"Be Wary of the Paths Before You" | Learning Guide
October 16th, 2022
10:15am I Facebook Live & Zoom
Watch last week's message here
Be Wary of the Path Before You
2 Peter 2 (NET)
It’s the middle of October and we all know what that means — pumpkin spice lattes, crunching leaves, crisp weather, and corn mazes. As a born and bred SoCal native I didn’t have the opportunity to wander endlessly in corn mazes so I find them quite thrilling. In fact, this past weekend I was able to partake in my second ever corn maze with my family. Prior to my adventure I was imparted with a fail-safe method for navigating the corn maze in record time, leaving my family to track aimlessly through the rows of yellow stalks. The advice-giver had decades of experience and someone I trusted whole heartedly. And boy did I listen to her. When I looped back to the same places I’d been before, I doubled down, unwilling to give up not only on the instruction I was given, but the person who gave it to me.
And it led me nowhere. Literally. Just circles. My inexperience with corn mazes coupled with my unwavering belief in someone who I saw as infallible led me to walk in endless loops, never making any real progress. How do corn mazes and the false prophets of 2 Peter 2 intersect? Let’s dig into the text this week and find out.
Grace and peace y’all,
Shannon Barrowcliff and the teaching team
2 Peter 1: 3 “I can pray this because his divine power has bestowed on us everything necessary for life and godliness through the rich knowledge of the one who called us by his own glory and excellence.”
Pray this “Abba, just like Peter I pray because of what you have given to me. Please let the experience of your abundant provision of everything I need for life and godliness permeate every bit of my being. Amen”
There is a low chance anyone on a Sunday morning will become a false prophet, but we all have a good chance of following a false prophet. It is our responsibility to reconcile the words someone proclaims and the actions they take. Not only test their validity, but to determine if they’re something we should emulate.
In our present day we’re constantly connected to one another and it always seems like the person with the loudest voice or the biggest platform gets to be heard. But what happens when the message they’re proclaiming doesn’t match their actions and those who follow their voice adopt those behaviors too? It is on each of us, individually, to reflect on what we’re hearing and seeing, to wrestle with the message and actions, and decide for ourselves if they align with what Jesus teaches. Just because someone has a proverbial megaphone doesn’t mean they should be followed – they may just be like the false prophets 2 Peter 2 warns us about.
How does this fit with Belong, Become, Believe?
Hearing from unique, diverse voices on Jesus is an important aspect for our own journeys of growth and development. Boxing oneself in to hear from only one person, one perspective, is a potentially dangerous road that can lead to the inability to question that voice. Being a part of a community where you feel like you belong, comfortable with those around you, allows you to ask questions, challenging yourself to test what you hear and see. That wrestling promotes personal growth which leads to a stronger relationship with Jesus and your own beliefs.
We are going to finish off our journey through the Peterine letters as we jump into 2 Peter 3.
Resources: Weapons of Mass Delusion
How Can I Tell The Difference Between A False Teacher And A Heretic?
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