Scripture:

v1-2, 14, 18

[1] 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..
[2] Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.
[14] With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood!
[18] ..by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.

Observation:

This epistle was written to Christian believers just like us, warning them of false teachers and false prophets and that God will judge this sin.

It is a fact, not just merely a possibility, that false teachers are among us.  These are people who distort the Word of God by adding to it or removing from it.  Just as Christians should have been concerned in the time this was written, we must be careful not to get fooled by false teachers and their lies.  They can be very convincing deceivers.

Application:

False teaching is not just simple differences between denominations.  That is the small stuff.  False teaching communicates false doctrine different from the fundamental truth of Scripture.  It teaches ideas such as having many paths to God, or saying there is Heaven but not hell, or saying that since God gives us Grace we basically have the license to sin.  Beliefs like this are straight from Satan and not from God. Doctrine like this does not line up with Scripture and yet, it leaks into Christian beliefs by way of false teaching through susceptible believers who are not well grounded.  These are not the little things and if we treat them as if they are, before you know it we will be fully on the other side of a line we should never cross – believing in our own god.

How does this happen?  Satan is a master liar and very sneaky.
– “They will secretly introduce destructive heresies..”
– “..they seduce the unstable..”
– They appeal “..to the lustful desires of the flesh”

False teachers don’t give us warning that they are deviating from the Word.  They interpret the Word “for us”, telling us what it “really means”.  Individually, we are the only ones who can really validate what we hear.  Whether we like what we hear or not, validate it.  We need to read and know the Word well enough to ferret out the lies.  If it still seems confusing, validate theology that doesn’t seem right by talking with trusted Christian friends.  God is not a God of confusion but Satan is the master deceiver.

As for the false teachers and false prophets, God will judge and take care of them.
– ..swift destruction on themselves.” v1
– “..hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.” v9
– “..like unreasoning animals..born only to be caught and destroyed..” v12
– “..paid back with harm for the harm they have done..” v13
– “Blackest darkness is reserved for them.” v17

Yeah, that’s good, while it may seem that some false teachers and false prophets prosper in this life, they will be righteously judged.  Forget about what God will do to them though.  For those of us who know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, it will be even worse for us than it will be for the false teachers and false prophets if we fall into their evil ways.

[20] If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.  [21] It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.

Wow!

We need to be vigilant, always looking out for false teaching and false prophets.  Validate what we hear or read with Scripture, and be stable in our faith, built on a rock as our foundation and never sway from that.

Prayer:

Lord thank you for your Word.  Thank you that we can always fall back on it as Your perfect balance of grace and truth.  Help us to discern false teaching and false prophesying and to never fall prey to anything spoken in Your name that does not align with Your Word or Your will.

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