Second Peter 2:1  




The Bible says in Second 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.” At the end of chapter one, we are told about “holy” men whom God had used to give us the Word of God. Now we are being told about other individuals who are being used to teach against the truth. We have the Word of God in order to stay well informed of the truth. But there are false teachers.


There are those who claim to be teaching the truth, but they are actually teaching “damnable heresies.” If people do not do the things listed in chapter one of Second Peter, then they will fall prey to the false teachers mentioned here in chapter two. In chapter one, believers were told to add to their faith “knowledge.” Those who have not added knowledge to their faith will not recognize a false teacher. Someone might have a charming personality and be a good speaker, but they still might also be a “false teacher.” Concerning the false teachers, the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 16:18 “But they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple


What are the “damnable heresies” that are taught by these false teachers? The most obvious and most damnable of all false teachings is given in the very next phrase in Second Peter 2:1 that says, “even denying the Lord that bought them.” The central truth of all truth has to do with the question, “Who is Jesus Christ?” One common theme among all false religion and all false teaching has to do with denying the divine nature of Jesus Christ. Jesus asked this question, “Whom do men say that I am?” No matter what else they teach, whoever teaches the wrong answer to this question is a false teacher. Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus is God in the flesh. Jesus is the great I AM. Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” Thomas fell at the feet of Jesus and said, “My Lord and my God.” All false religion denies this truth. The Jews deny it. The Moslems deny it. The Jehovah Witnesses deny it. The modernist liberal Christians deny it. All of them are false. All of their writings that have spoken against the deity of Christ are false writings and false teachings.


The false teachings are easy to recognize, if you have learned well the scriptures. The scriptures shine as a light in a dark place. If only people would learn the scriptures and what is the truth about Jesus Christ. Sadly, many have not learned, and so Second Peter 2:2 says, “And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” The word that is translated “pernicious” means destructive. It comes from the same word that is used to refer to the devil as the destroyer. False teachers destroy. They destroy faith, and they destroy lives. Of course, eventually they become known for what they are by those who have some spiritual insight. Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruits.” “Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,” but these are unholy men. Once they are discovered, often it is too late to stop much of the damage that they have done, and they will do damage because their ways are destructive ways. Because they are in among the believers, they become identified with believers, and because of this “the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” Lost people will look for excuses to turn from truth, and a great scandal caused by a false teacher will cause some to speak against the way of truth.


How does it happen? How do these false teachers get in among the believers? Remember that these are deceitful people. Churches have open-door policies. Just about anyone who claims to believe is accepted as a believer. Just about anyone of these can go to a seminary, get a degree, learn the terms and definitions, and then be ordained as a teacher of Christian truth. These false teachers “privily shall bring in damnable heresies.” The word that is translated “privily” means “secretly.” They do not reveal themselves as false teachers. They hide it as best they can, by using language that often sounds very similar to the truth, but is not the truth. If it is not the truth, then what is it? It is “damnable heresies.” The word that is translated “damnable” comes from the same word that is translated “pernicious” in verse two, and we have seen that it means “destructive.” The word that is translated “heresies” refers to the fact that these people have made a conscious choice to reject the truth. They know what they are doing in the falsehood that they teach.


Why do false teachers do what they do? Why do they go to such a great effort to hide what they really are? Second Peter 2:3 answers that question. It says, “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.” Notice the words “through covetousness.” The word “covetousness” refers to having a lust for material possessions. A covetous person often wants to get as much as possible of the things that you possess. A false teacher uses religion to accomplish their covetous desires. They want to spread their teachings and have a greater influence in order to get more money. They are willing to say whatever they have to say in order to get more money. The false teachers use “feigned words.” In other words they carefully form their words in order to get the desired effect: to get people to give them more money. Remember that the Word of God tells us that what the false teachers do is a result of “covetousness.” When they see a human being, they do not see a soul with spiritual needs. They see a source of money.


It is terrible what the false teachers do. They are deceitful. They twist the Word of God. They are liars. They destroy lives. They take advantage of people for material gain. In these last days it appears as though the false teachers are gaining the upper hand. Vast multitudes follow them and give money to them. But the Word of God makes it very clear what will be the final outcome of these false teachers. The last part of Second Peter 2:3 says that two things will come upon the false teachers: judgment and damnation. Concerning the judgment of the false teachers, like everyone else they will give an account to the Judge of what they have done. Referring to this great judgment that will surely come, Revelation 20:11-15 says “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire


The false teachers will receive judgment, and they will also receive “damnation” according to Second Peter 2:3. Something very interesting is that the word that is translated “damnation” was also used in Second Peter 2:1 that spoke of the “damnable heresies” of the false teachers, and was used in Second Peter 2:2 that spoke of the “pernicious ways” of the false teachers. These two phrases mean the “destructive heresies” and the “destructive ways” of the false teachers. They destroyed others by their false teachings, but they will receive the just compensation of their deeds: they will be damned. In other words, instead of destroying others, they will be destroyed by God.


That is the clear teaching of the Bible. There is a judgment coming, and some people are not going to survive the judgment. Some people are not going to be allowed into heaven. Actually, Jesus taught that many people are not going to make it into heaven. He said, “Narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it; but broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there be that go in thereat.” There is a heaven and a hell, and there is a judgment. Justice will be served. Even though the numbers of false teachers is increasing and even though their influence is growing, they are heading to judgment. Turn to Jesus for salvation while you can.


In all of the ages of human history, God has judged false teachers and other creatures who have opposed the truth. Several examples are given in the rest of this chapter concerning those who opposed the truth and the judgment that came upon them. The examples given were fallen angels, all the world during the time of Noah, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the prophet Balaam. The Bible says in Second Peter 2:4, “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.” This verse tells us the original reason that hell was created. It was not created for man, but for the fallen angels. What a terrible destination awaits some human beings. They will be going to a place that they never should have had to go to. If only they had turned to Christ.


There are two things that can be discovered about hell from this verse. Once someone is put in hell, they stay there. The words “chains” and “reserved” tell us that. Jesus indicated the same thing when He spoke of a rich man who had been sent to hell. Jesus said that Abraham was in paradise and Abraham said to the rich man, “And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.” Hell is a place of eternal torment. The chance to escape from hell is now: before you go there. “Today is the day of salvation. Now is the accepted time.” Jesus said, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish


Hell is a place of “darkness.” In hell there will be no light. Jesus is the Light of the world. In the world in which we live, the sun gives light and all biological life is dependent upon the light. The same is true in the spiritual world. All spiritual life is dependent upon the One who is the Light. In this world, all human beings are blessed by their creator. All share and partake of the blessings of human life. But there will come a day when the blessings of life will be taken away from those who do not have a Savior.


Notice carefully the reason that creatures are sent to hell. Second Peter 2:4 says that “the angels that sinned” were cast down to hell. Human beings will go to hell for the same reason: sin. God is holy. Nothing sinful nor unclean will enter the gates of heaven. It will be a terrible thing to stand before the holy and righteous Judge without a Savior. How much He loved us to send His Son to die in our place! But those who have turned from the truth do not have a Savior, and so they are heading for the place that was prepared for the devil and his demons, and has also become the abode of sinners. Of course, the one exception to this is sinners who have been saved through faith in Jesus.


At least we know that justice will be served. That is the emphasis of these prophecies. Yes, the world is going crazy. Yes, there are many false teachers. Yes, many have turned from the truth to lies. But the judgment is coming. Justice will be done. The right thing will be done by the great and holy God when He chooses the time.


Turning back to our examples of God’s judgment, we see that Second Peter 2:5 tells us that God “spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly


One thing to notice about the time of Noah is that the vast majority of people did not get saved. They could have been saved. God wanted them to be saved. But the vast majority made spiritual decisions against the truth. God has given all human beings free will, and He has always done that. He sent His Son to die for the world, but every human being has a free choice to turn to Christ or not. During the time of Noah, most human beings chose “no.” For everyone that chooses “no,” the consequences will be to face the righteous and powerful Judge of the whole earth. Judgment is coming against sinners. Do not end up in the place that was prepared for the angels that sinned. Do not end up in the place where the false teachers are going. Say “yes” to Christ. Turn to Him for the forgiveness of your sins while you still have time.




Copyright; 2006 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved