2 PET 2:4-9
INTRO: Peter has affirmed in v. 3 that false teachers would face judgment and damnation. There may have been those, however, who thought that because that judgment was not swift and unmistakable it would not really come. They might have said to themselves, Yes, Peter, we have heard that before. You keep telling us that ... but nothing seems to happen. And these people about whom you are warning us just keep right on teaching their error. But Peter had every reason to believe and know that these people who were making shipwreck of the faith of others would receive the just and correct penalty for their behavior.
I. TRUE, GODS JUDGMENTS, PENALTIES ARE NOT ALWAYS IMMEDIATE
A. An illustration
1. Ex 17:13,14 - a very early confrontation in Israels history
2. Deut 25:17-19 - scores of years later the penalty still not assessed
3. 1 Sam 15:2,3 - many years later the penalty is assessed
B. Eccl 8:11 - This verse presents the problem from human perspective
1. people become very ho hum and think that God really will not punish
2. but the lesson of history tells us otherwise - Gods judgments will come
3. Eccl 8:12,13 - ...yet surely I know...
II. SO, PETER USES SOME ILLUSTRATIONS TO AFFIRM GODS JUDGMENT
A. 2 Pet 2:4 - ...the angels that sinned...
1. what in important illustration given the situation Peter addresses
2. and it says clearly that no one is exempted from Gods judgments - did the false prophets/teachers believe they were beyond Gods judgments?
3. (angels are created, moral beings - but apparently not subject to redemption)
4. these rebellious creatures God imprisoned in tartarus - in chains
5. they were reserved unto judgment - Jude 1:6
B. 2 Pet 2:5 - ...spared not the old world...
1. Peter will come back to references to the great flood
2. but he refers to this historical event as proof that God will ultimately punish the ungodly ... and, by implication, includes the false teachers in ungodly
3. compare Noah, a preacher of righteousness to the false teachers
4. the people of the old world had years of warning - and ignored it
5. the good news here is that God saved Noah, a teacher of truth!!!
C. 2 Pet 2:6 - ...turning the cities ... into ashes condemned them...
1. once again, by implication the false teachers are grouped with ungodly
2. what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah was to be an example!
3. it was not merely an isolated phenomenon without moral, spiritual relevance beyond the lower reaches of the Dead Sea area
4. and it was an event of judgment well known to Peters readers
5. how long these cities had been so grossly immoral I do not know - but Gods judgment finally came upon them
D. Just a bit more about Lot - 2 Pet 2:7,8
1. Lot is described here as just - that righteous man
2. from the Old Testament we may not get this impression of him - but this is Gods assessment of his character
3. Lot was vexed with the filthy conversation... - he vexed his righteous soul from day to day because of their unlawfulness (false teachers???
4. righteous people will share that feeling when false teachers seem to advance their error and gain a following - and it seems the righteous can do little to stop this ungodliness
5. tragically, there is every indication that Lots own family was caught up in the ungodliness - and as parents we have every reason to be concerned about what our children are seeing, hearing from religious leaders
E. 2 Pet 2:9 - What these illustrations teach?
1. there will be a day of judgment
2. Gods ultimate reward or punishment ... based on your life choices
3. its important to me (very positive) that Peter noted in two of these familiar illustrations that godly people have nothing to fear of the judgment!
4. true, he is dealing with false teachers and the ultimate consequences of their leading people away from truth
5. but there is a motive for not falling prey to their feigned words
CLOSE: I believe that the Biblical history of Gods dealings with humankind from the very beginning is both accurate and instructive. Therefore, I know the great judgment day will come ... in Gods own time ... but it will come. And I do not want to be numbered among the ungodly when that day comes.
Cecil A. Hutson
14 August 2005
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)