“Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” – 2 Peter 3:17-18
Peter was speaking to fellow believers here when he gave the warning to “beware lest you be led into error and fall away“. The Spirit of error is ever trying to deceive and draw men away from what scripture calls the “pure and undefiled religion” delivered by the Holy Spirit of God and confirmed through His Holy Word. Therefor, if it’s not Holy, it’s not from God. If it’s not pure and undefiled, without compromise, blemish, or spot then it’s not from God as stated in the verses leading up to our opening passage.
“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;” – 2 Peter 3:13-15
Peter even states that Paul continually warned of this danger in his letters to the churches, knowing that many would be led astray by false teachers, preachers, prophets, and doctrines; and become spotted by the world. Paul and all the early apostles warned vigorously against all worldly compromise to their pure and undefiled religion knowing that Christ is returning only for a pure and spotless bride, faithful to Him alone, being without wrinkle of compromise, or blemish of sin.
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” – James 1:27
So how does one avoid falling to this error and being led away into worldly compromise, idolatry, rebellion, and sin? Our opening passage and the verses surrounding it gives the answer to this. First, you must read, believe, and obey the scriptures from which all true doctrine and “undefiled” religion comes that you not be led astray by the half truths and whole lies of Satan when he comes masquerading as an angel of light.
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” – 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
Satan is a master counterfeiter, but he will always, through great subtlety, encourage you to compromise Holiness, to appease the flesh, and to ignore the convictions of the Holy Spirit. After all, he cannot lead you into error until you first choose to ignore the Spirit of Truth pleading with your heart not to grieve God by loving the things of the world and the pleasing of the flesh more then you love His purity and righteousness. However, if you know both the word of God and the God of the Word you will not be so easily deceived knowing that God disdains all idolatry, compromise with sin, disobedience to His Holy Word, and disgracing of His Holy character by those claiming His Name. For it does nothing but bring shame and reproach upon it, which provokes Him to great wrath and fiery indignation.
“Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” – Ephesians 5:6-17
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” – 2 Corinthians 6:14-17
The next clue to avoid falling victim to this error given in our opening passage, is to continually grow in grace. How does one grow in grace? By continuing to humble themselves before the Lord daily in every situation, seek His wisdom and understanding above your own, obey what He says in His Word, and be humble enough to acknowledge when you haven’t, and repent.
“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” – James 4:6
So the answer to avoid being led astray by error and become spotted by the world that you would no longer be found worthy to be considered a true bride of Christ is:
First to read His Word, believe, and obey it above all. Be washed clean of all unrighteousness and self righteousness (which is doing, or trusting in what you think is right or should be right) and walk in true righteousness, God’s righteousness (what He says is right), forsaking all self-will and selfish desires.
Then second be humble enough to repent when He shows you where you have failed that He might impart more grace (or power) upon you to recognize and overcome the tactics of the enemy next time. Those that do this will continue to grow in grace that they are able to withstand the wilds and great deceitfulness of the devil (who is the spirit of error), and make it to be presented unto Christ, a spotless bride upholding the pure and undefiled religion of our Sovereign, Holy, and Uncompromising God.
“That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” – Ephesians 5:26-27
“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well fall to him.” – 2 Corinthians 11:2-4