The Gift of Salvation is a Two-Way Street

I want to back up just briefly on this section about false teachers to a phrase in 2 Peter 2:1.

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  (2 Peter 2:1)

When Peter describes false teachers, he remarks that they secretly come in alongside (“privately…bring in”) and bring with them false doctrine. Then he adds that they deny the Lord that bought them. What does Peter mean when he says that? Is he implying that these false teachers are actually brothers and sisters in Christ? Possibly but unlikely. Peter’s phrase shows us the difference between the efficacy and the application of the gospel. Jesus Christ died for the sins of all mankind, but not all mankind is automatically saved. Yes, He bought and purchased every human soul with His shed blood on the cross. That speaks to the efficacy of His sacrifice and why the Bible can boldly proclaim “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). But the application of His salvation is different. Everyone can be saved, not everyone chooses to be saved. God will not force Himself on anyone. He created man with a free will and His re-creation of man through salvation is offered on the same terms. A person can choose to be saved, or he can refuse.

The dangerous thing about false teachers is that not only have they themselves chosen to reject God’s gift of salvation through Christ, but they have chosen to convince others to do the same. Like the Pharisees, their false doctrine gives people a false hope of heaven and makes their followers two times the children of hell (See Matthew 23:15). Like Judas, it would be better if they never existed (See Mark 14:21) because God promises them swift destruction.

The gift of salvation is a two-way street. God gives His salvation freely. Man is free to accept or reject it. For those who want to take it upon themselves to divert souls from the truth of God, it is not a matter of if you’ll be run over. It’s only a matter of when.

Photo by Bruno Bergher on Unsplash

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