Journal 2 Pet 2 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts—knowing this first of all: that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed, they will exploit you with false words.” 2 Pet 1:19-2:3a
Observation: The Word of God is Sovereign and Supreme and, as much as it is Superior, false teachers with false teaching of false doctrine will surely follow. According to this, and to the historical example, it is inevitable.
So, what should be done?
Analysis: I know what is wrong with false teaching!!
It’s wrong, that’s what wrong with false teaching…but sounds just right enough to be plausible. It is like plotting a course on the ocean. If I am just 1 degree off, I will not get to my destination plotted.
If I am going 3,000 miles—1 degree can equal 300 miles off course on 3,000. What about this journey in Christ? What if I get 1 degree off, and that 1 degree affects every other doctrine I am exposed to? What if that 1 degree off causes me to ignore something I shouldn’t ignore?
False prophets/teachers: Paul and John refer to them as well. Almost every Letter has a section that says, “Beware the false, they are coming to feast on you.” Jesus: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves…” (Matt 7:15)
What do a lot of people do? They restrict their intake of learning. A bunch may say, “I just believe in Jesus and that’s enough.” And consequently, they stay children, immature in the Ways of God—where Scripture specifically indicates that the path of a Christian is to grow in the knowledge of the Most High God. Therefore, by saying, “I will just believe in Jesus and that’s all”, they are actively disobeying God.
It is imperative for Believers to learn, to increase in Knowledge of God, to study to show themselves approved—ACCURATELY handling the word of Truth (c. 2 Tim 2:15)
How do I do that? How do I pursue that Path? Candidly with fear and trembling on one hand, full confidence in the Holy Spirit on another. My book intake is restricted to a couple of dozen authors, and nobody new. If someone’s book hasn’t served the test of time for a couple of decades or more, they are not one my shelf.
Another check off: Local men have to hang for a while; I need to see them, hang out with them, observe how they conduct themselves—Is their life consistent with their testimony? Age: too much to talk about on that subject.
If the Gospel doesn’t pepper a person’s speech, evaluate. If the subjects of Sin, Repentance, Atonement (not salvation, all those things that lead up to salvation), self-control, servanthood, humility, etc. are foreign to my lips—then it is time to examine myself; see if I am in the Faith (c. 2 Cor 13:5)
Prayer: Father, it is time for the Church to become deep in You. How we get there is only by Your Hand, Holy Spirit. Help me, empower me to do my part in pursuing You.
Create revival in me,