Turning to the subject of the perils threatening the Church, two are referred to - false teachers, and a materialization of mind which follows on such teaching. As in old days there were false prophets, so we are told there will be false teachers. Hence the necessity for watchfulness. The teachers referred to are those who deny the Lord. The apostle illustrated the effect of such false interpretation by the example of Lot, who, being a righteous man, yet lost his influence in Sodom.
In burning and searching words he described the characteristics of those whom he had in mind. After the severest denunciation he pictured them in their luxurious living, giving themselves over to every form of license. Balaam is given as an illustration of the evil of the love of hire. By two phrases he described graphically such teachers. They are "springs" luring thirsty souls with the hope of satisfaction, but "without water." They are "mists driven by a storm," and this tells the deepest truth concerning these men, who, so far from ministering rest and peace, are themselves servants of unrest and disturbance.
We find here no dainty handling of false teaching. The apostle shows that the effect of false teaching is ever the denial of the power of Christ. Denying His Lordship issues in every form of evil. To deny the Lord in any particular is to loosen the bondage of the soul to Him, and to open the door for the incoming of all evil.
the Third Week after Epiphany