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2nd Peter 1:1-11 2nd Peter 1:12-21
2nd Peter 2:4-22 2nd Peter 3:1-18

 

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2nd Peter 2:4-22

 

"For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; and spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes, condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; and delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation [conduct, lifestyle] of the wicked:  (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:  but chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government.  Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.  Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusations against them before the Lord.  But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; and shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time.  Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls:  an heart they have exercised with covetous practices, cursed children:  which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but was rebuked for his iniquity:  the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet.  These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.  For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.  While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption:  for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.  For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.  For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.  But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire."

 

In Review

 

"2nd Peter, we are in the second chapter, we've come as far as the third verse, Peter laid a foundation in the first chapter about our faith, "like precious faith", that we have the same faith and privilege as those men who walked with Jesus Christ, who saw him, who saw him after his resurrection, who saw him ascend.  Peter says 'we have like precious faith' and that 'there are great and precious promises given to us, whereby we may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruptions in the world through lust.' (2nd Peter 1:1,4)  And he goes on through an exercise of what we should be doing with our lives, and then he tells us that we can depend on the Scripture, that it's trustworthy.  And then he warns and says, you know, 'there were false prophets among the children of Israel, even as there shall be false teachers among you.' (2nd Peter 2:1-3)  And he warns the Church, the Body of Christ, that there will be false teachers in it's midst.  You know, the Church [Body of Christ] creates that environment just by, you know, Jesus said 'By this shall all men know that you're my disciples, by the love you have one for another,'  And just by the fact that, you know, we've lived in a world that every time we've trusted it in some way, it's crushed our heart, every time you extend yourself, you just get ripped off or let down, and all of a sudden you come to the Church, and it's supposed to be an environment where we can let down our walls, we can be vulnerable, doesn't matter what race we are, doesn't matter what background we're from, it doesn't matter how much we make or our social status, that genuinely we're supposed to care about one another.  And there's two problems in that, one is, that you'll come, and you revel in that, enjoy that, and then all of a sudden you discover that some of the other Christians in the church are human.  And it's like, mind-blowing or something, you thought that they were superhuman or something.  And that's a mandatory course, that's not an elective.  [I know, any of us who've been in the Church for awhile, we've all been through that course, sometimes even taking refresher courses on that one.]  But the other problem that we find, is that kind of environment opens the door for false teachers and wolves, and those who would come in amongst God's people then, because the environment is open, and they take advantage of that.  And Peter's warning about that, Peter is a remarkable man, no doubt, knowing that he must shortly put off, he says, this tabernacle, he knows that the time of his exodus is at hand.  And he does both things, he lays down the truth, he's very encouraging, he's challenging about the Word of God and the promises that we have, the faith that we have.  But then he does the other thing, which is that he brings hammer down on the false teachers.  Because we can be unbalanced in either way.  You know, some people who get into apologetic type ministries, who go hunting for the false and the things that are wrong, it's interesting to watch their ministries over the years.  Because they start out with the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Mormons, and they start out with some stuff that we would expect, then they go to the Benny Hinn's and Robert Tilton's.  And then pretty soon they're in the Church [Body of Christ], because you go through the normal course, and then they're looking at people that are not heretical or aberrant, but may have a different doctrinal position.  [I have to say this about that, because my side of the Body of Christ, the Sabbath-keeping side of the Body of Christ, has in the past come under the heavy guns of apologetic ministries, where they label (libel) all us Sabbath-keepers as heretics and heretical, merely because we sincerely disagree on the interpretation about which "days of worship" are valid for the Church.  So I know what he's talking about, having been on the receiving end from some of these overzealous yahoo type apologetic ministries, and some churches who think with that attack-dog apologetic mindset.  This is strange, because even recent historic findings show the early Christian Church was both Sabbath and Holy Day observing, like we've sort of forgotten our roots and then attack those who've rediscovered them.  See, http://www.unityinchrist.com/history2/earlychurch1.htm]  I can labour with people that are cessationists, I believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are active today, and the power of the Holy Spirit needs to be active in the Church today.  But there are people out there that don't believe that, that love Christ, that are Christians.  And I can evangelize with them, and I can work with them.  I believe in a pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church, I believe Christ is coming soon, I believe in the Kingdom Age, a thousand years (cf. Revelation 20:1-6).  But, I can evangelize and work with somebody who doesn't. It's not an aberrant position.  [Comment:  I tend to draw the line with folks who teach and adhere to the Catholic doctrine of Amillennialism, which is anti-Semitic.  See, http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming.htm for my reasons on this.  This is an aberrant position which denies the Lord's 2nd coming.]  But it's another position.  And look, people who don't believe in a pre-Tribulation Rapture hope that I'm right, I know that.  And if I am they'll be wrong forever.  [Also, if you're right, they'll also be a part of that pre-Tribulation Rapture, and if you're wrong, you'll take part in the Rapture/1st resurrection to Immortality whenever it does occur, no big deal.]  If it's a post-Tribulation Rapture I can change my position.  So there are those positions in the Church that are acceptable, that are not aberrant, that are established, there's scholars on both sides of those kinds of positions.  But there are things in the Church that are aberrant, and there are heretical things.  And Peter does both things.  Peter affirms the positive, he affirms those things that we should believe, and then he brings down the hammer on those that are in error.  We have to be careful that we don't just look for trouble everywhere, that we're not just critical, that everywhere we look we're like God's C.I.A. or something, finding everything that's wrong with the Church.  That's imbalanced.  And the other imbalanced thing is that all we do is, you know, we're positive, we're a bunch of nice people, we want to talk about nice stuff, and we want to present nice messages to a nice people in a nice world.  That's an illusion.  I mean, you know, both things are there.  Charles Spurgeon, when he named his periodical that was written in the 1800s, he called it The Sword and the Trowel, from Nehemiah.  They worked with a trowel in one hand and the sword in the other hand [sort of like the way the Israelis do today].  Both of them are necessary, we have to build and we have to understand what the Sword of God's Word is also.  And Peter is remarkably balanced in that.  He has presented some doctrinally incredible, some remarkable truths. 

 

False Teachers Won't Get Away With What They're Doing

 

And now, as he heads into this, he's going to bring down the hammer on the false teachers.  He's going to say, 'These are things that you need to be warned about and that you need to look out for.'  Ah, we'll read the first three verses, we've come that far, and then we'll begin really in verse 4.  He says, "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.  And through covetousness shall they with feigned [plastic] words make merchandise of you:  whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not." (verses 1-3)  Great swelling words, they got all the spiritual talk down, to make merchandise of God's people, to get in your wallet, to take advantage of you, "whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not" and he's making a point here, that sometimes there are those who seem like they're getting away with something.  You can look at some of them on television.  Now there are some great folks on TV, but there are some screwballs on TV.  And to me, the more you know the Scripture, the easier it is to pick them out, because the Bible says 'you'll know the truth and the truth will set you free.'  And you watch some of them and you know they're ripping people off, you know they're taking advantage of people and you think, 'How can the Lord...?'  Well they're not getting away with it.  That's the point that Peter's going to make.  He's going to talk about the angels that sinned.  He's going to talk about the world during Noah's day.  He's going to talk about Sodom and Gomorrah.  And he's going to say, look, he's going to give us several remarkable instances of judgment.  God's going to deal with these false teachers and deceivers, he even judged the angels.  Why would he let them go?  Then he's going to say he saved Noah and destroyed the whole world at one point in time.  Then he's going to say that he delivered Lot and destroyed the cities of the plain, he's going to talk about the fact that it may seem like it's going on for a long time, and it may seem like people are getting away with it, but that isn't really at all what's happening, that's what he's going to talk about. 

 

Everyone Reaps What They Sow, Peter Gives Three Biblical Examples Of This

 

1. God's Judgment On The Angels That Fell

 

Verse 4, "For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;"  So, verse 4, he says, now this is in context that "their judgment for a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not", in context of that, verse 4, he going to say this, "For if God spared not the angels that sinned," (you can put a question mark there if you want) "but cast them down to hell," now that word "hell" is the Greek word Tartaroo, it's the only time it's used in the New Testament, interesting word. ["Strongs # 5020, Tartaroo (in Greek mythology the deepest abyss of Hades)" a place of restraint for fallen angels] "and delivered them into" King James says, "chains" ah, it can be that, or 'pits' your translation might say "of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment."  Now look, and he says, "and" because from verse 4 to verse 9 this is a run-on sentence.  His English teacher would have smacked his hand, but let's read it.  "For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; and spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; and delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation [conduct, lifestyle] of the wicked:" now a parenthesis, you'll see it there, "(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul day to day with their unlawful deeds;)" the idea is, verse 7 goes right to verse 9, but he puts a parenthesis in, so let's read 7 and go right to 9, "And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation [conduct, lifestyle] of the wicked:  the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:"  It's all in context of that "their judgment for a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not", that those things are in motion, that they're going to reap what they've sown, that God enacted certain things when he created the world.  There are spiritual laws and there are natural laws [i.e., the spiritual laws are encompassed in the law of God found in the Old Testament in Exodus, particularly Exodus 20:1-19, and then magnified by Jesus, as found in Matthew 5:17-48, and the natural laws of physics, chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, etc.].  If you sow apple seeds you're going to get apple trees.  If you sow to the wind, you're going to reap the whirlwind [in the spiritual realm].  Just, those things are in motion, he says, they're not getting away with anything, and he gives three examples.  He says this, "if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to Tartaroo," interesting, is he just using that word for hell, which is for Hades, or the abuso, the bottomless pit?  Or is it a specific place, are they specific "pits" somewhere, where the specific fallen angels that sinned are held?  Satan, he tells us, in the first epistle, is seeking like a prowling lion, is seeking whom he my devour.  We know that he's not bound right now.  We know that there's demonic activity.  But there seems to be a class of angels that fell in a specific way that are bound.  Now when we get to the book of Jude, we're going to hear more about that.  Jude, the half brother of our Lord, and he tells us more specifically how they sinned.  And no doubt they're both [Peter and Jude] speaking of Genesis chapter 6.  Peter will mention the flood at least three times, and then there's an allusion to it here with the sinning angels.  As a fisherman, someone who spent a large part of his life on the Sea of Galilee [depth 1,300 feet, where waves can get as high as 30 to 60 feet high in storms, btw], I think he was impressed with the whole idea of the flood and probably very familiar with the whole thing.  Ah, but the angels that sinned, we have this strange situation in Genesis 6:4, where "the sons of God went into the daughters of men, and took whatever they wanted of them," and it says the Nephilim or giants were born of them, "which were in the earth of those days, and also after the flood."  [see NEPHILIM, Zondervan's Pictorial Bible Dictionary, p. 581, col.1]  So there's certain things, that it's such a strange idea.  OK?  It's such a strange idea that, many modern scholars want to say, 'Well, that can't be angels sinning, going into human women, producing these strange offspring, that just is illogical, doesn't work in our western logical scheme of things.  So therefore it must be,' and they come up with this crazy thing, 'it's the godly line of Seth and the daughters of Cain [intermarrying and interbreeding], so that when these believers married unbelievers their kids were giants.'  That don't happen, or we'd have a bunch of them back in Sunday-school.  [laughter]  Second of all, it says nothing about daughters of God and sons of men.  Thirdly there was no such thing as the righteous line of Seth, because Adam and Eve sinned and fell, and the whole human line was polluted, and the sons of Seth had to offer sacrifices for their sin, and they were all killed in the flood, this 'righteous line of Seth.'  This was something different.  The Septuagint translated it "the angels of God went into the daughters of men."  Every ancient rabbi, church father, every ancient historian without hesitation says that these were fallen angels, they left their first estate.  We're told that the angels of God which are in heaven neither marry nor are given in marriage, Jesus teaches that specifically.  But there are angels, Jude says, 'they left their first principality and power,' arotis tense, 'once and for all.'  They left behind that estate, and they did something they never should have done.  And out of that union [those unions], it's 'bene-elohim,' [sons of God] used three times in the Old Testament, always 'angels.'  You have 'bar elohim' used twice, always translated 'angels.'  You have 'bene-elim'  used twice, both times translated 'angels.'  Something going on there, the polluting of the [human] world, some strange thing taking place, with these angels that sinned.  Peter says, "If God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to Tartaroo, to be delivered unto chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;" (verse 4) now Isaiah tells us about those fallen principalities and powers 'that are reserved unto the day of judgment,'  We see in Revelation chapter 9 Abaddon, Apollyon, set loose, an angel comes down with a key to the bottomless pit.  The only place there could be a bottomless pit, of course, is in the center of a sphere.  The only place there could be a bottomless pit would be in the center of the earth, because everyway is up, it would be bottomless.  That there's some place there, and some demonic or angelic principality and power is going to be released during the Tribulation.  Then you have in Revelation 16, you have four "spirits" or three there, one out of the mouth of the antichrist, one out of the mouth of the false prophet, one out of the mouth of the beast, they go to deceive the whole world.  In Revelation again, I believe, you have four angels that are bound at [or under] the River Euphrates that are loosed.  So, I think, and don't believe anything I say, so if you're a visitor and you're already thinking 'I already don't believe anything you say, what am I doing here?'  But look, I think in 2nd Thessalonians when it says 'that the Holy Spirit is restraining, he's the restrainer, until the lawless one be revealed, till he removes himself out of the way,' he's not restraining war, or he's doing a lousy job.  He's not restraining immorality or abortion, he's not restraining violence or bigotry.  What the Holy Spirit evidently is restraining is principalities and powers that have been hedged in and bound unto the day of judgment, and I think the post-Rapture world is going to be very strange place, a very strange place.  Right now you, you, Jesus said, are the salt of the earth, you are the light of the world.  [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/wearesalt.htm]  The presence of the Church [greater Body of Christ] is a preservative right now.  Peter's making a point about false teachers that are mingled in, that they're going to pay their due, they're going to stand before God, just like the fallen angels.  

 

2. God's Judgment On Noah's World, They Didn't Get Away With Anything Either

 

And he says 'Think of the angels that sinned, they were cast down, they were judged, delivered into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto the day of judgment,' "and spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly."  He's going to talk about it again in the third chapter.  What he's saying there is, there was a world that thought they could live however they wanted to live.  You read Henry Morrison's commentary, Henry Morrison is a Ph.D., a scientist, he wrote a book, a commentary called "The Genesis Record," and when you read through there, he'll tell you that by the time that the flood of Noah comes, there were probably about 3 billion people on the planet.  And he goes through the figures, very understandable, the population of the world had grown, there was metallurgy.  You know, the archeologists and anthropologists say 'No, metallurgy goes back to the Hittites,' no, it goes back to before the flood.  There was some remarkable technology back then, and God judged that world.  And the whole time Noah's working on the ark, they made fun of him.  He was warning them that it was going to rain.  It says that it had never rained.  [i.e. the earth had been watered by dew condensing on plants at night, is the only way that condition could have existed.]  He might have well have said 'It's going to boynk.'  'What's that?' 'Water's going to fall out of the sky.'  'Hahahaha!'  And he worked on the ark for over 100 years.  Kids grew up their whole life, watching Noah work on the ark.  After awhile they probably had Ark-Day, like we have Labor Day, and Memorial Day.  They probably had a big party around the ark, and made fun of him.  But the point of the judgment here is, that world was not getting away with anything.  God, in fact, if he wants to, can judge the entire world, and save 8 people.  The next chapter is going to say 'There are those who know that that happened that are willingly ignorant.'  [How could that be, in today's modern day and age?  N.S.A./C.I.A spy satellites can see clear images of the ark under ice on mount Ararat, which they will not release because they don't want other nations to know how great a resolution they can see down to.  These folks know the story of the ark and flood is true, they can see the ark in their high-resolution photos.]  Because they don't want to face the fact of the judgment of God.  He "spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;"  And it tells us, that world was filled with violence.  It was filled with aberrant behavior.  Every imagination of man's heart was wicked, continually evil, nothing was being restrained.  It's hard for us to imagine what that world was like.  God is not vindictive, God is not cruel, God does not enjoy bringing judgment, it says he takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.  It's hard for us to imagine what that world was like. 

 

3. God's Judgment On Sodom And Gomorrah, They Didn't Get Away With Their Sinful Lifestyle

 

"And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes" that's a statement of God's feelings on Sodom and Gomorrah, they were turned to ashes, "condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; and delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked." (verses 6-7)  "the filthy lifestyle of the wicked" that should read.  The judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah.  It tells us in Ezekiel that the real sin of Sodom and Gomorrah, now Sodom and Gomorrah were sexually aberrant, there was bestiality, there was sodomy, ah, Lot's daughters found men to marry, so there were heterosexual relationships---but the city was perverse.  And Ezekiel tells us that the real sin of Sodom and Gomorrah 'was a full belly, idle time, and the pride of life, and no concern for the poor, for the less fortunate.'  When you have a full belly, you have spare time.  Many, probably the majority of the people on this planet from day to day wonder where they are going to get enough food for themselves and for their wives and their children, for that day, it keeps them busy.  They're not looking at Playboy Magazine, not watching MTV, they wonder where they're going to get food for the day.  Full belly, idle time, the pride of life, that produces luxury, it produces amazement.  We have an industry in this country that's called Amusement.  "Muse" is the ancient word that means "to think."  The prefix "a" in front of it means "not to think."  Amusement is an industry of not thinking.  Now look, I like to avail myself of that occasionally.  If I go to a movie, I like mindless entertainment.  I'm not one of these guys, 'Oh, the story line, oh, the musical score, oh the acting,' I just like to disengage my mind and let it drift for an hour and a half or two, with a movie, and come out rested. [I'm the opposite, I love historic movies, documentaries and movies that make me think to some extent at least, oh well.]  That kind of culture produces perversion, and it produces perversion of the worst kind.  God judged Sodom and Gomorrah, turning those cities to ashes.  The Rift Valley, that goes from Syria to North (Central) Africa, there's a crack in the earth there, a fault, that's a 5th of the earth's circumference.  God was not happy when he slammed those two cities, he cracked the world a fifth the way around [running north-to-south].  And it says he judged them, overthrew them, "making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;" something to take note of.  "and delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation [lifestyle] of the wicked.  (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) (verses 6-8)  Now, this was before the Law was given [on Sinai] so it wasn't unlawful in regards to what we will read in Leviticus and Deuteronomy and other places, in regards to homosexuality.  It was unlawful in the sense that it was breaking the law of nature.  Paul will say that in Romans 1, that it was anti-schematizo, it was not according to the "schematic," that nature teaches something that is denied in that, and that if there is a creator, it is accusing him of not being wise, for the way that he made things.  So, but the point of this is, that God judged them, making an example of them.  And Peter's giving three great acts of God's judgment here, and in all of them saying, 'nobody got away with anything.'  Jesus, himself, uses them as an example, and he says, 'As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it also be in the days of the Son of man, they did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.  Likewise also, as it was in the days of Lot, they did eat and drink, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded, but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.  Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.' 

 

A Warning In All Of This For Us, "Remember Lot's Wife"---The Heart Will Always Make A Convert Of The Mind

 

And of course then Jesus gives that admonition to the apostles, three words, "Remember Lot's wife."  He's talking to 12 men, "remember Lot's wife."  Now certainly that's not how tall she is, what she looked like, whether she was a blond with black roots or, you know.  We don't know her name, we don't know what her age was, what we know, everybody knows the same thing about Lot's wife, is that she looked back to the world and was turned to a pillar of salt, she was destroyed.  In fact, it's literally, 'she was lingering behind,' and she was caught in the destruction of it.  Her mind knew that judgment was coming, but her heart was in Sodom.  And the heart always makes a convert of the mind, because man is driven from the heart.  It says 'It's with desire that man is driven, to guard your heart with all diligence, because from it flows the issues of life, not from the intellect.'  Because brilliant people do stupid things.  And then they say 'I can't believe I did that!'  Well I can believe it.  Because we're deceived increment by increment, by the desire and longing of our heart.  Her mind told her to get out of Sodom, but her heart longed for it.  And she looked back and said 'This can't be true, it's starting like every other day, I can hear the hammers going, construction's going on, there's building starts, everything looks the way it's always looked, there's not a single thing to separate this day from every other day of my life in Sodom,' and before she was done she was turned into a pillar of salt.  So these three great examples of destruction, Jesus uses them to warn.  He says that the believers of our day are supposed to learn something from the unbelievers in Noah's day.  That they didn't know that judgment was really coming, until the day, 'until the door was shut on the ark, even so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of man,' there's going to be some suddenness of the coming of Christ for his Bride. 

 

A Wonderful Promise Of God

 

And it will be in this context, in verse 9, "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:"  "The Lord knoweth how" I don't need a lot of theological explanation, because my Bible says "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished."  "The Lord knoweth how..." he can destroy entire cities and save eight people out of it that deserve to be saved.  He can drown an entire world and lift up one man above it and save that man and his family, and all of the species that he wants to of the animal kingdom.  He can deal with angels in the unseen realm, and save the godly angels in heaven and cast down those that have sinned [KT extinction, E.L.E?].  The Lord knoweth how.  Three examples, and it's two-sided, he knows how to judge, so these false teachers, these deceivers, they're not getting away with anything.  They're not playing fast and loose with the sacred things of God, and there's going to be no recompense.  The Bible doesn't teach that anywhere.  They're going to reap what they've sown unless they fall on their knees and repent.  God knows how to bring judgment, and the wonderful thing is, God knows how to spare the righteous, he knows how to spare his own children.  You and I have been delivered from the wrath, we're taught that throughout the New Testament, throughout the New Testament.  We have been delivered from the wrath to come because Christ took that for us on the cross.  He had begged the Father, 'If there be any way, let this cup pass,' the cup of God's wrath, poured out without mixture, the smoke of the torment of those who drink it ascendeth forever and ever it says in Revelation 14.  Christ drank that eternal cup for us, and we've been delivered from the wrath to come.  And God knows how to deliver the righteous and reserve the wicked unto judgment.  He's making a point here with them.  And it's serious. 

 

Next Symptom Of False Teachers, They Have No Respect For Authority, Church Or Government

 

Now he goes into some of the characteristics of these false teachers starting in verse 10, "but chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government.  Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities."  So, the first thing he tells us about false teachers, deceivers, is that they have no respect of lordship, of government, of order [i.e. in the church congregation as well as local, state and national government, it's all included here, it's an attitude], and they're not afraid to speak evil of anything.  Now look, the Bible is clear to you and I, that we are to yield to the authorities that be, Romans 13, 'There's no authority, except it's given of God,' the government that we live in (under).  We're to pray for our leaders (even the bad ones), whether they're Democrats or Republicans, it doesn't matter.  That's not the point.  We're to pray for those in authority, we're to yield to authority, until the point where they tell us we can't obey God.  Because both Peter and Paul wrote to us, told us to be submitted to the authorities that be, and both of them died for not being.  But the point is, there's order.  God has established government.  [And some, most of those governments of man are evil or bad to one degree or another.  Some are really bad, evil.  So why has God allowed bad governments under man, all throughout man's history, really under Satan's influence to occur?  So that mankind under God's merciful government in the Millennial Kingdom of God (cf. Isaiah 11) and then in the period of time in the 2nd resurrection (Revelation 20:11-13 and Ezekiel 37:1-14), where all mankind that has ever lived, can live under God's merciful, just and good government, and experience the difference between the two, and then be given a choice as to which way to go.  This explains, puts the whole history of man into proper context, gives it true meaning.  This is a truth we Sabbath-keeping Churches of God believe we have a better understanding of.  You can believe it or not, if it's true, all mankind will have the opportunity, those dead, and those alive, they will all have a chance to experience this astounding difference in governments, the governments of man, and the loving government of God.  We within the Body of Christ are supposed to live respectfully under whatever government of man we find ourselves under, as Ambassadors of the Kingdom of God, Romans 13 containing our holy ambassadorial instructions from God.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm to read about this other "interpretation."]  In a home, children are to honour their parents.  'Well my mom's a knucklehead.'  You will be too someday, when you have kids.  God used that human vessel to push you out into this world and nurse you so that you are alive today.  You would be dead if God didn't use the woman and the man he used to give you life.  I'm sorry if they've been abusive, I'm sorry if they've been terrible parents, I'm sorry for all of that.  But there's something there, you would not have life, and for some reason God chose them.  If you have Christian parents, you have godly parents, you should be on your knees every day thanking God for that.  And honouring that is honouring him.  If you don't honour them, it's because you think the Lord is stupid.  You have a Lordship problem, not a parent problem, because he chose them, and he used those two human vessels to squeeze you out into this world and give you life.  And what he does is he asks you to honour them.  Employees are to honour their employers, we're supposed to represent Christ in the things that we do.  In the home, in the marriage, there's order, all through.  It says the first thing is about false teachers and deceivers, they have no grasp of order, they don't care about order, they're willing to speak evil of everything.  And it says at the center of that, the root of that is the flesh, "chiefly them that walk after the flesh."  When I do something, you know, that's disrespectful, it's the flesh.  When your kids do something disrespectful it's the flesh.  It says here that that's born out of our carnal nature, because there's pride, there's this like struggle to be free from everything.  Again, we're not struggling to find freedom, we struggling to find the right Master, that's what life is all about.  Drugs is a cruel master, hatred is a cruel master, alcohol is a cruel master, sex is a cruel master.  When you find Jesus Christ you find the Master that hung on the cross and bled his life into the ground for you, and you have found the pursuit and purpose of life, to find the right Master.  But it says those that are in the flesh, they're presumptuous, they're self-willed, they're arrogant, they're not afraid to speak evil of authorities, of dignities, those that God has put in place, "Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord." (verse 11) They won't even bring a railing accusation against them before the Lord, the angels don't do that. [Why? Because the holy angels of God understand God's purpose for allowing all the various governments of man under Satan's influence.]  "But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;" (verse 12)  Spooky verse.  It says "these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed,"  You know, when the Lord tells the parable of the wheat and the tares, it always bothers me.  I understand the wheat, but then he said 'the kingdom of heaven is like a farmer, he went and he sowed his wheat in the field, and at night while he slept the evil one came and he sowed tares among the wheat.'  What in the world are tares?  [It is darnel, a fake form of wheat, which is really a poisonous weed.]  And how does the wicked one sow them?  And they look just like wheat [until the harvest, when the wheat, heavy with the real fruit of wheat kernels, bow down, while the darnel remains standing straight up and tall.  A Christian that does not bear fruit in his or her life may not be a real Christian at all.]  'Should we go root up the tares?  No, no, don't do that, because you might root up the wheat also.'  'What should we do?'  'Wait till the harvest, when the harvest comes, you gather the wheat into the granary, and you gather the tares and you burn them.'  Because at harvest the darnel grass stays straight up, whereas the wheat gets heavy on the stalk and it bows.  The tares stand straight up, it never bows down.  And there's a picture in that certainly of humility, and of pride here.  'They're natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed,' at the end of the chapter he's going to say 'that they're pigs and dogs.'  [The German's have a phrase for this kind of person, ein Schweinhund, a pig-dog.]  Jesus in Matthew 7 does [says] the same thing, pigs and dogs, natural brute beasts, made to be destroyed, ah, they "speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;" (verse 12b)

 

These False Teachers Can Be Among You, Within The Body Of Christ

 

Peter's just not afraid to fire both barrels here, "And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time.  Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;" (verse 13)  Isn't that interesting, Peter realizes that they've come into the Church.  Paul in Acts chapter 20, when he met with the elders of Ephesus at Miletus there and they were on the beach, and they prayed together, and he says, 'I've ceased not to warn you for a period of two years, that after my departure, grievous wolves shall creep in from the outside, and men shall arise out of your own midst, leading men after themselves and not after the Lord Jesus Christ.'  So, Peter understands that false teachers will be amongst the people of God.  This is what he says of them.  "And they shall receive the reward of unrighteousness," intending to, is the idea, they're after a reward, "as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time.  Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;" (verse 13)  Interesting, "riot in the day time," "riot" is doing those things that people normally do at night, they're doing them right out in the open.  Sporting themselves speaks of luxury, extravagance, and the idea is here, they're rewarding themselves, it says, with the reward of unrighteousness.  They're coming in amongst God's people and they're ripping God's people off.  And you can watch them, with their fundraisers, 'You need to take that last dollar out of your wallet, and send it,' in the mean time they're building a 10-million-dollar house for themselves with the money they're asking you to give them to do the Lord's work, driving around in a Rolls Royce.  You can see them.  Let me tell you something, we're God's kids.  We're not supposed to be stupider now than we were before we got saved.  And isn't it sad sometimes, you'll see a Christian who'll watch one of these screwballs on TV, ripping people off in the name of Christ, and then they'll say, 'Well, I don't know, I don't want to be judgmental.  I mean, they said 'Jesus'.'  No, they said 'JEEEESUS!' they didn't say 'Jesus.'  'And they talked about the Lord...' no, they talked about your wallet and your money, and your giving.  Their message wasn't salvation, they didn't edify you and teach you, and ground you in the Word of God.  What they did is they deceived you and they ripped you off.  And we can be wise enough as God's children to recognize that.  Isn't it crazy, before I was saved, when I was in the world taking LSD, I would watch those guys on TV and knew they were rip-offs.  I would turn the sound off and just watch their faces [laughter].  And then you get saved and you act dumber than you were before you were saved.  Look, we have his Word, that's why we study his Word, that's what Peter wrote in the Word, because he wants us to be wise.  There's a right way to ask for money, again, to say 'We're doing this crusade, pray about it.  If you want to help us, you can send it into this address,' and then you move on.  There's a right way to ask, and it doesn't bother me at all.  But it says these are guys who are ripping-off God's people, they look at God's people, they make merchandise of them, they're living in luxury it says, extravagance, taking the money they get from God's people...you know, money's a great tool to use against the devil, it's a great tool.  But they're taking it, building themselves mansions, and yachts, and anyone of us should be able to see that and say 'That's not right, Jesus didn't live like that, that's not why we should send money anywhere, so people can do that.'  And Peter's telling the story plain. 

 

False Prophets Can Know The Truth Of God, Just Like Balaam, Using Their Knowledge For Monetary Gain

 

"Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls:  an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:  which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness." (verses 14-15) 2nd Timothy chapter 3 says 'luring women who are laden with sin into sexual sin.' And we hear about that too often.  Just somebody recently, seducing, trying to seduce a girl in counseling, telling her, not here, but these things come to us, telling her that if she would have sex with him, it would further the work of the Spirit of Christ in her life, she would understand things more deeply, spiritual things.  That's blasphemous, fearful.  It says they have "eyes full of adultery, they cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls:  an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:" Peter's straight out here.  "which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness." (verses 14-15)  The right way, Jesus said 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.'  Now he's going to do something interesting here now, he's going to move into Balaam.  As we read about Balaam in the New Testament, we hear about "the error of Balaam, the way of Balaam, and the doctrine of Balaam."  We hear of Balaam in three different places in the New Testament.  We're going to hear about him in Jude, we're going to hear about him in Revelation.  Ah, here, Peter talks about the way of Balaam.  And he does an interesting thing, because he puts in front of us Noah, as far as men, Noah, Lot, and then Balaam.  Now Balaam is an interesting character, because Balaam has some kind of a gift.  And Balaam new the truth.  You remember Balak, Numbers 22 through 24, king Balak of Moab is afraid of the children of Israel, because they've been having great victories.  So he sends for Balaam, and asks Balaam to come and curse, put a curse on the children of Israel.  Balaam gets ready to go and it says the Lord speaks to him and says 'Don't you go.'  So he doesn't go.  He knows God's voice.  Then he hears from Balak that he's going to up the ante, he's going to give him way more than he said he was going to give him in the first place.  So then Balaam makes all kinds of excuses and he gets on his way.  On his way, God puts an angel in front of him, he's riding his donkey, and the angel's there with a drawn sword [probably a flaming sword, like the angels guarding the Garden of Eden, pretty impressive], and the donkey sees the angel, and starts backing off, and Balaam is beating the donkey.  And finally the donkey talks to him, in a human voice, and says 'What is wrong with you?  Haven't I always been a good donkey, haven't I always gone wherever you wanted?  You don't have to beat me.'  But look, we'll get into it, just [laughter].  We have these three people, one of them is Noah.  Noah lived in the midst of an entire generation that was corrupt. Imagine, him and his wife had three sons while they were building the ark.  Imagine raising kids, trying to raise godly kids, when the entire earth is corrupt.  And those three sons found three godly wives somewhere in that mess.  But Noah committed himself to God, and stood alone, when a whole generation would have pulled him in another direction, and remained separate.  And through his example his sons and his daughter's-in-law were separate.  The next example is Lot.  Lot himself, in his own heart, remained true to the Lord, but did not remain separate from his culture, he moved in with it, he became part of it, he was grieved by it.  He first lifted up his eyes and he looked toward Sodom, then he pitched his tent towards Sodom, then he was sitting in the gate of Sodom, and it became destructive in his life.  He lost some of his children, he lost his wife.  He had no influence, no power like Abraham, his uncle.  So we have first an example of someone who remained separate, without the light that you and I have, without an Old Testament and a New Testament, who remained separate in an entirely corrupt generation.  The next example is of someone who was saved, God delivered him, he's called "that righteous man" here, but he got caught up in it, he got infected by it.  And then lastly now we come to this man Balaam, whose another man who knew the truth like Noah and Lot, but turned away from the truth, whatever measure of it he had, and he took the gifts that he had and he prostituted them for gain, for money, because he considered the money, the loot, more important than the truth of any spiritual calling that was on his life.  And his life is a warning.  So, he says, there are those "which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;" (verse 15)  I wonder if Peter is thinking of Judas?---because in Acts chapter 1 it says 'he received the wages of unrighteousness,' in Acts chapter 1, verse 18, he turned away from the right way.  He "loved the wages of unrighteousness; but was rebuked for his iniquity:  the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet." (verses 15c-16)  Look, 'the dumb ass, speaking with a man's voice, the jackass, forbid, notice, the madness of the prophet.'  One author I read said, "In the Old Testament it was a miracle when a jackass spoke, these days it's a miracle when one keeps quiet."  [laughter]  Imagine this, "the madness of the prophet," it says he was mad, he was out of his mind.  He's trying to get to this money, king Balak is going to give him all this gold, all this stuff.  He's trying to get there.  And the donkey starts acting up, so he starts beating the donkey, because the donkey won't cooperate, until the donkey talks to him, and says 'Why are you beating me?  I've always been a good donkey.  I've always taken you wherever you wanted to go.'  Imagine, we can read that.  What would you do?  You're beating your dog at home, and he turns around and looks at you and says 'That's it!  I bark when someone comes to the door, I don't chew on the furniture, I go to the bathroom outside, and you call yourself a Christian?' [laughter]  'You better hope I'm not still talking when your pastor comes over, because I'm gonna let him know...'  You would probably die of a heart-attack. Right?  The madness of Balaam was, the donkey says 'Why are you hitting me?' and Balaam says 'Hitting you, you're lucky I don't have a...' he engages in an argument with a donkey.  He says, 'You're lucky I don't have a sword, you're lucky all I have is a stick, because if I had a sword, I'd cut your throat, I'd kill ya.'  Don McClure said "That's how you knew that Balaam was mad, what kind of man would kill a talking donkey?"  He said, "Do you know how much money that animal was worth?"  [Ya, but he wouldn't talk for money, especially not for Balaam's benefit and profit.]  The point is, God will put the craziest things in our way to keep us, but there are those who have turned from the right way, and they have turned after the way of Balaam, and it doesn't matter what spiritual insight they had, or what, all they want is what this world offers. 

 

False Teachers Are Wells Without Water, Their Teaching Can't Satisfy, Nurture Christians

 

And he says, "These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever." (verse 17) and the word there is "springs without water," they're springs without water, they can't satisfy.  Jesus said to the woman at the well, 'If you drink of this water' and the tenses are, 'If you continually drink of this water you'll continually thirst again.  But if you'll drink' arotist, 'once and for all of the water that I give you, you'll never thirst again.'  It says but these false teachers, they have nothing, they make empty promises, but they're springs without water, they can't satisfy.  They're clouds that are carried with a tempest, like a farmer would see those clouds coming, and hope that it was going to rain, but they pass by, there's no rain.  Jude picks up some of this imagery, very similar. 

 

Know Why You Believe What You Believe

 

"to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever."  "darkness" King James, "the mist of gloom," interesting, "to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever...the mist of darkness reserved forever."  "For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error." (verse 18)  "Great swelling words," they're speaking five syllable words, great orators, great swelling words of vanity.  "they allure through the lust of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error."  The idea is young believers and new-believers, [are getting sucked in by these guys] through the spiritual talk of these guys, and they're putting on, throwing out all their long terms.  Look, you have this privilege, and we talked about it last week, Acts 17:11 Paul said there the Bereans were more noble, because they didn't believe anything he said, they went and they studied the Scripture to see if the things he was saying were true.  This is the safety that you have.  Never believe anything I say, you have a Bible, we have a bookstore filled with study-helps, you can go and study the Scripture.  Know why you believe what you believe.  My job, if God has given me a gift to teach, I should only be affirming the things that the Holy Spirit has already been saying to you in your life.  But you have that freedom.  Paul also said the same...he said, speaking to the Corinthians, 'When we came to you, it wasn't with man's wisdom, it wasn't with great swelling words, it wasn't eloquence of speech, but it was in the demonstration of the Spirit of power that your faith would not stand in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God.'  It says these false teachers come with all these big words, all of this fancy lingo, and they're really impressing and blowing the minds of new-believers, who were just escaping from the world.  That's why our new-believers classes are so important.  That's why our home fellowships are so important, to provide an environment where you can ask questions, where you can talk, where you can get the foundations of the Christian faith nailed down in your life so you know why you believe what you believe. 

 

False Teachers Teach A Licentious Freedom In Christ To Sin, Instead Of A Freedom In Christ From Sin

 

It says here "they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error." (verse 18) They're trying to lure the young sheep back into all of that stuff.  "While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption:  for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage." (verse 19)  'Oh, you hang out with them, Calvary Chapel, all those Bible-thumpers?  Oh, cut me a break, I mean, that stuff, it's antiquated, he probably reads the King James, doesn't he.  You know, that stuff was for a different era, it was for a different time, God knows that our culture is different, those same rules don't apply to us that applied to the apostles!'  It says they promise liberty, 'Oh you can do this now, you don't have to live under those rules,' and it says 'all the while they themselves are slaves of corruption.'  They themselves are not free, "for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage." (verse 19b)  Perfect tense, he's in bondage.  "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning." (verse 20)  Now Jude 19 says that they are immoral, they have not the Spirit.  Now we read through these verses, those of you who are Armenian in your theology, you want to build one of your altars right here, because this is a tough verse.  For me, we're talking about the false teachers about from verse 14 to the end of the chapter, they're dogs and pigs [German pig-dogs].  There is nowhere in here where it says where those that are in error, you with the Spirit, that are spiritual, with a spirit of meekness, you should restore such a one.  It's all along saying they are gone, they are lost.  [Comment:  It appears these that are now lost had the knowledge of salvation, had reached a beginners knowledge level, but not a level of real spiritual growth, which was described by the apostle Peter in 2nd Peter 1:5-8, and then something derailed them, causing them to become false teachers, using the knowledge of God and salvation improperly, for gain.  Like Pastor Joe, I'm trying to figure out how some of these false teachers got where they are now, as false teachers, only seeking to get into your wallet, and telling you that you can do anything you want, having any lifestyle you want, and calling it, mislabeling it, 'Freedom in Christ,' when it is really lawlessness under the guise of 'freedom in Christ.' ]  But there are those who try to do something else here [in interpretation of these verses], don't believe me, study the Scripture. 

 

Pig-Dogs

 

"For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.  For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.  But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." (verses 20-22)  Those of you who have owned a dog can appreciate that.  What he's saying is, and probably looking to Solomon, the true proverb is this, you can take a pig, and scrub it down, and get all the dirt off the outside of it, but it still has dirt in its heart.  Because after you scrub it down and let it loose, it's going to go wallow back in the pig-pen again.  A dog may throw up the disgusting things that it ingested, but once it dumps it out on the sidewalk, and it's got all the stuff that makes it a dog out of its stomach, it doesn't mean it's not a dog anymore, because if you watch it long enough it will go back to the stuff it got out and get it back in again.  I know.  [loud laughter]  I didn't write it.  I'm just teaching it, that's what Peter wrote.  In other words, what he's saying is, 'Nature determines appetite, the nature of the beast determines appetite.'  Peter tells us that we're sheep, that God's people are sheep, not dogs and pigs [or pig-dogs, Scheinhunds], and we're to feed on the word of God.  That a shepherd that God has raised up is to feed the flock of God.  These false teachers, he says, are dogs and pigs.  You can clean them up on the outside, but they just get dirty again, you can clean them up on the inside but they just get dirty again. 

 

In Closing

 

But he says to those of us who believe, it isn't our business to sit around and get ulcers and aggida over the deceivers that are out there, because they're not escaping, and they're not getting away with anything.  God judged the angels, he judged Noah's world, he judged the cities that Lot lived in, he knows how to judge the wicked and deliver the righteous.  The problem with these people, he tells us, is they're given to all kinds of uncleanness because they're driven by the flesh.  And because of that, they don't care about authority, they don't care about lordship, they can speak evil of anybody they want to and they don't care.  They want to live in luxury, they want to rip you off from your money, they want tell you about how you should sacrifice for ministry and then they build a ten-million-dollar house for themselves.  He says they're filled with wantonness, they have eyes full of adultery, they cannot cease from sin, it's their nature, like a dog or a pig.  And they've run greedily, they've gone after the way of Balaam, forsaking the way of truth.  And he says, you remember that the jackass even tried to forbid the madness of the prophet, without success.  You know if your dog said to you, 'You need to repent!' if he turned around, and looked at you, you took him for a walk in the morning, and he said 'You know what, you don't do devotions [prayer & Bible study] in the morning anymore, I don't see you praying, I don't see you reading, you need to get it together!' you would drop over of a heart-attack.  You would be praying the next morning, and reading [your Bible].  But he says the donkey rebuked the madness of the prophet, he couldn't turn him, he was so, that was his way.  And it says, with great swelling words, these kind of people, they want to take advantage of those that are unstable, just saved [new-believers], not grounded yet.  And they promise liberty, but they themselves are servants of corruption, they're enslaved to it, they can't be free from it themselves.  Oh they come to a knowledge of the truth, like Balaam, but they're entangled with the world.  And the latter end is worse than the first, as the proverb says, they're like the hog that's washed going back to the mire, and like the dog, returning to his own vomit.  In chapter 3 he's going to say 'These things I've written to you, to put you in remembrance, that you don't get tangled up in these kind of things.'  We'll have to pick up in chapter 3 next week.  I encourage you to read on and go on from there.  Ah, again, I challenge you, if you're here tonight and you don't know Christ, you know, we can go through this stuff and you can sit here and say 'Yeah!  I thought that guy was a screwball too.  I'm glad to hear you say that, because I thought all you Christians were hypocrites!  At least though you're hypocrites you're able to recognize that guy building a ten-million-dollar place for himself, I thought he was a phony...'  Look, ok, that's what we're saying.  And that's what the Bible's saying, and that's how Jesus feels too.  That's one side of the story.  The other side of the story is the truth, because what the false teachers aren't saying is that God loves you, and he loves you so much that he gave his Son for you, and that God does not want you to play church or phony religious games.  He wants you to have a relationship with him, not a religion.  And the only way you can do that is through his Son Jesus Christ, because you're a sinner, because there's sin in your heart, there's sin in your imagination.  Jesus said, 'Don't tell me you've never sinned, the prophets of old said if you commit adultery you get stoned, but I say if you lust after a woman you've already committed adultery in your heart.  The law said 'Thou shalt not kill,' I'll tell you, if you're angry with someone in your heart, you've already done it in your heart.'  But the Bible says the free gift of God for us, all of us, all of have sinned, everybody in this room, and come short of the glory of God, the Bible says is the gift of forgiveness through Christ Jesus.  That's what he wants.  He wants us forgiven.  He wants our eternity secure..."[transcript of a connective expository sermon on 2nd Peter 2:4-22, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 

related links:

 

What Pastor Joe just related to you in those last twenty lines or so is the Gospel, the Good News of Salvation.  What exactly is that Gospel?  See, 

http://www.unityinchrist.com/misc/WhatIsTheGospel%20.htm

 

Is the Bible for real?  Is it really truth, is it truth?  See,

http://www.unityinchrist.com/ProofOfTheBible-FulfilledProphecy.htm

 

Is Jesus For Real?  How can we know he's the real Messiah?  See,

http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/1stcoming.htm

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