December 17, 2014 - The Confusion of the False

December 17, 2014 - The Confusion of the False
Art Roxby III

2 Peter 2:1-10a

Today, while I sat in my study, thinking about this devotional, the telephone rang. Our office volunteer told me that it was my bank calling for me. When I answered the phone, I got one of those recorded messages asking me to confirm if I was, in fact, Arthur Roxby. After I confirmed that I was, it told me that they were trying to collect a debt and I needed to enter the first five digits of my social security number for confirmation. While I do have a relationship with the bank, my mortgage was up to date, and my car payment was due this week. I knew I was behind in no obligation. Yet, this call was a bit unsettling and confusing. The call was from MY bank. The caller ID on the phone said it was my bank. Yet, banks do not operate like this call. By all appearances, it was my bank calling, yet the fishy way that this call operated told me that his was a scam.

Peter, in his second, letter is reminding the faithful of the future for which we are preparing. His blessed second advent will not come smoothly into being. That coming will be preceded by all manners of difficulties and trials. Among those trials will be all manners of teachers who proclaim a false faith, an easy faith that attempts to lead followers from the pathway of faithful, obedient endurance. Peter is assuring the faithful that they are right in not following these errant and ultimately faithless teachings.

The question that we should ask ourselves is, “how will we know the true from the false?” Jesus reminds us that the sheep know the voice of the shepherd (John 10.14). In our season of preparation for his coming again, so that we might be prepared for those uncertain days, we must be listening always to his voice. Recognition comes through repetition. By repeatedly seeking his voice in scripture, in worship, in his word, and in counsel, we will come to recognize the voice of his truth as clearly as we recognize the voice of our own family members. But continually walking in the light that the voice of God grants us, we come to understand, to know, and to recognize truth in a sea of the false.

This is the point that Peter is making when he says:

If he rescued Lot, a righteous man greatly distressed by the licentiousness of the lawless
(for that righteous man, living among them day after day,
was tormented in his righteous soul by their lawless deeds that he saw and heard),
then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial,
and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.
- 2 Peter 2.7-9