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May 20 – The dangerous activity of false teachers (part 2)

“What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”” – 2 Peter 2:17-22

Scripture reading: 2 Timothy 4:10-14

Peter completes his identikit sketch of false teachers with two animal illustrations of their dangerous activity. A sick dog, if it is hungry enough, will eat its own vomit. How disgusting! And having taken a bath in clean water, a pig will head straight back to mud and manure for a good wallow.

One preacher described the gospel as like a spiritual emetic and laxative. An emetic is a medicine that makes you vomit up the poison or drugs that you have swallowed, and I am sure you know what a laxative does. And in a similar way, the gospel makes us ‘vomit up’ our addictions and habitual bad behaviours. But false teachers basically put addictions and habitual bad behaviours, which is what “sensuality” is, in front of us again and they tell us it’s all OK, and in so doing, they invite us to eat our own vomit. But to listen to them, would be as disgusting as the dogs and pigs described here.

Peter was called by the Lord Jesus to feed His sheep. One way that a shepherd feeds and cares for sheep is to steer them away from predators and poison. There will be those who try and lead us away from Christ and the Christian life. But now we know what they look like; we know their warped personality and dangerous activity. May Christ and His way be what we seek.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank the Lord for Jesus Christ, the author and perfector of our salvation. Ask the Lord to raise up a new generation of men who would preach the full counsel of His Word.

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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