2 Peter 2:1-3
My husband and I once had an opportunity to see the great dinosaur bones of "Sue," the largest T-Rex remains ever found. While we were at the museum displaying Sue, we had an opportunity to listen to a lecture by a paleontologist explaining the study of dinosaurs. It was interesting to listen to the paleontologist explain that for many years they had taught how the T-Rex stood incorrectly. The incorrect teaching was happening when I was in school because they taught that the T-Rex stood erect; almost perpendicular to the surface. This was incorrect because the bone structure in the tail would be buried in the ground if they stood that way. The paleontologist explained that since they had no good explanation, they curved the tail of the T-Rex to make it work. Years later, they change the way the T-Rex stood to what they believe is correct because it works with its bone structure. So now, if you look at pictures of the T-Rex you will see that they stand almost parallel with the ground. It amazed me to think that they knew that they were teaching incorrect information about the T-Rex but continued on anyway. While this is not nearly as dangerous as false teaching about God, it shows that purposeful false teaching exists. Please look up 2 Peter 2:1-3.
Peter warns of the false prophets and teachers that will cleverly or secretly teach false doctrines - but he words it very strongly and tells us that these teaching will be destructive. The Greek work for destructive is apōleia, which means perishing, ruin, destruction - "a destruction that consists of eternal misery in hell," (please see footnote 1.). This is the same word that Christ used in Matthew 7:13-14 to describe the two choices that every person has. Jesus says, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Just as Peter warns that many will follow the false teachers' direction, Jesus warns that many will follow the way to destruction.
The narrow gate requires discipline and increasing our knowledge of who God is and to allow Him to change us into the person He wants us to be. The narrow gate seems dull and boring and too difficult; however, once you begin to follow the path that leads to the narrow gate you find that your burdens are lifted because you can give them to God and begin to depend more on Him every day. That doesn't mean we will not face difficulties in life, it just means that God is with us through them and He will hold us through those times. The narrow gate leads to eternal life. The wide gate sounds fun and exciting because we can do whatever we want; however, the road that leads to it is destruction. When we do whatever pleases ourselves, we also find ourselves slowly destroying our dreams. We need to ask God for the discernment to know the difference between truth and false teaching. We need to be in the Bible daily to be more familiar with what God says so we can compare what is being taught with what is in the Bible.
Are you on the road to destruction or the road to eternal life? What are you doing to discern the difference between truth and false teaching?
1. Blue Letter Bible. "Dictionary and Word Search for apōleia (Strong's 684)". Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2011. 25 Jul 2011. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?