2 Peter: The Nature of False Teachers

This entry is part 10 of 12 in the series 2 Peter Study

Relevant reading: 2 Peter 2:10b–22

How do we recognize false teachers?

Many of them are in our own churches, and they seem to be a part of the body of Christ. But there are distinguishing marks, and Peter discusses those marks in chapter 2 of his epistle. He does so in a pastoral way, taking care not to malign specific individuals, choosing instead to focus on the general characteristics. This avoids gossip, which is a constant temptation.

The false teachers, on the other hand, disrespect authority and slander those around them. Disregarding what others teach, they surround themselves with a sinful ignorance that leads them to believe their own lives. They care nothing for moral guidance, believing that they create their own morality.

Because of their evil hearts, these false teachers are “stains and blemishes” (2 Peter 2:13), the very opposite of what God has called His church to be, “spotless and blameless” (2 Peter 3:14). The beauty of the true church stands in contrast to the corruption of these false teachers.

We must be on guard, though, because the false teachers want to defile true believers. They promise vitality, but they cannot deliver it. In the end, they will feed us with lies that leave us empty. Although they promise us freedom, they are slaves, and they would bring us into slavery as well.

Watch part 10 of the series on 2 Peter. This teaching normally takes place Monday nights but is being taught virtually during closings related to COVID-19.

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