Damnable, Denying, Destruction—The Three "D's" of 2 Peter 2:1

The Holy Scriptures have some terrible words of warning, many of them evidently not familiar to the church in these days. Christ used them. Paul used them. John used them. Peter used them. And there are three words used by the apostle Peter which are most significant: damnable—denying—destruction; “damnable heresies”; “denying the Lord that bought them”; “swift destruction.” Peter writes, “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” (2 Pet. 2:1).

What is a heretic? A heretic is an opinionated person, one who gives his own opinions as to what God ought to say and what God ought to do.

What are damnable heresies of which Peter speaks? Let us put the verse into plain English: “There were false prophets among the people of old, and there will be false teachers in the church. They will bring in doctrines of their own originating, even denying the doctrine of the atonement, and will bring upon themselves eternal loss; and many shall follow their pernicious ways.”

The Bible will always stand the test. Is this Scripture true today? Are there any heretics among us—opinionated men and women who love to air their supposed scholarship? Who make light of the atoning blood of the Son of God—the blood that bought them? Do you know any of them? Do you sympathize with them? Do you apologize for them? Do you seek to satisfy yourself and others by telling how sweet and amiable and lovely they are?

Do you, beloved, know a damnable heresy when you hear it? Can you endorse the teaching of a man who denies the blood that was shed to save him?

Listen to Peter as he speaks of the blood of Christ: “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Pet. 1:18-19).

Is there anything you can think of more terribly wicked in the sight of God our Father who gave His Son, in the sight of our Lord Jesus Christ who offered Himself as a sin-offering for your sins, in the sight of the Holy Spirit who indited the message of Peter—than this damnable heresy of denying the blood—the precious blood?

And is there anything more fearful than the judgment which must await these heretics who delight in slurring the sacrifice of Christ and who deliberately connive with Satan to destroy the souls of the sons of men?

What shall we do? Pray for these false teachers and preachers, for destruction awaits them. Pray for the poor, deluded people who have not wisdom enough to read the Bible for themselves. Lift your voice. Use your influence and all of your power to warn the people—young and old—of the horrors of these heresies and of the hell that awaits those who give ear to these seducing spirits.

— Dr. T. C. Horton (1921)