And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep
So they key verses come to an end. Some closing lessons. The first is that this is always driven by greed. Maybe it is greed for money. Maybe it is greed for fame. Maybe it is greed for power. Whatever it is the motive becomes impure at some point. Perhaps it started out very pure. Just wanting to stand by a fellow leader but in the end, if we do not use the Bible as our plumb line, we can no longer tell right from wrong. Secondly, those who teach falsely exploit us. They firstly exploit those who may be genuinely seeking God. They use them. They sell them something that is not from God, just like the false prophets in the days before Christ. They also exploit their fellow church leaders though. They borrow their stature and their good name to prop theirs up when they do not deserve it. Thirdly however is the main point of these main points. What they say is simply false.
That is what is supposed to matter to leaders in the church. Not protecting the brotherhood. Not singing Kumbaya with people who do not represent the Gospel. In closing, let us also dispel the usual arguments of being a loving Christian leader. Someone once asked me how I would feel if someone was being critical of me and the work I was doing for the kingdom. My answer has always been that I welcome any biblical admonishment because I do not matter in the end, only Jesus does. If you saw a fellow pastor shoplifting, would you stop him? If you saw a fellow preacher mugging someone, would you intervene? If you saw a fellow church leader out with a mistress instead of his wife, would you pull him aside and counsel him? If you answered no to any of these then it is you that are unloving and undeserving of leadership within the body of Christ. If you answered yes, how in the world is lying about what God has and has not said of any less importance? How is stealing money from the sheep lower in concern? Knowing that only true doctrine can save a lost soul, how is spreading a false gospel acceptable compared to the carnal offenses listed above? And to turn the blind eye while proclaiming it is an act of love is even more reprehensible. Because we will all answer one day for every careless word, let alone deed and those in church leadership are held to a higher standard. When Paul said goodbye to the Ephesian elders he declared himself free of their blood because he had not hesitated in proclaiming the entire Gospel. That is how serious this is. If we see that someone has either lived apart from the Gospel or is preaching apart from it, we are duty bound to tell them, not invite them to speak at our church. We are charged with providing them counsel, not safe haven. Ultimately, if they refuse to repent, we are compelled to stand with Christ and rebuke what is contrary to the Gospel. Easy? Hardly. The narrow path rarely is but the eternal destination of the souls of man lie in the balance and we need to remember who it is that we actually serve.