2 Peter 2: False Prophets

What is the difference between true and false prophecy?

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2 Peter 2:1 False prophets in those days lied to the people just like some teachers today present untrue doctrines, even denying the divinity of Christ who made salvation available to them, which assures their sudden destruction.
1 John 4:1 My dear friends in Christ, don’t believe every voice when you first hear it. Question whether the message is really from God, because many false prophets are loose in the world.
King James
2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Why would anyone embrace a lie as the truth?

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Romans 1:24–25 God has given them free will to go their own way so they can enjoy their sinful pleasures, so they can do shameful acts with one another. In this process, they exchange the truth of God for the lies they want to believe, worshiping the creature instead of the Creator, who alone is worthy of eternal adoration. Yes, this is true.
2 Peter 2:2–3 Many will embrace their destructive teaching and say the way of truth is all a lie. In their greed, the false teachers weaved their lies into an appealing message to gain your support, but God judged them a long time ago. Their destruction is coming soon.
King James
Romans 1:24–25 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
2 Peter 2:2–3 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

What do those who preach an appealing message have to gain or lose?

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Matthew 18:6 “But if you cause one who believes in me to stumble, it would be better to have a millstone tied around your neck, be thrown into the sea, and drown in its depths.”
Luke 6:26 “Woe to the politically correct, those who say what people want to hear, for that is what their fathers liked about the false prophets.”
2 Peter 2:3 In their greed, the false teachers weaved their lies into an appealing message to gain your support, but God judged them a long time ago. Their destruction is coming soon.
King James
Matthew 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Luke 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
2 Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

After considering how God has judged sin in the past, how much concern should we have for wrongdoing among Christians?

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Romans 5:21 No longer does sin bring the threat of death, not when we have made Jesus Christ our Lord. When his nature rules in us, governing our actions, we have right standing with God and eternal life.
Romans 6:16 Don’t you know that you are a slave to whatever you obey? Either you serve sin and will die, or you serve God in complete obedience, choosing to do what is, to the best of your knowledge, most pleasing to him.
2 Peter 2:4–8 God wouldn’t overlook the sin of angels but cast them down from the heavenly realm, imprisoning them in the place of darkness until Judgment Day. God spared none of the ungodly of the ancient world. Only Noah, who preached righteousness, and seven others were saved in the Great Flood. God judged the sin and destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, leaving a mound of ashes to warn people of the consequence of sin and saved righteous Lot from shameful life of the wicked. For Lot was a good man distressed by what he saw and heard in his community day after day.
King James
Romans 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
2 Peter 2:4–8 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)

Why do Christians sometimes struggle with temptation ?

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Matthew 6:13 Keep us from temptation and protect us from evil. For yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Matthew 26:41 “Stay alert and pray so you do not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
James 1:14 People are tempted when their desires take them in a direction different from where God would have them go.
2 Peter 2:9–10 The Lord knows how to rescue godly people from temptations. He also has punishment ready for the unjust on the Judgment Day, those with filthy desires of the flesh, who despise authority. They are self-serving brash people who aren’t afraid to badmouth what should be highly respected.
King James
Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
James 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
2 Peter 2:9–10 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

Why do people often oppose what they do not understand?

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2 Peter 2:11–13 God’s messengers, who have much greater authority and power, wouldn’t think of saying anything against the Lord. But these insane monsters who slander what they don’t understand will be arrested, judged, and destroyed—their reward for all their wrongdoing. Even during the day, they love their wild parties, flaunting themselves in your presence as if their immorality is something to be admired.
King James
2 Peter 2:11–13 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;

What motivates sinners to entice others to sin?

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2 Peter 2:14 With eyes focused on sex and addicted to sin, they entice vulnerable people to selfish pleasures, making them children of the cursed.
King James
2 Peter 2:14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:

What are the rewards of unrighteousness?

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Hebrews 11:24–25 By faith, Moses as an adult refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, preferring affliction with the people of God above the pleasures of sin for a season.
2 Peter 2:15 They have strayed from what they knew was right, like Balaam, son of Beor, who loved the reward of unrighteousness.
King James
Hebrews 11:24–25 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
2 Peter 2:15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

After God said he could go, what was insane about Balaam going?

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Numbers 22:20–22 That night, God came to Balaam and said, “When the men come, arise and go with them, but only do what I tell you.”
So the next morning, Balaam saddled his donkey and went with the Moabite leaders. God was angry because Balaam went. As Balaam was riding his donkey, his two servants with him, the angel of the Lord blocked the way ahead.
2 Peter 2:15–16 They have strayed from what they knew was right, like Balaam, son of Bosor, who loved the reward of unrighteousness. But a dumb donkey spoke with a man’s voice, rebuking the prophet for his insanity.
King James
Numbers 22:20–22 And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do. And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab. And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.
2 Peter 2:15–16 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.

Why do people lack direction?

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John 16:13 “But when the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own authority but will say only what he hears. He will reveal to you things to come.”
Ephesians 4:14 Then we will no longer be immature children tossed about by every wind of doctrine, easily blown in different directions by deceivers who cleverly manipulate lies to look like the truth.
James 1:6 Ask in faith, never wavering in your trust for his guidance, lest you be like the waves of the sea, driven aimlessly by the wind,
2 Peter 2:17 These people are like dry wells, like clouds with no direction but to be driven by the wind, destined for eternal darkness.
King James
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
James 1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
2 Peter 2:17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

What kind of preaching could be an encouragement to sin?

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2 Peter 2:18 Their preaching sounds so wonderful as they appeal to people’s fleshly desires, sucking back into sin those who had barely escaped.
King James
2 Peter 2:18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.

If Christ came to set us free, what has the power to imprison us?

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Luke 4:18–21The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, freedom for the oppressed, and recovery of sight for the blind—to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.” He rolled up the scroll, handed it to the attendant, and sat down. Everyone looked intently at Jesus as he spoke. “This very day, that scripture has been fulfilled.”
John 8:34 “I tell you the absolute truth: everyone who sins is a slave to sin.”
Romans 6:16 Don’t you know that you are a slave to whatever you obey? Either you serve sin and will die, or you serve God in complete obedience, choosing to do what is, to the best of your knowledge, most pleasing to him.
2 Peter 2:19 With the promise of freedom, they become prisoners of wrongdoing—for all are slaves to whatever they allow to control them.
King James
Luke 4:18–21 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
John 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
2 Peter 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

How dangerous is sin in the life of a Christian?

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Hebrews 6:4–6 Those who have seen the light, accepted the gift of salvation, and received the Holy Spirit, having tasted the goodness of God’s word, experiencing the spiritual strength of the world to come, if they turn away, they have no means to gain repentance and forgiveness, since they crucify the Son of God a second time, putting him to open shame.
2 Peter 2:20–22 After coming to know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and escaping the world’s way of life, if they slip back into sin, they will be much worse off than before. Turning away from the good we know we should do is worse than having never known. But that has happened, just as the proverb says: “The dog returns to its vomit. A washed pig goes back to wallowing in the mud.”
King James
Hebrews 6:4–6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
2 Peter 2:20–22 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.