Friday, October 16, 2009

Waterless springs


“Waterless springs” (2 Peter 2:17)

In 2 Peter 2 we read the description of those who claim the name Christian but teach the ways of the world. These are men teaching a gospel contrary to Christ’s perfect life, his death and his resurrection. False teachers try to persuade the church to believe their own ideas not based on the word of God. God, in his inspired word, calls these men “waterless springs.”

The term “waterless springs” sounds like a poetic description but God intended this term to accurately describe the cunning deception of false teachers. The ESV study bible describes “waterless springs” as "they promise refreshment and bring none." Peter wants to warn believers to beware of their craftiness and the seriousness of their sin. How do I know it’s serious? In the very same verse Peter says, “For them [False teachers] the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved.” This is serious! Peter references darkness earlier in chapter 2 saying, “God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment” (4). Peter also says the Lord knows how “to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment” (9). The day is coming when these “waterless springs” will give an account before God.

Christians, we must know God’s word and hold our doctrine closely. We miss the warning that false teachers promise freedom while they themselves are slaves to corruption (19). We have been disappointed by so many teachers in the spotlight falling into great sin or teaching doctrines contrary to Scripture that we think it’s normal. We don’t search out to find churches and shepherds who live what they teach. We have settled for empty, post-modern gibberish with no theological backbone. Remember Paul’s warning to Timothy, “Preach the word.” Why? For selfish gain? For a bigger platform? For a bigger audience? To be on the cover of Time magazine? NO! Paul says to “reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Tim. 4:2-4). False teachers don’t want to preach the word because they fear man more then they fear God. Paul was pleading with Timothy not to become like these “waterless springs.”

I’ll close with Jude’s warning about false teachers. He uses similar language as Peter saying, “They feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever” (12-13). For the false teacher life is all about self. They tickle the ears of people to gain applause and praise for themselves. They care nothing about Christ. The only way we can discern between teachers who love Christ and those who don’t is to know Christ. We must know his will and commandments for our lives in order to know the truth. Knowing the truth will help us discern error. Meditate on the words of Christ so when the “waterless springs” arise we may see and flee to refuge in the truth.

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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