For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.

This verse can be troubling for some. It is helpful to read it in the context of the entirety of 2 Peter 2, as well as within the context of 1 and 2 Peter together. In summary, Peter warned against being fooled, distracted, and enticed by false teachers who twist the truth for their own evil ends with no concern for the eternal destiny of those they teach. They wreak havoc in the lives of their listeners as they deny God’s Word and attempt to discredit His truth. They are full of deceit.

Our goal is clear: to escape the defilements of the world. How we do so is also clear: by the saving knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This may not be a verse or chapter we enjoy reading. But the reality is that what is best for us is not always that which is most comfortable. Yet, God is the great physician and He knows our every need. And every word in Scripture is useful and profitable. Passages like this one reach their intended purpose by increasing our earnestness in realizing the full assurance of hope to the end. Let us seek to guard our hearts with an ever-deepening knowledge of the truth, maintain a closer walk with God, and live for His praise and glory.

• How is false teaching still a concern for the church today?

• How can you seek to practically guard against false teaching in your life?

• Pray against the entanglement of the enemy and the false teachers he uses in his schemes. Ask the Holy Spirit for a keen awareness of the deceitful practices of false teachers and the devastating influence they can have. Pray for those you know who are searching and confused, that God would put the right people in their path to show them the way to Him.