In this sermon, Pastor Babij returns to 2 Peter 2:1-3 to finish discussing the threats of false teachers to the church. After reviewing the previous main points of the passage, Pastor Babij expands on the fifth way false teachers threaten the church and then presents a sixth and final way:
5. By false teachers, the way of truth is slandered
6. False teachers, in their greed, will lie
Let’s take our Bibles now and turn to 2 Peter where we will continue to look through the epistle. Dave Capoccia will be preaching next week through July. So let’s pray and we’ll look at 2 Peter. Father, thank You for bringing us together and for Your kindness to us in bringing the truth and telling us directly what it is. Thank You, Lord, for giving it to us in print so we can have it in our hands, study it, and meditate upon it. I hope we never take that for granted because we don’t want a famine in our land where we never hear or find the Word of God. I pray You would bless us this morning with the Truth of Your Word. I pray this in Christ’s Name, Amen.
Okay in 2 Peter we are continuing to look at the dilemma of false teaching. And so far Peter has been saying that the growth of the true knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ will make you holy and will make you useful and that means that it will make the Church body more ready for the coming of Christ but also for his own future death. We are to prepare ourselves for that as it will also make the church more discerning in any present situation when they are being duped by something that is not true.
This continual growth will take place by the regular transformation of the mind, will, and affections through Scripture because it is reliable, illuminating, and trustworthy and we don’t have to go anywhere else for truth because it is right here in the Word of God. Peter has already confirmed to his disciples something that is more sure than even an authentic experience. The more sure witness is the very Scripture that we hold in our hands. As it says in 2 Peter 1:19:
So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.
So the Scriptures are communication that has been ordained by God’s authority and produced by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. All Scripture is inspired by God and was breathed out by Him. It did not originate with men, but from God who is the only source of authority we need. We don’t need any other books in the world, even theological libraries which have endless books about this one book. Even if we had none of those books and we had the Word of God, we would be fine.
The great danger facing the church is that of false teachers. The spirit of the age in which we live kind of likes the idea that when it comes to spiritual matters, truth is fluid and can be made up. The only problem is that there is no way to measure this because our minds are not the authority and measuring point, but the Scriptures. No one arrives at the truth apart from the Word of God.
So the idea that the Christian message should be kept pliable and ambiguous is especially attractive to young people that leave home and go to a university or do other things because they are tuned to the culture. With social media, they are even more in tuned with what people are thinking all over the world. They are in love with the spirit of the age and they can’t stand to have any kind of authoritative truth applied to their situation with any kind of precision or correctness. They like the worldly lifestyle, unholy mindset, and ungodly behavior even though they are not calling it those things. It’s a kind of poison that has been injected into evangelical church. Ultimately we need to be discerning, and that’s where the Scriptures bring us this morning.
In 2 Peter 2:1-3 says:
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
So we have been looking at discerning the threats of false teachers to the church in every generation. We are asking the question why are false teachers a threat to the church, and there are six reasons. First of all, false teachers cleverly teach destructive heresies as it says in verse 1 that they introduce these heresies. Secondly, false teachers deny the God of the Bible where it says in verse 1 that they deny the Master who bought them. They are denying the Lord God who created them and owns them. As false teachers claim to be part of the household of God but refuse to submit to the Master of the House, Jesus Christ.
They actually deny the Sovereign Master by just not obeying Him. They also deny the Sovereign Master by teaching what is not according to God’s Word. They also deny the Master in their behavior by living a sinful lifestyle. False things produce a false lifestyle, meaning a sinful lifestyle. They live in contradiction to His life and teachings. False teachers know the truth however they turn from it. They are professors in the Word but reject the authority of the Creator and deny His redemptive offer and purchase. They say no to the One who has the power and authority. And it’s not like they were ever genuinely saved.
These false teachers are also apostates who are people who leave the truth but stay in the church. They may even hold up their Bibles saying they believe it but never actually show that. An apostate is someone who has known the truth and gives some affirmation to the truth and perhaps even proclaimed it for awhile but rejected it in the end. Apostates are definitely in the church and false teaching really has inoculated people against the real gospel, multiplying falsehoods and heartfelt disciples who are really unbelievers.
A third thing is that false teachers bring certain imminent judgment upon themselves. The destiny of these false teachers and those who know them is destruction. It’s not that they know that or even acknowledge it, their teachings are destructive to others and that destruction comes back upon them and their condemnation has long been hanging over their heads. Just because they don’t believe there will be a judgment, it doesn’t mean they will be exempt from it.
Fourthly, false teacher seduce many to follow their evil teachings and shameful lifestyle. 2 Peter 2:2 says:
Many will follow their sensuality.
False teachers are popular; they have a big following and many will derive guidance from these teachers because they are everywhere, on their air waves, TV, and social media. But they also move outside the church to pursue their false ideas and practices. They pick from different sources on what they’re going to say but if you notice from Scripture that many are going to follow their sensuality and that is the reason why it’s very popular. They appeal to the base desire and felt needs of people and advocate the full freedom of the flesh and unbridled living. They say to live the way you want and God will bless you, as a matter of fact it’s part of God’s blessing.
These false teachers were propagating a wicked and shameful lifestyle centered mainly on shameful immorality. It says it all over 2 Peter! They have twisted sexual desires, indulge in evil pleasure and they commit adultery where it says in 2 Peter 2:14:
Having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children.
No false teacher goes around saying to follow them as they are a false teacher. They are instead parading around and say they have they have the truth. They combine some good and bad to make propaganda more exciting and it sells well. False teacher believe that following their own lusts and showing no restraint are signs of maturity and being free. 2 Peter 2:19 says:
They promise them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.
They are enslaved, blind, and dead in their own sin. The highest goal these teachers offer is for their followers to pursue the passing pleasures of sin that the world offers and that Satan pushes on people. For them the evidence of the Holy Spirit’s influence in that person’s life is material prosperity, mindless emotionalism, seeking spiritual experiences and also supposed miraculous encounters. If they don’t encounter those things, they are accused of not having enough faith.
So instead the real evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in their life is that believers are to grow in spiritual maturity, practice holiness and godliness and Christ likeness. The Holy Spirit of God lives in them while convicting them of their hearts of sin. The Spirit combats in them world lust and cultivates in them spiritual fruit that we can actually see in someone’s life.
According to Scripture, someone claiming to be a Christian or a teacher for God has consequences if they display immoral character. It actually invalidates the gospel message which is really characteristic of false teachers and false prophets of every generation and our day. The result of the effect of such godless living that is so contrary to Jesus’ life and what the transformative gospel of Christ actually produces, is what Peter deals with in 2 Peter 1:5-7:
Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.
And if you grow in those things, you will not fall but you will mature in the way God designed it and you will grow in godliness and holiness. The fifth thing is in 2 Peter 2:2 which shows that by false teachers the way of Truth is slandered. We dealt with it last time but I have some other things I want to say before we go to the next one. It says:
Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned.
The way of Truth is synonymous with the Word of God and the gospel. It is specific truth that leads to true faith in Jesus Christ which will lead to a sanctified, maturing godly life. It’s not a perfect life but a godly one. Because these false teachers have actually abandoned the gospel message, they blaspheme God and the gospel message actually gets a black eye because of the way they present things and the way they live. They malign the Word of God, which is shown up as the word blaspheme in the Greek. It means to speak injuriously towards someone or something. Its purpose is to defame the reputation of God and the gospel message.
So true Christianity is given a bad reputation and condemned by outsiders. Now some recent examples that the way of truth can be maligned is when the Word of God is actually twisted and distorted. By way of example I’m going to use the Word of Faith Movement. A man named Creflo Dollar is a pastor in Texas. He preached a sermon called “Jesus’ Growth into Sonship” on December 8, 2002.
Well he was wrong. The reason they can say stuff like that is that they have a doctrine called the little gods doctrine. It means that we are begotten by God so we can produce what God produces and that means we are little gods. So all kinds of things come out of that doctrine and that is wrong because Jesus was the only begotten son and He did not have to grow into it. He was always the Son of God. Also the Word of Faith preachers claim that Jesus is not the only begotten Son of God, but they are too. That is blasphemy.
Kenneth Copeland said the same thing, that he is too the son of God. Just as Larry Huck and Paulo White said it. So see their false doctrines permeate the whole of their system and therefore it becomes corrupt and something we ought not to engage in. Scripture tells us that we are children of God by adoption. We are slaves to sin and have become sons by adoption where it says in Galatians 4:5:
So that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
And it goes on to say in Galatians 4:7:
Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.
We are brought into the family of God in the sense that God saves us. He snatches us from the Kingdom of darkness and brings us into His family and we become His children and we call Him Father for the first time. In Ephesians 1:5 it says:
He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.
Another Word of Faith preacher, Jesse Duplantis claims that God asks him for advice and counsel. Now this is also blasphemy and the reason why is that the Scriptures tell us in Romans 11:33-36. Paul was so overcome by the doctrine that he was teaching and by God’s plan of redemption for the Gentiles and the Jews that he broke out into a doxology and this is what he says:
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has become His counselor? For who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
So the Apostle Paul breaks out in this doxology because he was dumbfounded by the sovereignty of God and His plan of salvation for the Jews and the Gentiles. God does not need any counsel and we have nothing to offer to Him. There’s another man called Miles Monroe who says, “Prayer is giving God permission. God can only do what we give Him permission to do.” That is also blasphemy and that maligns the truth because this is what the Scriptures actually tell us: God can do whatever He wants to do and does not need our permission for anything. Psalm 115:3 says this:
But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.
Psalm 135:6 says:
Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.
In other words, God does not need us to give Him permission to do anything because He is God. If we had to give permission to God for Him to do things then He would not be God, we would be God and would challenge His sovereignty.
Now those that come under some of these teachers in this Word of Faith Movement follow people like Bill Johnson from Bethel Church in California. A lot of popular Christian music on the radio comes out of that church. You don’t even know you’re listening to it sometimes. Well Amanda Lindsey Cook is a worship leader at Bethel Church in Redlands, California. On August 18, 2019, she quoted an Islamic mystic on her Twitter feed, Jalal al-Din Rumi a 13th century Sufi mystic.
Islamic mysticism practices a form of getting closer to God called Sufi dancing or Sufi swirling. People spin and swirl to music, working themselves up into a frenzy. See the worship leader under her implemented Sufi swirling into their worship service and she said in that service, “The Lord wants us to spin today.” She quotes Zephaniah 3:17 and she says in the Hebrew means to spin with wild violent emotion. Well this is what the verse actually says:
The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.
It doesn’t say anything in the English about spinning with wild violent emotion, so I looked it up in Hebrew. It does not say anything like that there either, not even close! So this Bethel Church female worship leader intentionally or ignorantly twisted Scripture to support practicing a form of Eastern Islamic mysticism, which is blasphemy. That is not taking the word of God seriously but taking it out of context and twisting and distorting it to get people to have the wrong impression about who God is and what we’re supposed to do in worship. It secretly blends truth with error which maligns and blasphemes truth. 2 Peter 3:16 says:
As also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.
So you see there in that particular passage of Scripture that people take the Word of God and twist and distort it. They do it to the destruction of themselves and those near them. So false teachers subvert unsuspecting people who are taken up by the music without discernment. A lot of Christian music that is played and liked today comes out of the Bethel Church and Hillsong Church. Bethel Church is not a Christian organization but a group of spiritists practicing eastern mysticism.
They set aside the Word of God while using it to distort the Scriptures. Now if you take your Bibles and turn to Amos, he is a minor prophet whose book is found in the middle of your Bible. The prophet Amos preaches to the northern kingdom of Israel, which at that time was politically strong, economically strong, and was spiritually in rebellion to God. At the same time, they were still going to the temple and offering up the festivals. They still offered sacrifices and were singing.
Now it’s interesting that the prophet even brings up singing, but there is a type of singing that God hates. It’s not engaged with truth and doesn’t engage the heart in properly worshipping God in spirit and truth. So we need, as God’s people, to be discerning. Before we read, I want you to notice in Amos 5 that God rejects their worship because they worship the True God in the wrong way. Their hearts were far from God and they were worshipping with empty formality which God hates. Notice what it says in Amos 5:21-24:
I hate, I reject your festivals, nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; and I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings. Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
In other words, God is rejecting their singing because they were secretly mixing idolatry with true worship. They were still going to Temple and doing all those things but they had no heart in it and God hates that. So people can sing and play music but it must be theologically sound too and grounded in Scripture. It must engage the heart to move the heart to true worship. We are to worship God in Spirit and truth.
So anybody who does stuff like this and calls it true worship is blaspheming God and maligning the Word of Truth. So these false teachers have actually abandoned the gospel message. When the word of unbelievers look on the church and see no difference from what they do themselves, they end up blaspheming God and the whole Christian movement and the gospel message is again given a black eye. Behavior and truth go together. It produces a holy and godly lifestyle.
That brings me back to 2 Peter 2:3 which has the last of the six things that we need to watch out for regarding the threats of false teaching to the church And it says this:
And in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
So in their greed, false teachers will fabricate clever words. Now remember the Bible is exposing who they really are, they are not saying this about themselves. The Holy Spirit is revealing to us as the truth what we should be hearing and what we should discern about everything. Furthermore in 2 Peter 2:14 it says:
Having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children.
So in other words, these false teachers fabricate clever words in their greed. They will exploit people, this is the motivation. They are trained in this which is the word gymnaso which means to discipline oneself. These false teachers have a heart that has been exercised in greed and it is one that has faithfully practiced greed so that greediness has become natural to them. These false teachers have developed a habit capability. They do it without thinking about it. False teachers habitually behave greedily.
Them being well trained in greed they make sure they keep the money coming. So they will say and do anything that they possibly can to keep the money coming. The great danger with the accumulation of wealth is that it can become one’s God in whom one trusts for security, happiness, and for getting things done. We are never to trust money because it is a tool to be used to honor God and glorify Him if used in the right way.
False teachers have an idol of gold upon the throne of their heart. The Apostle Paul warned against this in Ephesians 5:5:
For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
So most false teachers today, as in Peter’s day, allow greed and selfishness to rule them. This is one of the main motivations. Now by way of example, the Trinity Broadcasting Network hosts the biggest charismatic Word of Faith radio station in the world. It broadcasts 24/7 to more than 100 countries on 70 satellites and more than 18,000 TV channels and cable affiliates. What is their message? God will give you healing, wealth, and other material blessings in return for money. That’s basically the recipe.
Now saying all that don’t get me wrong, there are false teachers in all denominations. So we have to watch out everywhere we go. False teachers know how to say things to get money. Commentator Grant Osbourne communicated their exploitation well when he describes it as taking advantage of someone by implying that what is offered is more valuable than it is. Their words are empty and insincere which is mentioned again in 2 Peter 2:18:
For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error.
They do this to keep money coming in. So Scripture really poses them here by using the phrase in our text “false words.” This is the Greek word plastós, which is where we get the word plastic from, which can be formed and fashioned and shaped and molded in any way you want. Figuratively it means the man-made arguments of false teachers in which they fabricate and make up stuff just to get your money. So they can keep their lavish lifestyles going and it is way over the top which is not what God calls us to do. He provides basic needs of food, shelter and clothing. Sometimes He does bless people with wealth but He also gives them wisdom in order for them to know what to do with that wealth.
So they are counterfeits of the truth and they pass themselves off as trustworthy, anointed prophets, apostles, and spirit-led teachers of God. According to Scripture someone claiming to know God and malign the Scripture in this way to manipulate people for money is characterized as a false teacher or false prophet. And remember the definition of prophet from the Old Testament to the New Testament has not changed. If they speak a lie then they are not God’s spokesmen. I’m not talking about misspeaking but intentionally lying. Sometimes people make mistakes in what they say and they’re corrected and move on. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about people who deliberately lie.
The true prophet Jeremiah, which we read this morning, went over the condition of the people because they desired to believe the lies instead of the truth. It says in Jeremiah 6:10-11, 13-15:
Behold, their ears are closed And they cannot listen. Behold, the word of the Lord has become a reproach to them; They have no delight in it. But I am full of the wrath of the Lord; I am weary with holding it in. For from the least of them even to the greatest of them, Everyone is greedy for gain, And from the prophet even to the priest Everyone deals falsely. They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace. Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done? They were not even ashamed at all; They did not even know how to blush.
That is a seared conscience, a conscience that does not respond to truth at all whatsoever. They cannot even blush for doing something wrong. Someone even has a mildly trained conscience is guilty and blushes when they caught doing wrong things. That is not happening here.
Prosperity preachers have made true Christianity a laughing stock in the eyes of a watching world. Perhaps Bruce Bickle and Stan Yantz said it best when they said, “The prosperity gospel is Christianity’s version of professional wrestling. You know it is fake but nonetheless it has entertainment value. However deadly it is damnable heresy in which the truth of God’s Word is intentionally twisted by spiritual swindlers and snake oil salesmen. Surely it’s nothing to laugh about and actually it’s to be taken very seriously.”
So how does one look at the proper use of money and wealth and contrast it with false teaching. Well you have to go back into Scripture and see what the Bible says about money and wealth and how we are to properly understand that huge part of our lives. So we are not to give into these other ways of thinking. Well the first thing is that it shows that the prosperity teachers are teaching people to be earthbound and not homebound. What I mean by that is that they’re teaching people that this earth is it and that we are not to look forward to what God has or us in Heaven in the Kingdom of God.
See false teachers spend too much time convincing people this earth is their home and that getting stuff is God’s blessing. The quickest way to get what you want is to give to their ministries. Instead, the Scriptures actually teach that we live in temporary hotel rooms all our stuff will eventually end up in some landfill. Our clothes will end up in the Good Will bin, our cars will end up in a junkyard or stuck in somebody’s backyard rotting. Our birthday gifts will end up being given away or put in the garbage.
A second thing shows that their teachings are naive and foolish, and not wise. See false teachers feed the lusts for an unhealthy pursuit of money and gain. They seldom warn of the great seductive dangers loving money and longing for it produces. Now take your Bibles and turn to 1 Peter 6:6 where we see a very common and well known passage of Scripture. Paul talks to Timothy, who is going to pastor the church at Ephesus, about wealth and money. He says in 1 Timothy 6:6-11:
But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.
Why did he say to flee the pursuit of money for these things. Because those things have great gain. If you want to get wealthy, pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness and you will be wealthy before God and have a peaceful heart and joy of the Lord. That’s what everybody is looking for anyway, and you can’t buy that. So when they long for it, it says here that it leads them to ruin and destruction.
How many quarrels have happened over money? I would say probably more than can be numbered or how many friendships have been lost because somebody used money incorrectly. You promised to pay your rent to your roommate and you didn’t pay it. And you had an excuse month after month. Three months later, you’re not friends anymore because of money problems.
What about broken marriages? How many marriages end because of money? Well many in fact, it’s the number one reason that leads to divorce. And after the fact, there’s fighting and feuding about who gets what. Family feuds is another one! I was called one day by a woman in our church who got saved here and grew a lot in the Lord. Then she got sick and died and her family had called me to the house. The whole conversation was about money and I was ducking from them throwing it at me until I decided it was time to go. I offered some wisdom and advice but it was not being heard.
That happens often because of money. Yet what do the Scriptures teach us when it comes to money or when it comes to not living as if we’re earth bound and if there’s not a Heaven or eternity. Teachers say that we are strangers and aliens and pilgrims on the earth. Hebrews tells us that in Hebrews 11:13:
They were strangers and exiles on the earth.
By faith they held onto the promises that we are ambassadors representing another country while on earth. 2 Corinthians 5:20:
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
We’re ambassadors in this world and citizens of Heaven. Philippians 3:20:
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
We also see that we have a better country, a city build by God that we are to look forward to and send our treasure to. It says in Hebrews 11:10:
For he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
We’re heading to an eternal place where we’re going to be with the Lord forever and there will be a new Heaven and earth that 2 Peter is going to teach later on. It also shows that their teaching on money is absolutely unbiblical. All you have to do is go back to the wisdom books, like Ecclesiastes 5, and you’re gonna find that it exposes us to how we think about money. Actually Randy Alcorn in his little book, “The Treasure Principle,” gives you a lot of information on money as a believer. We pass it out in membership class because people will read small books to get information on money. Let me read you some of the things it says in Ecclesiastes 5:10:
He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity.
In other words the more you have the more you want. That is a basic sinful human principle. Just ask a rich person how much more they want. I think it was Rockefeller that said just one cent. Secondly the more you have the less you’re satisfied. I don’t know about you but I’ve experienced that. I look around and see all my stuff and forget about when I was excited to just get one thing. Stuff does not satisfy. Initially it may give you a little bit of joy and happiness but then it fades away. Then it says in Ecclesiastes 5:11:
When good things increase, those who consume them increase. So what is the advantage to their owners except to look on?
In other words, the more you have the more people will come after it including the government. I know one thing dealing with my mom after my father passed away. We weren’t expecting my father to pass away so we had to figure everything out. But I found out that all the rules are written for the government and none of them are written or you and me. If you break the rules sometimes there is a 50% penalty. So the more your money increases, the more people will stick their sticky fingers in your pocket to get it. This is basic wisdom that comes from the Word of God.
What is the advantage to owners increasing their items except to look on. The more you have the more you realize it does you no good. It doesn’t really help you because if you move from one place to another you have to take all this stuff with you. Downsizing is a good thing, actually I’ve been thinking about it for years! When it comes to move you don’t have to rent a U-Haul and you won’t find closets stuffed with things for 10 years. But that’s reality and that is what wisdom is in truth. Then in Ecclesiastes 5:12 it says:
The sleep of the working man is pleasant, whether he eats little or much; but the full stomach of the rich man does not allow him to sleep.
In other words the more you have, the more you have to worry about. Ecclesiastes 5:13 says:
There is a grievous evil which I have seen under the sun: riches being hoarded by their owner to his hurt.
The more you have, the more you can hurt yourself by holding onto it. And then Ecclesiastes 5:14 says:
When those riches were lost through a bad investment and he had fathered a son, then there was nothing to support him.
The more you have, the more you have to lose and the more you’ll leave behind. We take nothing with us. Ecclesiastes goes on to say the vanity that often happens is when people plan to leave money to their children and it never goes to them. And then in Ecclesiastes 5:15 it says:
As he had come naked from his mother’s womb, so will he return as he came. He will take nothing from the fruit of his labor that he can carry in his hand.
That’s just downright truth and it shows that false teachers fix people’s attention on uncertain riches. It says in 1 Timothy 6:17:
Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.
It also shows that false teachers do not give out healthy spiritual food but actually give out poison by ways of encouraging materialism. The antidote to this is proper giving in worship and trusting God. It says in 1 Timothy 6:18:
Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.
Scripturally whether it be money, wisdom, time, gifts, or talents, giving is a vivid reminder that it’s all about God and not about us. What we have comes from the hand of God and we are to use it properly. Giving is a joyful surrender to a greater Person and a greater agenda. When we give to the work of God, we are giving to the work of bringing lost souls to salvation in Jesus Christ. That’s where you invest. Giving affirms Christ’s Lordship and it dethrones us and exalts Him. The portion we make we know 100% comes from Him and we’re to give back to God in worship and thanks for how He provides for our needs. Then giving shifts our interests from earth to Heaven, from self to God.
Now look at 2 Peter 2:3:
And in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
These false teachers have a certain end and may feel secure in their message of peace and think they are being blessed by God. However the Lord God is not asleep on His throne and He will act decisively and quickly. In fact the sentence has already been pronounced. So the good Lord only delays to give people time to repent. You say why isn’t the Lord judging right now. Why isn’t He coming right now. Well in 2 Peter 3:15 it tells us:
And regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you.
God is delaying His coming and judgment so the gospel can go to the last gentile and only God knows that. The program of the Church ends, God removes her and the antichrist has full rein on manipulating people with his deceptive plan to make himself god and get people to worship him. That’s where it’s headed so the point is to live for God now. So what have we learned? The threat of false teachers and their doctrines is real and upon the true church. It is not easily detected and leads to hell by the signs of Heaven. It denies the Master and Creator and gives truth a bad name and condones loose living and greedy living.
What’s the antidote for that? Add to your faith moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love and His Holy Spirit who indwells real believers will grow you in holiness as you cooperate with Him. Godliness will make you more discerning to identify and avoid all forms of false teaching.
Let’s pray. Lord thank You this morning for the wisdom that rises up and the truth that rises up from Scripture. Lord I would only pray that You would take these truths and so imbed them on our hearts that we would not forget them and that we would not wander away from them. I pray Lord that they would be ever before us so we can grow to be godly and discerning and holy people. I pray that we can give You the praise for all that You have and will accomplish in our lives and that we can lift up our eyes to You no matter what You give us on this side of eternity and that we would always take a portion of what You have given to us and give it back to You and worship You. We do this because of Your character, plan, and love. We want to grow in our love for You so add to our faith these things so we can be what we ought to be. I pray in Christ’s Name, Amen.