Peter spends the entire chapter, about one-third of his letter, warning people about false teachers. People who secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them (1).
Truth is important. Right living is the goal, but truth is important.
Truth is like the foundation of a building. It is the anchor and support for the building. If the foundation is compromised, the entire structure is in trouble. It may stand for a while but over time it will falter and be condemned.
So how can we tell a false teacher?
His/her truth and life.
Do they introduce destructive heresies… essential teachings that do not square with the Word of God? Peter mentions that some heresies can even go so far as to deny Jesus who bought them!
A second indicator is their lifestyle. What might some indicators be? Bold and arrogant (10b). Carousing (13). Greed (14).
Peter is not giving a comprehensive list, but painting a picture. Their lives do not mirror the fruit and character of Jesus the Lord.
If we follow such people we put our lives in peril because we emulate those we follow.
So the Lord whispers into my ear, “Who are you following? What are their teachings? What does their life look like when examined?”
Who we are listening to matters. Think about it…
Lord, open my eyes to the people I emulate and listen to in my faith. As a teacher keep me on the straight and narrow, that my teaching and life will build others up and point them to Jesus. I pray in His name. Amen.