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Thursday, October 3, 2019

2019.10.03 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Peter 2:1-9

Questions from the Scripture text: What do the worst of the false prophets’ and false teachers’ destructive heresies deny (2 Peter 2:1)? Who will follow their destructive ways (2 Peter 2:2)? What does this cause to be done to the truth? Why would the false teachers do this to their hearers (2 Peter 2:3)? But what will happen to them? Whom had God not spared in 2 Peter 2:4? Whom had God not spared in 2 Peter 2:5? But whom did He save? Whom had God not spared in 2 Peter 2:6? To whom did God make Sodom and Gomorrah an example? Whom did God deliver—what does 2 Peter 2:7 call him? What effect did the filthy conduct of the wicked have upon him (2 Peter 2:7-8)? From what does the Lord know how to deliver the righteous (2 Peter 2:9)? For what does the Lord reserve the unrighteous?
One of the temptations when reading about Noah or Lot is to think that they are primarily warnings to the world. However, the false prophets and teachers that are mentioned in 2 Peter 2:1 are not in the world but rather in the church. They “deny the Lord who bought them”—not that they were personally, eternally saved, but rather that they are in the church, who are the assembly of those bought by the Lord.

Of course, that’s the worst part of their heresy. They deny His lordship. They announce some gospel truth (2 Peter 2:2), but cause it to be blasphemed by also teaching that the saved may continue in ungodliness. Here, the apostle compares such teachers and their hearers to angels who sinned—who, although they were angels, are destroyed for their sin. And to the generation of Noah, upon whom the flood came for ungodliness (2 Peter 2:5). And to Sodom and Gomorrah as an example to those who live ungodly (2 Peter 2:6).

The message is clear. Those who live in ungodliness must expect that God’s judgment will destroy them. And this is exactly what 2 Peter 2:3 says is coming upon the false teachers. So, why would they teach such things? Verse 3 says that it’s because they want money. People want to hear that the gospel means that it’s ok for them to sin. And, preachers give in to the desire to give hearers what they want in order to get more money.

But God isn’t like those preachers. He wants to deliver the righteous out of temptations. In fact, while Noah was not in his situation by choice, Lot did in fact choose his. And the Lord, being merciful, delivered Lot out of his temptations! Without 2 Peter 2:9, we might think that the rescue mention was to save Lot from Sodom’s destruction. The main thing, however, was that God was rescuing Lot from Sodom’s wickedness.

What false preachers do to the congregations, and some foolish believers do to themselves, the Lord is determined to undo! The danger, however, is for those whose souls are not tormented by sin. For those who are ok with it. For those who think that this is part of the gospel—to feel ok about sinning. God is just as committed to the destruction of such self-deceived, so-called “Christians” as He is committed to the sanctification and ultimate salvation of the genuinely converted. So, let us heed His warnings!
What sins are you tempted to be ok with? What teachers reinforce this temptation?
Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH130A “Lord, from the Depths”

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