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May 19 – The dangerous activity of false teachers (part 1)

“These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.” – 2 Peter 2:17-22  

Scripture reading: Ezekiel 34:1-10

Peter continues his identikit sketch of false teachers by exposing their dangerous activity. Storms cause havoc, but at least they bring water that refreshes. False teachers create spiritual havoc, but they do not bring any grace or assurance or hope. In contrast, the preaching of sound doctrine is described in Scripture as like living and clean water (John 7/Ezekiel 36). From it we receive Christ and learn how to live a life that is pleasing to God. It truly cleans and satisfies and revives!

But false teachers are not only empty, they are also enslaving. They preach freedom from the law. They say you can live as you please. But this is not freeing; it is enslaving. People just become slaves to their wicked passions.

A Scottish minister of many years ago said, “The best preaching is: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and keep the Ten Commandments.” Today, many would accuse him of legalism – preaching salvation by works. But he was not explaining how to be saved, but what the best preaching is. Think of the Great Commission that Christ gave to the church: Go, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them, and “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” We are saved by grace alone, through Christ alone, which we receive by faith alone. But we are to present our whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.

Suggestions for Prayer

As we go to the house of the Lord, give thanks for faithful preachers. Ask Him to keep them from error and to exalt Christ. Ask Him also to help us to be doers of His word, and not just hearers.

Rev. Andre Holtslag is a graduate of Mid-America Reformed Seminary in Dyer, Indiana (2007). At the present time he serves the Reformed Church of Avondale, which is in the city of Auckland, New Zealand, and is one of the Reformed Churches in New Zealand (RCNZ). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. This devotional is made available by the Nearer To God Devotional team, who also make available in print, for purchase, at

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