These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. (2 Peter 2:17-19)
Great Swelling Words Of Emptiness
Albert Barnes writes, “Truth is simple, and delights in simple statements. It expects to make its way by its own intrinsic force and is willing to pass for what it is worth. Error is noisy and declamatory and hopes to succeed by substituting sound for sense, and by such tones and arts as shall induce men to believe that what is said is true when it is known by the speaker to be false.” The world does not believe there are false teachers. It is accepted that everyone has a right to their viewpoint, whether it is a fact or fiction. To condemn the philosophy or teaching of another by calling them a false teacher is unacceptable. The apostle Peter makes it abundantly clear that some have forsaken the right way and gone astray. False doctrine did not take long to creep in among the people of God. Satan immediately tries to destroy the creation of God by inducing hearts to challenge the word of God. The result is seen in the myriads of lost souls who never knew the truth and blindly followed a man because he spoke with such swelling words of emptiness like a well without water.
False doctrine has always been the downfall of man. Satan began attacking the creation of God when he came to Eve and asked whether God really said what He did. There were false prophets among the people of God who led them away from the will of the Lord. In the early church, men arose, demanding circumcision become necessary for salvation, which the Lord never required. Paul spoke of the great apostasy that would fill the earth with men speaking lies in hypocrisy, drawing souls away from the truth. The Roman Catholic Church became the fulfillment of those lies and spread false teaching for generations to come through the seeds of the Protestant Reformation. False doctrines and false teachers are a real and present danger to souls seeking the grace and mercy of God. With great swelling words of emptiness, false teachers convince the multitudes to believe words never found in the Bible. Truth has always been simple. God gave His word to men to read and understand His will. False teachers twist the word to fit their own agenda. They convince the unwary hearts with a great show of swelling words to believe a lie only to offer empty dreams. A man traveling in the desert dying of thirst is revived when he sees a well on the horizon. Immediately he goes to the well for salvation and tragically only finds a dry well. That is how Peter describes false teachers. They offer salvation, but there is none.
Thousands upon thousands of people have come to the altar call of false doctrine convinced they are children of God. For years, evangelists would hold great revivals throughout the country, drawing thousands to hear a noted preacher. After a powerful and moving sermon, an invitation was given for all those who need to accept Christ as their personal Savior to come to the stage and receive blessings. They are told to say the “sinners’ prayer” and to accept by faith alone the grace of God, and they will be saved. Feelings of euphoria flood their souls as they walk away convinced they have been born again and saved in the kingdom of the Lord. Sadly, they have found nothing more than an empty well. These are false teachers giving false hope. The saga continues today with faith healers, charlatans, mega-evangelists, men and women more concerned about their cars, jets, and mansions than the truth of Jesus Christ.
Everyone is accountable for their own soul. No man or woman will stand before God and blame their preacher, their parents, the government, society, or the author of this writing for their failure to obey the will of the Father. Just because a man calls on Jesus as Lord and lives a religious life will not mean he is saved. The only ones who are saved are those who do the will of the Father, which is a personal choice. When people refuse to follow the Bible and follow a man, they jeopardize their eternal life. Many will stand before the Lord and hear the word, “Depart.” Following a false teacher has eternal consequences. Do not be one of those who follow great swelling words of emptiness. Follow the Book. Live the Book. Know the Book. Truth is narrow but that narrow truth is all that will save you.