We concluded our study yesterday by noting that the false teachers described in Peter’s second epistle did not leave the church but reveled in their deceptions while feasting with his audience (2 Peter 2:13b). These teachers should have admitted that their denial of essential doctrines such as the second coming (3:4) and the need for personal holiness (2:19) invalidated their identity with Christ. However, instead of leaving the visible church, they continued to view themselves as believers and celebrate the fellowship meal that followed the celebration of the Lord’s Supper in the early church.
One of the things that makes false teachers so dangerous is that so many of them refuse to be honest and leave the church. Instead, they stay, oftentimes insidiously working their way into power; they claim to be Christians while at the same time holding to a faith that is far different than the one given to us in Holy Scripture. We see many examples of this in our own day. Many denominational leaders stress the authenticity of their own profession all the while promoting a vision of Christian belief and morals that is far different from that which is found in Scripture.
Oftentimes these so-called leaders will endorse sexual behaviors that the Bible would enthusiastically repudiate. This should not surprise us, however, for the false teachers present in the church of Peter’s day did exactly the same thing. In today’s passage, Peter speaks of these false teachers as “having eyes full of adultery” (v. 14a). In its plainest sense, this verse could be translated as saying that the false teachers were always looking for women with whom they could commit adultery.
Instead of being faithful to Scripture’s repeated insistence on marital fidelity and the propriety of sexual relations only within the marriage relationship, these teachers promoted wanton sensuality and adultery (see also v. 18). As we examine the character of teachers in our churches, we should beware of those who would subtly or overtly promote a view of sexuality not in line with biblical morality, lest we be led astray.
Most of us would readily leave a church in which a leader is promoting a view of sexuality not in line with Scripture. However, though today’s passage is primarily a warning about false teachers, we should all likewise beware lest our own eyes be found to be full of adultery. Unfortunately, the increasing sexualization of everything in our culture can affect us. If you struggle with sexual sin, find accountability and pray that your eyes and thoughts would be pure.