Read 2 Peter 2
False Teachers and Their Destruction
2 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 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless 8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. 10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority.
Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings; 11 yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord. 12 But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.
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. 14 With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! 15 They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness. 16 But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—an animal without speech—who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.
17 These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 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 are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 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. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”
Upon first reading it, this chapter can seem like a downer. All this talk about false teachers and the flesh and sinful desires can make us want to turn the page. But there is so much to learn from 2 Peter 2–and so much hope to be found.
Here’s the important but hard pill that this chapter gives us to swallow: Our sin is gross. And it’s a big deal. Peter starts this chapter by saying that words from false prophets aren’t just little white lies. It calls them downright “destructive” (v. 1). Greed, lust, deceit… our world has “eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin” (v. 14, ESV). Just reading this list makes our stomachs hurt at the depravity of this fallen world. In fact, our world is enslaved to sin! This chapter tells us that, without Christ, we are “overcome” by our fleshly passions (v. 19).
However, those that are in Christ are no longer slaves to the ways of this world. And in this chapter, we see a clear distinction between what’s in store for those that belong to Christ and those that don’t. We see the contrast between the fate of fallen angels vs. Noah, Sodom and Gomorrah vs. Lot, and those overcome by sin versus those overcome by God. Because our sin is such a big deal, it deserves punishment. And for those that haven’t trusted in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross to pay for their sins, this chapter shows us the reality that justice and “gloomy darkness” await them (v. 4, ESV). But, for the believer who is in Christ, Jesus’s righteousness covers us. He has protection, mercy, and life in store! The difference between those who face the judgment due the false prophets and those who experience the fullness of God in eternity is whether or not they have trusted in Christ’s work on the cross. God is both just and merciful. He “…knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment” (v. 9).
If we are in Christ, we are no longer enslaved to the gross sinfulness of this world. What has overcome us is Christ and His righteousness. We are now slaves to that! Let’s live in the reality of that, putting our old ways behind us through the help of the Holy Spirit. Let’s find comfort in the fact that we serve a God who exacts justice for evil and also preserves His children on the day of trial.
- Which camp do you fall into? Have you trusted in Christ to cover your sins and carry your into eternity with Him or are you still apart from God, facing the penalty for your sins? Christ wants to offer you freedom and life today! (John 5:24)
- What sin patterns are you returning to “like a dog to his vomit?” Confess it to someone today and find freedom brining it into the light!
- How are you guarding your heart and mind against the “false teachers” of our world today. They could be from social media, the news, lies culture is telling you, etc…
By the Way
2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us that “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” If we have trusted in Christ, we don’t have to return our sin like a dog to its vomit. We have been made new!
Leave a Comment Below
Join the Team
Interested in writing for the Bible Reading Plan? Email email@example.com.
4 thoughts on “2 Peter 2”
Peter minces no words as he delivers a message of warning about false teachers, those who would be in direct opposition to all Christ exemplified. Here are traits/conduct Peter called out that we should take specific notice of:
-greedy for money
-luring others into sin
He compares them to unthinking animals (dog & pig) who operate only out of selfishness & instinct with no regard to others. It was a real big deal, a tragedy that Paul also addressed in Philippians 4:18-20, “For I told you before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are real enemies of the cross of Christ. Their future is eternal destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and all they think about is life here on earth.” We’ve all been guilty, fallen way short of the mark. We’ve been lulled into living for ourselves with no thought for what tomorrow holds. One day it will be too late, let’s wake up, take a good look inside our hearts, and live for the only One who frees us from all that would enslave us.
Verse 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them. That is what I see every where. We are slaves to whatever has mastered us. I want to have so much fruit of the spirit in my life, that’s what people see. God always has an answer for “how” in His Word. He has made the way to escape our depravity by turning to Him accepting His son as your lord and savior, knowing He died for you, and that God raised Him from the dead. Just believe. A lady told me yesterday God said only to believe, it never says behave. But when you believe, if you truly do believe, you will behave.
God I am sorry for making things harder than they have to be. I do believe!! I want to be a fruity tree!!! I desire to serve You!! Thank You for opportunities to love You!! In Jesus name amen
My focus was on v 7-9. The comfort of knowing that in this fallen, sick, world—God will rescue the righteous as He did Lot, and no one who disregards authority will go unpunished. We have hope! It was reassuring to read that the ones we have read so far in the OT (believers of the God) were, in fact, tormented in their souls, but God did send them relief by ways of “true” prophets to be rescued. (Basically Peter confirmed stories of OT legends)
This can be tied to JP’s sermon Sunday over superstitions—“where are we putting our trust?” In this fake world, or in God?
I came out to our patio today to connect with God in the early morning quiet. I had our son’s dog Flapjack with me, and while he is a puppy who has been known to wander, lately he has proven faithful to stay close so long as I am nearby.
Not so today.
The back gate was open, and before I could close it, he was off like a shot. Seems he had caught the scent of a large dog several houses down. I followed him as far as I dared in my robe and flip-flops, until it became clear that the two of them were headed off on some grand adventure. Back I went to the house to throw on shorts and grab my car keys.
We have chased many “vagabond” dogs who have led us quite the merry chase over the years. It is frustrating and tiresome in the extreme. This morning I was also filled with overwhelming concern for this little dog, and horrible guilt at the thought of him coming to any harm under my care. He does not wholly belong to me, after all.
(I was also extremely irritated with whatever negligent owner had left their dog to wander and lead my dog astray!)
I finally caught sight of the two of them, right where they had taken off originally, and for a few heady moments I thought I might get convince our pet to return to me.
Then the big dog took off, and Flapjack with him.
I drove quickly to the next street over, where I soon saw Flapjack—alone. The moment I opened the car door and called his name, he was back with me in a flash. Such a relief!
As soon as I got home, I journaled these thoughts:
Thank you, God, for helping me recover FJ today— and for timely wisdom learned through “the lessons of the chase.” How easily we are all led astray! That other dog had no thought or care for our beloved family member, and it was only when they separated that FJ would return to me, eager for family and home. If I hadn’t kept looking, could he have found his way back?
I could see from the way he bounced through the grass he was intoxicated with his freedom. Such joy to run wherever he liked! But outside the security of our yard there are cars, and highways, and other dogs. Confusion and bewilderment.
Unlimited freedom … is unsafe.
Thank you for this timely reminder of my need to stay close to you—and for your faithfulness to come after me when I wander off!
“O, to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be.
Let the grace, Lord, like a fetter bind my wand’ring heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it!
Prone to leave the God I love!
Here’s my heart, Lord – take and seal it.
Seal it for Thy courts above.”
Thank you for the truth—and freedom—only YOU can give us!
“He brought me out into a broad place; He rescued me because He was pleased with me and delighted in me.”
-Psalm 18:19 AMP
“I’ll stride freely through wide open spaces as I look for your truth and your wisdom. I’ll tell the world what I find, speaking out boldly and unashamed.”
-Psalm 119:45-46 MSG