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Bible Reading: DEC24: II Peter

The theme of II Peter is assurance and growth in
spiritual knowledge. Peter sees the danger of false
doctrine in the church and warns the believers to beware
(chapter 3:17). In other words, the two letters together
emphasize the perils of the church: Satan can come as a
lion with persecution (I Peter), or he can come as a
serpent with false doctrine (II Peter).

We could contrast II Peter 2:20-22, where we
have a description of false Christians. They have
escaped the pollutions of the world, not the
corruptions; that is, they have merely washed on the
outside, and have not been changed on the inside. They
have a head knowledge of Christ and not a heart-faith.
They are not truly saved, for they go back to the old
life after awhile.

Chapter 2 deals with warnings concerning false
teachers. The danger of false teachers is so great that
the Holy Spirit used both Peter and Jude to warn us
against them! Please keep in mind that a false teacher
is not a person who teaches false doctrine out of
ignorance. In Acts 18:24-28, we see Apollos teaching
false doctrine (the baptism of John ), but he was not a
false teacher. Many of the great leaders of the church
in centuries past held to doctrines that we believe are
not Biblical (infant baptism, union of the church and
state, etc.), but we cannot call them false teachers. A
false teacher is one who knows the truth, but who
deliberately teaches lies that he might promote himself,
get financial gain, and be able to live in sin and
please himself. He uses deceptive means to twist the
Word of God to suit himself. In verses 1-9 Peter
explains the condemnation of these false teachers; in
verses 10-16 he gives their character; and in verses 17-
22 their claims.

Today we live in a day of false teachers. You
may detect them by the way they exalt themselves instead
of Christ. Whenever you hear someone exalting himself
and emphasizing what he has done and his
accomplishments–beware. He is a false teacher and his
life is full of lust and sin. Today, as Christians, we
should not only know the Bible in our lives. God wants
us to have balanced lives, learning the Word and living
the Word. In I and II Peter this great apostle is
admonishing us to grow in grace and knowledge and to
live daily, showing forth the life of Christ in our
lives. Each of us should know the Bible in our heads,
stow it in our hearts, show it in our lives, and sow it
in the world!