Resist False Teaching
Remember! – Message 3
May 15, 2022
We continue our survey of 2 Peter called, Remember!
Today’s message is a warning entitled, Resist False Teaching!
- Theme verse: 2 Peter 2:1 (NLT)— …there will be false teachers among you.
- In the latter days of his life, Peter was very concerned about false
teaching infiltrating the church, corrupting the gospel message and
confusing Jesus’ followers.
- The direct, even harsh, language in this passage reveals the seriousness
of the problem.
- In our culture, with the aggressive, outward, attack against Christian
beliefs, practices and especially moral standards, we must be certain that
we recognize correct doctrine.
- Peter gave us guidance regarding…
II. How to Resist False Teaching
(2 Peter 2:1-11. C/R: Jude 4-10):
A. #1 - Recognize false teachers.
(2 Peter 2:1-3. C/R: Matthew 7:15-17; Titus 1:16; 1 John 2:22-23; Jude 4)
- Peter began his warning against false teaching by describing the men who
would communicate this incorrect gospel.
- Peter 2:1 (NLT)—
But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be
false teachers among you.
[Identified current false teachers with false Old Testament prophets.]They will cleverly teach their destructive heresies [Greek hairĕsis, means party, faction or school of thought, but these
teachings were damaging] and even deny their Master who bought them. [distorted apostle’s
teaching about Jesus despite His sacrifice for sin, disobeyed moral
instruction] In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves.
- Peter informed his letter’s recipients that not everyone who claimed to
be a Christian teacher of the Gospel was truthful, so these believers
needed to be discerning.
- He reminded them there have always been people disseminating distorted
doctrine among God’s people, so they had to be able to identify these fake
- 2 Peter 2:2 (NLT)—
Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And
because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered.
- People would follow this false teaching which prescribed an
“easy-believism” that didn’t require repentance or godly living.
- This fabrication taught a form of liberty that promoted sexual
immorality, which would be quite popular, but would dishonor Christ and
distort the true gospel message.
- Peter further exposed the character of these counterfeit teachers.
- 2 Peter 2:3a (NLT)—
In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money.
- These dishonest men sought to gain followers for themselves, not for
Jesus, so they could use their popularity to exploit people financially for
- 2 Peter 2:3b (NLT)—
But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be
[Punished for distorting the Gospel and using ministry to gain wealth.]
- The flawed character of these men exposed the phoniness of what they
taught and revealed their fake spiritual nature.
- In our culture, there are many people, including celebrities, in
Christian ministry, in sports and entertainment, and influencers on the
internet, who are telling us who God is, what the Gospel message consists
of, and what morality is acceptable.
- The credibility of a person’s spiritual opinions is determined by their
- APP.: Do you discount spiritual advice from someone whose lifestyle is
Another way to resist false teaching is to…
B. #2 - Reflect on God’s judgment.
(2 Peter 2:4-6. C/R: Genesis 6;7;19; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 9:27–28; 1
Peter 4:17; Jude 5-7)
- One of the most common spiritual deceptions is the statement that God
judges no one, accepts all lifestyles; it is easy for us to believe that,
because it is what we want to hear!
- Peter reminded these people, and us, that God judges us all
without exception, then he gave three examples from biblical history.
- 2 Peter 2:4 (NLT)—
For God did not spare even the angels who sinned. He threw them into
hell in gloomy pits of darkness.
[Greek Tartarus, a place of torment in Greek
mythology; Jewish writers adapted this concept found at 1 Enoch 20:2]
- According to Jewish tradition (reflected in the ancient Hebrew religious
texts of 1 Enoch and Jubilees) these angels are the sons of God
from Genesis 6:1–4 who sinned by taking human wives (producing giant Nephilites); they are held awaiting judgment.
- Peter asserted God even punished spiritual beings, created to serve,
when they sinned.
- He continued at 2 Peter 2:5 (NLT)—
And God did not spare the ancient world—except for Noah and the seven
others in his family. Noah warned the world of God’s righteous
judgment. So God protected Noah when He destroyed the whole world of
ungodly people with a vast flood.
- God destroyed the world He created and all of its inhabitants, other
than Noah’s family, to eliminate the wickedness, corruption and violence
that filled the earth. [Genesis 6:5-8]
- 2 Peter 2:6 (NLT)—
Later, God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and turned them
into heaps of ashes. He made them an example of what will happen to
[Genesis 18-19; Jude 5-7]
- These false teachers were flourishing as they circulated spiritual lies,
enjoying popularity, sensuality and wealth; it didn’t look like they would
ever be punished.
- Peter pointed out God’s faithful judgment in the past—against the sin
of spiritual beings, the entire world and then, two specific cities—to
assert that He would also uphold justice in the present. [We all face
judgment: 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Peter 4:17]
- When we hear people say God does not punish sin, even when it is
specifically condemned in the Bible, we should realize it is wrong and
quickly reject it.
- APP.: Do you exercise discernment when hearing people speak about God
An additional way to avoid false teaching is to…
C. #3 - Rely on God’s grace.
(2 Peter 2:7-9. C/R: Genesis 19; Romans 3:24; Ephesians 2:4-5,8-9; Titus
- Awareness of the severe judgment of God against sin makes grace even
- 2 Peter 2:7-8 (NLT)—
But God also rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a righteous man
who was sick of the shameful immorality and the wicked people around
him. 8 Yes, Lot was a righteous man who was tormented in his
soul by the wickedness he saw and heard day after day.
- Lot attempted to protect two angels he had, unknowingly, welcomed into
his home when the men of Sodom, young and old, surrounded the house, and demanded the angels they thought were
men, be given to them for sex. (Genesis 19)
- Lot provided the angels food, shelter and protection, but he was not a
sinless man; he offered his daughters to the men. (Genesis 19:7-9)
- But, most importantly, God knew him and considered him righteous—that’s
- 2 Peter 2:9 (NLT)—
So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their
trials, even while punishing the wicked under punishment until the day
of final judgment.
- God delivered, through these angels, Lot, his wife and daughters, but
his future sons-in-law (fiancés) thought he was joking and wouldn’t come,
so they perished in the city.
- Peter reassured these believers that, though God judged sin, He
recognized His own, would rescue them from trials during their lives and
spare them in the day of judgment.
- God has judgment planned for those who sin without repentance, who
refuse to believe, but He will graciously forgive believers their sins,
sparing them like Noah and Lot.
- A true teacher of the Gospel will emphasize the grace of God—that He
spares His own from condemnation, not because they deserve it, but because
of His mercy.
- Anytime we hear that we must earn salvation in any way by righteous or
religious actions or behaviors, we know we are hearing false teaching;
- APP.: Does the grace of God motivate the way you relate to God and
The final way (from this passage) to avoid false teaching is to…
D. #4 - Respect spiritual authority.
(2 Peter 2:10-11. C/R: Psalm 14:1–2; Proverbs 1:28–29; 1 Corinthians 6:19–20; Romans 3:18; Jude 8-10)
- 2 Peter 2:10 (NLT)—
He is especially hard on those who follow their own twisted sexual
desire, and who despise authority.
[rejecting Jesus’ authority over them]
These people are proud and arrogant, daring even to scoff at
[likely refers to powerful beings in the spiritual realm; thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Colossians 1:16; Ephesians 3:10; 6:10; Jude 8] without so much as trembling.
- These false teachers formed their own opinions and followed their own
desires—and encouraged others to do so as well—disregarding God’s direction
in the Scripture.
- Peter asserted that even spiritual beings did not exercise the spiritual
authority and insight the false teachers claimed to have, such as doubting
Jesus’ return. [Jude 8-10].
- 2 Peter 2:11 (NLT)—
But the angels, who are far greater in power and strength, do not dare
to bring from the Lord a charge of blasphemy against those supernatural
- Unlike angels, who would not speak against higher-ranking beings, these
false teachers ignored the authority of spiritual beings; they even scoffed
at and mocked them!
- These deceivers spoke as authorities on spiritual matters, creating
doctrine disputing the apostles who taught with the authority of Jesus
Christ and the inspiration of the Spirit.
- We should beware when clever, convincing, winsome pastors and teachers
create theological doctrine that they say come from the Bible, or worse,
from God Himself directly, but it does not sound like anything we read in
God’s Word! [Jude 8]
- APP.: Do we accept whatever someone says (especially someone we like)
without asking whether their words of advice and suggestion are aligned
with God’s Word?
- APP.: Do we examine the Bible for ourselves to discover whether what we
are hearing is true (like Bereans; Acts 17:11)?
Romans 3:24 (NLT)—
Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous.
He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty
for our sins.