2 Peter & Jude

by Eileen Poh

Day 9

Read 2 Peter 2:1-3

In some cities, you can see fake branded handbags and watches being sold in shops and markets. I have seen a photo of a stall displaying the sign: ″Genuine Fake Watches″! Wearing a fake Rolex watch may not have drastic consequences, but other fake goods can have life-threatening consequences. Take counterfeit medicine, for example. Counterfeit pills are made and packed in such a way that they resemble the real articles. But they contain ingredients that can cause physical harm or even death. Being able to distinguish between genuine and fake medicine can be a matter of life and death.

There are false teachers in our midst today. We need to know God's Word so that we can distinguish between truth and false teachings.

It is just as crucial to distinguish between true and false teachers. In 2 Peter 2, the apostle turns his attention to false teachers and warns his readers about them. Just as there were false prophets in the Old Testament (in contrast to the true prophets who spoke God's Word in 2 Peter 1:20-21), there are also false teachers in the congregations Peter is addressing. Although he uses the future tense in 2:1-3, in other parts of his letter he uses the present tense (e.g. 2:12-14, 17-19). This tells us that he is not addressing a future problem, but a current one.

Peter draws a picture of the false teachers to help his readers identify them. Firstly, he exposes their tactics. They are devious in presenting their false teaching (v. 1); they deny Jesus Christ as the One who paid the price to redeem them (v. 1); and they make up stories and do not teach the truth (v. 3).

Secondly, Peter spells out the impact of the false teachers in their midst. They are popular, and many people follow them because they like what they hear (v. 2). Their ″destructive heresies″ (v. 1) and immoral way of life will cause people to have a wrong concept of God and will give the Christian faith a bad name (v. 2).

Thirdly, he reveals their motivation: they do it for financial gain as they are motivated by their greed (v. 3).

Lastly, Peter is uncompromising about their destiny (v. 3). Only one thing awaits them: condemnation!

How can you tell whether a branded handbag or watch is genuine or fake? You put the item next to the real article, and you will be able to tell the difference. There are false teachers in our midst today. We need to know God's Word so that we can distinguish between truth and false teachings.

Think through:

Why is it so important to reject teaching that denies the Sovereign Lord Jesus?

Whenever you read an article or hear teaching about Jesus Christ or the Bible, how do you discern truth from falsehood? What steps can you take to help you to be more discerning?




About Author

Eileen Poh was a lawyer for some years before doing full-time theological studies. Her doctoral thesis (at King’s College London) examines the social relationships between Christians and non-Christians in Asia Minor in the second half of the first century AD. Eileen lectures in Biblical Studies at Discipleship Training Centre, Singapore. She is married to Philip Satterthwaite.

Author of Journey Through Series:

Our Daily Bread Journey Through® Series is a publication of Our Daily Bread Ministries.

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