by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: II Peter 2:1-3
I. As the children were growing up, I felt that I was constantly reminding them to watch where they were going.
A. They just assumed that most things around them were safe and rarely gave thought to the fact that it was people around them who were watching out for them.
B. But the fact remains that dangers exist and we have to keep our eyes open to the possibilities. It is too easy to get lax or careless, especially when nothing particularly bad has happened so far.
C. As Christians we have to remain vigilant against the dangers in this world - I Peter 5:8-9
D. There are three Greek words commonly translated as “beware.”
1. Prosecho: Literally, to hold in your mind. That is, pay attention to, be cautious about, or be on your guard against.
2. Blepo: Literally, to look at. That is, to regard, to keep watch, to be aware of, keep your eye on.
3. Phulasso: to be on guard as in the sense of a watchman on duty.
II. Things Christians should beware of
A. Covetousness or Greed - Luke 12:15
1. Possessions are nice, but there is never an upper bound when many people can say there is nothing more they want.
2. It is easy for greed to creep in unnoticed
a. I had a young man write about his friend. His friend wanted to date this girl, but she turned him down. Eventually he gave up, but the young man and she took interest in each other. Now the friend is saying the young man doesn’t deserve her, that he is the better man.
b. The problem is covetousness and envy. A feeling that I have to possess, I have to succeed before others, and that I’m the most deserving.
3. It destroys the person - Proverbs 14:30
4. Out of control, it becomes the most important thing in our life - Colossians 3:5-6
5. We need to repeatedly remind ourselves of the proper perspective - I Timothy 6:7-11
B. Hypocrisy - Luke 12:1
1. Hypocrisy is putting on an act or a show. It is pretending to be what you are not.
2. Doing good for the wrong reason - Matthew 6:1-2
3. Appearing to be religious - Matthew 6:5
4. Why should we be on the alert for this? It is an easy attitude to slip into.
a. We like to think that we are righteous, so even as we slip into unrighteousness, we judge ourselves as being fine - Proverbs 30:12
b. We assume what we do is right, so we impose our standards on others without ever going back to the source - Proverbs 14:12
5. We have to be on guard against that creep in our lives by always measuring ourselves by God’s standard - Isaiah 28:17; Romans 2:2
C. False Teachers - Matthew 7:15
1. Here the danger is not from within but from without - II Peter 3:17-18
2. Secretly bringing in false doctrine - II Peter 2:1-2
3. The danger is accepting without checking - Colossians 2:8
4. We can be overconfident, thinking we can’t be lead astray - Acts 20:28-31
5. We don’t always give credence that some exist who purposely set out to deceive - Ephesians 4:14
D. Evil Doers - Philippians 3:2
1. Evil can creep in when we aren’t looking - Jude 4
2. People who take advantage of the weaknesses of others - II Timothy 3:2-6
III. “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance” - Thomas Jefferson
A. We aren’t perfect, so we need to be watchful - Revelation 3:2-3
B. We cannot slack off as others have done - I Thessalonians 5:6-9
C. Watch, stand fast - I Corinthians 16:13