Read Introduction to 2 Peter
“You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked…“
being led away with the error
“Led away” means carried away (Galatians 2:13). Some people roam about spiritually without direction. They wander about without any fixed idea of truth (2 Thessalonians 2:11).
“Being led away” carries the idea of group psychology. When a group gets going, it can spiritually seduce an individual into frenzy. False teachers always try to get crowd psychology going. People find comfort in the crowd. Peter says this can be deadly. Some people allow themselves to be “carried off” by error. Error enamors them. It is attractive to them.
“Error” is something that deceives. The Bible translates “error” as “deceive” and “delusion.” Error can be subtle. It can snare people before they know it. They find themselves in theological left field before they realize what they bought into (2 Thessalonians 2:10).
“And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie…” (1 Thessalonians 2:11).
“We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6).
“Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah” (Jude 11).
of the wicked
The word “wicked” means lawless, unprincipled people. These people fly in the face of the establishment. They violate established principles. They rebel against principles whether human or divine. Many people fly in the face of the Bible.
Principle: Many people are impressed by the crowd rather than by the Word of God.
Application: Cults love to prey on unhappy, dissatisfied Christians who never learned the Bible for themselves in any solid way. The crowd always impresses these people. They do not think for themselves. They do not root their thinking in solid biblical teaching.
Many people in the first part of this century did not know Bible doctrine. Consequently, when liberals came to their pulpits, either they were enamored with this new teaching or they did not know enough truth to counteract it so they were led away into false doctrine.
Many distorted and unbiblical ideas float about evangelical Christianity today. Few know how to address these ideas biblically.