“By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.”
“Covetousness” literally conveys the desire to have more. “Covetousness” is a desire to have more in a bad sense (Ro 1:29; Ep 5:3; 1 Th 2:5). It is a strong desire to acquire more and more material possessions or possess more things that other people have. This motivation is irrespective of need.
False teachers in the church community extort others to satisfy their own greed. They are in Christianity for financial gain for themselves. A covetous person always wants a larger portion of the pie. Religious con men grab the attention of genuine believers by offering them the possibility of more wealth than they now have. “Covetousness” with the word “exploit” in “they will exploit you” is a deadly combination for the church’s wellbeing.
False religionists make money out of their suckers.
We can tell a charlatan by whether they orient to greed. They exploit people for their mercenary purposes. They turn their ministry into an exploitative marketplace. A clear picture of a covetous preacher proclaims, “If you follow my teaching, you will become wealthy.”