Our Lord not only rebuked the religious leaders of His day for their false doctrine and for leading people astray, He warned us about such prophets and teachers (see Matthew 7:13-29; 23:1-37; 24:11; etc.). As the apostle Peter saw the day of his own death drawing near, he also warned of those false teachers who would arise, seeking to turn men and women from the faith. Second Peter begins with an exhortation to spiritual growth, and an affirmation of the reliability and authority of the Scriptures, as recorded by the apostles through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (chapter 1). He then goes on to warn us of false prophets, and to assure us of the certainty that God is able to “rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment” (2:1-9). Peter describes not only the doctrinal deviations of the false teachers, but the tell-tale signs of spiritual deadness which is evident in their values and lifestyles (2:10-22).
As Peter warns us of the error which the false teachers disseminate concerning the end times, correcting these errors and exhorting us to stand fast until the coming of our Lord, as we “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (3:1-18). Peter’s last words are vitally important words for these “last days” in which we live. Let us hear and heed them as we study this great epistle.
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