2 Peter 2:1-22 Spiritual Error is Rampant

        SPIRITUAL ERROR IS RAMPANT
    2 Peter 2:1-22              May 20 2005

    This study entitled "Spiritual Error Is Rampant". Not
    every religious idea is based on truth – not even
    every idea taught within the church. False teachers
    sometimes arise from within the fellowship of the
    church. We must learn to distinguish between spiritual
    truth and error if we are to grow healthily as
    believers.

    1. Identify Spiritual Error (2 Pet. 2:1-3)

2Pet. 2:1   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.  2:2   Many will follow
their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into
disrepute. 2:3   In their greed these teachers will exploit
you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation
has long been hanging over them, and their destruction
has not been sleeping.

    False Prophets. (2Ki 18:19; Isa 9:13-17; Jer 5:31;
    14:14; 23:30-32). There will be false teachers
    among you . Numerous NT passages warn of false
    teachers who are already present or yet to come
    (Matt 24:4-5,11; Acts 20:29-30; Gal 1:6-9; Php 3:2;
    Col 2:4,8,18,20-23; 2Th 2:1-3; 1Ti 1:3-7; 4:1-3;
    2Tim 3:1-8; 1John 2:18-19,22-23; 2John 7-11;
    Jude 3-4). Destructive heresies. Divisive opinions
    or teachings that result in the moral and spiritual
    destruction of those who accept them. The Sovereign
    Lord who bought them. Does not necessarily mean
    that the false teachers were believers. Christ’s death
    paid the penalty for their sin, but it would not become
    effective for their salvation unless they trusted in
    Christ as Savior. (However,  where it is obvious that
    the heretics had at least professed knowing the Lord.)
    Swift destruction. Not immediate physical calamity,
    but sudden doom, whether at death or at the Lord’s
    second coming ( Matt 24:50-51; 2Th 1:9).
    Shameful ways. Open, extreme immorality not held in
    check by any sense of shame. Way of truth. (Ps 119:30).
    The Christian faith is not only correct doctrine but
    also correct living.
    In their greed. They will be motivated by a desire for
    money and will commercialize the Christian faith to
    their own selfish advantage. Long been hanging over
    them. Long ago, in OT times, their condemnation was
    declared (2 Pet.2: 4-9 for OT examples of the fact that
    judgment is coming on the wicked). Destruction has not
    been sleeping. Although delay makes it seem that they
    have escaped God’s judgment, destruction is a reality
    that is sure to come upon them.

    2. Denounce Spiritual Error (2 Pet. 2:12-14)

2Pet. 2:12   But these men blaspheme in matters they do
not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of
instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like
beasts they too will perish. 2:13   They will be paid back
with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of
pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots
and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they
feast with you. 2:14   With eyes full of adultery, they
never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are
experts in greed —an accursed brood!

    Matters they do not understand. The heresy to which
    Peter refers may have been an early form of second-
    century Gnosticism  that claimed to possess special,
    esoteric knowledge. If so, it is ironic that those who
    professed special knowledge acted out of abysmal
    ignorance, and the result was arrogant blasphemy.
    Like brute beasts. A scathing denunciation. They are
    like irrational animals, whose lives are guided by
    mere instinct and who are born merely to be
    slaughtered. Destruction is their final lot.
    Carouse in broad daylight. (1Th 5:7). Even the pagan
    world carried on their corrupt practices under cover
    of darkness, but these heretics were utterly shameless.
    In the pleasures while they feast with you. See  Jude
    12 without doubt reads “love feasts,” which may well
    have been the intended reading here. These false teachers
    seem to have been involved in the sacred feasts of
    brotherly love that, in the early church, accompanied
    the Lord’s Supper. In fact, it appears that they injected
    their carousing into these holy observances and delighted
    in their shameless acts.
    Eyes full of adultery. Lit. “eyes full of an adulteress,”
    which means that they desired every woman they saw,
    viewing her as a potential sex partner. Never stop Sinning.
    Their eyes serve as constant instruments of lust. Seduce
    the unstable . For a parallel use of the Greek word for
    “seduce” see Jas 1:14. It depicts the fisherman who
    attempts to lure and catch fish with bait. Experts in
    greed. The Greek text implies that they had exercised
    themselves like an athlete, not in physical activity but
    in greed.

    3. Stand Against Spiritual Error (2 Pet. 2:17-22)

2Pet. 2:17   These men are springs without water and mists
driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.
2:18   For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing
to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice
people who are just escaping from those who live in error.
2:19   They promise them freedom, while they themselves
are slaves of depravity —for a man is a slave to whatever
has mastered him. 2:20   If they have escaped the corruption
of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and
are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at
the end than they were at the beginning. 2:21   It would have
been better for them not to have known the way of
righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their
backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.
 2:22   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.”

    Springs without water. A picture of cruel deception.
    The thirsty traveler comes to the spring expecting cool,
    refreshing water but finds it dry. So the false teachers
    promise satisfying truth but in reality have nothing to
    offer. Mists driven by a storm. Gone before a drop of
    moisture falls. Blackest darkness. Their destiny is hell.
    Mouth empty , boastful words. Words that sound impressive
    to the new convert but in reality have nothing to offer.
    Entice. (2 Pet.2:14) (“seduce”). People who are just
    escaping. New converts who have just broken away from
    pagan friends. Thus the depraved false teachers prey on
    new converts, who have not yet had a chance to develop
    spiritual resistance.
    They promise them freedom. Probably freedom from moral
    restraint (1Co 6:12-13; Gal 5:13). The very ones who
    promise freedom from bondage to rules and regulations are
    themselves slaves of depravity. Freedom from law resulted
    in bondage to sin, and liberty was turned into license.
    (2 Pet2:20-22) Some point to this passage as clear proof
    that a genuinely saved person may lose his salvation. He
    knows the Lord; he escapes the world’s corruption; he knows
    the way of righteousness. Then he turns away from the
    message and goes back to his old way of life. His knowledge
    is said to have been genuine; his change of life was real; and
    his return to his old way of life was not superficial. Others
    insist that the knowledge of the Lord and of the way of
    righteousness could not have been genuine. If the person had
    been truly regenerated, he would have persevered in his faith.
    It is argued that the teaching of (John 10:27-30) (especially
    2 Pet 2: 28) and (Rom. 8:28-39) makes it clear that no
    genuinely saved person can be lost. Thus, according to this
    view, the persons described here could not have been
    genuinely saved. (2 Pet.2:20) If they have escaped the 
    corruption of the world . A reference to false teachers who
    had once apparently been believers in Christ. Their professed
knowledge of Christ had at least produced a change in life-style.
    Again entangled in it and overcome . A complete return to the
    old sinful pattern of life.
    Better. . . Not to have known the way of righteousness.
    Knowledge of the way increases one’s responsibility and
    his hardness of heart if he then rejects it. In its early days,
    Christianity was known as “the way” (Acts 9:2; 18:25;
    19:9,23; 22:4; 24:14,22). Sacred command. The whole
    Christian message that people are commanded to receive.
    A dog returns. . . A sow. . . Goes back. In both cases the
    nature of the animal is not changed. The sow returns to
    the mud because by nature it is still a sow. The change
    was merely cosmetic.

    Summary:

        In the first century the church of Jesus Christ already
    had discovered it was made up of sinful human beings. The
    church at Jerusalem discoveded dishonesty and jealousy in
    its midst. The church at Corinth discovered immorality,
    doctrinal heresy, and divisiveness among its members.
    Similarly , Peter learned of churches (likely in the Roman
    provine of Asia or modern-day Turkey) with members who
    openly taught doctrinal and moral heresy. Thus he wrote
    2 Peter to these churches.
        We do not know exactly to what school of thought these
    people belonged. We can detect, however, some of their
    beliefs from Peter’s second letter. They denied the second
    coming of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:16;3:3-4). They apparently
    also denied there will be a future judgment before God
    (2 Peter 2:9-10;3:7).