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Service Archives > 60 1 & 2 Peter - Rock Solid - 2013 > Watch Out for Fakes!

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Watch Out for Fakes! - 2 Peter 2:1-14

Taught on | Topic: False Prophets | Keywords: false prophet, false teaching, false teacher, truth, falsehood, fake, deception, lies, heresy, demons, the Devil, Satan, judgment, punishment, godly, ungodly, faithful, faithfulness, promise

Counterfeiting has become a multibillion-dollar industry that extends all around the world. Fake jewelry, fake purses, fake paintings, and, yes, even fake medicines are sold as if they’re the genuine articles, when they are cheap (though amazingly real-looking) imitations. It’s the same when it comes to truth. What makes a false teacher of false teaching? Peter gave three recommendations in dealing with such counterfeits.

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11/2/2014
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Watch Out for Fakes!
2 Peter 2:1-14
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
Counterfeiting has become a multibillion-dollar industry that extends all around the world. Fake jewelry, fake purses, fake paintings, and, yes, even fake medicines are sold as if they’re the genuine articles, when they are cheap (though amazingly real-looking) imitations. It’s the same when it comes to truth. What makes a false teacher of false teaching? Peter gave three recommendations in dealing with such counterfeits.
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60 1 & 2 Peter - Rock Solid - 2013

60 1 & 2 Peter - Rock Solid - 2013

When Jesus asked his disciples. "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" Peter responded "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus promised Peter that upon the Rock of that confession He would build His church.

The truth of who Jesus is empowers common man to speak the message that opens the doors of heaven to sinners. Join us to learn strong principles for godly living and reach new heights in our faith as we work our way through Peter's epistles—writings which evangelize the lost and instruct the church. Pastor Skip Heitzig guides us through First and Second Peter in the series Rock Solid.

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Outline

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  1. Be Aware of Their Falsehood (vv. 1-3, 10-14)

  2. Be Assured of Their Fate (vv. 3b-9, 12-13)

  3. Be Aligned with the Faithful (vv. 5-9)

Study Guide

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In 2 Peter 2:1-14, we are given an insider's look at spiritual deception. Truth is all-important, especially when everything about our lives is on the line; in these situations, tolerance is no virtue. God wants us to know the truth because He loves us, and He wants us to discern truth in order to protect us! From this passage, Pastor Skip summed up Peter's message in three statements that provide us with three principles, or rules, in dealing with counterfeit teachers.

Peter warned us to be aware of their falsehood by noting that all counterfeits have these common traits:

  • First, they're always around. From the time of Moses to the time of the Messiah and even now, there have always been ʺfalse prophets among the people" (v. 1). In Matthew 24:4-5, Jesus told us that as history moves closer to the end, we should expect a proliferation of false prophets.

  • Secondly, they distort the truth as they ʺsecretly bring in destructive heresiesʺ (v. 1). Heresy originally meant to choose or to have a preference for something that is not true. We must be vigilant for such deceivers, who use our vocabulary but not our dictionary. They speak of essential doctrines such as salvation and inspiration, but they pour different meanings into these words.

  • Next, they ʺeven [deny] the Lord who bought themʺ (v. 1). To deny Jesus Christ is to deny His incarnation: that He left heaven and came to earth as a man; to deny His salvation: that He lived the perfect life and died the perfect atoning death; to deny His substitution: that He took man's sin and bore our judgment; to deny His resurrection: that He overcame death and guaranteed our eternal life with Him; and to deny His ascension: that He is now seated at the right hand of the Father and deserves worship. Friends, Christianity is Christ! If anyone denies that Jesus is who He claimed to be, then that person is a deceiver and not of true Christian faith.

  • Furthermore, they broaden the way, and ʺmany will follow their destructive waysʺ (v. 2). Counterfeits are popular because they make the way easier than it actually is. While salvation is free, it does demand faith in Jesus Christ, which includes repentance. Conversely, false prophets preach a counterfeit gospel—free of guilt and repentance—that is easy and comfortable to hear.

  • Additionally, they cover their motives, for ʺby covetousness they will exploit youʺ (v. 3). Their actual goal is not to advance the gospel of Jesus but to accumulate money, power, and status by exploiting people as merchandise. In contrast, Paul explained his own actions in 1 Thessalonians 2:5, where he wrote, ʺFor neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness—God is witness."

  • Lastly, counterfeits despise authority, for ʺthey are not afraid to speak evil of dignitariesʺ (v. 10). The term dignitaries here refers to demons, such as those referred to in Jude 8-9. False teachers are so arrogant that even though they are merely humans and no match for the power of Satan or fallen angels, they confront and mock them, which even Michael the archangel did not do (see Jude 9).
Peter then went on to warn false teachers that they should be assured of their fate (see vv. 1, 3, 12-13). Nothing is more offensive to God than deception, especially when it involves falsifying facts regarding Him and His truth. False teachers who enter the true church face certain judgment, and Peter cited three illustrations: fallen angels, the ancient world, and Sodom and Gomorrah. Why is God so punitive in this matter, and why was Peter so descriptive of the punishment? Because it matters what you eat spiritually, and God loves us enough to want us to eat biblically healthy.

Lastly, Peter called us to be aligned with the faithful by following the examples of faithful people. Verses 5 through 9 mention two imperfect men to emulate: Noah and Lot. Lot's inclusion alone shows us that the bar is not set too high. These men and those who obeyed their message all escaped God's judgment. This should encourage us that God loves us enough to warn about judgment and that He has overwritten the permanent sin record of every believer with His permanent bloodstained ink.

Adapted from Pastor Skip's teaching

The BIG Idea
God loves us enough to warn us, to put up a sign that says, ʺBeware! Watch out for false teachers!"
  • William Barclay said, ʺA heretic [is]…a man who believes what he wishes to believe instead of accepting the truth of God which he must believe." Nothing is more offensive to God than heresy and deception, especially when it falsifies facts regarding Himself. Why?

  • God rescues the godly before He judges the ungodly. Have you found a faithful person, a Noah or Lot, who you can mimic so that you may find yourself in the godly category? What are some ways you can provide a faithful example for others to follow? (See Philippians 3:17.)


Detailed Notes

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  1. Introduction
    1. Anyone who claims to speak for God must represent God correctly or they will be labeled by Scripture as a false prophet
    2. False prophets' words are like false labels on the front of jars; they send the wrong message, the wrong information
    3. Why was Peter so harsh?
    4. In certain cases, tolerance is not a virtue—truth is
    5. When you're giving people eternal directions, you better be careful
    6. Peter diagnosed the problem and was ready to conduct surgery
    7. The central thought: God loves you enough to warn you about this
  2. Be Aware of Their Falsehood (vv. 1-3, 10-14)
    1. There are about twenty-five things this text says to be aware of
    2. Six common characteristics of false prophets
    3. They're always around
      1. Throughout Scripture, from the time of Moses to the time of the Messiah
      2. Deuteronomy 13
      3. Isaiah 9:15-16
      4. Jeremiah 14:14
      5. There have always been false prophets, false gospels, and fake Christians, and there will even be a false Christ in the end of days
      6. Satan's number one tactic is deception; John 8:44
      7. It will get worse; Matthew 24:5, 11
      8. Newton's third law of motion: every action brings an equal and opposite reaction
        1. That is also true in the spiritual world
        2. Every action from heaven brings a correspondent reaction in the realms of hell, and earthlings are in the crossfire
        3. The light of truth shines in this world, and bugs will come
    4. They distort the truth
      1. The word heresy speaks about somebody who makes a preferential choice, somebody who chooses something that isn't true
      2. "A heretic [is]...a man who believes what he wishes to believe instead of accepting the truth of God which he must believe" William Barclay
      3. All humans have a longing to worship something
        1. It's the way God wired us
        2. But most people would rather adopt some generic spirituality
      4. They come in secretly
      5. False prophets use our vocabulary but not our dictionary
    5. They deny Christ
      1. Next time you encounter someone from a cult, ask them, "Who is Jesus?" You will discover in moments either truth or error
      2. "Denying the Lord" (v. 1) = contradicting the Lord
      3. They say about Jesus what Jesus never said about Himself
      4. To deny Jesus Christ is to deny:
        1. His incarnation: that He left heaven and came to this earth
        2. His salvation: that He lived the perfect life and paid the atoning death
        3. His substitution: that He bore our sins and took our punishment
        4. His resurrection: that He conquered death and promises us eternal life
        5. His ascension: that He is seated at the right hand of God and is worthy of our praise and worship
      5. Christianity is Jesus Christ, and if He is not who He claimed to be, then we don't have a Christian faith
        1. Then He's guilty of putting the wrong label on the jar
        2. But if He is who He claims to be and others deny that, then they're guilty
    6. They broaden the way to heaven
      1. Many (v. 2)—false teachers are very popular
      2. They take the narrow way and broaden it, make it easy
      3. It's not a feat to be saved, but part of salvation is the willingness to repent
      4.  Matthew 7:13
    7. They cover up their motives
      1. They want something from you: power, money, status
      2. They will make merchandise of you
      3. 1 Thessalonians 2:5
      4. "If a missioner comes to you, you should welcome that person. However, if he stays more than three days, he's a false prophet. If anyone speaking in a trance says these words: 'Give me money (or anything else)', do not listen to him. Everyone who comes in the name of the Lord is to be welcomed, though later you must test him and find out about him. Make sure he does not live in idleness simply on the strength of being a Christian, unless he agrees to this: he is only trying to exploit Christ" —from The Didache, teachings of the twelve apostles circulated around AD 100
    8. They despise authority
      1. "Speak evil of dignitaries" (v. 10) is a reference to demonic dignitaries
        1. Jude 9
        2. These teachers were so arrogant that they did what Michael the archangel wouldn't even do: mock fallen angels
      2. They talk to the Devil about God when they ought to talk to God about the Devil
      3. When Satan knocks on the door, ask Jesus to answer it
      4. Peter compared them to wild, rapacious animals
      5. They are not sheep, and yet, they act like experts
  3. Be Assured of Their Fate (vv. 3b-9, 12-13)
    1. Woven throughout the text is the fact that these false prophets have a severe judgment
    2. The wages of sin is always death (see Romans 6:23) and God will make sure that payday comes
    3. False teachers will be eternally spit out
    4. There is nothing more offensive to God than deception, than those who falsify facts about God
    5. False teachers who enter the true church will face certain judgment
    6. Three illustrations of this
      1. Fallen angels
      2. The ancient world and the flood
      3. Sodom and Gomorrah
      4. The idea is simple: God didn't spare them, so don't think that false teachers will get a hall pass when it comes to judgment
    7. Why is God so punitive and Peter so descriptive of their punishment?
      1. Because it matters what you eat, spiritually speaking
      2. What you take in is important; it can bring you life or destroy you
  4. Be Aligned with the Faithful (vv. 5-9)
    1. There are two people Peter wrote about as exceptions that should be our examples: Noah and Lot, neither of whom were perfect people
      1. Noah preached a narrow message, and he was right about it (see Genesis 6-8)
      2. Lot ran out of Sodom because God promised to judge that city (see Genesis 19:1-29)
    2. Both escaped the promised judgment; therefore, follow those people
    3. Verse 9 shows a theological pattern: God rescues the godly before He ruins the ungodly
      1. When wrath comes from Him directly, He rescues the godly first
      2. He will do the same in the rapture before the great tribulation
  5. Closing
    1. God loves you enough to give you the warning, to tell you this truth
    2. God wants us to find faithful people as examples that we can emulate
      1. Lot being included shows us God doesn't set the bar too high
      2. Noah built an ark, and Lot ran out of Sodom, and they were glad they did
      3. They knew that when God made a promise, He was going to act
    3. There is a permanent record; God keeps good books
    4. But the greatest truth of all is that God can overwrite your permanent record with the permanent bloodstained ink of Jesus Christ

Figures referenced: William Barclay

Cross references: Genesis 6-8; 19:1-29; Deuteronomy 13; Isaiah 9:15-16; Jeremiah 14:14; Matthew 7:13; 24:5, 11; John 8:44; Romans 6:23; 1 Thessalonians 2:5; 2 Peter 2:1-14; Jude 9


Topic: False Prophets

Keywords: false prophet, false teaching, false teacher, truth, falsehood, fake, deception, lies, heresy, demons, the Devil, Satan, judgment, punishment, godly, ungodly, faithful, faithfulness, promise

Transcript

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Hello and welcome to this message from Skip Heitzig pastor of Calvary Albuquerque. Skip's teachings are shared globally and we're grateful when we hear how God uses them to advance his kingdom. If this message has empowered you as you follow Christ, tell us. Email us at mystory@calvaryabq.org. And if you'd like the support this ministry financially, you can give online securely at calvaryabq.org/giving. The apostle Peter wrote letters to evangelize the lost and instruct the church. In this series called Rock Solid we dig into his second epistle. We invite you to open your Bible and follow along in Second Peter, chapter 2, as we find out how to deal with false teachers in this message called "Watch Out for Fakes!"

Skip Heitzig: Would you turn in your Bibles to Second Peter, chapter 2. And I will warn you that it is a difficult passage, so I'm going to ask as we pray that you say committed to staying with me in this and don't tune this out. This is as important as John 3:16. It's in the Bible. It's God's Word. And let's pray for grace, shall we? Father, we pray that you would give us the grace to be able to hear very difficult things, and Peter wrote them, and a whole chapter is devoted to it. And he wrote them, Lord, we believe, at the prompting and at the inspiration of the Spirit of God, so that these words reflect truth. And not only do they reflect truth, Lord, but they reflect what is truthfully written by Paul and by John and spoken by Jesus. Help us, Father, to become good at discernment, in Jesus' name, amen.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to go with some of you on a Journey's of Paul Tour where we went to the city of Ephesus where Paul spent three years of his life. Well, you have to land first at the port city of Kusadasi to get to Ephesus. So, I'm walking down the street of Kusadasi and I see a sign hanging down that caught my attention. It plainly said, "Fake Watches." And I thought, "I have to go." "Fake Watches," so I was just so intrigued, and I was with my tour guide who said, "Skip, these watches are like the best fake watches you'll ever---they look so realistic." So I went in. And I still have mine, by the way. It's---after three years it's working fine. But I was with a guy who had the real version of what I bought the fake version of. He has the real one, and he looked at it, and he looked very closely.

And he had a little magnifying glass, looked front and back, weighed it. And he said, "You know, I really cannot tell the difference. In fact, if we were to mix these up, I may walk away with the wrong watch." And I thought, "Now that's a thought." [laughter] But so I purchased it. And I was with another friend of mine who knows watches pretty well, and he recognized it. He goes, "Oh, that's one of those da-da-da-da." And I said, "Actually, it's a fake watch." And he said, "Wow! It looks pretty good." And then he looked it over and he said, "If you opened it up, you could tell. If you look inside, you can tell it's fake." Today we have the opportunity to look inside the mind and heart and results of false teachers as we'll be told in this chapter.

Whenever somebody speaks for a company or an advertisement is shown that represents a company, you expect that there's going to be an accurate description of what that company is all about or trying to sell. It doesn't always work that way, though. Here's an example: Years ago when Gerber baby food decided to market in the country of Africa, they decided they would use the same strategy that they have used here over the years. You know, Gerber baby food has on the front jar a cute little Gerber baby, right? And so they thought they'd use that cute little Gerber baby to put it on their jars in Africa. What the Gerber Company didn't realize is that in Africa, because of the very high rate of illiteracy---most people, many people, at that time especially, did not read---that companies would place on the labels the contents of what was inside.

So can you imagine what it would look like to see a little baby on the front of a jar? You'd be repulsed by it, and so it didn't really work well. It was the wrong message they were sending. And then there was the case of Pepsi-Cola who was marketing in China, and they wanted to use the slogan "Come alive with the Pepsi generation." But it didn't translate that way in Chinese. It actually said to them: "Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the grave." [laughter] Again, not a great selling point. And then there's the case of the Coors Brewing Company who wanted to use the slogan that was very successful elsewhere: "Turn it loose." But when translated into one Spanish-speaking country, it was read this way: "Suffer from diarrhea." [laughter]

I don't think you're going to want to drink that, right? Now, these are innocent mistakes. Babies aren't in jars, and your ancestors won't come back from the grave, but the point is it did not represent what that company was all about. Anyone who claims to speak for God must represent God correctly or they will be labeled by Scripture "false prophets." False prophets' words are like false labels on the front of jars. They send the wrong message, the wrong information. Second Peter, chapter 2:

But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has been not been idle and their destruction does not slumber.

For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)---then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.

But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption. They will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children.

H'm, welcome to church. What a heavy passage of Scripture to read. And we immediately ask after reading that: "Why is Peter so harsh?" In fact, some of us might say, "Come on, Peter, don't you know that really what's important in life is a person's sincerity? Doesn't matter what they believe---everybody believes different things---as long as you're sincere." I would answer that by asking you a question. If there was a blind man walking down a path and that path ended in a cliff. And as he's walking down that path toward the cliff, he hears that you're around and he asks you for directions. And he says, "Which way should I step?" Would it be appropriate for you to say, "It doesn't really matter which way you step, as long as you're sincere"? No. That wouldn't work in this situation, would it?

Or if you went to a doctor who diagnosed you with a fatal disease and then said to you, "You know, just go home and take two aspirin and get a good night's rest, as long as you're sincere." You'd say, "No, no. Tolerance is not a virtue in this case---truth is." And when you're giving people eternal directions, you better be careful. And Peter, like a good surgeon, diagnoses the problem and is ready to conduct surgery. Now the central thought here is this: God loves you enough to warn you about it. God cares for you enough that he would say you and I, "Discerning what is true and what is not is all-important." Think of it this way: God is hanging a "BEWARE" sign out. You've seen those signs: "Beware of Dog." It's a little Chihuahua, "Beware of Dog." [laughter]

Sometimes you better be beware of the dog, because they'll take you, take you down. Or "Beware of Falling Objects," or "Beware of Oncoming Traffic." I saw one sign that said, "Beware! I just turned sixteen and I have a license." Well, that is scary. Here's God hanging the sign: "Beware of false teachers and false prophets." Now, as we have read this, I want to make three statements based upon what we just read. In fact, they are three principles, three rules, really, of dealing with counterfeit teachers and they're simple: be aware, be assured, be aligned; be aware of their falsehood, be assured of their fate, and be aligned with the faithful. All three of these are clearly seen in the text that Peter writes.

The first thing, though, is that we are to be aware of some of the things that would characterize a false teacher, a false prophet: be aware of their falsehood. Now, listen, I went through this text and I counted about twenty-five things to be aware of. I'm going to spare you that. I've summed them up by giving you six little things you ought to be aware of, six little things that are features of common false prophets. Number one, they are always around. They're always around. Verse 1, "There were also false prophets among the people," that's the people of Israel, "even as there will be false teachers among you." Throughout all of the Scripture there are warnings that are sounded from the time of Moses to the time of Messiah.

Do you know that in Deuteronomy 13, way back in the time of Moses, it's a whole chapter devoted to instructing the Israelites on how to spot a false prophet, a false dreamer, even a false miracle worker? Then the prophet, the true prophet Isaiah warns about "prophets who teach lies" and "cause [Israel] to err." Then there's Jeremiah, the Lord spoke through him saying, "The prophets prophesy lies in my name." God continues, "I did not send them, I did not command them, I did not speak to them, and yet they prophesy false visions." You see, there's always been false prophets. There's always been false gospels. There have always been fake Christians. And in the end of days, there will even be a false Christ that will be presented. And why is that? Because that's Satan's MO. That's his biggest trick in the bag.

His number one tactic is deception. That's what Jesus said: "He is a liar and the father of lies." Not only that, but as we near closer and closer to the end of days, you can expect it to proliferate. It's not going to get any better. It's going to get worse according to Jesus in Matthew 24, "Many will come in my name, saying, 'I am Christ,' and deceive many. And many false prophets will rise up and they will also deceive many." When you were in school, you learned Newton's third law of motion. You go, "No, I wasn't there that day." Oh were you were there. You'll recognize it when I say it: Every action brings an equal and opposite reaction. And that is also true in the spiritual world. Every action from heaven brings a correspondent reaction in the realms of hell, and earth and earthlings are the crossfire.

It's just like when you turn on a light in the summertime on your back porch, all the bugs come. The light of truth shines in this world and bugs will come. They've always been around. A second thing to be aware of is that they will distort the truth. Verse 1 tells us: "who will secretly bring in destructive heresies." That's a loaded word, isn't it, heresy? Heretic---we've heard the word; I just don't know if we know what it means. It speaks about somebody who makes a preferential choice, and the idea here is somebody who chooses something that isn't true. William Barclay said it best: "A heretic is a man who believes what he wishes to believe instead of accepting the truth of God which he must believe."

Why would anyone choose something to believe rather than what Jesus said or what the Bible said they must believe? Here's why, I think: all of us, all humans have a longing to worship something. It's the way God wired us. But because natural man, modern natural man has any aversion at all to absolute truth, what most people would rather do is simply adopt some generic spirituality. So, they'll pick and choose. They'll come to the Bible sort of like a salad bar and they'll say, "I'll take the Golden Rule and that 'love your neighbor as yourself bit. I like that. And, oh yeah, that 'Judge not lest you be judged,' gotta have that in there." [laughter] So basically what they're saying is, "I'll take a small order of Christianity, please. Hold the guilt. I'm on a guilt-free diet these days."

And that's what is more palatable to believe. And notice something about them: not only do they bring in destructive heresies---how do they do it? What does it say?---they "secretly" do it. They'll come quoting Scriptures, big smiles as they knock on your door, and they'll say "Jesus" and all the right words. Nobody knocks or comes up to you and says, "Hi, I'm your local neighborhood false prophet. Give me five minutes and I bet I can deceive you." [laughter] They're not going to come that way at all. Think Little Red Riding Hood, that's how they'll come, the Big Bad Wolf dressed up like Grandma; but first like Little Red Riding Hood to get in Grandma's house, then after eating Grandma, waited, dressed up like Grandma, to get Little Red Riding Hood in the door.

They come in secretly. Listen, false prophets will use our vocabulary, but not our dictionary. They use the same terms: "Jesus," "Savior," "salvation," "inspiration." But the meaning of the words that they are using are not the meaning of the words as you know them from Scripture. Same vocabulary---different dictionary. Here's something else you should be aware of: they deny Christ. They deny Christ. Verse 1 says: "even denying the Lord who bought them." Next time you encounter somebody from an aberrant group, from a false cult, ask them a simple question. Don't argue about all the minutiae, about this and that, just ask them a simple question: "Tell me about Jesus. Who is he? What do you believe Jesus to be?" You will discover within moments truth or error, if they deny or affirm Christ.

And by the way, when it says here they deny the Lord, it means they contradict the Lord. They say about Jesus what Jesus never said about himself. So here's the scoop---To deny Jesus Christ is to deny his incarnation, that he left heaven and came to this earth. To deny Jesus Christ is to deny his salvation, that he lived the perfect life that we could never live, and then paid the atoning death. To deny Jesus Christ is to deny his substitution, that he bore our sins, that he took our punishment. To deny Jesus Christ is to deny his resurrection, that he conquered death and he promises to us eternal life. And to deny Jesus Christ is to deny his ascension, that he's actually seated at the right hand of God and is worthy of our praise and worship. In a nutshell---Christianity is Jesus Christ.

And if he is not who he claims to be, then we don't have a Christian faith. In fact, if Jesus is not who he claims to be, then he's guilty of putting the wrong label on the jar. But if he is who he claims to be, and others deny that, now they're guilty of putting the wrong label on the jar. Something else you should be aware of: they will broaden the way to heaven. They broaden the way. Look at verse 2, "And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed." You see the word "many"? This tells me that the false teachers will be very popular, because they take the narrow way and they broaden it, they make it easy. Now, please don't misunderstand me. It's not some major, hard feat to be saved; you just have to trust in Jesus Christ, that he paid the price for your sins.

But part of that is the willingness to repent of your sin, to turn from that and turn to Christ. The false teacher comes along and will say, "Yeah, you know, but anytime you make it so narrow and one way, you just alienate so many people. So, let me just broaden it out a little bit." I was in a book store. I don't know if there are any bookstores around anymore, but we have one. That might be the last one. But I was in a bookstore, and it was back East. And I was in a book stand where they were featuring a book of a religious leader newly put out. I won't tell you his name or the name of the book. And there was a young girl who opened the book and started to look at it. She was curious. And then I saw a young man come up beside her and I heard the conversation.

It went like this: "You ought to buy that book. It's really good. And here's why: this preacher, he won't talk about sin. He won't make you feel bad. He won't talk about repentance." What this young man said is, "Now, this preacher will just tell you how good you are already, that you don't need to change." And I thought of the words of Jesus who said, "Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many go in by it." You need to be aware of that. Something else you need to be aware of: they will cover up their motives. Verse 3, "By covetousness they will exploit you." They want something from you. They want power. They want money. They want status. And they will make merchandise of you. They will exploit you. I've seen this for so many years in obvious things like this.

I've been in meetings where I've heard this: "Wait a minute, wait a minute. I'm hearing from God. Yes, there are---yes, Lord. Yes, yes. There ten people here with $10,000 each. Hallelujah!" [laughter] And I'm going, "Oh, gag! Give me a break." [laughter] No wonder Paul wrote to the Thessalonians and said, "Neither at any time did we use flattering words, nor a cloak for covetousness." That's the motive: "I want something out of you." Many---well, I'll be accurate. Many, many, many, many years ago I taught a Bible study in Garden Grove, California, right off the 22 Freeway and Beach Boulevard. It was a home Bible study that was growing, growing. And one night I remember a young man came in, smiles and a Bible, and he was there the next week and the next week.

By about the third week, because we didn't know who he was or his background, he kind of revealed who he was after the Bible study. He had been eyeing this cute little girl in the Bible study, and he walked up to her, and I overheard this conversation. He said, "The Lord told me that you're to be my wife." Now, how's that for a pick-up line? Have you ever heard that one before? That's new, isn't it? "The Lord told me you're going to be my wife." So she held up her wedding band. She said, "I'm already married, thank you." And he didn't stop. He persisted. He goes, "Well, that only proves that you married the wrong person and you need to leave him and marry me." So I gave him a good dose of "Thus saith the Lord . . ." right on the spot. [laughter]

But that's exactly the kind of stuff that was happening back in Peter's day. Did you know there was a book circulated around 100 AD known as the Didache: The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles given to local churches to help them spot false teachers? I won't read it all to you, it's lengthy, but here's just a quip: "If an apostle---that is, a missioner," is the term they use, "comes to you, you should welcome that person. Let him come amongst you. However, if he stays more than three days, he's a false prophet. If anyone speaking in a trance"---you know, "Wait a minute, I'm hearing from the Lord now"---"anyone speaks in a trance and says these words: 'Give me money (or anything else),' do not listen to him. Everyone who comes in the name of the Lord is to be welcomed."

"The latter you must test him and find out about him. Make sure he does not live in idleness simply on the strength of being a Christian. Unless he agrees to this, he is only trying to exploit Christ"---the exact same language Peter uses. So, they're always around. They distort the truth. They deny Jesus Christ. They broaden the way. They cover their motives. The other and final thing you ought to know is that they despise authority, because authority means accountability. Look at verse 10. "And especially those who walk according to the flesh and in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. And they are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord."

Now, every commentator that I read on this, every scholar that did a work on Second Peter, all of them said the same thing: that when it said "speaking evil of dignitaries" is a reference to demonic dignitaries. And that is because of the cross reference to this passage is very similar to the book of Jude, verse 8 and 9, that says this: "For even Michael the archangel dared not bring a reviling accusation against Satan when he disputed with him over the body of Moses, but rather said, 'The Lord rebuke you!' " And so what these scholars are saying is that these teachers who were among the people are so arrogant that they did what Michael the archangel wouldn't even do; and that is, they would mock, though fallen angels, still dignitaries nonetheless, because Michael didn't do it, but said, "Look, the Lord will do it, not me."

And I read that and I thought about the fact that some people today actually make a living going from church to church binding demons, yelling at demons. I've been in meetings where they go like this: "Now, Devil, we bind you and we want you to know . . ." And now they're carrying on a conversation with the devil. And I'm going, "Really? You're talking to the devil about God when you ought to talk to God about the devil." That's where the power is---that's called prayer. When Satan knocks on the door, ask Jesus to answer it. Don't go toe to toe. Don't go one-on-one. Then in verse 12, says, "But these"---listen to this language---"But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed"---gnarly---"speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption."

He compares them to wild, rapacious animals. They are not sheep. They are not sheep. And, yet, they act like experts. They speak about things that they're ignorant of. They despise authority and they're experts on everything spiritual. And, you know, the Internet is full of these kind of characters. They feel so empowered with a pseudonym and behind a computer screen to rail on anyone and everyone who has any spiritual authority at all. So, be aware of their falsehood. The second great truth here is: be assured of their fate. Over and over again throughout---woven throughout the entire text is the fact that these false prophets have a judgment that is severe.

Look at verse 1, "and bring on themselves swift destruction"; verse 3, "and their destruction does not slumber"; verse 12, "and they will utterly perish in their own corruption"; verse 13, "and will receive the wages of unrighteousness." The wages of sin is always death, and God will make sure that payday is coming. Have you ever found an apple with a hole in it, tiny little hole, maybe a little brown spot around the hole? And when you look at it and you think---what?---worm. You put it down. So you find an apple that looks really good on the outside, right, unpenetrated? You look at it, and you go, "That's the apple." But sometimes you'll bite into that apple and there's a worm in that one.

You see, it's a perfect deception, because worms don't crawl from the outside in, the eggs are laid in the blossom of the flower, so that when the apple comes, it's already been living inside. It's a perfect deception. Now, when you---when you bite into an apple, and you get brown worm junk in your mouth, what do you do with that bite? Do you swallow it? "Gulp, ahh!" You spit it out, right? You spit it out? God is saying, "That's what I do with false teachers. They will be eternally spit out." And here's why: there is nothing more offensive to God than deception. There is nothing more offensive to God than those who will falsify facts about God. False teachers who enter the true church will face certain judgment.

And just so we don't misunderstand that, he gives three illustrations of it: first illustration is fallen angels, verse 4; second illustration is the ancient world in the flood; and the third illustration is Sodom and Gomorrah. And verses 4 through 10 is one long, running sentence in the Greek language filled with these illustrations. It's simple what he's saying: "God didn't spare the first angels who rebelled with the devil, but cast them to hell. God didn't spare humanity in the flood; he destroyed them all except for eight who believed. God didn't spare Sodom and Gomorrah, that horrible incineration. So, don't you think that false teachers will get a hall pass when it comes to judgment---theirs is coming." Now, again, "Oh, this is such an uplifting sermon. I'm just feeling so encouraged by this."

Why is God so punitive and why is Peter so descriptive of that punishment? Because it really does matter what you eat, spiritually speaking. My mom used to say, "You are what you eat," and I was always afraid if I had too many carrots, I'd turn orange. But what you take into your life and listen to and meditate on really is important, because it can bring you life or it can destroy you. That's why this language is employed. There was once a farmer who was just sick and tired of the rising cost of oats. And he wanted to buy the oats to feed his mule, so he decided that he would beat the system, and he took out some of the oats and put in sawdust as filler for his mules. He thought, "I beat the system." But by the time his mules were satisfied, they were dead.

Took a while, but eventually it caught up, and so it is with so-called truth but is really error. It might just start out really okay and innocuous, but over time people die. So, be aware of their falsehood, be assured of their fate; here's the third thing, I want to close on this: be aligned with the faithful. That's another theme here is that all out of all this mess that Peter is describing there are two people he writes about as wonderful exceptions that should be our examples: Noah and Lot. Now neither of them were perfect people, but Noah preached a message, and he happened to be right about it. It was a very narrow message, by the way. Can you imagine going to church in Noah's time and hearing Noah preach? He preached for 120 years. No one wanted to listen to him, no one.

Imagine what people thought: "This guy's so narrow. He says there was only one way to be saved; and that is, this boat." Happened to be right. Lot ran out of Sodom because God promised to judge that city. And the point of this passage here, the point of these two exceptions that Peter brings out is simple: both Noah and Lot escaped the promised judgment, follow those people. Verse 9 sums it up: "Then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment." Please notice that, and if you have the freedom to mark in your Bibles, mark that text, because verse 9 shows you a theological pattern of how God judges. That God rescues the godly before he ruins the ungodly.

When wrath come from him directly, he rescues the godly first. He let those eight people get lifted up above the judgment on earth by that boat, and I believe he will do the same before he unleashes the great tribulation period on the earth in an event called the rapture. That's his pattern. Now, I want to close with just two lingering thoughts to leave with you summing it all up. Number one, walk away with this thought: God loves me enough to give me the warning. He loves me enough to tell me this truth. I bought a fake watch. I saw the sign. It was hung. It gave me fair enough warning. I did it anyway. I'm responsible for the little money that I laid out for this fake watch. Just be thankful that God hangs out the sign: "Fake prophet," "False prophet." That's God's love.

The second lingering truth is this: I think God wants us to find faithful people as examples that we can emulate. Now, Lot is one of these two, so it shows us God doesn't always set the bar so high. Because Lot, like, okay that guy's so out to lunch, but he's called "righteous" here. Noah built an ark, Lot ran out of Sodom, and boy are they glad they did. Because they knew that when God made a promise, he was going to act. Years ago a columnist for the Chicago Tribune named Bob Greene wrote a little article about what he believed was wrong with our world, our culture. And he blamed the problems in our culture to a very interesting thing that he called "The Death of the Permanent Record," "The Death of the Permanent Record."

This is what he said in his article. He said, "When I was a kid in school, my teachers used to warn me about the 'Permanent Record.' 'Now this is going to be on your permanent record.' 'Don't do that, because that'll be on your permanent record.' " He said, "I heard those words all the time." He goes, "I don't hear them at all anymore. It's as if people don't think there a permanent record." "The Death of the Permanent Record"---well, there is a permanent record. God keeps good books. But the greatest truth of all, though there is a permanent record, is to allow God to overwrite your permanent record with the permanent, blood-stained ink of Jesus Christ where he would write over all of your transgressions "forgiven," "cleansed."

It's not that God winks at what you've done, but he chooses to love and forgive you in spite of what you've done. Let's pray together. Our Father, we have considered a very difficult passage of Scripture, one that I didn't relish expounding on as I saw it in front of me for this week's passage. And, Lord, yet it's here and it's not the only one. He has more words to say, and Jude had more words to say, and John had a lot to say, and Paul had a lot to say, and Jesus had a lot to say about false prophets, false teachers, a false gospel, something that sounds so appealing, that isn't so narrow, that isn't calling for repentance from sin, but it will kill us in the end, like the mule who eats sawdust. It might feel good temporarily, but it can damn a soul forever.

So thank you, Lord, that you love people enough to send a true record of the way by which they can get to heaven, by Jesus Christ alone, by what he did on Calvary's tree 2,000 years ago for us. And that by his incarnation and salvation and substitution and resurrection we have life. That is the gospel and that is good news. I pray we would run toward those who believe that, and we would be encouraged of good examples of those who live that. And we would shun those who try to broaden the way and just make us feel good in any condition with any belief system, however we choose to live, because in in the end that will just destroy, and you don't want that.

Lord, for anyone who's gathered here at this service who doesn't know you personally, if you have awakened them, I pray that they would grab a hold of the lifeline of Jesus Christ. That instead of drowning in their present condition, they would say yes to him. And if you've never known Jesus personally, if you're not sure that you're saved, you're not sure that if you were to die or when you die that you would be in heaven, but you want that assurance, you want the hope of the future, you want to be able to live in uncertain times with a certain hope, then just right where you're seated just talk to him.

And say right now: Lord, I give you my life. I know that I'm a sinner and I'm sorry. I believe that your Son Jesus died for me on a cross, shed his blood for me, and rose again from the grave. Lord, I turn from my sin. I repent of it. I turn to you as Savior. I want to live for you. Help me to do that, in Jesus' name, amen.

Closing: God has given us Scripture to help protect ourselves against false teachers. It's important for us to constantly be on guard. How has God's Word helped you grow in discernment. Let us know. Email mystory@calvaryabq.org. And just a reminder: you can give financially to this work at calvaryabq.org/giving. Thank you for joining us for this teaching from Skip Heitzig of Calvary Albuquerque.

Additional Messages in this Series

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9/1/2013
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A Pebble, a Boulder & a Solid Foundation
1 Peter 1:1
Skip Heitzig
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Peter is the most famous of the apostles, even though he only wrote two short epistles in the New Testament. But of all the early followers of Christ, Peter is perhaps the most relatable to us since he demonstrates all the weaknesses and failures we see in ourselves. But Peter's personal life and his writings become a composite model of "strength through trust." Any weak, wobbly, failure-ridden person can become Rock Solid through Christ.
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9/8/2013
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The Underpinnings of a Rock-Solid Life
1 Peter 1:2
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Peter skillfully lays the foundational basis for the Christian life to his readers in a single verse. We've been picked by God, placed in His family, and promised future benefits. For anyone who has ever struggled with a weak faith, these truths can be transforming. In this introduction to Peter's letter, let's unpack the meaning of these encouraging realities.
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9/15/2013
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Stepping Stones of the New Birth
1 Peter 1:3-5
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"Born again" wasn't a term invented by the popular press or religious fundamentalists. It was something Jesus told Nicodemus must happen for anyone to enter heaven (see John 3:3). Peter certainly heard that term from Jesus and speaks of it here (as well as in 1 Peter 1:23). It's a term synonymous with being saved and having eternal life. What does this new birth provide? In a word—solidity! Coming to Christ brings hope, inheritance, and power.
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9/22/2013
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Why We Hate Trials (And Why We Love Them)
1 Peter 1:6-7
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If the trials of life could only exist by popular demand, we would have voted them away long ago. People, by and large, hate suffering of any kind. Here in the Western world, we have made it our aim to mitigate against any form of it by a multitude of distractions and experiences. There is even a theology that seeks to say God never wants us to suffer—ever. Let's look at five reasons why we hate (and love) trials, and consider how they can be used to make us better people.
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9/29/2013
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Rock Solid Relationship or Relationship on the Rocks?
1 Peter 1:8-9
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Why do we insist that having a relationship with God is not the same as being a religious person? How is a relationship with Him even possible, since He is GOD and thus is unique from all other creatures? Today, the answer to that will be made simple as we consider the simplest components of any relationship, including a relationship with God.
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10/6/2013
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Our Bedrock Salvation
1 Peter 1:10-12
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God has always planned on saving you. You were never an afterthought or a last-minute consideration. Not only have you been chosen before time began (1 Peter 1:2), but throughout the ages your salvation has been expected and planned for. The spokesmen of the Old Testament wrote about Jesus’ coming and the new covenant of grace, which you are now a part of. All this makes our salvation more secure than ever, built on the bedrock of His promises.
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10/20/2013
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How to Walk in the Dark
1 Peter 1:13-18
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Holiness is an uncomfortable subject for most believers. We have no problem assigning holiness to God as we sing, “You Are Holy, Oh Lord!” But our minds get muddled when we think of our own holiness because we don’t want to appear holier than thou. So what does it mean to be holy? And how can we live holy lives around unholy people? In short, how can we be “children of light” (Ephesians 5:8) while walking in a dark world?
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11/3/2013
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Where You Fit in God's Plan
1 Peter 1:18-21
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God's plan always involves people, and you are one of those people. God's plan includes you. Just think of it. God had you in mind when He put His plan together for the whole world. So where do you fit in that plan? When did this plan have its beginning? How much did this plan cost, and what is your part in it? Today we make that discovery by noting five vital truths:
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11/10/2013
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Rock Solid Love
1 Peter 1:22-2:3
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Peter's love for his Friend and Lord, Jesus Christ, was at one time on shaky ground when he denied that he even knew Jesus. His love would even get questioned by Christ later on (John 21:15-17). But now Peter knows that love for Christ and love for His people is all part of the same package. A relationship with God includes an affection for God's people. Four components of a rock-solid love are given by the very man who learned what true love is.
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11/17/2013
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Got Milk?
1 Peter 2:1-3
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Babies need milk to survive and to thrive. And newborn babies need and crave it a lot. So too, those who have been spiritually born-again need spiritual milk so that they can grow and be mature. As believers grow, they will begin to enjoy more solid spiritual food. But here Peter is addressing our appetites?those things we desire and crave. He gives us a three-part instruction that will curb and train our appetites in such a way that maximum growth will be achieved.
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11/24/2013
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This Old House
1 Peter 2:4-10
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God has been building His "house" since He first made the world. This is not a physical home nor a temple of worship as much as an assembly of peoples whom He has gathered to Himself. The stones He chooses are human beings in relationship to Christ, the cornerstone foundation. Let's consider God's site-plan for this construction project today.
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12/8/2013
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Maximum Impact
1 Peter 2:11-12
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How can Christ-followers make the most meaningful impact on the unbelieving world? That was in Peter's mind when he wrote this letter to scattered believers facing hostility from their neighbors. Four principles that transcend time stand out here; these will encourage us and empower us as we seek to influence our world for Christ and leave a lasting impression.
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1/12/2014
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The World's Hardest Activity
1 Peter 2:13-17
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Some people are just gifted at music or naturally talented with their hands. Others find that sports come easy, while others can perform math functions with total ease. But there is something that practically everyone finds difficult and that is submission. To abdicate our will to that of another, even for the sake of order and peace, is extremely tough. But there are higher goals and loftier purposes for believers to live submissive lives.
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1/19/2014
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Take This Job and Love It
1 Peter 2:18-21
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I want to make you a promise today: If you can learn and master the four principles in our text, your job will never be the same. The tedium, tension, and labor will give way to a higher motive that will bring authentic joy and deep satisfaction. As Peter addresses slaves in the ancient Roman world, let?s apply it to a much more modern and humane situation?your place of employment.
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1/26/2014
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You Remind Me of Someone!
1 Peter 2:21-25
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Whom do you remind people of? At work or in society at large, is it evident that you are a Christ-follower? Jesus is always our supreme example for how to live a godly life in an ungodly world. Peter told us that we should submit to government as well as to management, and now he tells us why we should—because Jesus did and He's the one we follow.
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2/2/2014
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The Irresistible Beauty of a Tender Heart
1 Peter 3:1-6
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The most attractive people in the world are those who display depth of character and pleasant personalities. Solomon insisted that “[outward] beauty is passing” (Proverbs 31:30). As Peter speaks to a common issue in the early church (Christian wives married to unbelieving husbands), he also gives us three marks of a tenderhearted woman: in her actions, attitudes, and admiration.
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2/9/2014
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The Four-Sided Fortress of a Husband's Love
1 Peter 3:7
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If life is to be rock solid, then family relationships—especially marriage—must be rock solid. No wonder Peter speaks to husbands after addressing wives. In his directive toward submission, he addresses citizens (and not government officials); he addresses servants (and not their masters). But when it comes to the home, he addresses both wives and husbands. Let's consider how a husband's love can make a woman feel firmly secure.
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2/16/2014
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How to Attract Flies
1 Peter 3:8-12
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The old saying "You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar" fits perfectly with Peter's letter. He's been telling Christians how to live in plain view of the unbelieving world. Now he goes into the church and tells us how to treat each other. It's his hope that an exhibition of real, Christian love will provide a base of satisfying fellowship for us and attract unbelievers. But how?
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2/23/2014
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When Holiness Meets Hostility
1 Peter 3:13-17
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Faith is not neutral. It’s a powerful and dynamic force that changes behavior (if it is genuine faith). Unbelief is also a powerful force, and when believers try to live out their faith in an unbelieving environment, there are some predictable and unavoidable results. Let’s consider four truths from Peter’s pen that will be helpful when God’s holy people meet up with a hostile world.
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3/2/2014
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A Reason for Every "Ouch!"
1 Peter 3:18-22
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Perhaps the most common word in our language is the tiny word, "Ouch!" Every day, it's repeatedly expressed in variant forms around the world. It's a word that conveys pain and suffering. Peter’s audience knew all about suffering, but they didn't always know how it could actually be used for anything good. Christ's own sufferings provide the best example of both the power and usefulness of suffering.
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3/9/2014
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The Invisible War
1 Peter 3:18-22
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In every war, strategy plays a role. Each side plans and makes movements in accordance to what it learns about the other side’s tactics. If information is leaked, a counteroffensive can be launched. This can be seen in the grand and most profound war of the universe: The Invisible War. In this battle, Satan and his minions wage war against God, His angels, and His people. We’ll consider it by looking again at one of the most enigmatic texts in the New Testament. Let’s unravel it.
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3/16/2014
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Should I Get Soaking Wet?
1 Peter 3:20-21
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So what's the deal with baptism? Why do Christians practice it? What does it have to do with my relationship to God? Peter raised the issue of baptism in this letter, but he tied it into what happened during the time of Noah and the great flood. What on earth could one have to do with the other? Let's unravel these verses and then relate them to our current understanding of Christian baptism. Does this really save a person?
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3/23/2014
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Just Counting Time or Making Time Count?
1 Peter 4:1-6
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There is a certain amount of time allotted to us all, and we all decide how we are going to spend it. But none of us knows exactly how much of it we have left. So a huge question for all of us is: What will you do with the time you have left? Some never face that issue honestly, thinking that they'll always have plenty of time. Today, let's consider four solid principles that will make the time you have left really count.
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5/4/2014
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Living Like There's No Tomorrow
1 Peter 4:7-11
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People have been predicting the end of the world since the beginning of the world. But Scripture declares there will be an end. For some, their world could end this week or this year when death pays them a visit. But with whatever time we have left, we should live with a sense of imminence and anticipation that God's kingdom is around the corner. What elements can make our lives stronger as we await the end of the age?
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5/11/2014
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The Dos and Don'ts of Suffering
1 Peter 4:12-19
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Pain and suffering dominate our world. To some, that poses an insurmountable roadblock to faith in a good and loving God. How can a loving God let such unlovely things happen all around the globe every day for millennia? Not only is this a deal breaker for unbelievers, but it presents a quandary for believers who want to make sense out of everything in life. The apostle Peter weighed in on these issues in a very personal way to his fellow Christians.
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5/18/2014
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Profile of a Good Shepherd
1 Peter 5:1-4
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"The church needs leaders who serve and servants who lead." So said one notable pastor. Peter doesn't address just the suffering flock of believers in this letter; he also has encouragement for the leaders of the flock—the pastors. What are the characteristics of a shepherd who serves among God's flock? What are his responsibilities, and how can a church flourish under such leadership? Here, Peter places himself and fellow shepherds under the microscope.
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5/25/2014
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The Upright Walk of a Bowed-Down Man
1 Peter 5:5-7
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One website I came across recently stated that "the more in control you are of your life, the more assured and confident you'll become." The same website warned readers to not trust others. That is, unfortunately, the by-product of our proud world. But walking among others means we sometimes need to bend low in humility for the sake of solidarity and unity. Peter's words on this are timeless.
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6/1/2014
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Lion Alert!
1 Peter 5:8-9
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Just think what would happen if a lion from our local zoo escaped and was wandering around the park, looking for a fresh kill. Can you imagine the pandemonium that would erupt if such a misfortune occurred? Imagine no more! Our Enemy is far more dangerous and formidable and is on the prowl to destroy the spiritual lives of the residents of planet Earth, especially those who belong to Christ. Let's consider the battle and the potential outcome.
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6/29/2014
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A Rock-Solid Finish
1 Peter 5:10-14
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Peter ended his letter with a few nuggets of distilled truth. In just a couple of verses, he concentrated everything he had already said. To his suffering audience, Peter offered assurance of God’s perfect plan that began when they trusted in Christ and wouldn’t end until they were firmly secure in the glories of heaven. Though pain is part of the process of perfection, the finish line is worth it!
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10/12/2014
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Building a Forever Faith
2 Peter 1:1-11
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To build a home or a commercial building requires having the right people and the right materials in place. There is a critical path for the work to follow. And there are blueprints and building codes for the builders to follow. It's the same when it comes to building a spiritual life. As Peter began his second letter, he spoke to the need of spiritual growth. To build a "forever faith," Peter shared four important principles to build successfully.
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10/19/2014
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How to Live and Die Well
2 Peter 1:12-15
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Peter lived his life knowing the brevity of it. Here, he wrote as an older man in his seventies. Realizing there was more road behind him than ahead of him, he gave a model for us. Essentially we have here an excellent example of how to live well and how to die well. Let's answer the question How can I live and die well? by considering four keys passed along by Peter himself.
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10/26/2014
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Is It True? How Can I Know?
2 Peter 1:16-21
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Truth is a slippery word. Definitions get assigned to it that are contradictory, purely individual, and without any validation. Peter wanted his readers to know things. He was giving them truth that was both personally familiar and prophetically verifiable. How can we today know that what we believe in and hope for is actually true?
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11/9/2014
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Caution: Ruts Ahead!
2 Peter 2:15-22
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The quality, comfort, and success of a journey depend largely on the conditions of the road, the company you keep, and the destination you’re heading for. False teachers and their devotees guarantee a perilous voyage and a bad finish! Today we are challenged to live cautiously as we make progress in our journey of faith and to watch out for ruts.
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11/16/2014
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Look, Jesus Is Coming!
2 Peter 3:1-10
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The second coming of Jesus Christ will be the greatest day in humankind’s history. The promise of His return to rule the world He created has been what believers have longed for the last 2,000 years. Jesus’ return will be the solution to every social, moral, political, and spiritual issue and problem. But what do other people (besides Christian believers) think about such a notion? And, as we wait for His return, what should we look for, and where ought we to be looking?
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11/23/2014
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Breaking Up Camp and Moving On
2 Peter 3:10-18
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We have studied both letters of Peter and have seen how anyone whose life would otherwise be weak, wobbly, and failure ridden can become Rock Solid through Christ. This is vital since life in this world is dynamic, shifting, and transitory. This world is passing; its glory is fading. Thus, anyone who places all their energy and hope in this life alone will be disappointed. Today, as we end our series, we consider where we are eventually headed and how to arrive safely.
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There are 35 additional messages in this series.