"But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them - bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into dispute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping." 2 Peter 2:1-3
Peter warned the people of his day to be careful. He warned them about the false prophets and false teachers and how they secretly introduced destructive heresies into their society. And Peter warned us, as well. He warned us that false prophets and false teachers would be among us teaching these same destructive heresies. Peter knew the problem these false prophets and false teachers would cause. They would not only bring destruction upon themselves, but they would also bring it upon the many who would follow them. Jesus warned his disciples and his followers about these crafty false prophets in Matthew 7:15-20. Jesus said, "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them." People ask me all the time: "How will I know if someone is leading me in the wrong direction?" I tell them the same thing: "If you know the truth, then you will recognize what is false." God's Word is truth. If we study His Word and pray to Him, the truth will be in us, and the truth will guide us. However, if we neglect God's Word and we neglect to pray, then we will not even recognize the false prophets and the false teachers who are dressed in sheep's clothing. We will not recognize the false doctrines and the destructive heresies they are teaching. In order to know what is false, you have to know the truth. Jesus told his followers in John 8:31-32, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." He went on to tell them in John 14:6-7, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." Watch out! There are false prophets and false teachers around you today. They will do everything they can to get you to believe in their false doctrines and destructive heresies. They will even use God's name. They will use the name of Jesus to lure you in, but if you know the truth, the truth will set you free! The truth is God's Word. The truth is Jesus. Hold on to the Word of God. Hold on to Jesus.