Jude and Peter join forces to use similar phrases when captivating our attention concerning counterfeit communicators.
Various words come to mind when I think of counterfeit.
- Imitation (of something genuine)
- Deceptive (made in imitation of something else with intent to deceive)
Everyone has experienced that violated, irritated, felling when experiencing a person encounter with a counterfeit. Chances are anyone reading this has been victimized by a con artist, perhaps, more than once. Most have received one of those “too-good-to-be-true” e-mails from a far-flung corner of Africa promising an inheritance of millions in exchange for a bank account number and a minimal collection fee. Let me say up front a rule of thumb is if it sounds “too-good-to-be-true” it probably is.
What is the purpose of a counterfeit product?
- To imitate something
- Produced with the intent to take advantage of the superior value of the imitated product.
Of all the con artists in the world, the most damaging and dangerous are those that deal with religious and Christian deception. Charles Swindoll says that they appear “resourceful and real” but are “empty and deceitful” and offer “alluring alternatives” to the truth. He goes on, “Pretending to proclaim reliable information, they use the same words as believers but they are empty and deceitful. Claiming to offer answers and hope, they bring lies and despair.”
According to 2 Peter 2 false teachers:
- Deceitfully present heresy;
- Openly deny the truth;
- Unashamedly model and teach ruinous, destructive, injurious, harmful ways.
a. Selfishly drowning in greed; changing doctrine to pad their bank accounts (2:3) More concerned with “nickels and noses.” (Mark O. Wilson).
These false teachers will be destroyed. Peter cites three OT examples to prove it:
- The angels that sinned and are now imprisoned in Tartarus (which is the meaning of the word translated “hell”);
- The world before the flood(Noah);
- The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
In each of these cases, the persons involved had a form of religion but not the true faith that empowers the life (2 Timothy 3:5).
Before Christ comes back, there will be a great deal of “religion” in the world, but it will not be true faith in Him. Peter also points out that God is able to preserve and deliver His true saints, as He did with Noah and his family, and Lot. Let’s stay true! It’s the least we can do!
photo credit: Chris Yarzab via photo pin cc