2 Peter 2:1-5
2 Pet 2:1 (KJB)
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
Privily shall bring in - Lead in aside or bring in secretly
Damnable - Destruction, ruin, or waste
Heresies - Division or dissension
Denying - Disown, refuse, or renounce
Swift - Shortly or soon
Now Peter begins to contrast the holy men of old by showing the readership that in ancient Israel there were false prophets who attempted to draw the people away from God in the wilderness and even after they settled into the land. He now warns them that as there were false prophets in Israel, there are going to be false teachers among them. These false teachers would not only be in the church but also on the outside of the church attempting to reach individual Christians. Once they could gain a few converts with their false teachings, then the disciples would take it into the church and if the teachings are not checked immediately, there could be a schism in the church. This is one way false teachings can be privily brought into the church by stealth through disciples of these false teachers. False teachings when confronted head on by truth will never make it past the front door. This is why they must be brought in secretly.
These heresies which come into the church are not just innocuous teachings but the very nature of them will lead an unsaved person to Hell and a saved person into the land of confusion. These teachings were so heinous that they even denied or disowned the Lord who bought them. What is in view here is that the Lord bought them or redeemed them out of the marketplace. Now we know that the rest of the Bible teaches that Christ died for the Elect and no one else. If these false teachers become saved, then Christ will have bought them and salvation will be effective in their life but if they remain unsaved, then they will bring upon themselves swift destruction. We know that no true believer will ever deny the Lord so this means those false teachers are not true Christians who are just holding to an erroneous doctrine. In fact, the term “bought them” is in the Aorist tense which means a past action which took place but is still in effect without reference to specific length of time. This would point to the cross where Christ bought all the Christians He planned to save. So if these false teachers become saved, then Christ bought them, if not, they were headed for a swift destruction.
2 Pet 2:2 (KJB)
And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
Many - Great
Shall follow - Follow after or imitate
Pernicious ways - Destructive or ruinous ways
Once of the saddest things in history is the way many people will follow false teachers without even checking what they say against the pages of Scripture. Here Peter is stating that many will follow, not just a few, but a great number will follow the destructive ways of the false teacher. It is no different in our day where we see many follow the false teachings which are leading them right down the path of an eternal hell. Not only do these false teachers create their own systems, they also attack the very truth that could bring them into eternal life. We see millions of people following evolution, Roman Catholicism, Islam, Hinduism, and many other world religions or secular sciences which have a straight pathway to Hell. These false religions all attack Christ in some manner by calling Him just a prophet or a teacher. Roman Catholicism does not attack Christ but neutralizes His authority by elevating Mary to co-redemptrix. However, the Mary of Roman Catholicism is nothing more than Ishtar of the Babylonians and Diana of the Ephesians. It is an ancient false goddess cloaked in religious terms.
2 Pet 2:3 (KJB)
And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
Covetousness - Greediness or avarice
Feigned - False, fabricated, or molded
Merchandise - Exploit, trade, or make a gain
Lingereth - Be idle or delay
Slumbereth - To be half asleep or doze
This verse gives us the reason that false teachers adopt that lifestyle. Their greed is the reason and they see that people are gullible so they fabricate some elaborate system of theology knowing they will get a good following. When their following is substantial it turns out they are exploiting their followers and most of the time it is for the purpose of garnering donations. As a matter of fact, we get our word plastic from the word that underlies “feigned” in the Greek (plastois). The plastic gospel is alive and well in this world. As Peter told his readers that the punishment of the false teacher will not be delayed and their damnation will not be slumbering, which means it will not be half-hearted punishment for teaching a false gospel. God takes that sin very seriously because false gospels always tend to lie about Him and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Pet 2:4 (KJB)
For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
Spared - Refrained
Chains - Cord or rope
Of darkness - Gloom
Reserved - Guard or keep
(Jude 1:6 KJV) And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. The downfall of these false teachers is unavoidable. Jude and Peter both give heed to the fact that God did not spare the angels that rebelled with Satan. They have been kept under guard in a place of darkness until Judgment Day when they will be assigned to Hell forever. (Mat 25:41 KJV) Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
2 Pet 2:5 (KJB)
And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
The second example of divine judgment is given here in that God did not spare the old world of Noah’s day because of their sins. God saved only Noah and his family when He brought the flood upon the earth and destroyed all the living creatures outside the ark. Noah had probably warned the unbelievers of the flood while he was building the ark but the unbelieving world, just like today, cares nothing for these things until once again God will close the door which no one will open. That closed door will be the door of salvation and He will open the floodgates of judgment when it will be too late to call upon the name of the Lord.