They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness. (2 Peter 2:15)
There Is A Right Way
False doctrine is as old as the earth. Satan first approached Eve challenging the word of God. The devil convinced the woman that she had the right to change the will of the Lord because she deserved so much more. How could God allow her to eat of every tree of the garden but one? This was not fair, and through the deceptive lie of human wisdom, Satan convinced Adam and Eve to choose their own way. The results were disastrous. Sin destroyed the relationship of God and man and cast the world into the darkness of rebellion. Satan continues to deceive the hearts of men by suggesting there is no such thing as false doctrine and false teachers. In a world of acceptance, declaring one group right and another group wrong is viewed as judgmental and condemning, and ironically considered wrong. To suggest there is such a thing as false doctrine is denied. And Satan continues to add minions to his cause.
Peter faces a world filled with false doctrine, not just in the Roman world of paganism, but within the body of Christ itself. In his final letter, the apostle affirms the need to give the diligence to add to faith characters of steel required to refute those who would follow a false way. He was a witness of Christ and saw the Lord transfigured on the mountain along with James and John. The word of God was not fables created by human wisdom but declared by the mouth of God through the Holy Spirit. Within the first four decades of the early church, false doctrine had crept into the church, destroying the faith of many. Peter addresses the poison of false teachers and their destructive heresies by declaring there is a right way and there is a wrong way. False teachers and their followers had forsaken the right way and followed the ways of Old Testament prophets like Balaam. The son of Beor had been dead for nearly two thousand years, but his pattern of falsehood continued to destroy the people of God.
The psalmist of old declared he hated every false way. From the beginning of time, the gospel of two has always been determined by the path of righteousness and the road to ruin. At the coronation of Saul, Samuel told the new king that he would teach him the good and right way. There is a path that is straight, and there is a right road. Righteousness is found on the straight path and the right road established by the word of God. The world listens more to the path of dishonesty, lies, deception, and unrighteousness. Jesus said it is a broad path that leads to destruction, and many follow this road. There are two ways a man can follow. Peter declared there is a right way, and those who are false teachers follow a wrong way.
In a world of acceptance, it is hard to convince people there is a right way. Religion has become so desensitized to error no one is wrong. In the past five hundred years, multiple faiths have begun because of false doctrine propagated by the ultimate apostasy, the Roman Catholic Church. The Holy Spirit gave the Bible to the world to show all men the right way. There is one church, one Lord, one faith, one God, one Spirit, one hope, and one baptism. If there is one church, why are there so many churches? If the Methodist church is not found in the Bible, is it the right way or the wrong way? What about the Baptist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Nazarene, Jehovah’s Witness, Mormon, or Presbyterian? Are they the right way or the wrong way? If a man teaches a doctrine of salvation not found in the word of God, is it the right way or the wrong way? Even among those of the body of Christ, acceptance of other churches is becoming more prevalent. God only has one way.
A sign on the outside of a building does not make a group the right way. A pattern of New Testament discipleship is what determines whether someone is right or wrong. Jesus only died for one church, and there is only one covenant God has with those who have followed the right pattern of obedience. Jesus told the multitudes that being religious did not qualify a man as saved. Doing the will of the Father is the only way a man can find the right path. There is a way that seems right, but the end is a disaster. Following the right way takes a right heart to do the right things in accordance with the right message. The question must be asked: are you right?