Another Warning . . .

From the apostle Peter.

Yesterday’s blog noted a warning that Peter gave during his Pentecostal sermon. It was timely and instructive. Some believed—and, as a result—escaped the judgment in which 3 million people were killed and countless numbers sent into slavery. Of course, the vast majority of unbelievers failed to pay attention.

But today, I’d like to consider another warning that Peter gave—this time to a church (or group of churches; we’re just not sure from his wording). Clearly, though, it was to believers meeting together as a congregation (or congregations). I am referring to his entire letter, usually titled, 2 Peter.

Again, and again, using the future tense, Peter warns his readers that false teachers who scorn the truth, and lead people astray, were on the horizon. If the church was not careful, they would be adversely affected by them. His words were timely, and they were explicit. There was no reason for any reader to mistake their intent.

But the sad thing is this—the church(s) failed to pay attention to his timely, urgent, warning.

How do we know this?

The book of Jude tells us so. In present tense throughout, Jude found it necessary to contend for the faith from these teachers. How do we know that it was the same group, and that they failed to heed Peter’s warning? Compare the two books. What Peter predicts, Jude says is happening. The sad thing is that Jude says the false teachers slipped in unawares. That could only be because they neglected Peter’s warning. Perhaps they brushed it aside thinking, “Couldn’t ever happen to us.” What a mistake! But not the only time in history Christians have made it. It has happened again and again. Indeed, if you are “unaware,” some sort of people who deny the faith may be poking their heads in under your tent right now—or perhaps, are already inside, having taken over the show, ready to perform their tricks for you. At any rate; heed the warning. Why? Because there are plenty of such teachers out there all around you and your church. Re-read 2 Peter’s warnings; re-read Jude. Then shudder, and take them to heart.

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