Author: Ron Graham
—2nd Peter 2:1-22
This page is a study of Second Peter chapter two. This chapter is comparable with Jude's letter, and concerns false prophets who lead people into heresy and apostasy.
1 Their Success
The first thing we observe about the false prophets is that they succeed and "many will follow" their teachings and ways. We also get some insight into how their success is achieved...
- Use secrecy and stealth (2Peter 2:1).
- Use sensuality, appealing to lusts to draw crowds (2Peter 2:2 NASB).
- Motivation is greed, method is exploitation (2Peter 2:3).
2 Their Doom
For all their success, however, they "bring on themselves swift destruction"...
- Their judgment is not idle (2Peter 2:3).
- Peter provides some examples...
- The angels who sinned (2Peter 2:4).
- The ancient world destroyed (2Peter 2:5).
- The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (2Peter 2:6-8).
- God will rescue the godly and punish the wicked (2Peter 2:9).
- Observation: False Prophets are destroyers, but those who destroy will be destroyed (2Peter 2:1,12,17).
3 Their Evil Nature
Peter now writes passionately about the nature of these false prophets. He warns us what they are really like...
- Indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires (2Peter 2:10,13-14).
- Despise and revile authority (2Peter 2:10-12).
- Forsake the right way (2Peter 2:16).
- Arrogant and ignorant (2Peter 2:12,18).
4 Their Reprobate State
Peter now sums up his condemnation of false prophets. He quotes an apt and vivid proverb to express their reprobate state...
- In a worse state than sinners who haven't heard the gospel (2Peter 2:20-21).
- Like dogs and pigs (2Peter 2:22).
Peter’s condemnation of false prophets helps us to understand the important distinction between a false teacher and someone who is teaching falsely by mistake.
Apollos was not teaching the truth on baptism, but he thought he was, and he had no intention of deceiving. He needed to be corrected, but he was not regarded as a false prophet (Acts 18:24-28).