Sermon Info:

Responsive Reading:  2 Peter 2:1-3, 12-20
Key Verse(s): 2 Peter 2:18
Background Scripture:  1 Kings 22:1-23

Watch Today’s Sermon

Listen To Today’s Sermon


What would you rather hear:  the truth or something that sounds good but is not the truth?  The answer should not be difficult.  Personally, I much rather know the truth so that if I have erred, I can make corrections instead of continuing in a way that is not right.  By knowing the truth, I can live my life without worry, so therefore, I can live with peace of mind.  As I have said for two months now, living with my heart at ease (at rest) is me living for the better.

What is the Truth

So, ask yourself, could you truly live for the better if you choose to fool yourself and live a lie?  For several years I did that with my blood pressure when I knew high blood pressure ran in my family, and that I had it but chose to ignore it.  Had I chosen not to ignore the truth I could have made proper corrections and I would not have ended up having kidney failure and on dialysis for 5 years.

So, from my personal experience, I would tell you that living a lie is foolish and can be grave.  It is not good for anyone’s health – physically, mentally, emotionally, and certainly not spiritually – to choose to not live by the truth.  So, since it is not good to live a lie, you may be thinking to yourself:  What is the truth?

The divine truth

As I have said in the past, there are subjective and objective truths – truths based on opinions and truths based on ‘proven’ research.  These truths are often changing because opinions often change and new research can change ‘proven’ truths.

Spiritually speaking, there will be arguments over the truth but we are of a faith that believes in the divine truth given by God.  Let us remember that Christ, the only begotten Son, said what He spoke (taught and preached) was by the Father’s authority; what He said were the words of the Father (John 12:49-50).  So, what message – what truth – did Jesus share?

Jesus said that we have dwelt in the bondage of sin due to our disobedience of not keeping God’s instructions (John 8:31-36).  By living in disobedience, we, mankind, chose to live out of harmony with the Lord.  However, by telling us the truth, Jesus offered us a way of correction.  Jesus said that should we believe in Him we will not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

So, over this entire series – Living for the Better – I have shared the divine truth with you in the hope that you would heed it and make corrections so that you can live by the truth.  Those that heed the truth and live by the truth can and will live for the better.  When we heed the word of God, we end up living blessed lives where we are favored by the Lord; God will comfort us and carry us through your trials and tribulations.

Ultimately, when we live by the truth, God will make us happy and content in our souls and I tell you there are no riches of this world that are greater than this blessing from God.  Now, though I say this, the divine truth has many enemies that oppose and speak against it as many believe you don’t need God to live for the better.

Ignoring the Truth

In his second letter, Peter both desired and encouraged believers to live by the truth — the word of God.  First, Peter testified that he and others did not follow “cunningly devised fables” as they were eyewitnesses of the majesty of Christ (2 Pet. 1:16).  Peter wanted his readers to know that he was not making something up, but that he was an eyewitness to the divine truth.

Something seen throughout New Testament scripture is the writers having to state that they were eyewitnesses of Christ.  Time and time again Paul stated his witness as a servant of the Lord.  In his letters and his gospel, John did the same in stating he was a personal witness of Christ in the flesh.  Have you ever wondered why the apostles felt the need to make those statements?

Choosing to live a lie

We will see Peter give us the reason in our scripture today.  Peter stated, “there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord (2 Pet. 2:1).”

Peter was very concerned about false teachers and the doctrine of lies they would, and had already begun, to spread.  The major concern was that apostates – those that deliberately choose to live in sin – would spread lies and believers would heed those lies as if they were the truth.  Peter did not want any believers to heed the lies of false teaching and then live by those lies.

To the Jewish Christians, Peter reminded them of the trouble brought upon their people due to the lies of false prophets (2 Pet. 2:1).  You see, the false prophets encouraged the children of Israel to continue in wickedness and many rejoiced in doing so.  As the saying goes, ignorance is bliss, and many were glad to live a lie.  As Peter reminded the Jewish Christians to teach them, we too can learn from what happened to the children of Israel due to false prophecy.

King Ahab, I believe, is one of the best examples of people in scripture that chose to live a lie and foolishly rejoice in doing so.  In 1 Kings 22:1-23, Israel and Judah were deciding whether or not they would fight Syria for some land that had belonged to them.  Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and a man of faith, desired to hear from God before he made any decision to move.  I would tell you that this is the proper choice everyone should make prior to making decisions in their life – consult the Lord.

So, Ahab sent for prophets to “consult the Lord” about fighting Syria.  The problem, however, was that Ahab brought in 400 false prophets to ‘speak’ on behalf of God.  The false prophets said to Ahab and Jehoshaphat that it was fine for Israel and Judah to fight Syria as the Lord would deliver the land to them (1 Kgs. 22:6-7) – this was a lie (1 Kgs. 22:14-17).

Jehoshaphat was not fooled by the lies of the false prophet and he asked Ahab,  “Is there not still a prophet of the Lord here, that we may inquire of Him?”  Ahab and the northern kingdom were truly some sinful people!  To see how sinful they were, let’s take a look at Ahab’s answer to Jehoshaphat.

Ahab answered and said that he had one prophet of the Lord but he hated the prophet because the prophet never said anything he liked (1 Kgs. 22:8).  It is not always good to simply hear what you like to hear!  I tell you, one who loves to live a lie is one who always wants to be lied to as it is like music to their ears!  People like this will always put people before them that will only speak words that they agree with – they are living a lie and this is not good.

Ahab was one that enjoyed being lied to because it made him feel good about himself; he always felt like he was right.  However, as is the case, the truth caught up to him and he foolishly lost his life to Syria by heeding the lies of the false prophets (1 Kgs. 22:31-34).

This is one of the many cautionary testimonies in scripture that confirms the proverb that states, “there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (Prov. 14:12).”  Listen to me when I say that just because something may seem right in your eyes and ears, does not mean that it is right for you.  Many have been deceived because something seemed or felt right but they did not consult God about it!

I get it, nobody likes to hear that they are wrong about something and be rebuked; some people rather be lied to because, as the saying goes, the truth hurts.  Yet, we aren’t little children, are we?  While the truth may hurt, I want to remind you that Jesus said the truth will make you free (John 8:32).

I much rather live in the liberty of God’s truth than live in a lie of false doctrine!  Among us, we must understand that there are false teachers with a false doctrine that they will preach like it is gospel; they believe their doctrine of lies to be the truth but its end is destruction.  So, we must recognize them and their doctrine, so that we do not give heed to their lies and be destroyed as those in Old Testament days that gave heed to the lies of false prophets.

The False Teacher

Peter’s concern about false teachers and their doctrine was one shared by the other apostles and ministers of the good news.  If you take a look at the gospels, you will see that this concern was also shared by Christ as well.  Jesus was so concerned about false teachers that He warned, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves (Matt. 7:15).”

If Jesus was concerned about false teachers and their doctrine, we should be equally, if not, more concerned.  So, let’s focus on the apostate – the false teacher – and their characteristics so that you are not led astray by false doctrine.

Knows the truth but denies it

From Jesus’ warning, we are told the most significant characteristic of the false teacher.  Jesus warned that false prophets (teachers) will dress up as sheep of Jesus’ flock, but in their heart, they’re not of Jesus’ sheep.  So, what is so significant about this statement?  To me, the fact that false teachers are able to work their way into the flock of Christ is very scary and very dangerous for us believers.

Why is this so scary?  Well, in his epistle, John said that those who do not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God, they are of the spirit of the Antichrist (1 John 4:3).  This raises the most frightening question to me and that question is this:  How could someone that is of the spirit of the Antichrist nestle their way into the flock of Christ and get close to us?

Let’s pay attention to what  John stated in the next chapter about the false teacher.  John stated, “they went out from us (followers of Christ) but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out …” (1 John 2:19).  The false teachers in John’s day were of the assembly of Christ, had heard the message of Christ, received the truth from God, identified themselves as followers of Christ but chose to forsake the assembly and forsake the truth.

A reminder for you:  the devil is a fallen angel.  As the devil fell from heaven, some have fallen from faith in the Lord and have gone out into the world to deceive it.  Let us also note, so that you are aware, false teachers know the truth!

This was a very somber admission from John.  I believe John saw some going around and preaching a message that denied living by the truth – the way of Christ – that he once saw in the congregation.  Maybe you know some that came up in church with you today that are out and about proudly denying the Lord.  There are many false teachers in the world today that were brought up with you learning the word of God but now they oppose Him.

False teachers know the truth, and as scripture states, they scoff at and mock the truth as they live according to their own truth (2 Pet. 3:3).  You see, it is one thing to deny the truth when you are ignorant (lacking knowledge) of the truth, but it is a completely different ballgame when you spread lies and know the truth.

False teachers are incredibly dangerous because they have the knowledge to be able to pull the wool over your eyes.  If you do not recognize them right away, it will be too late and you will find yourself living a lie rather than being one to live by the truth.  Again, consider Satan’s temptation of Christ and how he attempted to use knowledge of the truth to twist and corrupt it; false teachers will take sound doctrine, corrupt, and twist it for the purpose of fooling you.

Wells without water

In our key verse, Peter stated that false teachers will speak with “great swelling words” that allure through the lusts of the flesh.  False teachers are good at speaking; they are eloquent, charming, and know just the right things to say to butter you up and make you feel good.  Remember:  their goal is to persuade you to live by the same lie that they live by rather than to live by the truth.

18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error.


Though they are charming speakers, Peter tells us in our key verse that the speech of the false teachers are filled with words of emptiness.  Peter also said that these apostates are like wells without water (2 Pet. 2:17) – there is no hope in their words.  Yes, their words will please those that desire to live to fulfill the lusts of their flesh, however, their words will do nothing to profit the soul.

Peter stated that they will promise liberty – freedom – but what kind of liberty are they promising?  The devil promised Jesus worldly riches in his temptation; false teachers will promise you the same and say that you can have more fun living their way compared to the way of Christ.

The truth of the matter is that the promises of false teachers are of nothing; their freedom is freedom from righteousness.  I much rather live in the bondage of righteousness than to ever live in the shackles of sin again!  I desire to live by the truth because I desire to live for the better!

When you live by the truth – by Christ – burdens are eased, we overcome our afflictions, infirmities, trials and our tribulations.  To me, there is no greater riches than being blessed and highly favored!  Again, I much rather live by the truth and what has been promised by Christ than the promises of one who has fooled themselves.

Jesus said that we will recognize false teachers by their fruit (Matt. 7:16).  Jehoshaphat discerned the lies of the false prophets because their words were empty.  Like Jehoshaphat, we can easily recognize those that share false doctrine today because their words are of the world – they satisfy the flesh and not the soul.

Do Not be Led Astray

As John said in his epistle, we cannot believe every spirit there is!  You have heard me quote this before, but I will quote and say it again, you must test all spirits by the Spirit to see if they are of God (1 John 4:1).  Those spirits that are of the Lord are living by the word of God and will share a word that will help to uplift you regardless of how hard that truth may be.

Simply put, some of us have grown too stubborn to heed the actual truth so we will only want to hear what sounds good – this is not healthy if you desire to live for the better.  At the other end of the spectrum, some of us have become too gullible and will believe anything we see, hear, or read – this is also not healthy for us.

Proverbs tells us that the simple believes every word, but the prudent considers well his steps (Prov. 14:15).  Considering the times we live in, I would caution you to be prudent with your every step.  Consider what you hear and read today then ask yourself if it is the divine truth – does it profit your soul and give it rest?

We must not heed the voice of those that deny the way of God and share empty words and promises.  Should you choose to live a lie, you are making a choice that puts you at odds with God; you will live out of favor with Him.  How can you live for the better if you are not living in favor with the Lord?

So, I encourage you to live by His word so that you can enjoy His favor and His riches.  I encourage you again to live by the truth so that you can live a blessed life.


Thank You For Visiting New Found Faith

Sign up to our newsletter today so that you can stay up to date with New Found Faith