This warning immediately follows an important passage in 1 Peter, Chapter One that describes how God inspired His prophets to speak and to write the scriptures under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
False prophets rose up and challenged
the prophets of God. You may remember the story of Elijah who stood
alone against 400 prophets of Baal. On Mt. Carmel, he challenged them
to prove their god was more than just a stone statue. More than 400
false prophets failed to call fire down from heaven. For six straight
hours they prayed, danced, shouted, and cut themselves to no avail.
When Elijah's turn came, he rebuilt the altar of the Lord, and even
doused the sacrifice with water. God answered by fire. He consumes
the sacrifice, wood stones and all. It was a great victory, but
short lived as the people soon began to follow false prophets and
false gods once again
Jeremiah was challenged by the wicked prophet Hannaniah. God instructed Jeremiah to wear an ox yoke to demonstrate the coming captivity of the people of Judah. Hannaniah had been prophesying a very different and far more popular message. He prophesied peace. He scoffed at the idea the god would judge his chosen people. Hannaniah broke the yoke from Jeremiah's neck defying the warnings of God's spokesman. God instructed Jeremiah to replace his wooden yoke with one made of iron and preach his warning in the temple again the following day. He also predicted Hannaniah's death which took place shortly there after.
Today there are many who deny and defy the Word of the Lord. The Bible is the word of the Lord to His people in the last days. There are false teachers, false religions, even false claims of so called science that deny the truth of the gospel and the very existence of the Creator Himself.
Peter warns that many will follow the destructive, sensual ways of false teachers in the last days. Satan is still up to his old tricks. He promises pleasure, power, riches, fame, love, success and fulfillment. Paul predicted that false teachers would heap up followers with itching ears. Jesus Himself warned that the road to destruction would be wide and many would follow it. Because of these false teachers and their corrupt teaching the way of truth would be spoken against. The message of the cross has been maligned, the virgin birth sinless life, atoning death, and resurrection of our Lord are mocked in the mainstream media, in the classroom, and in some cases even in the pulpits of churches.
In their greed they will use
good-sounding arguments to exploit you. Peter's word are certainly
true today. False prophets and false religions have stockpiles of
money. Their leaders intentionally deceive and exploit people while
those who follow are bilked out of their life savings or worse. One
wonders if Peter could have foreseen the rise of Islam and it's
fanatical followers who's suicide bombing missions terrorize the
Peter says of the false teachers, "They deny the Lord who bought then and bring swift destruction upon themselves." The Gospel is all about the redemption of mankind through the sacrifice of God's Son. The Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. So why is the Lord so quick to bring destruction upon these false teachers? Because of their destructive influence. The false religion of Islam, the major cults such as Mormonism and Jehovah's Witness continue to expand their deceptive influence around the world, yet we do not see the swift destruction of these false teachers. Peter assures us, "The verdict against them from long ago is still in force, and their destruction is not asleep."
Let us be faithful to live out the truth of the gospel. Let me remind you of Paul's word of encouragement, ”That you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” Jesus said, "Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."