MP3: Traveling Down the Rapture Road in 2 Peter, Lesson 4
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
Continue traveling down the Rapture Road with Nathan Jones and Vic Batista in this verse-by-verse study of the incredibly prophetic book of 2 Peter! You can start at the beginning with Part 1 or listen in to The Truth Will Set You Free podcast (above).
Casting Out the Con-Men
Vic Batista: We’re continuing to address the topic of election because the Apostle Peter in 2 Peter 2 warned us about false prophets and false teachers. He leads with verse 1, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.” So, as it pertains to Peter’s warning about false teachers and false teachings, could it be said that the dogmatic approach to Calvinism presents false teaching?
Nathan Jones: Referring back to our discussion in the last segment, both Calvin and Arminius were not looking to teach false doctrine. Bear in mind, what we are studying here in 2 Peter 2 is about false prophets who teach destructive heresies for the purpose of destroying a Christian’s faith. As we read throughout 2 Peter 2, the destruction of such false teachers is assured. These are people who speak blasphemy against our Lord and are speaking deception. Both Calvin and Arminius were not out there set on teaching deception.
A modern-day example of another prominent Bible teacher who some claim must be a false teacher is John MacArthur concerning his teachings about Lordship Salvation. This is the idea that, sure you are saved, but if Jesus isn’t always 100% Lord of your life, then you will lose your salvation. I don’t think MacArthur quite said it like that, but that is how people ran with the thought. John MacArthur is one of the godliest, Bible-believing men that I have ever studied. Is he out there purposefully trying to deceive people? No, of course not!
These types of Bible teachers are not the subject of 2 Peter 2. Calvin and Arminius and MacArthur are men who are seeking to understand their salvation, just as we all are. No, Peter is warning about men who are purposely going out to destroy people’s faith in Jesus Christ.
Vic Batista: Yes, there’s a big difference between those individuals whom we would call “wolves in sheep’s clothing” and those who are doing their best in this fallen state to discern God’s Word. These wolves care nothing about the sheep, for they only want to fleece their pockets and using people for their own personal gain. Jesus, earlier in Matthew 24, also warned that there are going to be many, not few but many, false teachers in the last days.
Nathan Jones: Exactly, right! And, bear in mind that Calvin and Arminius and John MacArthur and others are teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ being the only way to Heaven. They teach that Jesus is the Son of God and the perfect Savior. They teach the Bible, not heresy.
Look at how Peter describes the false teachers in chapter 2, saying they deny the Lord who bought them, and they follow destructive ways. In other words, we can discern their motives by their lifestyle, for they surely don’t prove they believe in God or live in righteousness. They blasphemy the truth of the Bible. They live covetously. They attempt to exploit you. They speak deceptive words. And, as we’ll read throughout the rest of chapter 2, they are in it for the money.
Our own Lamb & Lion Ministries’ television program titled “Christ in Prophecy” is a television evangelism program. Therefore, we get ripped all of the time because there are so many false television evangelists out there. We get equated with Creflo Dollar who is clearly a false prophet. He is in it for the money. His whole show is about the prosperity gospel and how “God wants to make you rich.” As Christians we know that we never get materially rich just on faith, do we? But, who gets rich? Only Creflo Dollar gets rich! He is a false prophet.
So, there’s a big difference between what Peter is saying about working out our salvific faith in fear in trembling versus these con-men who are out there for the purpose of making a buck.
Vic Batista: That’s true, I am still waiting for my private jet!
Nathan Jones: What did Creflo Dollar’s latest jet cost? Sixty-eight million dollars! He had the gall to ask his congregation for $68 million. I mean, that is just mindboggling!
I wouldn’t give any money to any one of these false prophets. As Christians we stick to our faith and the Lord will provide for our daily needs. Christianity should never be a get-rich-quick scheme.Nathan Jones: As #Christians we stick to our faith and the Lord will provide our daily needs. #Christianity should never be a get-rich-quick scheme. Click To Tweet
Vic Batista: I was watching a television show about million-dollar pastors. It was rather like a Miami Vice type of program. These mega-church pastors are picked out to show off their latest million dollar mansions and Porsches. They were paraded around like movie stars showing off all of their wealth. No wonder people get upset at church leaders!
Nathan Jones: I was really blessed to get to know Tim LaHaye, who was the author of the Left Behind series and many other books, when he was alive. Most people don’t realize that the sale of the Left Behind series, among his other books, left this humble pastor a multi-millionaire. But, he never lived that way. He gave a lot of his money away. He started churches and foundations and schools using his own personal money. He lived very humbly. He didn’t have the latest and greatest of anything. That’s a person who truly loves the Lord.
Compare Tim LaHaye to Joel and Victoria Olsten — they live like kings and queens. That’s not how the Lord wants Christians to live. The money that God generously gives us is meant to serve Him and not to serve ourselves.
Vic Batista: That’s why Peter dedicates so much of 2 Peter to this very important subject matter of false teachers and false prophets. Christians need to be able to identify them. We need to recognize them by looking at their track record. What are they going after? Most of these false teachers are going after dead presidents; they want the money. At the end of the day, they are not concerned about the Gospel. They are not concerned about salvation. And, they are not concerned about you. They are primarily concerned about what they can get from you, and that is what we call “fleecing the flock.”
We also need to be extremely careful not to throw all pastors and teachers into the same category of “false teacher” just because we disagree with some of their theological interpretations. Many of these wonderful teachers of God have been hastily lumped into the “false prophet” category whenever they humble point out that God’s ministry through them needs financial support. Finances are never their end goal, rather their end goal is to preach Jesus Christ and Christ alone.Vic Batista: We need to be extremely careful not to throw all pastors and teachers into the same category of false teacher just because we disagree with some of their theological interpretations. Click To Tweet
Nathan Jones: Billy Graham was another great example of a humble preacher. Even after all of those years of personal fame and books published and the many millions of dollars that the BGEA generated, Graham lived in a humble mountain cabin up in North Carolina. He didn’t parade his own personal jet or cars and boats or anything like that. He was a very humble man. He could have lived like a king, but he didn’t, because he was concerned about souls and not his wallet.
Vic Batista: Even here at Calvary Chapel with Pastor Chuck Smith, he ended up creating a wealthy ministry, but when you look at his lifestyle, the guy drove a regular old car. He didn’t have bodyguards. Chuck Smith provided a wonderful example of a selfless minister whom other Calvary Chapel pastors try to emulate. Even in the midst of all of these false prophets and wolves in sheep clothing, there are still are a lot of honest ministers and ministries.
Nathan Jones: Amen, yes, there are. I think that is why the false prophets are becoming more and more prolific because the closer we get to Jesus Christ’s return the more they are screaming and yelling and pulling the attention away from Jesus Christ and away from the Bible and the true doctrine taught in the Bible. They long to deceive as many people as possible before the Lord comes. They follow Satan’s evil desire to yank as many people as they can to Hell with them. Sadly, that is the time in which we live.
Vic Batista: Absolutely, and that is partially why we use this program to call out false teachers. We want to speak the truth and proclaim only what the Bible has to say. Some people might get a little bit upset about that, but we need to proclaim the truth of Jesus Christ, otherwise what difference are we making? What influence are we having for Jesus Christ?
Repairing the Damage
Vic Batista: Maybe you who are reading this have been hurt by one of these false teachers. Maybe you attended a church where you fell for the scheme of a false prophet. As a result, maybe you ended up turning your back on God because of something like this happening to you.
Well, we want you to know that God still has a plan for your life. God loves you. He hasn’t abandoned you. While we are living in this fallen world, we so desperately need to turn to Jesus Christ alone. Only the Holy Spirit can help us discern false teachings and protect us against what is coming. Despite being hurt because someone took advantage of us, the real Jesus still calls each of us to become His own child.
Nathan Jones: John 3:13 reveals, “For God so love the world that He gave His one and only son, and whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” The truth is that in order to receive salvation for the penalty for our sins, each and every one of us must believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Savior of our souls. We then must respond in faith and repentance and place our trust in Christ alone.
In order to accept Jesus Christ into your life and grab hold of His salvation, pray from your heart something like: “Dear, Jesus, please forgive me of my sins and be my Lord and savior.” And, Jesus promises to do just that. Your sins will be forgiven. You will be granted a new life here on this earth, and inherit a new life in Heaven with Jesus forever.
Vic Batista: The Bible says that whenever a sinner repents, there is a celebration in Heaven. We want to encourage you to read the Word of God and trust the Lord. Gain hope in the knowledge that Jesus Christ will be returning soon. God has a wonderful plan for your life now and for your future. In the meantime, He wants us to become educated in the Bible and lean on His Holy Spirit, because we are truly living in the last days.
The Lord bless you! Look up, for your redemption is drawing near — the Lord Jesus is coming back soon.
In the sixteenth part of our faith journey down the Rapture Road through the book of 2 Peter, we’ll learn more about what Peter has to teach us about the end times deceivers.