“1But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”
My previous two posts have been on the lengthy side so I am only going to highlight a few key points in this passage.
v.1 Peter assures the recipients of this letter that just as assuredly as false teachers emerged to deceive Israel false teachers would arise to deceive them as well. This remains a sure reality to this day; that false teachers will arise to deceive God’s people. By “secretly,” Peter is not talking about individuals who are covert but prominent teachers who covertly disguise damning lies as Truth. The Greek word (despoten) Master is the word from which we derive the English word “despot.” These false teachers deny, by both their teaching and their lifestyle, the absolute sovereign nature of God.
v.2 Many, who appear to be of God’s chosen people, will follow their evil desires and embrace false teaching. Because of these nominal Christians, the True Gospel is blasphemed. This is exactly what Paul describes in Romans 2:23-24 where the hypocrisy of the Jews led the Gentiles to blaspheme God.
v.3 Driven by covetousness false teachers will try to take advantage of you with their lies. After what seems to be a discouraging promise that false teachers will arise to deceive nominal Christians; Peter encourages us with God’s sovereignty. God, in an exercise of His sovereign choice (Romans 9), prepared these false teachers for destruction, a destruction that is not idle but is actively storing up wrath for the day when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed (Romans 2:5). False teachers do not exist outside of God’s control, they may reject His rule and His authority but He remains sovereign over them (Romans 9:14-23).