Do Not Listen to False Teachers (2 Timothy 2:16-18)
1. Our lesson is based on this strong warning given by the apostle Paul. 2. In simple terms Paul said, "Do not listen to false teachers." 3. Before we examine similar warnings in the New Testament, . . .
I. LET US CONSIDER AN ILLUSTRATION FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT RECORDED IN 1 KINGS 13
A. (vs.1-6) A man of God cried against the altar in Bethel, and his message was confirmed by a sign. B. (vs.7-10) The man of God did not accept the king's invitation because of God's instructions. C. (vs.11-18) A prophet in Bethel lied to the man of God. D. (vs.19-24) The man of God listened to the prophet, he disobeyed God's instructions, and he was killed by a lion. E. Some try to rationalize listening to false teachers on the basis that they teach some truth. F. The old prophet from Bethel probably taught some truth, but the man of God paid a high price for listening to him. G. Whether we realize it or not, we are affected by the teaching we hear. H. Let us turn our attention to . . .
II. WARNINGS GIVEN BY JESUS
A. (Matthew 7:21-23) Jesus said that many who claimed to have prophesied in His name will be punished at the judgment. B. (Matthew 16:5-12) The disciples were slow to understand, but Jesus taught them to beware of the teaching of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. C. (Matthew 24:4-5,11,24) Jesus revealed the goal of false teachers -- "to deceive." D. With these warnings from the Lord before us, let us examine . . .
III. WARNINGS GIVEN IN THE NEW TESTAMENT LETTERS
A. (1 Corinthians 15:33) We must not be deceived about the effects of evil influence (see vs.12). B. (Galatians 1:6-9) Since those who pervert God's Word are accursed, what will happen to those who listen to them? C. (Ephesians 5:6-7) To avoid the punishment given to false teachers, we must not listen to them. D. (Colossians 2:8) False teachers are often very talented speakers, but we must not allow them to spoil us. E. (2 Timothy 2:16-18) Is it possible that Hymenaeus and Philetus taught some truth? [Their teaching had the effect of a cancer.] F. (2 Peter 2:1-3) Peter pointed out the widespread influence of false teachers -- many follow them. G. (1 John 4:1) John touched on the number of false teachers, showing that they have existed for a long time. H. (Revelation 22:18-19) John pointed out what will happen to those who alter God's Word.
1. The passages we have covered lead to a conclusion -- "do not listen to false teachers." 2. This includes false teachers who preach in denominational churches, false teachers who preach on TV and radio, false teachers who teach in books and magazines, and false teachers who teach on the Internet. 3. Realizing that the destiny of our souls is at stake, let us remember what happened to the man of God in 1 Kings 13, let us listen to the warnings given by Jesus, and let us heed the warnings given in the New Testament letters.