Focal passages: 2 Peter 2:1-3; Jude 16-25
My aunt and uncle both retired as vice presidents at AmSouth Bank, though they obviously didn’t start at that level. My aunt started as a teller. The training for working as a teller included the issue of recognizing counterfeit money.
What is interesting about that training is both what it entails and what it doesn’t. The best way to help a new teller be prepared to recognize counterfeit money is not to give them examples of counterfeits, but rather to help them become intimately familiar with real money. If they become unquestioningly familiar with what is real, they will be able to recognize a counterfeit, no matter the counterfeiting method used.
At the end of 2 Peter 1, the apostle hammers home the truthfulness and trustworthiness of God’s Word. Now, at the beginning of Chapter 2, Peter warned his readers that counterfeits were coming. Peter was not the only one making this known. Paul also warned Timothy that false teachers would come, leading people astray. Jude also proclaimed this message. So how were Peter’s and Jude’s readers to respond?
First, these believers should be on the lookout for false teachers to come. They might not be familiar with the particular error being proclaimed. However, they should be familiar enough with God’s truth that they could quickly realize what they were hearing was not truth but error.
Second, these believers shouldn’t be surprised when these false teachers show up. God had already revealed through His spokesmen that these false teachers would be coming onto the scene. Rather than being caught off guard or by surprise due to these false teachers, God’s people should expect it to come and to be ready when it does.
Third, they should not only be familiar with God’s truth but also should be seeking to live in light of it. This can only happen by God’s power and grace and will be illustrated both by how they relate to God and how they relate to those around them.