II PETER A Case Study In Exposing FALSE TEACHERS
KNOW Who You Are In JESUS CHRIST
II PETER A Case Study In EXPOSING FALSE TEACHERS
II Peter is a wonderful Book of the New Testament as also I Peter! However, here The Apostle Peter is quite vehement in his need to expose the trappings of false teachers! He is quite candid and there are significant differences in the delivery of the two Epistles although similar vocabularies! Interestingly so it is the last Book submitted to be added the Canon of The New Testament Scriptures! I Peter was written to aid and comfort Christians who are suffering. II Peter is to expose false teachers! Both explicitly show that from its inception there has been inconsolable disagreements in the Lord’s Church! Of course by no fault of the Lord’s but because of that of man’s shortcomings and lack of adherence to the Word of God! Peter’s increasing concerns are evident. The Key Scripture is: “His Divine Power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who is called us by HIS own Glory and GOODNESS.”
In II Peter there is a most wonderful salutation! Peter graciously shares his enthusiasm to those who share a like Faith! As stated: “Grace and Peace be yours in ABUNDANCE through the KNOWLEDGE of GOD and of JESUS OUR LORD…” Peter warns us of the internal problems and informs us of and inside attack and the evil motives of false teachers! Faith is an action word. As the Word says; “Faith without works is dead!” Knowing of God, is not the same as knowing Him through His WORD!!! It is evident that the Pharisees knew the scriptures but they could still not recognize JESUS! This should help us to know that what is important is knowing the Lord for yourself and encouraging others to do so as well! It’s about being so sure of who HE is, that nothing or no one can make you doubt who He is!
In the times in which we live loyalty is becoming increasingly vague. Many Christians have become complacent and are spiritually malnourished. They have what I call “spiritual eating disorders.” They suffer from an unhealthy consistent unbalanced diet of healthy spiritual food! Many only eat once a week! Quite often a false teacher will give just enough to fill you emotionally but not enough to sustain a person where by the FRUIT of The SPIRIT can flourish in their lives… They will also tell you what you want to hear and undermine what is clearly stated in the Word! This way one stays dependent and unable to grow spiritually… God never meant for our minds to be controlled by anyone. He allows us the freedom to choose! Guided by His Holy Spirit, Yes! False teachers attempt to control you into a group think mode which is cultic! There is often resistance to you having a different opinion. Or if you do it is quite possible you will be labeled rebellious! Although there are some wonderful small, large, mega and grand cathedrals and church buildings! We the people are “GOD’S CHURCH!!!
I am most thankful that the Lord has allowed my husband and I together as co laborers for the Lord together, to see a lot of this world that was spoken into existence through Jesus Christ! I remember that as we approached to St. Peter’s Square and entered St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome Italy what it felt like. It is a wonderful majestic cathedral. There were so many people within and without! Of a plethora of different Colors and cultures! As everyone entered they were checked to see if they were properly dressed! (Knees and shoulders must be covered) How interesting! According to history, Apostle Peter was martyred in a circus and buried here is said to be are his bones. St. Peter’s Basilica is built over his gravesite. Construction started in 1506 and was completed in around 1615! It is thought to be the largest Church in the world! What is most impressive to me is the architecture the time, natural resources and workmanship that went into erecting such a regal edifice with no modern technology! The details are fascinating simply remarkable! The dome is built by Michelangelo !
St. Peter’s Basilica is a beautiful memory of a wonderful spiritually fulfilling journey the Lord allowed us to experience! It is a symbolic reminder to me of an example that somehow in spite of all their disagreeing many people over a long period of time were able to come together and erect a monument in honor of the Lord! It is not at all so much about the building itself. It is what it represents the invaluable memories it holds! This tells me that it is humanly possible to work together and achieve a seemingly insurmountable goal … Remember this is where the Apostle Peter is buried. Despite whatever religious denominational differences many from all over the world gather here! “There is only ONE TRUE GOD!” Here stands a world recognized edifice that confirms the TRUTH of God’s WORD! Peter lived to defend His FAITH! We must continually take personal inventory and not lose sight of who we are in JESUS CHRIST!
It is important that when we proclaim or teach the Word of God we are to always give GOD HIS due honor! If ever found in error readily admit your shortcoming. You never want to lead anyone astray! One must always remember “God is a Spirit of TRUTH!” Our motives should be to enlighten others to the Lord, convict, edify, introduce them to Jesus Christ and build up the body of Christ! The Word of God is like no other! Peter actually tells us why he wrote both I & II Peter: “Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our LORD and SAVIOR through the prophets.”
We are assured in II Peter that the Lord’s return is evident! God designed time as something that we operate in. It gives us constructive boundaries in which we operate and live out life! God’s timetable is not the same as ours. “With the LORD one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years but one day. The Lord is not slow in keeping HIS PROMISE, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, But everyone to come to repentance.” It is in this passage of Scripture one discovers just how Loving , Patient and Kind the Lord really is! Take a moment and just think; we are to live as though the Lord will return at any moment! Not in fear and despair but with excitement and joyous trepidation! God knows right where each of us are!!! It really is not about what someone else thinks. It is about what GOD KNOWS! How are you living every day? Peter is aware that he is soon to shed his tent, his body and return to the Lord! Therefore he wants to be certain that we understand and are aware what to look out for!
God’s Word DOES NOT contradict itself! If you want more Grace & Peace, guess what? Know God’s Word! It is so simple it is difficult, remember it is ALIVE! Spiritual growth comes as a byproduct of applying God’s Word. Spending time alone with the Lord is good as well. Worship, giving, studying with others all enhances your spiritual growth. Trials, pain and suffering comes along with it as well. The good thing about it all you are “Never ALONE!” God is OMNIPRESENT! Timothy confirms this “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God. A worker need not be ashamed , RIGHTLY DIVIDING the WORD of TRUTH. But shun profane babblings for they will increase in more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer…” II Timothy 2
Developing Christian character is an ongoing process! To not be led astray you must commit to studying and applying God’s Word! Rest assured you can count on God’s promises! God’s Word is not for any private interpretation! When you are truly being led by the Holy Spirit know; the Lord will not lead you to do anything that goes against His WORD! This applies no matter who you are or what your position may be!
The more time we spend developing a relationship with the Lord, the better we get to know Him! Regardless as to where we are in our spiritual growth there is always so much more to learn... As long as we are in this world we will always need to ask for the infilling presence of the Holy Spirit! The need to partake in a healthy spiritual diet of the Word is a reoccurring happening! This is an excellent deterrent from being pulled in by false teachers. We should look forward to each day as an opportunity to grow and implement what we are learning! In order that “The FRUIT of HIS SPIRIT” is flourishing in our lives, anticipating that one way or the other “JESUS IS COMING SOON!” How interesting that II Peter concludes reminding us once again of the significance of God’s GRACE and being aware of and refuting the teachings of false teachers! “Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. But GROW in GRACE and knowledge of our LORD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST, To Him be GLORY both now and forever! Amen.”
Remember, false teachers twist the scriptures to get you to follow them instead of Jesus! “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies even denying the Lord who brought them and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways…” II Peter encourages us to get to know the Lord better and better and reassures us of the evident return of Jesus Christ! We CAN ALWAYS TRUST GOD & HIS WORD! "GOD IS MORE THAN ABLE!"