Proclaim. Mobilize. Equip.
Call 866-865-6253

Three Characteristics of False Teachers

May 21, 2020

There will be false teachers among you. 2 Peter 2:1 (NIV)

Second Peter 1 describes genuine believers. Second Peter 2 describes counterfeit believers. Put these chapters side by side, and you will see the difference between authentic and counterfeit believers.

1. Different Source. (Where does the message come from?)
Peter says “We did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1:16). Then he says the false teachers exploit you “with stories they have made up” (2:3). The true teacher sources what he says from the Bible, the false teacher relies on his own creativity. He makes up his own message.

2. Different Message. (What is the substance of the message?)
For the true teacher, Jesus Christ is central. We have “everything we need for life and godliness” in Him (1:3). For the false teacher, Jesus is at the margins: “They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them” (2:1). It’s rare for someone in church to openly deny Jesus. Movement away from Him is subtle. Listen carefully to what the false teacher is saying, and you will see that Jesus is not essential to his message.

3. Different Position. (In what position will the message leave you?)
The true Christian “escape[s] the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (1:4). Listen to how Peter describes the counterfeit Christian: “They promise… freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity, for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him” (2:19). Two very different dynamics are at work here. The true believer is escaping corruption, while the counterfeit believer is mastered by it.

Thank God for the faithfulness you see in your leaders/teachers.

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the Senior Pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the President and Teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

Explore this topic further

We Believe Jesus Rose Again

We believe that Jesus… rose again. 1 Thessalonians 4:14, NIV Jesus died on the cross. But death could not hold Him. So, on the third day, He rose from the grave. But here is the great enigma for us: our Christian loved ones who have died, have not yet risen. If...

Read Post

We Believe Jesus Died for Us

We believe that Jesus died. 1 Thessalonians 4:14, NIV Many people would say, “We cannot know anything about what happens beyond this life,” and they regard Christian talk about the afterlife as speculation, a metaphor to help us in our pain. But Paul says, “We are not ignorant.” Why does he...

Read Post

Tools for Discernment

We urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 1 Thessalonians 5:14, NIV Discernment isn’t easy, but God has given us two gifts that can help us. The impulse of the Spirit Thank God for the gift of the Spirit....

Read Post
For your gift of any amount

Stay Salt

The World Has Changed: Our Message Must Not

Get Unlocking the Bible's Weekly Email

"This Week at Unlocking the Bible" features new articles, radio programs, devotionals, and ministry updates

We will never sell or misuse your information.

Share Your Story and Prayer Requests

If you have a testimony or story you would like to share or if you have a prayer request, please use the form below. If you would like someone from our staff to call you, please include your phone number.

We will never sell or misuse your information.

Get Unlocking the Bible’s Weekly Email

“This Week at Unlocking the Bible” features new articles, radio programs, devotionals, and ministry updates

We will never sell or misuse your information.



Order now