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Do not lose your own stability (2 Peter 3:17)?

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2 Peter 3:17 “You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.”

What does it mean not to be carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability? The book of 2 Peter teaches us how to deal with false teachers and evildoers who have come into the church. Earlier in 2 Peter 2:1, it says, “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.”

As Christians, we need to guard against spiritual error. Peter warns that lawless people will enter the church. In other words, ignorant, unstable, and evil men will distort scripture and use it out of context to support their own distorted point of view. This is precisely what was happening when Peter was writing this letter. In fact, 2 Peter 3:15-16 says, “And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.”

As Peter wrote this letter, there were false teachers already twisting scripture to their own destruction and causing others to lose their stability. It is not hard to look around our Christian world today and notice the many false teachers and preachers twisting God’s word to their own destruction whilst taking others with them. Many people will follow such teachings because it suits whatever they want to hear or fits with their cultural perspective. They are comfortable with what they hear. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 says, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”

Lawless men will attempt to shift believers off their spiritual foundation, so you must be on guard. You can guard against such false teachers by identifying who they are and holding onto the true teaching of scripture. This means putting away all that “you think” scripture is saying or trying to align the Bible to your cultural and worldly perspective. Allow the Bible to speak for itself regardless if you agree with it or not. False teachers can be identified by:

  1. By their fruits and immoral living. Matthew 7:16 says “You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?”
  2. The historicity of the apostolic message. 2 Peter 1:16 says, “For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”
  3. The prophetic teaching of the past. 2 Peter 1:19 says, “And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,”

In conclusion, we can only truly be stable and unmoved by growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18, saying, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” To persevere as a Christian, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. So, I encourage you to seek after the glory and truth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Read the Bible, study it, meditate on it, spend time in prayer, and in everything, seek to bring glory to God. Make Christ the treasure of your heart and love God with all your being. Amen!

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