But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

2 Peter 2:1

2 Peter is a strange book to many. Most notably is because the entire chapter 2 is a long tirade against a specific group of people.

The combative and vehement language of Peter puts many contemporary people off. Here’s some highlights of what Peter says:

“they are bold and willful ..”
like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed…”
“they are blots and blemishes…”
“these are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness as been reserved…”

Peter is talking about “false prophets and teachers”. And he can’t stand them.

As a shepherd of God’s people, he can’t stand poor and deceptive shepherds who lead the sheep astray from God, the great Shepherd.

For such a judgment, the question arises–what is the mark of one who is a false teacher and false prophet according to Peter? Are there false teachers and false prophets today?

For Peter, the mark of a false prophet and false teacher is one who doesn’t have a value for righteousness and who doesn’t practice righteousness.

He speaks of those who “indulge in the lust of defiling passion. (v10)” They have “eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin, and entice unsteady souls. (v14)” They are “again entangled in the defilements of the world. (v20)”

It’s not that they are not followers of God and don’t know better, but rather they are those who “feast with you.” They are teachers within the church of God who have a platform, a teaching ministry, a radio show, or a sermon series.

For Peter the mark of a false teacher is one who is in leadership position in the church yet does not hold to biblical standards of righteousness. It’s not that they’re imperfect (because God does use sinfully weak people for his purpose); it’s that they don’t care. They are conduits of compromise.

The basis and authority of their teaching is not done of having their life subjected to the lordship of Jesus, but rather they “follow their sensuality. (v2)” They themselves are the source of the their teaching. Talking great things of religion but downplaying the importance of righteous living, a life which God purchased for us to live.

This is the indicator of what a false prophet and teacher is. May it open our eyes to false teaching which is occurring in the church today.