Monday, February 26, 2018

2 Peter 2:4-10a

Last week, we finally moved into the heart of Peter's message to the dispersed Christians – false teachers and false prophets. We made note of the many characteristics of false teachers, primarily that they deny the clear reading of Sacred Scripture, they deny redemption and repentance, and they are greedy for gain. 
This week, we will continue our study of 2 Peter 2. We first begin with three stories of how God "[keeps] the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment." We, then, will move into a series of metaphors describing the unrighteous and their deeds. 
Verse-by-verse comments 
  • For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; 
    • Are all angels bound? No. We know from the story of the possessed pigs that some are bound in the abyss, called Tataroos (tar-tah-RAH-oh), by Jewish tradition the deepest pit in hell, reserved for fallen angels. We also know from Job, the stories of possessions in the Gospels (until Jesus cast them out) and Revelation 12 that some are free to roam heaven and earth. On the flipside, we are told in Romans 9:1-12 that some are temporarily bound. However, Revelation also tells us that Christ will come to put an end to all evil once and for all.  
    • Matt. 25:41. “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 
    • Jude 1:6. And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— 
    • Calvary Chapel pastor, Jon Courson, comments that those who have been swayed by false teachers will yield to them only because they have such angelic personalities. Yet, Paul says in Galatians, that if anyone from his team or an angel of light preach any other gospel than the one foundationally taught, let them be anathema. 
  • if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; 
    • Heb. 11:7. By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. 
    • The recently-released movie, Noah, starring Russell Crowe would have us believe that Noah would not have taken repentant souls with him on the boat. Yet, Noah was found preaching the coming judgment and a salvation of sorts through the ark. Yet, no one listened, but laughed, mocked and scorned him to their shame and ultimate destruction. 
  • if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 
    • And, what do we remember about that story? Abraham talked God down to not destroying the evil and the righteous together if there were 10 or more righteous persons in the city. 
    • Initially, we also remember that there were tensions in the Abrahamic family before Lot separated (amicably) from Abraham. Lot saw the green grass of the hills surrounding Sodom and Gomorrah and saw an economically good place to raise his family, not seeing the evil he was walking into. Abraham did not see the green grass until he was over the hill...FINISH?! LEAVE OUT?! 
    • Jon Courson uses the story of the Angels of the Lord literally grabbing Lot, his wife and daughters and dragging them out of the city to illustrate the coming Rapture. MORE THOUGHTS! 
  • and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked 
    • Gen. 19:16. But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 
    • 1 Corinthians 10:13. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 
  • (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); 
    • 1 Tim. 1:9. understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 
    • Psalm 119:158. I look at the faithless with disgust, because they do not keep your commands. 
    • COMMENT: While Genesis does not paint Lot as a particularly righteous man, God clearly saw him as righteous. Those of us that know Nigel Hunter may remember him saying that the Father sees us through the filter of Jesus. If we have put our faith in the savior, God sees us as he would see Jesus, not that we haven't, aren't, or won't sin, but clearly Jesus sets us apart for future glory.  
  • then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 
    • Psalm 4:3, and many other passages, remind us that the LORD sets apart the godly for himself. God knows how to rescue the godly because he has preplanned their salvation, their preservation/sanctification, and their glorification.  
    • Psalm 34:15-19. The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. 
    • Titus 2:14. who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. 
  • and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. 
    • Romans 8:12-13. So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 
    • 1 Cor. 6:9. Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,. See also Eph. 5:5. 
    • Jude 1:6-8. And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. 
  • SECTION END NOTE: God is as angry at false teachers as he is of: 
    • Angels attempting to overthrow his reign in heaven, so much so that he damned them immediately and will do so finally for eternity upon Christ's return 
    • A world of creatures rejecting their creator, so much so that he drowned all but 8 humans in order to 1) demonstrate that his judgment is final, but also 2) that God is mighty to save those who trust in God's plan, and ultimately, man of salvation. 
    • A city set against righteous Lot, whose perversion nearly drove them to rape the Angels of the Lord, so much so that God burned the city with fire and brimstone. 
    • We should also make note that in warning the unrighteous and false teachers/prophets, he doesn't bring up false teachers and their punishments, whether it's Elijah vs. The 450 prophets of Baal, Michaiah and the false prophets of Israel, or Balaam (yet). 
    • Yes, God knows how to save the righteous and punish the wicked. 
  • Vs. 10b-22. 
    • I hope I'm using the right word when I say metaphor. The wicked are described here in this section with: 
      • Adjectives: bold, willful, irrational, instinct, ignorant 
      • Nouns: animals,  
      • Verbs: do not tremble, they blaspheme,  
      • Metaphors: born to be caught and destroyed,  

  • 10a Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones, 11 whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. 
    • What is Peter talking about? Speaking evil of or reviling. What does this look like? How about the Roman Church creating a caricature of Satan, colored in red with horns and a pitchfork? How about "rebuking Satan?" My "friend," David McCarthy and many others speak of this. What is the antithesis to this? Preaching the Gospel. That is our task as is mentioned even in Ephesians as we are to put on the Armor of God. We are not to talk to or rebuke Satan. Praying to the Father in the name of the Son through the power of the Holy Spirit. 
    • I had the experience of hearing, what seemed to be, a real demon possession. A lady called into a Christian radio show with troubles and throughout the broadcast the host became aware either explicitly or implicitly that the woman was possessed by a demon. While the demon would attempt to speak, the host merely told the demon to stop talking. All the meanwhile, he was presenting the gospel to the woman who ultimately became delivered of the possession through repentance towards God and faith in Jesus. That is our task. Know the Gospel. Believe the Gospel. Share the Gospel. 
  • 12 But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, 
  • 13 suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you. 
  • 14 They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! 
  • 15 Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, 
  • 16 but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet's madness. 
    • Peter refers to them as creatures of instinct. What do you think he's referring to? 
    • Are we dealing with well-meaning individuals who are misinformed? The context clearly shows that Peter is referring to unsaved people. They are slaves to sin and their natural born instinct is to fulfill the desires of the flesh. This hearkens back to the Reformed doctrine of Total Depravity, often called Radical Depravity. Every part of humanity after the fall and prior to salvation has no desire to seek the Lord. They may seek spiritual things, but, as previously noted, there is a difference between seeking 'god' and seeking the God of the Bible, of whom it is written we love Him because He first loved us! 
    • Then, we come to Balaam. This is quite a story in its own right. If you're not familiar with the story, read through Numbers 22 for the "the rest of the story." Balaam was paid a decent sum of money to give a false prophecy. On the way, his donkey noticed the angel of the Lord standing in their way, though Balaam did not. After repeated efforts to right his stubborn stag, the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey to speak to which Balaam replied, seemingly without surprise. Upon seeing the Angel, however, Balaam fell on his face before the Angel and did what God commanded of him. (David Hocking believes, as many others do, that the Angel was the pre-incarnate Jesus.) 
  • 17 These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. 
  • 18 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. 
  • 19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. 
  • 20 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. 
  • 21 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. 
  • 22 What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.” 

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