We saw yesterday that our faith is based not only on our experiences with God, valuable as they are, but also on God’s word. And now in chapter 2, Peter tells us why it is so vital to know God’s word well.
The reason? False teachers that slip into the church.
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 — bringing swift destruction on themselves. (1)
What were these teachers teaching? Basically, they were saying that as Christians, you can live however you want. That you can live for your sinful lusts and God won’t care.
These teachers themselves lived that way, doing sinful things in broad daylight, perhaps even getting drunk at the Lord’s table, and sleeping around with as many women in the church as they could. (13-14).
More, they were in love with money, and when they taught, that was their aim: to rob the people of God. (14)
And they justified all this by saying that when you live that way, you find true “freedom.” (18-19)
But as Peter said,
They themselves are slaves of depravity — for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. (19)
And Peter tells us that these false teachers are now worse off than before they had heard the truth about Jesus. Why?
Because when they heard the truth, they temporarily ran away from the things that had enslaved them, but now they were right back where they started.
At least when they didn’t know the truth, there was hope that when they heard it, they could be saved.
But now they’ve come to know the truth. They’ve tasted the goodness of it. Yet despite all this, they have now rejected it.
What hope is there for them now? Precious little. None if they do not repent. And God will judge them even more harshly because they didn’t sin in ignorance, but in full knowledge of the truth. (20-21)
And Peter says,
Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.” (22)
The problem is, of course, that if we fall in line with their teaching, we’ll fall into the same pit they do.
So the question is, “How well do you know your Bible?”
Do you know it well enough that if someone teaches something that is false, you can detect it?
How do you detect false teaching? The same way bankers detect false money. Not by studying the counterfeit, but by becoming so familiar with the real, that when a counterfeit touches their hand, they recognize it immediately.
Are you that familiar with the Word of God? You should be.
And if you are, you never have to fear being deceived by false teaching.
How well do you know your Bible?