2 Peter 2:2–3, “2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”
Thousands of years ago, the Lord God redeemed Jacob’s descendant’s from slavery in Egypt, saving them from their cruel taskmasters. With that said, all of them were redeemed only in a temporary, earthly sense, not in a permanently heavenly sense. Many turned their backs on the one true and living God, revealing during this period of redemptive history that they lacked genuine faith and that their sin had never been genuinely atoned for. The Lord Jesus in one sense has bought a type of redemption for all those who confess Him as Lord and Savior. False teachers will arise and finally deny the Lordship of Christ proving that the redemption purchased for them was not the final, ultimate redemption from sin in Christ alone for the elect. Rather Jesus only bought the people of God by incorporating them into a set-apart community the visible church. Though these false teachers and others without genuine faith receive some gracious benefits since they are part of the community of God, the Lord Jesus never made atonement for their sin.
Scripture has much to say on the topics of divine election and on the Lord Jesus bearing the penalty for His people (John 10:14-16), by revealing that He only paid for the sins of the elect, a particular people of God. Only the elect will have true genuine saving faith, and only such faith will persevere until till the end in truth and love until death (John 10:25-30; Matthew 10:22).
Peter’s discussion of false teaching in this epistle is important for Christians will not be able to persevere in genuine faith unless they recognize falsehood. In 2 Peter 2:2-3, Peter gives Christians two marks that distinguish the false teachers he deals with: sensuality and greed. Given the testimony of church history and 2 Peter 2:2-3, readers should not be surprised that these marks were true not only of Peter’s opponents but also often of false teachers today also.
Many people today fail to discern biblical teachers from false teachers who blaspheme the way of truth in Christ alone and biblical orthodoxy. Christians can rest assured that the Lord will give to each person according to their deeds, including every false teacher receiving their due punishment on the day of judgment.
Fallen men will always look for any excuse to malign the way of the Lord Jesus Christ, but Christians should not give them extra cause to do so. While most of us may never be guilty of spreading false teaching, our lifestyle may indeed contribute to another’s sin if we are not careful to follow Christ in our daily lives (Matthew 18:5-7). Please remember as a Christian others are watching you, so you should endeavor to do nothing that would bring reproach to your Lord Jesus.
Dave Jenkins is happily married to Sarah Jenkins. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, the Host and Producer of Equipping You in Grace Podcast, and is a contributor to and producer of Contending for the Word. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021) and The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against the Spirit of the Age (G3 Press, 2022). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.