2 PET 2:10-13
INTRO: From reading both 2nd Peter and Jude I can only conclude that the world of 1st century Christianity faced incredible challenges from those who espoused a polluted, corrupted gospel. True, there were the persecutions which arose quickly around the earliest disciples. The Jews, and a bit later, the Romans initiated these efforts to obliterate Christianity almost from its beginning. But the greatest danger to the church may well have come from within ... from those who professed to be disciples of Christ but who taught doctrines of devils (1 Tim 4:1). According to Gal 4:17 the work of such false teachers was to win you over ... for their own ends (Phillips). The only rule of engagement was simply anything goes! So Peter, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, describes such people. Our thoughts tonight continue the descriptions we began last Lords day.
1. They are brute beasts - 2:12a
a. such false teachers live at the dictates of their passions
b. they are not rational beings ... but are creatures of instinct - sensual
c. rational arguments of the gospel would not sway or appeal to them
d. such as these could not even be given the benefit of sincerity!
e. continuing the figure, Peter says they will be caught and destroyed - just as brute beasts are!
f. one commentator observes, There is something self destroying in fleshly pleasure (Barclay)
g. Eph 4:19,20 - the life these ungodly people lived was not that of Christ!
2. They speak evil of things they do not understand - 2:12b
a. v. 11 speaks of the great restraint of angels - no railing accusations
b. by contrast, these ungodly teachers have no such restraint!
c. they speak evil of things of which they have no understanding!
d. exactly what it was to which Peter referred I am not sure ... could it have been a reference to the immorality of these teachers and to their speaking evil of any ideal of restraint ... or of growing beyond sensuality?
e. it is not uncommon for people to speak disparagingly of things of which they have little or no knowledge ... especially in matters moral and religious
f. Acts 17:11 - our speaking must come out of knowledge of the scriptures
g. Eph 4:17,18 - ...alienated from the life of God through the ignorance...
3. They will perish in their own corruption - 2:12c
a. Gal 6:8 - here is an immutable principle, truth
b. ungodly teachers may give themselves over to their passions - and entice others to do so by railing against any idea of self restraint, discipline
c. but the pleasure they enjoyed will be their undoing
d. consider Rom 1:26,27 - receiving in themselves that recompence...
e. or, note Rev 2:20-23 - the false teacher perishes in the bed of great tribulation
f. we must be governed by a careful study of the word of God - not by our emotions, our passions
g. Rom 16:18 - good words and fair speeches sound good, but....!!!
4. They will receive the reward of unrighteousness - 2:13a
a. here is the plain statement of the fate of ungodly false teachers
b. they apparently sought the praise of men, a following of men
c. think of Mt 6:1,2 - did not see beyond their pride, their self righteousness
d. Deut 25:16 with Rom 1:18 - ungodly behavior, whatever the form it takes, has its own reward
e. reading such language as this must be sobering for us, to us
f. the warnings of scripture are plain and must be taken seriously
g. Heb 10:30,31
5. They are without shame - 2:13b
a. the word pleasure in this verse is the word from which hedonism comes
b. hedonism describes a life of total gratification of self - no rules (1 Tim 4:2)
c. hedonism and shamelessness travel together - ungodly lifestyles too often become completely self indulgent
d. Peter notes that these ungodly teachers are openly ungodly - they riot in the day time
e. note, too, Phil 3:18,19
f. the world in which we live is a world of open shamelessness - we must discipline ourselves to remain pure and clean ... so, Jas 1:27
CLOSE: This section of the letter certainly has a sort of negative sound to it. I wonder, though, if it is intended to produce positive results in the lives of Christian people ... especially in the lives of those who may be wavering under the influence of erroneous teaching. The warnings are needed.
Cecil A. Hutson
11 September 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)