“For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.” (2 Peter 2:20)
One of the evidences of true conversion to Christ, aside from the repentance from one’s sin and faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ, is a perseverance in one’s commitment to Christ as Savior and Lord. When an individual does not persevere in their faith in Christ, it is a biblical evidence that the faith they professed was not a faith that they truly possessed.
I John 2:19-19 says, 18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.” The antichrist’s to which the Apostle John refers are also false teachers.
2 Peter 2:20 contains the phrase “after they have escaped” (ἀποφεύγω; apopheugo). This means to become safe from danger. From what have false teachers presumably escaped? Peter said “the defilements of the world.” Defilements (μίασμα; miasma) means to be tainted or stained by evil. This evil originates from the fallen world.
Dr. John MacArthur writes that, “Defilements” has the idea of putrid or poisonous vapors. Morally, the world gives off a deadly influence. Peter notes that at some point in time, these false teachers and their followers wanted to escape the moral contamination of the world system and sought religion, even Jesus Christ (on their terms, not his;). But these false teachers had never genuinely been converted to Christ. They heard the true gospel and moved toward it, but then rejected the Christ of that gospel.”
Therefore, once they are again entangled in the defilements of the world their spiritual condition will be much worse than before.
Dr. R. C. Sproul writes, “These false teachers apparently professed to be Christians, but their return to their old, sinful way of life showed that their knowledge of Christ and the way of righteousness was only superficial and their escape from the defilements of the world was only temporary.”
False teachers are never truly converted to faith in Christ. They just pretend to be in order to gain a following. Resolve today to not allow false teachers and their teaching to get a foothold into your life.
Soli deo Gloria!