I often enjoy a good spy thriller whether I read it in a book or watch it in a movie or television series. There are some great ones out there! The Cold War era of the 1960s and through the 70s was an interesting period of time with spies, espionage and counter espionage being quite prolific. I recently watched a series called ‘The Americans’. This was based on a Soviet couple being planted in the USA who were known as ‘sleepers’. They came into the community, set up home and became a normal American family. They were involved in the local community in a wide variety of activities including the local church. They were just normal people who fitted in so well. Then one day they were called upon to spy and carry out activities against the American people. Who would have thought that these normal people could cause so much harm to their community?
Satan is the master of espionage and disguise. Paul warns in 2 Corinthians 11: 14-15 when speaking about false teachers, “… And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness…” We need to be very careful about people coming in and teaching us anything contrary to God’s word and in particular to the simple gospel of Jesus Christ we all know and love so well. Church history teaches us that false teachers do enter the local church and cause much havoc. Too often people are content with hearing nice heart rending stories from the pulpit. They often find God’s word dry, irrelevant and not to their liking. So a good story teller and entertainer is more appealing and ever so relevant in their eyes – DANGER! Whenever God’s word is sidelined then it is more than likely you are in the presence of a false teacher!
Peter deals with this dreadful curse in 2 Peter 2. He is bold, to the point and straightforward as to the danger of any teaching that is in conflict with the God inspired, Holy Spirit breathed Scriptures. He warns Christians in the local church to be on guard and watchful of people who come in to lead people astray whether it is through worldly teaching or ungodly living. Whilst we may like their teaching which may give us a good feeling, Peter says that these teachers are ‘springs without water and mists driven by a storm and blackest darkness is reserved for them’. Pretty serious stuff! Be warned! Be on guard!