Scripture Reading: II Peter 2:1-22.
Memory Verse: “For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.” (II Peter 2:21)
In our recent studies we have read about the many rewards and advantages of acquiring the knowledge of God. It is encouraging when we can dwell upon the positive benefits of the gospel. It should also be encouraging when we are able to identify and recognize the deceit of Satan.
Even as Peter wrote, the devil was seeking to make inroads to dilute the purity of the church. “The tone of the epistle now changes from grave exhortation to stern warning concerning error. Having set forth the true light, Peter now puts his readers on guard against dangerous false teachers” (Edgar C. James).
Striking examples are provided on how the judgment of God dealt severely with those who sought to pervert the truth of God. This lesson reveals the conduct, character, and condemnation of false teachers. It further reveals the results as they make inroads into the church.
The weaker Christian appears to be the most vulnerable, but even stable Christians must be aware of Satan’s tactics. When we know the way of God and tum aside from it, the result is devastating. Recognizing and espousing the dangers of abandoning true knowledge can lead to a stronger church. A stronger church can better equip and protect themselves from those who seek to demoralize God’s people through false teaching.
- How does Peter describe false teachers, their message, their motive, and their future? II Peter 2:1-3. How are they further described by Paul and Jude? Romans 16:18; Jude 1:4.
- Discuss the three examples of divine judgment that dealt with those who sought to pervert God’s truth? II Peter 2:4-6.
- What is said of Lot in spite of his surroundings? II Peter 2:7, 8. Study the word “vexed” and how it should affect us when we see truth perverted. Psalm 119:53; Ezra 9:1-5.
- What fate awaits those who pervert the truth? II Peter 2:9. How are some of them described? II Peter 2:10; Jude 1:10-16.
- Why don’t false teachers realize what they’re doing? II Peter 2:11-12. In whose hands must we leave them for judgment? II Peter 2:13.
- Who is affected most by false teachers? II Peter 2:14. What should this compel the church to do?
- What happened when Balaam chose the wrong way? II Peter 2:15-16; Revelation 2:14.
- What do we gain by abandoning true knowledge for deceit? II Peter 2:17-18; Jude 1:12-13.
- Instead of promised freedom from God’s restraints, what really takes place? II Peter 2:19-20; Matthew 12:43-45.
- Why would it be better to be an unbeliever than to have believed and turned aside? II Peter 2:21-22; Luke 9:62.
EXTRA-MILE QUESTION: What steps can we take to prevent the perversion of substitution of God’s truth?