Second Peter 2:14  




In Second Peter 2:14 the Bible is continuing with its description of false teachers and other human beings who have turned away from Christ and who are now headed for judgment and doom. It says about these lost souls, “Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercized with covetous practices; cursed children.” This Bible verse gives some important clues about sin and temptation. First it says, “Having eyes full of adultery.” If you want to avoid adultery and many other sins, then be careful what you do with your eyes. We live in a day when people are looking at things that they should not be looking at. If people would be more careful with what they do with their eyes, then they would be more successful with what they do with the rest of their body. 


God considers adultery to be a terrible sin. It is a terrible sin. Adultery is a departure from life the way that it was meant to be lived. Adultery will have destructive consequences. God’s will for every person is that each would leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife, except for those who have the gift of celibacy. There is no other philosophy for the man-woman relationship that will work. False teachers have “eyes full of adultery.” Jesus said, “You shall know them by their works.” Do not be surprised when you hear of the terrible things that some end up doing. They are false, and the fruits of their life show them for what they are.


False teachers beguile “unstable souls.” How do you keep from being led astray by a false teacher? Do not be an unstable soul. It is the unstable souls who are beguiled. Become stable: become grounded in the truth of the Word of God. It is the only way to keep from being beguiled. No wonder the false teachers are gaining in power and influence. It is a natural outcome of people not being established in the Word of God. 


Second Peter 2:14 says that these wicked people “cannot cease from sin.” True belief in Christ involves turning from sin. Jesus said, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Anyone that is a true Christian has turned from their sins, and has turned to the Lord to start following Him. “Let him that stole steal no more.” These false teachers do not talk about turning from sin, because they themselves continue in sin. It takes the grace of God to start a new way and new life on the straight and narrow path that Jesus spoke of. Those who have not tasted of God’s grace have no capacity to change. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away, behold all things are new.” But if any man not be in Christ, that man may attempt to reform his life by human effort, but evil spirits seven times worse than the first can come into him at any time.


Second Peter 2:14 says that these wicked human beings who are headed for judgment have a “heart” that they “have exercized with covetousness.” The word that is translated “covetousness” refers to the love of money. “The love of money is the root of all evil.” Money is necessary in this world for certain practical requirements, and a Christian should have an understanding of how to properly handle money, but money should not be loved. Those who love money are willing to commit great sins in order to get money.


The love of money is one reason that false teachers continue in their ways. They say what they have to say in order to get what they want to get. That is exactly what Balaam did in the Old Testament. Second Peter 2:15-16 says, “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.” One of the things that showed how displeased the Lord was with Balaam and what Balaam did is the fact that God caused a donkey to speak. This is one of the incidents in the Bible that really gets your attention because of how unique it is. Anyone that is an animal lover and who has had pets knows that an animal communicates in very definite ways, but this animal spoke with a man’s voice. If a teacher departs from the right way, it would be better for an animal to speak than for that teacher to speak. An animal would know better what to say than the teacher who teaches because he loves money. A teacher must love truth and must teach truth no matter what the cost.


Second Peter 2:17 says that false teachers “are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved forever.” This verse contains two statements to describe the false teachers, and then we are given one more reminder of their destiny. Throughout this chapter we have been reminded over and over of their destiny. Because of such reminders, we are kept aware of the fact that God is in control. Righteousness will prevail no matter how successful the false teachers appear to be with the multitudes who come to hear them and who are deceived by them.


The false teachers are “wells without water.” A well without water accomplished nothing for the thirsty soul. Water gives life, but those who come to these wells will find no water and will in no way be nourished for their soul. The false teachers are “clouds that are carried with the tempest.” There is something that is sinister about false teachers. They cause their listeners to wander away from the truth, because they themselves are carried away from it. Just as a cloud is blown by the wind, these are blown about by the winds of false teaching.


Second Peter 2:18 says, “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.” From a human standpoint the false teachings often have remarkable speaking ability. Their human speaking ability is a great “allure” to those who do not have spiritual ears attuned to the word of God. That is the same thing that Paul said about false teachers in Romans 16:18. Paul wrote that the false teachers “by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple


These particular false teachers that Peter is writing about evidently justify immorality. Peter writes in Second 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.” This truth applies not just to these false teachers, but to anyone who claims that they are free because they have no law or moral standard as their guide. In truth they are not free. They are slaves to their own lusts and sins.


Second Peter 2:20 says, “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.” The phrase “the pollutions of the world” refers to the things of the world that cause defilement by the wrong kind of involvement with them. A Christian needs wisdom to keep himself from certain activities of the world that corrupt people. There are parties that Christians should not go to. There are movies that Christians should not see. There are pictures that Christians should not look at. There are drinks that Christians should not drink.


What happens when someone appears to clean their life up, but then gets entangled in the ungodly activities of the world again? “The latter end is worse with them than the beginning.” The thing about this statement is that it is hard to tell if it is addressed to Christians or non-Christians. Maybe that is because it applies to both. A non-Christian who through self-reformation cleans up his life, is always subject to eventually being much worse than before his reformation. That is what we would expect from someone who does not have the Spirit of God within them. And that seems to be what Jesus was talking about when He said in Matthew 12:43-45, “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation       


But this same principle applies to Christians also. A Christian can fall away from following Christ and appear to be part of the world. That is what Peter himself did when Jesus was arrested and crucified. A Christian can even forget what it means to be a Christian, and can even forget that he was saved from his sins. That is what the Bible indicates in Second Peter 1:9 when it says that he “hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” How bad can a Christian be? A Christian can be as bad as anyone, if he lives according to the flesh. Of course, if he lives according to the flesh, there will be a high price to pay. He will be living according to the principle of death. Romans 8:6 says “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:13 says, “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the spirit do mortify the deeds of the flesh, ye shall live


Concerning the terrible consequences for those who turn from the teachings of Christ to the world, the Bible says in Second Peter 2:21, “For it had been better for them not to have know the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.” Peter said by the Holy Spirit, “For it had been better for them…” The goal of life is to become the best that you can be in regards to the person that the Lord wants you to become. This will lead to you being all that you can be in heaven also. There will be loss at the entrance into heaven: loss of rewards. These rewards are probably authorities, opportunities, positions, and other recognition that the Lord will give to those who serve Him faithfully.


It is better to not know truth, than to know it and then turn away from it. That is one of the main reasons that preacher-kids often go so wrong. It is not that their parents were bad parents. Rather, it is because the children had such great opportunity to hear truth and to know truth. When these children purposely turn away from truth, they have nowhere to go but down. The same is true of anyone who is exposed to truth, and then who rejects it. Jesus said that such was the case for the communities where He visited and taught, but who did not receive His teachings. Jesus said in Matthew 11:21-24, “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shall be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee


From this passage and others like it, it seems that there will be degrees of punishment in hell. That is consistent with our sense of justice. For example, it seems just that someone who hates God, but who was not a murderer would suffer less in hell than someone else who hates God and was a mass-murderer. The same is true in regards to the opportunity to hear and know truth. The measure of your responsibility is the measure of your opportunity.


You have an opportunity to be saved by bowing before the Lord Jesus, turning from your sins, and believing in Him. If you do that, you will then have an opportunity to study His Word and to follow Him in this world. If you do those two things: become saved by faith and afterwards faithfully follow Christ, then you will arrive in heaven receiving the rewards that are destined to be yours. If you fail to do the first thing, you will suffer a great loss: the loss of your soul. If you fail to do the second thing, you will suffer another great loss: the loss of your rewards. May God have mercy on us all. 





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