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Monday, January 21, 2013

2 Peter: Wallowing in the Mud (Part 5)

Pig wallowing in mud (Pic:Getty)

4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;
5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;
6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;
7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men
8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)--
9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.
2 Peter 2:4-9

This is a clear theme of scripture, God does not tolerate sin and unrepentant soul. God punishes those who rebel against him, but he rescues those who look to him.
Are the fallen angels (verse 4) in jail waiting for their punishment, or are they in a different kind of prison? These fallen angels may be demons (Eph. 6:12) and have been banished from heaven like Satan (Isaiah 14:12-18; Luke 10:18; Ezekiel 28:13-19) where they now dwells in the earth, or are they in legitimate prison cell?
But that's not the point of this passage. The point is that God will punish the ungodly, and you don't want to be ungodly when he unleashes his final punishment (the end of the world).

10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings;
11 yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord.
12 But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish.
13 They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.
2 Peter 2:10-13

*“Pleasure” can, of course, be a neutral or even positive thing; God has himself created many things to give his people pleasure. But the Greek word here for “pleasure,” hedone, is the word from which we derive “hedonist,” one who lives for only pleasure. The Greeks numbered this kind of pleasure among their four “deadly sins,” sometimes contrasting it with reason*
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14 With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed--an accursed brood!
15 They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness.
16 But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey--a beast without speech--who spoke with a man's voice and restrained the prophet's madness.
17 These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.
2 Peter 2:14-17

Balaam (Number 22-24) was greedy and followed money instead of God.  Balaam also taught immorality (Nu 31:16; Rev 2:14). So the false teachers have left the biblical way and have gone into Balaam’s errors, greed and impurity.

18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.
19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity--for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.
2 Peter 2:18-19

They promise freedom, perhaps from any law or restraint of the flesh. Yet, Peter says, the very ones who speak of freedom are “slaves of depravity–for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.” This is a perfect example of what Jesus has said: “Everyone who sins is a slave to sin” (John 8:34). So though the false teachers talk of religion and freedom, they do not know the Son; for as Jesus said, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).

If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.

21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.
2 Peter 2:20-21

Verse 20 mentions the possibility of reverting to the old ways after having “escaped the corruptions of the world” through knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  Is it possible, then, for Christians to lose their salvation? Many would answer affirmatively on the basis of this and similar texts (For example: Hebrews 6:4-6 and Hebrew 10:26).  But this verse asserts only that false teachers who have for a time escaped from worldly corruption through knowing Christ and then turn away from the light of the Christian faith are worse off than they were before knowing Christ.

22 Of them the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to its vomit," and, "A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud."
2 Peter 2:22

Pig wallowing in mud (Pic:Getty)

The easiest thing to do is lay in you mud, especially when you've just been cleaned. The hardest thing is to be strong and let your shiny new look remain.

As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.
Proverbs 26:11

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