I’d like to just briefly touch on a couple of points made by Peter.
First, the topic of false teachers. They were a problem in Old Testament times, they were a problem in the early church, and they are a problem today.
False teachers are usually students of the human mind and human weaknesses, and they know what people like to hear. Their motivation is often for money, sometimes for power, and never for the benefit of the listener. Some false teachers have small followings, some have millions.
How do you know if someone is a false teacher? It’s not really that hard. You need to know what Scripture says. When you know the real thing well, counterfeits are easy to detect. This podcast is a good start in knowing the Bible, but it is no substitute for your actually applying yourself to deep, disciplined study on your own. Having a Bible teaching pastor is important, being a part of a good Bible study group is important, having trusted and godly friends is important. But nothing is more important that you actually getting to know the Word of God intimately yourself. As you study, pray and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and wisdom. That is a prayer that is always answered. And the more you study, the more you will begin to understand, and the easier it will be to identify false teachers.
And then the next point I’d like to discuss is the second coming of Jesus.
I recently had a discussion with someone who said, “Yeah, right. Christians have been saying Jesus was coming back since the church began. They say, ‘Look at the signs,’ but nothing is any different today than it was then.”
Doesn’t that sound just like chapter 3, verse 4 from our reading today? Here it is again: They will say, “Jesus promised to come again. Where is he? Our fathers have died, but the world continues the way it has been since it was made.”
Peter was talking about what it would be like in the last days. He said they would laugh at you, and they would make that statement. But Peter reminds us that the world is different. It hasn’t always been the way it is now. He says, “But they do not want to remember what happened long ago. By the word of God heaven was made, and the earth was made from water and with water. 6Then the world was flooded and destroyed with water. 7And that same word of God is keeping heaven and earth that we now have in order to be destroyed by fire.”
My friend, Jesus is coming. I don’t know when, but I personally think it will be very, very soon.
What do you think?