2 Peter 2:1-3
False Teachers and Their Destruction
2 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. NIV Bible Gateway.com
Outside a grocery store one evening, I watched two young men confronting shoppers with an erroneous statement about scriptural teaching. Anyone who seemed vague about the Christian faith was invited to learn "what God really said" at a Bible study. I was not invited. In fact, the men abandoned me quickly when I used Scripture to defend my beliefs.
False teachers want to create uncertainty in their listeners. In order to gain followers, these deceivers claim to possess knowledge that their audience lacks. The people who accept this misleading information as absolute truth will usually return to the false teacher for more. Having followers, in turn, strokes the misguided leader's ego and provides "proof" that he's right.
Those who have a sound doctrine won't be led astray. That's why it is so important for our faith to rest on biblical truth - for example, the fact that Jesus Christ died for the sins of mankind, the Holy Spirit dwells in believers, and Christians will one day be resurrected bodily. Defeating false teachers takes more than "my pastor says..." When confronted, we must defend our faith with Scripture that we ourselves have studied. By regularly reading and applying God's Word, we will be better prepared to defend our beliefs when presented with untruth.
Building a sound doctrine protects believers from misleading messages and arms them to defend the faith. Do not be caught unprepared. If you haven't already started, begin to study the Bible today. Should you need help, ask your pastor or a godly mentor for guidance.
Stanley, Charles F. "Defeating False Teachers." In Touch: Daily Readings For Devoted Living August 2016. Atlanta: In Touch Ministries. page 24.