false teachers.
They will be greedy.
A few years ago BC introduced the “fast ferry” to our fleet of ships. They didn’t last long on the water! The wake created by these sleek and fast boats damaged the shore lines. The boats were expensive to maintain. Soon they were docked and ultimately sold at a great loss.
Every leader creates a wake. All leaders and messages are not equal in the size of their wake. Smooth talkers will abound. Crowds may come. But the character and heart of a false teachers is false even as they distort the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. In the wake of such false teachers many other people are hurt and washed up on the shore. Then the way of Jesus is slandered by those who see the devastation.
In this text, Peter would have us pay attention to two aspects of a leader’s life: 1. The way they handle the Gospel. 2. The way they handle people and their money.
Heavenly Father, may your church become so familiar with your Word and the character of Christ that they recognize what is false and distance themselves from it. Please bring healing to those who have been hurt by false teachers. May both your tender mercy and your fierce love prevail so that Jesus is lifted up. May your Kingdom come. AMEN.