Sunday School Lesson 42BEWARE OF DOGS
BIBLE PASSAGE: 2 Peter 2:9-22
INTRODUCTION: The word ‘beware’ is ‘to be careful of or to be mindful of a thing, a person or a circumstance. The scripture warns us to beware of dogs, evil workers and of the concision (fleshly circumcision upon which the Judaizers insisted as being necessary for gentile converts). Dogs are naturally domesticated as pets or for security purposes. However, dogs are also dangerous animals; they can bite, destroy and even kill. In the New Testament times, dogs were regarded as scavengers (Matt.15:26-27). In the context of Philippians 3:2 the word ‘dog’ is used figuratively to represent some classes of people. Who are these ‘dogs’ and why should believers beware of ‘dogs’.
- Description Of ‘Dogs’
- Dangers Posed By ‘Dogs’ And The Way Out
1. DESCRIPTION OF ‘DOGS’
The scripture is explicit in the way the issue of dogs is being addressed. Philippians 3:1-3 describes ‘dogs’ as evil workers; people who are deceitful (2 Corinthians 11:13); unfaithfully and deceitfully (2 Corinthians 4:1-2). ‘Dogs’ are people who endeavour to subvert the Gospel of Christ, and the faith of men (Acts 13:8-11). Isaiah 56:10-11 further gave a description of dogs as ministers or leaders who are lazy, greedy, self-centered, and look out only for their own interests. Gnashing teeth, biting, and barking are behaviours common to dogs, so it is with people of violent spirit (Galatians 5:15)
Jesus Christ also speaks in symbolic terms about dogs: He instructed “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” (Matthew 7:6). ‘Dogs’ are those who go back to their ‘vomit-old sinful ways-after salvation (2 Peter 2:22; Hebrews 10:38).
Dogs are also mentioned in Deuteronomy 23:18, alluding to the behaviour of homosexuality and male prostitution, which is abominable in the judgment of God. From these examples we can conclude that one aspect of the warning about “dogs” is to beware of people who live and promote a sinful lifestyle in doctrines and deeds.
2. DANGERS POSED BY ‘DOGS’ AND THE WAY OUT
Dogs are destroyers of the faith; they pollute the faith of believers by confusing fundamental doctrines (2 Timothy 3:7-8; 4:3-4). They weaken the conscience of young believers through their meanness and inconsiderable behaviours. They live their lives as if they do not have a responsibility to help young believers grow (1 Corinthians 8:9-12). They defile the church with their pervasive way of life (2 Corinthians 11:13) introducing homosexualism, prostitution and other abominable things into the Christian faith.
To avoid being victims of the antics of dogs, Christians should avoid taking pleasure in those who are regarded as ‘dogs’ by the Scriptures (Romans 1:32). Believers should give attendance to the study of Scriptures in order not to be tossed by the wind of doctrines (1 Timothy 4:13; Ephesians 4:14); Be watchful and prayerful (1 Peter 5:8; Matthew 26:41); Make holiness your lifestyle (Romans 12:1-2) and live in the spirit (Galatians 5:16).
CONCLUSION: Anyone who goes back to his sins after forsaking them is regarded as dogs, be watchful!
- Who are those described as ‘dogs’ in the Bible?
- Why are dogs dangerous?