2019年6月4日
歷史不斷重演

粵語 國語

第4天


讀經:   

彼得後書二章1至11節

1從前在百姓中有假先知起來,將來在你們中間也必有假師傅,私自引進陷害人的異端,連買他們的主他們也不承認,自取速速的滅亡。

2將有許多人隨從他們邪淫的行為,便叫真道因他們的緣故被毀謗。

3他們因有貪心,要用捏造的言語在你們身上取利。他們的刑罰,自古以來並不遲延;他們的滅亡,也必速速來到(註:原文作“也不打盹”)。

4就是天使犯了罪,神也沒有寬容,曾把他們丟在地獄,交在黑暗坑中,等候審判;

5神也沒有寬容上古的世代,曾叫洪水臨到那不敬虔的世代,卻保護了傳義道的挪亞一家八口;

6又判定所多瑪、蛾摩拉,將二城傾覆,焚燒成灰,作為後世不敬虔人的鑑戒;

7只搭救了那常為惡人淫行憂傷的義人羅得。

8因為那義人住在他們中間,看見聽見他們不法的事,他的義心就天天傷痛。

9主知道搭救敬虔的人脫離試探,把不義的人留在刑罰之下,等候審判的日子。

10那些隨肉身縱污穢的情慾、輕慢主治之人的,更是如此。他們膽大任性,毀謗在尊位的也不知懼怕。

11就是天使,雖然力量權能更大,還不用毀謗的話在主面前告他們。

今天的世界,甚至教會有多少異端和假教師呢?彼得指出這不是甚麼新鮮事。早在舊約時代便有假先知的存在,人數有時比真先知還要多。初期教會也有假先知。我們今天亦有不少假先知,他們經常憑著個人的影響力帶領他人走入歧途。

我們如何識別假教師呢?彼得給了我們幾個重要的提示。他在第1節指出,這些假教師會沿用撒但在伊甸園使用的伎倆。他們未必會公然否定神的話,卻讓人懷疑神的話;或是說:「你理解錯了,它的意思其實不是這樣的。」然後,用他們的解釋來說服人。

其次,他們通常會鼓吹道德開放,正如我們在現代社會所見的一樣。基督的名因此不斷被人貶低,不再獲得應有的尊重。

第三,他們很重視金錢。彼得說他們的目的是「取利」(3節)。他們會從追隨者身上謀利,以致他們的生活水平遠高於大多數信徒。今天有不少假教師擁有豐厚的財富,卻從不交待自己如何處理錢財。

彼得還列出他們的其他表現,但最終明言:「神必刑罰他們。正如祂在舊約時代所做的一樣,祂今天也必向他們施報。」

彼得也提醒信徒,當審判臨到的時候,神也必能夠拯救祂的兒女。彼得提到挪亞和羅得,他們都是神大能拯救的經典例子。

第9節下半句雖然提及審判,但上半句卻清楚指出:「主知道搭救敬虔的人脫離試探。」這不是很令人鼓舞嗎?審判雖必臨到,但神也必顧念屬祂的人。信徒必須時刻緊記這一真理。

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HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF
Day 4


Bible Reading:   

2 Peter 2:1-11

1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.

2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.

3 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.

4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;

5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;

6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly;

7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked

8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)—

9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,

10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries,

11 whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.

How many cults and false teachers are there in the world or even in churches today? Peter says that is nothing new. There were false prophets in the Old Testament days. On some occasions they even outnumbered the true prophets. There were false prophets in the early church. We have many today who continually lead people astray often through the power of their dominating personality.

How can we detect false teachers? Peter gives us several important clues. In verse 1 he says that they will follow the same method Satan used in the Garden of Eden. They may not openly deny the Word of God but will they cast doubts on it. Or they will say, “It doesn't really mean what you think it means.” They will then suggest other interpretations - theirs.

They will usually advocate open immorality. As we have seen it in recent years, the name of Christ is dragged consequently down and loses its rightful respect.

Thirdly they will emphasize money. Peter calls this “greed” (v.3). They exploit their followers. They have a life-style far above most of their disciples. Some today are fabulously rich but never account for the money they handle.

There are other indications, but Peter says, “God will deal with them. He did in Old Testament times. He will do it again now.”

Peter also reminds us how God can deliver His children even when judgment is falling. Peter mentions Noah and Lot, two remarkable examples of God's power to save.

Note the second part of verse 9. It speaks of certain judgment but the first part is so clear: “The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials.” Isn't that encouraging? As certain as judgment may be, God's care for His own is just as certain. Hold on to that truth, now and always.