Overcoming Counterfeit Christianity
2 Peter 2:1–9
Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, one of my favorite writers of all time, once said, “Of all the chapters in the Bible, the second chapter of 2 Peter is among the most terrible. Anyone who enjoys reading a chapter like this must surely be abnormal.”
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, 2 Peter 2:1a
There is no such thing as a pure church on this side of heaven. The wheat and the weeds always grow together.
Warren Wiersbe puts it this way: “Satan is the counterfeiter. He is a false gospel preached by false ministers, producing false believers. Satan plants his counterfeits wherever God plants true believers.” Wherever God is doing a work in any church, Satan will plant weeds amongst the wheat.
Seven General Characteristics of Fake Believers
1. The true and false operate with different sources.
16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths 2 Peter 1:16a
3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. 2 Peter 2:3
2. Jesus Christ is at the center, but the false teacher pushes Jesus to the margins.
who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, 2 Peter 2:1b
3. The true Christian escapes the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves[h] of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. 2 Peter 2:19
4. There is a different character.
The counterfeit believer, is one who despises authority.
5. The true and false make a different appeal.
19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, 2 Peter 1:19a
6. There is a different fruit.
7. There is a different end.
I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness. Matthew 7:23
The Bible says there will be false teachers among you.
there are wolves who would come in sheep’s clothing. Matthew 7:15
Be very careful about making judgments. The distinguishing mark is in the heart. That’s why heaven will have some surprises.
7 and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked 8 (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); 2 Peter 2:7-8
If you are Christ’s, the distinguishing mark for your own soul is that you are distressed over sin.
When was the last time your sin made you blush?
22 What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.” 2 Peter 2:22
9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 2 Peter 2:9
6 if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;2 Peter 2:6
and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 2 Peter 2:9b
3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 2 Peter 1:3 says