Today we will focus on 2 Peter 2:10-22 Before we dive into our section today we need to remind ourselves of where we were last week
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive
heresies(1a) even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. (1b)
And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. (2)
And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
Last week we saw that Peter was warning about the threat against the truth because of false prophets and false teachers. We saw that these people were
pushing a doctrine that has the capacity to destroy the individual as well as the church. Last week we saw that the false doctrine these people were spreading could be
summarized in the phrase denying the Master denying the Master many will follow their sensuality And in their greed they will exploit
you with false words. (1b, 2a, 3a) We summarized this as a refusal to submit to the full authority of Christ in all spheres of life
Or to deny the right of Christ as the sovereign ruler of all realms of life The false ideas that these people were teaching is that
Christ is not or should not be the rightful ruler of your life; your attitudes & actions The false doctrine that these people were teaching is that not submitting to Christ is of
no significant consequence. The false theology that these people were teaching is that submitting to Christ is of little or no reward, value & worth.
As we move into the next section of verses, our understanding of the type of false teaching that was being spread on is confirmed [the Lord knows how] to
keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.
Peter says that these false teachers and their followers will be severely judged and he describes what they will be judged for (1)those who
despise authority (2) indulge in the lust of defiling This false doctrine encourages believers to
despise Christs authority over their life and entices them to live out their sinful desires In summary the false doctrine that Peter was warning about is a teaching that subtly claims that
Christs authority in our daily life is insignificant. And that it is ok to indulge in the old sin nature. However, the truth is that whether we allow Christs rule to reign in our lives or not is of
incredible & eternal significance. And we are to flee from sin. Now that we have reviewed the main concepts from last week, I would like to tackle this
next section with an areal view and then zoom into the specifics. Peter begins to paint a picture of exactly what is going on in the church
and we want to try and see the the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and
especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. (9-10) Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones, whereas
angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. 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
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. (13)
They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! (14)
Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, (15)
but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet's madness. (16)
These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. (17)
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. (18)
They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. (19)
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 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 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. (22) #1 There is a church, functioning properly, under the leadership of the Word of God & in
step with the Spirit of God and the elders, deacons etc. #2 But somehow, outsiders, unbelievers, were permitted into their flock. Maybe through outreach, maybe through service, maybe through
invitation, maybe simply because of their great love & obedience #3 Having been welcomed into the church, these people were able to hear the truth on many occasions and even found something
compelling about the setting and about the truth. #4 Their lives actually benefited from this exposure to the truth they were hearing & the way of life they were witnessing It actually
pulled them away from the world in some way. #5 In the process, these outsiders began to acclimate to the setting and looked the part and at some point were even
allowed to teach or have great influence #6 These people had more spiritual advantage than most, they were able to hear the truth and know about God, his Son,
sin and salvation #7 However, these people were like the thorny soil in the parable. The Word took root for a season in their life but then the world and sinful desire
choked it out. #8 Because they did not have true roots they never believed & quickly withered away and returned to their sinful lifestyle.
#9 It is at this point that these unbelievers, who have gained a false standing in the church, begin to spread the notion that Christ is not the necessary authority in your daily life.
#10 Through their lifestyle and even their lip service, they lead true believers into licentious living and they divert genuine seekers from finding the way of truth.
#11 The judgement and punishment awaiting these unbelievers has been amplified because of their proximity to the truth. #12 It would have actually been
better for these people to not have had this increased exposure to the truth, which expanded their accountability. It is clear from several statements in this section that these false
teachers are not believers. They are not saved, not redeemed, not born again, nor indwelt by the Spirit. the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to
keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of These people do not have a
righteous standing before God they are still in their sins. If we do not make this point clear this passage will be utterly confusing and even devastating to your faith.
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 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 If we do not understand these false teachers to be unbelievers
then we can be led to believe that true, born again believers, had the Spirit of God removed from them and were then judged & punished for their sinssins for which Christ died.
I do not believe that is what is happening here. Not even close. I believe John writes about a similar occasion in his epistles For all that is in the worldthe desires of
the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of lifeis not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. (John 2:16-19)
Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that
they all are not of us. (John 2:16-19) These false teachers were not true believers who were born again and then through great sin were removed from the grace & salvation of God.
These false teachers were not true believers because their fruit was never confirmed. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them
by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. (Matthew 7:15-20) A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every
tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. (Matthew 7:15-20) John & Jesus both confirm our conclusions that these false
teachers were not believers. John & Jesus both state that the reason we can know that these type of people are not believers is because of their lack of spiritual growth & transformation.
John & Jesus also touch on the same topic that true believers will have some indicating fruit of belief. Their lives will display some measure of growth & obedience.
This concept is very important. But it is very difficult to cover because Christians are so divided over the issue. There are essentially three schools of thought on this topic.
The 1 group believes that subsequent obedience to Christ is a requirement for salvation. They also believe that all true believers will by necessity [Gods work in their life] persevere in the faith through
obedience etc. st The 2 group believes that subsequent obedience to Christ is a requirement for salvation. Yet, someone can truly be saved and by not
persevering sufficiently in obedience can lose their eternal standing. nd The 3 group believes that subsequent obedience to Christ is not a requirement for salvation. They believe
that faith in the promises of God is sufficient, and the flesh is strong enough to lure away a true believerbut God remains committed to his promises to them regardless of their lifestyle. rd
I believe that there is a th 4 way to think about this topic and it is somewhere between st rd the 1 and 3 ideas.
Scripture makes it clear that the flesh is very strong and there will be an ever ongoing battle in the life of the believer to live out what they truly believe. And they will have seasons of success & failure in obedience.
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the FatherJesus Christ, the Righteous One. (1 John 2:1)
For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature [flesh]. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I
do not want to dothis I keep on Scripture also makes it clear that God is committed to His promises to people regardless of their failures to obey Noah, Moses, David & Peter are all incredible believers, but all failed at stages
in their life to obey, but we know that God did not abandon them. (Rom 8:32) Scripture also makes it clear that the lifestyle of the believer is very important and that God has a commitment to His children. Through
His Spirit; He is committed to growing them and conforming them into the image of Christ. (Rom 8:28-30) by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says I
know him but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may No one born of God makes a practice
of sinning, for God's seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of
I believe that true believers will be marked with some overarching growth in the faith, and even through seasons of failure there will be a measure of sanctification and obedience.
I believe that God has a commitment to the believer and by His Spirit He will be relentless in His pursuit of them. God is profoundly committed not only to the salvation of the believer, but also the sanctification of the same believer.
I believe that an overall lack of obedience and a continual disregard for the truth and a lifestyle marked with regular disobedience, sinfulness and worldliness is a cause to question true belief/conversion.
I also believe that true believers can struggle in seasons of sin and discouragement for a long time. I also believe that they can fail to yield to the Spirits work in their lifeyet God is still committed to His promise to keep
them until that day. I do not believe whatsoever that a true, born again believer, indwelt by the Spirit of God, can at some point loose his/her standing before God. Or that God would change His promised
commitment towards that believer. I do believe that there is a great possibility that a wayward believer could suffer greatly because of the consequences of their sin even though God is still eternally
committed to them. I do believe that there is the possibility that God could call a wayward believer homebecause of their failure to trust & obey.
I also believe that there are many unbelievers who through their genuine desire (Cain, Judas, Ananias/ Sapphira) can look like, talk like & act like true believers for a season. They even believe that they are believers.
And when those people fall away and do not continue in the process of genuine belief or they cease their efforts it is not that a true believer lost their salvationit was that an imposter was exposed.
God wants the imposters in our midst to believebut if they do not come to a true saving faith, their fate will be worse than it would have been without this increased exposure to the truth.
Having a biblically accurate and balanced approach to this topic is key to understanding some very difficult passages in the Bible. In a few weeks we will be in the books of 1-2-3 John and this topic is one of
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