Monday, May 11, 2009

II Peter 2:1-2 DON’T Follow the Leader

I can remember as a musician I had numerous heroes. I was a saxophonist so I really looked up to guys like Coleman Hawkins, Braford Marsallis, and Cannonball Adderly. I loved Charlie Parker, too, but listening to him just made me throw my horn up against the wall and never pick the stinkin’ thing up again (it should have been against the law for him to be that good). Like many young musicians, I tried as best as I could with my extremely limited abilities to emulate those guys and their sound. Imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery. However, obviously following in the footsteps of a false teacher is dangerous. The bible tells us the consequences these people will suffer as a result of their rejection of the truth. Furthermore, we know that they are not the only ones who will suffer.

Peter tells us in the last part of verse 1 of this chapter that these false teachers will find out the truth behind the old saying “There is a payday someday”. You see, they may not be judged today where people can see it; but by rejecting the truth as revealed by God in holy scripture, they are “bringing destruction on themselves”. They have persistently and consistently turned a deaf ear to the call of God in the Bible to repent of their sins and believe in Jesus Christ. Further, they have taught lies in place of truth and led people astray. Therefore, their “destruction” is self inflicted. One could say they almost asked for it. They will suffer the consequences of their sin by being forever separated from God in a place of torment. Make no mistake about it, they will be punished. But it’s not just them who will suffer.

I remember being in a Wendy’s restaurant after church for lunch with my wife one Sunday. In line ahead of us was a lady in her church clothes. It was pretty obvious where she’d been. Anyway, the boy behind the counter was fixing her chili—putting it in the little cup. He didn’t have the little plastic gloves on that he was supposed to wear. Well, this woman, how should I put this, went “ghetto” on him. I mean, she did everything but cuss the kid out. She was quite loud about it, too. Now, truth be told, he should have had the gloves on I guess. But how do you think her behavior reflected on the rest of us that had just gotten out of church? I wanted to ditch my button down shirt in the wastebasket so he wouldn’t think that I was anything like her. Peter says here that false teachers will have the same effect on the true church.

First of all, Peter says that “many will follow” these false teachers. You can see that lived out today if you turn on 95% of the television preachers today. Some of the largest crowds of people in churches are those sitting under false teaching. Further, you can hear some of these faithful congregants parrot the same heretical drivel as their teachers. “God never intended for any Christian to live in poverty or to be sick. If you’ve got faith enough you can overcome those things. ‘By His stripes we are healed’”. They follow the pattern set before them by these men who insist that living a life of indulgence is completely biblical. In other words, they live in excess or as Peter describes “sensuality” which means excess without restraint. The call for people to give til it hurts so that God will bless them materially and physically. However, time and time again it has been shown that these men are charlatans who twist the truth to deceive people.

Secondly, we see the result of these people following the false teachers. Peter writes “the way of truth will be maligned”. As the cowardly lion says “Ain’t it the truth”. People look at false teachers, be they prosperity gospel/word of faith people or folks like those at Westboro Baptist church, and assume that we who are true believers are like them just like that kid at Wendy’s might have because of the women who blessed him out because he scooped her chili without gloves. Try lovingly calling sinners to repentance in this day and age and I will guarantee you that you will be labeled a “bigot” or a “Fundamentalist” quicker than you can blink. That’s because the “way of truth” has been “maligned” due to the example of these nominal Christians. People associate us with the hypocrites and false teachers because of who those false teachers claim to follow.

Of course, we must continue to stand strong and preach the truth. We should be thankful to God for opening our ears and eyes so that we could hear and see the truth. Finally, we should pray for wisdom and strength as we share that truth with a lost, dying world that is totally antagonistic to the gospel and what it represents.

4 comments:

Poe said...

I see this time and time again where people are led astray and have no qualms about it. Almost as if they wanted to be lied to and enjoyed the comfort of the lie.

I watched Kirk Cameron on Way of the Master and he was talking about the LDS church, Mormons, and how they keep their members isolated from Christians.

Sad that anyone should fall away. Pray and read your bible!!!

Poe

Joe Blackmon said...

Well, lies are more comfortable than the truth. It is very sad.

Poe said...

Hope your eyes are better, Joe

Poe

Joe Blackmon said...

Ther're about 95%. Thanks for asking, man.