2 Peter 2
“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.” 2 Peter 2:1-2
In this second chapter Peter is warning them that although there are godly men who will hear and know the scriptures and prophesy in their midst there will also be false prophets. There were long ago, just as they are among you! Sound familiar? Peter goes on to tell them that many people will follow these false prophets, that they will distort truth, and that they will exploit with false words because of their greed. But they won’t get away with it forever.
“Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” 2 Peter 2:3b
If you wonder if God is going to allow the false teachers to not be punished, just look at history.
God didn’t even spare the angels who sinned but cast them into hell. He did not spare the world but he preserved Noah because he was righteous living among the ungodly. When the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were brought down, Lot was living among them and he was grieved because of the conduct around him, yet Lot was rescued from the cities as they went up in flames. I hear all over how worried we are about the future, and believe me it is easy to fall into the worry. But if the Lord could rescue Noah and the Lord could rescue Lot…
“then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment,” 2 Peter 2:9
That one’s for us! That statement right there is for those who know Jesus. Even in the midst of the crazy, and the worry over the future, if you are His, he knows how to rescue you! That is the most encouraging line of this whole chapter. Hang onto it.
Peter goes on to describe the ungodly surrounding them. The very people he wants to warn against. He says that they are “bold and willful”, “they do not tremble as they blaspheme”, they blaspheme about “matters of which they are ignorant”.
“They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you. They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children!” 2 Peter 2:13b-14
I don’t know about you, but I think Peter could have been looking into the future as well. As I was reading the descriptions of the ungodly I must say I was feeling a lot of familiarity. But we who know Jesus and belong to Him, when we think on the things of evil that are surrounding us we can know this.
“These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person to that he is enslaved.” 2 Peter 2:17-19
This is a word from the Lord and we can be assured that those who practice all of these things will not be left unjudged.
Peter ends this chapter with one final warning. He warns those that have heard the word of the Lord and yet they turn back to evil and unrighteousness.
“For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.” 2 Peter 2:20-21
This is not talking about people who truly followed Jesus and fell backwards for a time. This is talking of those who appear to have been saved and have heard the scriptures and good teaching yet turn their back on it. We can know that there will always be people in our midst who will take on the appearance of having been saved yet given the chance they will walk right back into a lifestyle of corruption and greed. However, I have seen those who were saved and made bad choices and fell into greed and corruption for a time, but the Lord would not leave them there. He will always watch out for His children and He will never allow them to be comfortable in sin. And you can take that one to the bank.
Oh Lord, thank you for the warnings and thank you most of all that you will always rescue the godly. We may not know when or how the rescue will come but we can be rest assured, it’s coming!