Let me remind
us again of our two key words that open the understanding of this
epistle. The word ‘apostasy’ means the forsaking or
abandonment of what one has once professed and ‘remembrance’
which means a statue, a model for imitation, a pattern, or continual
blow of a hammer, and to place in the mind as a memorial.
We want to look at
Chapter 2, verses 1 through 3 this week which says,
“But there were false prophets
also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among
you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the
Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the
way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall
they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now
of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”
I have entitled this
section “Warnings From God”. Oh, how our Lord is so merciful
to warn us multiple times before the hammer of judgment falls.
In verse 1 we find a
warning about ‘False Workers’. The word ‘But’ is a
contrast word that connects or contrasts what has come before with
what comes after. In Chapter 1 God raised up holy men moved by the
Holy Ghost and Satan will have imposters, false prophets and
teachers. These false prophets will be propagating erroneous
doctrines. We are told what to look for in these false prophets.
They operate ‘privily’. It is a metaphor word for a spy or
traitor that slips into a camp unaware or sneaks in from the side.
How many have come
into the preaching arena seemingly from nowhere. Let it be a
warning to watch out for your Paula Smith’s, Joel Osteen’s, Benny
Hen’s, and Paul and Jan’s. They are not dangerous in what they say
but in what they don’t say and how they say what they do say. Peter
tells us they brought in ‘damnable heresies’. This means the
choice of an opinion contrary to that usually received and held to
by the church fathers for hundreds of years. Let us not turn our
backs on the puritans and reformers who went to the stake joyfully
believing what so many deny today by their preaching and practice.
Their opinions will start a sect or off shoot following that none
can figure what they believe. Oh, let us be warned people of God.
Peter says they ‘deny’
the Lord that bought them. The word, ‘deny’, means to
contradict, to disavow, to cloud over and refuse. The Lord, the
Master that purchased us with His own blood is being denied. Be
careful of your Joel Osteen’s who mention no cross, no sin, and no
sinners. They will bring to themselves swift judgment, a judgment
that is impending and on the way. It is a sooner rather than later
judgment. Not only will our Lord judge the false prophets but those
that have bought into their foolish message. Many of them are in it
for the money. Let the dollars dry up and you will see them take up
a new gig.
In verse 2 there is
also a warning about ‘False Ways’. There are two ways
compared in verse 2, a ‘pernicious’ way and the ‘way of
truth’. The word ‘pernicious’ is the same word as
destruction or that which causes ruin and eternal damnation. They
even defame and slander the way of truth. Let us be careful of
those who leave the old doctrinal paths that have been around four
or five hundred years. Let us search the scriptures, study them
expositionally, line upon line, and precept upon precept that we may
know what is the truth.
In verse 3 there is
a warning about ‘False Words’. We will find they are ‘covetous’
people. This is an unholy desire for things. A recent date line
show spoke of a home Benny Hen built on the West Coast for 10
million dollars. That my friend is covetousness. The ‘feigned’
words of verse 3 are words molded by ones own imagination. Many
speak of words of knowledge, words of a vision, and words of
prophecy. These are but words of ones own imagination. I find none
of our Bible writers getting such words. They are making ‘merchandise’
of the things of God. Peter says God’s judgment seems to linger or
Let us be assured
His judgment was in His heart before time began. It was sent down
through the ages of the timeless world. It grinds slow but it will
grind fine. It will soon meet its mark and then there will be
clarity to what is false and what is true.