Few individuals set out to be heretics.
But there are those individuals who believe the devil when he says they will get money, power, cars, houses, sex, bestsellers, huge crowds, lasting fame.
“Just give your doctrine a bit of a twist,” he whispers, “and in exchange for a few tiny drops of falsehood you’ll get a whole lot of goodies!”
Thus the father of lies dupes people in two ways: by fabricating corrosive false teaching; by roping in the gullible to hawk it.
He’s a con artist on both counts, and finds it jolly to eventually let “his preachers” hang on their own rope, choking on disgrace, recrimination, back-peddling, exposure, lawsuits, divorce, accusations, addiction, disease. And then the hard stuff: divine judgment. And the Evil One chuckles.
Says John Chrysostom, on Philippians 1: “Nothing is more villainous than the Devil. This is how he everywhere pulls people in to work on his worthless jobs, and then tears them apart. So not only does he deny them a reward, he goes so far as to set them up for punishment!”
“False teachers: a bad road to a bad end,” by Gary S. Shogren, Professor of New Testament, Seminario ESEPA, San José, Costa Rica