Read: 2 Peter 2:4-22
Reflect: In the sport of boxing “Iron Mike” Tyson was one of the greatest boxing champions of all time. Known for his ferocity in the ring he became the youngest heavyweight champion of the world at age 20. Tyson made the famous quote “Everyone has a plan ‘til they get punched in the mouth”. That’s true. If you were a boxer and got punched in the mouth by Iron Mike you might have had to adjust your game plan. You had better keep your guard up to shield yourself.
As Christians it is vital that we also keep our guard up and protect ourselves in a way that is even more important than dealing with physical opponents like Tyson. We must keep our guard up spiritually because that has eternal ramifications. I repeat, the spiritual has eternal ramifications. The first chapter of 2 Peter states that that we must build ourselves up spiritually and the second chapter shows us why. We have to build a hedge to protect ourselves from false teachers and from false teachings. Anything that contradicts the pure teachings of the Bible and the gospel of Jesus Christ must be rejected.
The best way to guard yourself is to get into the Bible. Books and educational literature are great ways to learn and Christian authors and pastors can be very beneficial to help us grow. Unfortunately, today’s favorite authors or speakers may often replace a believer’s own personal daily Bible reading. If we allow this substitution, we can lose the standard of truth whereby everything else is measured by.
False teaching starts in the world. It’s base of operations is built on a view that rejects God and its tentacles reach out from there spreading out and even invading the church today. For example, this is why Satan is always attacking the creation story in favor of the theory of evolution. When the authority of God is replaced, then the result is false prophets and false teachers.
Today, it seems as if the Christian worldview is constantly getting punched from all sides. It’s ok though. Keep your guard up and remember 2 Peter 2:9 that the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from their trials, and to reserve the unrighteous for punishment. We are not in this fight alone. God is with us and He is the final authority and judge. He will ultimately save us and judge those who have rebelled against Him and rejected His Son. When Jesus died on the cross, He dealt the devil a knockout blow. The match has already been decided and we are the victors in Jesus!
Apply: If we are to keep our guard up, we must recognize false teaching no matter where it is in society. The best way to do this is to become a personal student of the Bible. Read it daily. Let the Spirit of God teach you and lead you. If you do that, you’ll be able to keep your guard up and Satan won’t be able to land a knockout punch.
Authored by Rich Jennings
Rich Jennings lives in Willow Street with his wife Michelle and two daughters Chloe and Emma. They have been attending Grace Community for two years.