When I began this section I really liked the fact that God will rescue us from temptation.
2 Peter 2:9-19 NASB "then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment,"
But as I read I am confused and saddened by the identity of who these are. It seems that there may be three groups.
If I have this wrong, please feel free to correct me. (In a nice way please.)
Ok, there is a judgment coming for the unrighteous in verse 9. But then he says "especially really bad ones."
So, I don’t think we can get away from the idea that there are unrighteous that really aren’t that bad.
I was talking to a middle aged woman about heaven and she thought she would go there because she wasn’t all that bad. I really wanted to tell her I knew some bad stuff about her but I didn’t and told her that none of us are good enough for heaven and it is by God’s grace and faith in Christ that we can be with God forever. She knew that Jesus died for her but still thought that only bad people were judged. But Peter has a real bad taste in his mouth for really, really bad people. What a list. Then I thought, "hey this sounds like many people in our culture." Is this what is displayed on TV today because this really is the way people want to live? Sounds like Easter week in Florida or New Orleans during Marti Gras, though I have NO first hand experience there.
(10) and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority. Daring, self- willed, they do not tremble when they revile angelic majesties,
(11) whereas angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord.
(12) But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed,
(13) suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong.
Charlie Sheen is reported to have HIV. That is suffering wrong as a payment of doing wrong. There
are natural consequences of bad behavior and not just in this area. Treat your spouse poorly and see how that works. You will suffer. Cheat on an exam and you might get away with it for a time but it will come back where when you needed to know the answer you didn’t have knowledge and you messed up at work. You get the point. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you.
(14) having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children;
(15) forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
(16) but he received a rebuke for his own transgression, for a mute donkey, speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet.
Balaam was the man who actually told Balak a king how to cause Israel to sin even though he could not pronounce a curse on Israel when bribed to do so.
(17) These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved.
It is like in Salinas, you see these clouds in the sky but they produce nothing. These people that are out for what ever they can get but really all they will get is black darkness of judgment that is reserved for them.
(18) For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error,
(19) promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.
Are these people actually promising spiritual freedom? Are these people who look on the outside very religious but preying on people the false teachers Peter is talking about? It seems they themselves are slaves to their sin?
Is it possible that they were truly believers? Listen to these last verses.
2 Peter 2:20-22 NASB
(20) For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge (this word is not the regular word for knowledge but it is the word for true knowledge) of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
(21) For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them.
(22) It has happened to them according to the true proverb, "A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT," and, "A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire."
Is it possible that we could go back this far into sin? I thought God knew how to rescue us from temptation?
Could this be those among us that play the part and sound like they know something of Jesus but deep in their hearts would rather give in to their lustful desires instead?
Only you know where you are with God and with Jesus. This is why seeking things that are above is so important. This is why having a time where you are getting alone with God is so important and this is why being with God’s children is so important because there are men and women in the church who have been there and know the way to self-control and the godly life.
Sorry for such a long pondering. These are verses that are not much fun to talk about. I hate it when those among us mess up so bad that it seems they are worse than when they began.
Don’t let this happen to you.
Keep alert, my brothers and sisters.