In chapter one, Peter ends with the claim that his teaching, and that of fellow Church leaders who agree with him, is the word of the prophets made more certain because it proclaims the fulfillment of prophetic promises.
On the other hand, he says, there have always been false prophets.
What follows in chapter two is a stinging denouncement of those who would lead people away from the truth. Interestingly, Peter does not detail their false teaching, but rather identifies them by their behavior. Their lives evidence greed (vss. 3 & 14), an abandonment to the sinful nature (vs. 10 – for which Galatians 5:19-21 might be an illuminating commentary), a disdain for correction, a defiant boldness in their sin (vs. 13), and a lost of sexual restraint (vs. 2:14). They preach freedom and liberty, but their lives are hopelessly captive to depravity (vs. 19).
Peter’s words remain instructive. Teachers in the Christian Church must be sure their lives conform to the theology they teach. Ours is not a “do as I say, not as I do” ministry. Hearers are responsible to watch the teacher and, even if what’s being said is true, give less or no attention to those whose behavior is in contradiction to their doctrine.
Teachers must also take warning: God will not let hypocrisy among his teachers go unpunished. It matters to God what you believe. It matters to God what you teach. It matters to God how you live.
It matters a lot.