Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the long suffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
—2 Peter 3:14–16
The things we are to look forward to are the new heavens and the new earth in which righteousness dwells. Peter then tells us how we are to wait for that day: without spot and blameless, which means keeping ourselves untainted from the world. He reminds us that the Word of God includes some things hard to understand, so we must be careful whom we listen to concerning the deep things of God.
Twisting Scripture seems to have become an art form in our day. When you couple twisted Scripture with an eloquent, gifted communicator, and on top of that you throw in some passion, you have the recipe for deception. So how can we know what to believe in this age of multiple interpretations of the Word of God?
There are three simple things to remember when answering this question. First, the Bible will never contradict itself. Second, false teachers will usually claim special revelations from God that cannot be confirmed (visits to heaven, angelic appearances, etc.) and are inconsistent with the Word of God. Third, those who twist the Scriptures do so for some form of personal gain, using the Bible as a promotional tool to elevate themselves.
Keeping ourselves unspotted speaks of our own spiritual walks and how we live our lives. In short, we are to live holy lives as we await the new heavens and the new earth. We also need to be spiritually responsible and diligent students of the Word, lest we be deceived by false teaching. We must be on guard against those who twist the Scriptures by isolating verses and taking them out of context and then gathering a following of people who want their words to be true. Peter warns this leads to destruction.
Remember, dear friends, it is the next life that holds our reward. We need to be careful of seeking that which is promised in the next life as our reward in this one. When a message is inconsistent with the whole counsel of God and promotes a life different from the one described in Scripture, then that teaching is destructive.
Scripture twisters are easily identified if we’ll take the time to put their teachings to the test!
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