1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
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.
2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
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. 2 Pet. 1:21-2:3
Sometimes the King James Version of the Bible is a little foggy particularly for our modern times, so let us begin with a little grammar check on these verses.
“Privily” = secretly
“Pernicious” = harmful, evil, deadly, ruinous
“Make merchandise of” = exploit
“Feigned” = deceptive
There. Now, let us look closely at this portion of scripture.
The most important thing I want us to notice here is that God promises to bring “swift destruction” to a certain group of people within the church. The term “swift destruction” is so telling here, and we had better pay attention.
Now, notice the particular group that God promises to bring swift destruction upon: “false teachers… who privily shall bring in damnable heresies”.
What is a heresy? A heresy is a teaching that takes God’s Word and uses it to negate what God has said. In fact a heresy actively fights against God and His Word. In that sense, it brings spiritual destruction to whoever is listening to it. A heresy destroys God’s people.
God is not bothered by the weak Christian who is struggling with sin. The Apostle Paul struggled with sin (Romans 7), and yet God loved and effectively used him. We all struggle against sin, but God is not angry at us.
But God is angry at false teachers within the church. Why? It is because these people destroy God’s church. God is very, very upset with is someone who would introduce into the church something to defend their fleshly desires and the carnal way of life they have chosen to follow. Yes, you might not know it, but there are preachers out there who have chosen to live a certain worldly lifestyle and they will go to any lengths to achieve their goal. There are others who are actively listening to demonic teachings.
Yes, there are preachers today who are doing exactly that. Unfortunately, they are too many to count. In all likelihood, they far outnumber the true servants of God. Moreover, they are doing it openly. They have no fear of God. Some are using the Bible to enrich themselves, and to throw God’s people off the track to the road of salvation.
But the church is God’s sanctity. You cannot play around with it. God cannot allow that. If you find the narrow road is too tough for you, you would be better advised to go back into the world – where you might have another chance of beginning anew – rather than play games with God’s church. God’s patience with that is pretty thin. That is exactly what the Bible is saying here.
Now, there are people in church who will defend anything. There are people who will defend these kinds of preachers to the death. But, pray, why not defend God’s Word? Who is that “important” person you are defending? Is he/she more important than God?
God says in His Word that He will not allow anyone to play about with the sanctity of the church.
Y’know, one time I took my children to a small farm i had bought, to farm. It was virgin land, and thick with overgrowth. Suddenly, some animal rose up from the bushes, and the commotion it made was so abrupt and loud that everyone nearly had a heart attack. But I remember what I did. Without thinking, I rushed ahead and instantly put myself between myself and the animal. I don’t think I am an exceptionally brave person, but on that day, I was ready to die to defend my children. Luckily, the animal lost nerve and ran in the opposite direction.
It is the same with God. God will not allow someone to destroy His church. He will swiftly destroy these fraudulent preachers. They bring reproach upon the church, and upon the Word of God. Today, in my country, I see a trend whereby the world is slowly disbelieving the church. The title “Pastor” or “servant of God” is associated with hooliganism, thuggery, and unending scandals. And it is the same with the terms “saved” or “born-again Christian”.
This is all a result of the heresies that are being introduced into the church. The church is no longer teaching the pure doctrine of Christ, therefore it has no power to convict the world. But the Bible says about the early Church: “And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them” (Acts 5:13).
Today the world scoffs at the church.
God will not allow that to continue happening on account of preachers who want to fulfill the lusts of their flesh. He says He will bring “swift destruction” upon them. They are the enemies of the cross of Jesus.
We need to fear God and go back to the message of the early church: the message of the cross of Jesus Christ, which alone can deal with all these carnal heresies that are tearing apart the church of God.