There are lots of opinions out there about God, even among Christians. So how do you tell the difference between people who genuinely speak on behalf of God and those who just say they do? Peter describes some characteristics of false teachers that are still relevant today in a time where anyone can post on YouTube or social media about any issue in our world, claiming to speak for God!
Someone might be a false Christian teacher if…
- Their teaching ultimately destroys those who embrace it.
- They deny Jesus as the Lord who shed his blood to forgive our sins.
- They talk about God’s grace but lead lives filled with shameful immorality. This is very different than a repentant sinner depending on God’s grace avoiding not making a practice of sinning.
- They poorly represent Jesus, causing outsiders to reject and slander Christianity.
- They lie to get money from people.
Despite the religious mess we see today, Peter is confident that God is able to sort it all out. Peter points us back to the Bible. That is always a good sign that someone is a true teacher of Christianity. He doesn’t just take a few verses out of context to steal the authority of the Bible in people’s lives to say what he wants, but lays out a whole set of stories from the Bible all to show that God knew how to deal with false teachers then, meaning we can trust he knows how to deal with them in our time too.
Questions for reflection:
- Who do you trust to help you understand God’s Word and why?
- What is something you can do to avoid causing outsiders to slander Christianity?