Sunday, August 14, 2016
“And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not” (2 Peter 2:3 KJV).
What does “make merchandise of [someone]” mean?
Scams abound everywhere—especially in the name of “Jesus Christ.” For example, take one minister’s modern-day television show. It markets provisions that will supposedly help people survive the end-times. The guy advertises a water filter and barrel to catch and store potable rainwater. For thousands of dollars (!), he sells buckets of food that will (allegedly) last his viewers through the seven years of the Tribulation! (Years ago, he threw in a “free” “marble” statue of “Jesus” with every order placed!) Cleverly, he even invited a guest speaker who was selling his anti-Rapture book. (After all, if you are misled to believe the Body of Christ is not going to be caught up into heaven before the seven years, then you will buy those “helpful supplies” to endure those years of hardship!)
In the context of today’s Scripture, the Apostle Peter mentioned holy men of God who spoke as the Holy Ghost moved them (chapter 1, verse 21). Contrast that with the false prophets of chapter 2 (today’s Scripture). Verses 1-3: “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” God’s wrath will come upon them in due time!
To “make merchandise” means to “buy and sell as a peddler.” Using various trinkets and gimmicks, (covetous) religion always aims to cheat people out of their trust and money. They use “feigned” (insincere, fake) words—lies that sound so convincing. Remember, Jesus condemned the “thieves” who were operating a dishonest business in the Jerusalem Temple (Matthew 21:12,13). Friends, beware of the false teachers… they have a “bill of goods” to sell you!