2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” (2 Peter 2:2-3)
What are the immediate truthful observations of and ultimate consequences for false teachers who infiltrate the church and seek to destroy believers in Christ? The Apostle Peter lists five in today’s text.
First, many will follow their sensuality. To follow (ἐξακολουθέω; exakoloutheo) means to pursue and imitate. Sensuality (ἀσέλγεια; aselgeia) refers to extreme immorality. Many within the church will pursue and imitate the serious and intense immorality of false teachers.
Second, the way of truth will be blasphemed. Notice the definite article “the” which immediately precedes the noun “way” (ὁδός; odos) which means way of life or way to live. Peter is saying that there is but one way to live and one way of life.
This way of life and living originates and is solely sourced in truth (ἀλήθεια; aletheia) which is according to reality or what really happens. This passage echos what Jesus proclaimed in John 14:6 that, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
This particular way of truth from God and solely God will be blasphemed by false teachers. To blaspheme (βλασφημέω; blasphememo) means to speak against someone with the intent to injure or harm them. The person false teachers seek to injure and harm is God.
Third, Peter says that in their greed they will exploit you with false words. False teachers are not only liars by nature and behavior but they are also greedy (πλεονεξία; pleonexia). This means that they seek to take advantage of people. The purpose of their greed is to exploit people. To exploit (ἐμπορεύομαι; emporeuomai) is defined as exploiting by deception. In other words, to cheat someone. False teachers will do so by their false words or lies.
Fourth, their condemnation from long ago is not idle. Condemnation (κρίμα; krima) means to judge as guilty. It is a legal decision of judgment. This judgement from God was resolved in the courts of heaven long ago (ἔκπαλαι; ekpalai) or since a long time. It is not idle (ἀργέω; argeo) or inoperative. It is still in force.
Fifth, their destruction is not asleep. Destruction (ἀπώλεια; apoleia) or ruination is not asleep (νυστάζω; nystazo) or drowsy. In other words, the false teacher’s destruction is imminent and wide awake. It will happen.
What can you do for your friends and church who you suspect may be in the influence of false teachers? Pray for those who you know who are unsuspectedly under the influence of false teachers. Pray that God will provide you an opportunity to share the truth of the Gospel. Pray also for yourself and your church that the Lord will protect both from false teachers and their teachings.
Soli deo Gloria!