Bible Reading: 2 Peter 2
Have you ever looked at a mad person and felt sympathy for the person behind the actions? I have many times, especially when I realize that the person isn’t trying to be mad- he’s actually acting in a way that seems perfectly normal to him! He’s in fact wondering why everyone on the other side isn’t acting the same way he is. His normal is simply now abnormal.
John Bevere would say that the big problem with deception is that it’s actually really deceptive! When you’re in it, you absolutely think you’re right.
As we begin to read Peter’s sobering words about falsehood and false teachers and all their deception today, I think there are big questions we should be asking ourselves as we respond.
It’s not enough to see it as some far away thing that ‘people out there’ get engrossed with. We all have the tendency to be deceived! We all have the capacity to shift lanes and miss track. In fact, Peter says ‘many’ will follow the destructive ways of falsehood (v. 2).
It is a given that we live in a day and age where falsehood abounds. It is a given that we live in a day and age where there is deception and distortion of all sorts. What should be our response in the face of all this?
- Look Out For Our Love For Truth
You deal with falsehood, not so much in negating the falsehood, but by rediscovering and affirming the truth. You know 2+ 2 = 4 because of the extent to which that has been affirmed in you, not because you spent all your childhood saying what 2 + 2 is not. 2 +2 is not 359; 2 + 2 is not 453,807; 2+2 is not 5,219,074, and we could go on and on. That will keep showing us one more wrong thing to avoid but not the right thing to embrace.
We must be rediscovering and falling in love with truth in a fresh way every day! Peter describes these people as having ‘forsaken the right way’ (v. 15) There is a right way.
We must be so close in God’s word, and with that light, get to shine and identify all that is contrary.
Have an attitude that is looking to know, to be established and grounded in truth. Don’t spend all your time analyzing WhatsApp broadcast messages about the bad things people are doing; simply learn to focus and refocus on the good God has already done.
We are not merely called to hate unrighteousness, but to love truth and righteousness. Noah was described as a ‘preacher of righteousness’, not a preacher against unrighteousness. (v 5)
- Look Out For Our Tendencies Towards The Things Falsehood Thrives In
Peter demonstrates that there is an atmosphere that births the thriving of falsehood.
If you try operating a Samsung Television with a Sony remote control, it doesn’t budge. The reason why a Television set will respond to a particular remote vibe is that there is a configuration within it already.
It’s the same with how people get deceived and led astray by falsehood. There is already a configuration within them that is a fertile ground for falsehood. We need to constantly allow the Holy Spirit to put us in check about the things that respond to falsehood in us.
Peter shows that people are ‘exploited’ because of their own covetousness (v 3, 14). He goes further to show that falsehood makes easy victims of ‘those who walk according to the flesh’ and also of those who ‘despise authority’ (v 10), of people who have huge impressions without internal substance (v 17)
When we look out to have a right heart configuration of honour for God and leaders, of a right attitude towards wealth and material things, of high moral standards, of following through all that we are on the outside with a corresponding weight of character on the inside, we save ourselves from being entangled in the deception of falsehood.
But God also rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a righteous man who was sick of the shameful immorality of the wicked people around him. 2 Peter 2:7 NLT