The Sword And The Trowel, False Teachers Part 2 24 May 20

(Message 6) What do you do when you’re challenged to defend what you believe? Do you know why you believe what you believe? What about all the “spiritual” teaching on TV and online that contradicts the Bible? Do you know how to tell truth from wrong teaching? Join us today as we dig into Peter’s warning regarding false teachers and some resources to help us hold fast to the Gospel. #GCHoldFast

4 Characteristics of False Teachers:

  1. They are motivated by sex and greed
  2. They are bold
  3. Their victims often live in the world of the wounded
  4. Their judgment is sealed


They are bold
, so we must be also.

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Start reading.

2 Peter 2:3-9 NLT
In their greed, these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. He is especially hard on those who follow their own twisted sexual desire, and who despise authority.

2 Peter 2:10-22 NLT
These people are proud and arrogant, daring even to scoff at supernatural beings without so much as trembling. But the angels, who are far greater in power and strength, do not dare to bring from the Lord a charge of blasphemy against those supernatural beings. These false teachers are like unthinking animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed. They scoff at things they do not understand, and like animals, they will be destroyed. Their destruction is their reward for the harm they have done. They love to indulge in evil pleasures in broad daylight. They are a disgrace and a stain among you. They delight in deception even as they eat with you in your fellowship meals. They commit adultery with their eyes, and their desire for sin is never satisfied. They lure unstable people into sin, and they are well trained in greed. They live under God’s curse. They have wandered off the right road and followed the footsteps of Balaam son of Beor, who loved to earn money by doing wrong. But Balaam was stopped from his mad course when his donkey rebuked him with a human voice. These people are as useless as dried-up springs or as mist blown away by the wind. They are doomed to blackest darkness. They brag about themselves with empty, foolish boasting. With an appeal to twisted sexual desires, they lure back into sin those who have barely escaped from a lifestyle of deception. They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you. And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life. They prove the truth of this proverb: “A dog returns to its vomit.” And another says, “A washed pig returns to the mud.”


Start talking. Find a conversation starter for your group.

  • Have you ever had a conversation with a cult member or someone who was teaching false teaching? Did you feel adequate to defend your faith What did it do to motivate you to grow in your knowledge of God’s word?

Start thinking. Ask a question to get your group thinking.

  • Read 2 Peter 2:3-9. Why did Peter feel it was necessary to give a history lesson on the judgment of God in the past? What’s the big idea of verse 9?
  • Have you ever been in a situation where you were around wickedness all the time? How did it affect your walk with God? What advice would you give to someone who finds him/herself in that situation?
  • Read 2 Peter 2:10-22. What’s the primary motivation of false teachers?
  • If you are not familiar with the story of Balaam and his talking donkey, read Numbers 22. According to verse 15, what was Balaam’s stumbling block?

Start sharing. Choose a question to create openness.

  • What would you do if Troy got up on the stage this Sunday and asked the church for $65 million so he could buy a jet for his “ministry”? Why aren’t people in Creflo Dollar’s church outraged?
  • Verse 14 teaches that false teachers “lure unstable people into sin”. Have you observed this tendency of cults and false teachers to prey upon people who struggle with addictions, hurts, and poverty? What false hope do they provide?
  • Troy said that we have to be like the people of Israel during the time of Nehemiah. We must have a sword in one hand and a trowel in the other. What does that look like in your life?
  • There isn’t always a way to know when a casual conversation with someone will lead to a verbal witnessing opportunity. Answering general questions is one thing, but every now and then, casual conversation will lead to pointed questions about the differences between specific beliefs and why you believe your version of the Christian faith is the right one. Spend some time thinking about how you will respond using the truths from scripture, history, etc. and draft a brief, coherent defense. (Troy mentioned one resource in his sermon, Essential Christianity by Walter Martin.)

Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.

  • Commit to the step above that Troy challenged us to spend some time thinking about how you will respond using the truths from scripture, history, etc. and draft a brief, coherent defense.

Start praying. Be bold and pray with power.

  • Father, thank you for your word that always directs us toward truth. Help us to be prepared to respond with truth to people who are being led astray. Keep our eyes fixed on You. In Jesus Name – Amen.

Start digging. For further study.


Troy Knight

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