In this sermon, Pastor Babij returns to consecutive teaching through 2 Peter. Pastor Babij begins by reviewing 2 Peter 2:1-3 and the various threats of false teachers. Pastor Babij then starts examining the next section in 2 Peter 2:4-10: discerning the terrors awaiting false teachers. Pastor Babij explains how God’s judgment on certain fallen angels demonstrates how God will one day judge false teachers and their followers.
We’re going to be looking at one verse in 2 Peter today. I want to read the section first. Look in 2 Peter 2:4-9:
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter; and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment.
Let’s pray. Father, thank You again for the Lord Jesus Christ and for Your Spirit who illuminates the Word of God so we can understand it and gives us the aid to put it into practice. I pray that today we would give ourselves over to You as a living sacrifice that we would be holy and acceptable in Your sight because of Your mercy. Thank You that You did not give us what we really deserve but instead You gave us Your grace and You withheld Your judgment.
As we consider a passage on judgment I pray that You would impress on our hearts that nothing is going to pass by Your judgment. Everything will be judged. I pray that we would examine ourselves as we walk the Christian walk so that we know where we are, what we believe, how we’re growing, and how to please You. I pray that as we look at this portion of Scripture, You would teach us what we need to learn today. I pray this in Christ’s Name, Amen.
I’m going to back up and review because I haven’t been in 2 Peter for awhile. I’ve been preaching that the Word of God teaches us that continual growth in the true knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ will make you more holy and useful and its will make the Church ready for the coming of the Lord and discerning in whatever situation it finds itself. The continual growth that the Lord will allow us to have will be seen in the regular transformation of our minds, will, and affections.
That all comes from Scripture which is why the first chapter of 2 Peter lays out that Scripture is sure, reliable, a light, illuminating, truth, revealing, that it originates from God because every bit of it is trustworthy. The Apostle Peter has already confirmed to his readers something more sure and authentic than even experience. He experienced something on the Mount of Transfiguration when the Lord was transfigured before him and he says there’s a more sure testimony of Scripture itself. He says in 2 Peter 1:19:
So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.
The Scriptures communicate to us that they have been ordained by God and given by God’s authority and produced by the Lord to enable us to understand what it says. The Scripture’s are God’s true Church and we have no other source of authority. The great danger that faces the Church these days has been false prophets and teachers. The Spirit of this age in which we live likes the idea that when it comes to spiritual matters, they want it to be fluid and don’t want to arrive at truth.
They have the idea that they want truth to be kept pliable and ambiguous and that is especially attractive to young people who are in tuned to the culture and who are in love with the spirit of the age. Authoritative Biblical truth applied with precision as a corrective to worldly lifestyles and unholy minds and ungodly behaviors.
We have been looking at discernment concerning the threats of false teachers in the church. There have been several of those in Scripture. There are six reasons that false teachers are a threat to the church. The first one is found in verse one through three: false teachers cleverly teach destructive heresies and secretly introduce them in the church. Also, false teachers deny the God of the Bible, even the Master who bought them.
These teachers are also denying the Lord their Creator who made them and owns them. False teachers claim to be part of the household of God but refuse to submit to the Master of the house which is the Lord Jesus Christ and His Spirit. They deny their Sovereign Master in that they do not obey Him. They deny the Master in that their teachings. They adhere to false teachers and incorporate the Word of God among other things.
They also deny God in their behavior. Instead of living a holy godly lifestyle, they end up living a sinful lifestyle. They are a living contradiction to His life and teaching. False teachers knew the truth but turned from it. They are professors of the Word but rejected the authority of the Creator and denied the redemptive offer and purchase and said no to the One who has power and authority. It’s not like they were ever genuinely saved. They are apostates and those do not just leave the institutionalized Church, but they leave the Church and stay in the Church.
Thirdly, false teachers bring certain imminent judgment upon themselves. A fourth thing is that false teacher seduce many to follow their evil teaching and shameful lifestyle. These teachers are popular and many follow their sensuality. Many will derive guidance from these teachers and move outside the church for information and the Word of God to pursue false ideas, practices, dreams, and visions that they bring into their visions.
So sensuality is the reason for their popularity. They appeal to the people’s base desires that we all have.They advocate the full freedom of the flesh and unbridled living. They believe that unbridled living is freedom in Christ. These false teachers were propagating a wicked and shameful lifestyle centering mainly on shameful immoralities. It’s all over 2 Peter where they have twisted sexual desires, indulge in evil pleasure, commit adultery, and never cease from sin.
So no false teacher is going around carrying a sign that says they are a false teacher. Instead they are parading around saying they have the truth and that you will live a good, happy, and a rich life. Usually they combine some good with bad to make their propaganda even more enticing. False teachers believe that following their own lust or desires and showing no restraint over them is actually a sign of maturity and freedom.
For false teachers, freedom in Christ is the follow their own sensuality and lust, not to follow the truth which leads to holiness and godliness. It could be that you receive the church but you’re not living the truth in your life. The lure f false teachers is to bring a person in their world to show them how they can live the best life possibly now. False teachers are feeding the strongest urges of fallen human nature and that means that those urges are to be wealthy, healthy, and prosperous which often leads to greed and the desires for peace and safety, and to get what you want when you want it. The highest goal for these teachers really is for their followers to pursue the passing pleasures of this world because it’s all about now and not about what’s coming and the Kingdom of God.
The evidence of the Holy Spirit and how He influences a person’s life is material prosperity, mindless emotionalism, by seeking spiritual experiences and supposed miraculous encounters. If you don’t encounter any of these things, then they say you don’t have enough faith.
Instead, the real evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work is that the believers growth will be in spiritual maturity, in the practical holiness and godliness in Christ’s likeness where the Holy Spirit actually convicts you of a sinful heart and helps you combat that and fight against worldly lust. He cultivates spiritual fruit in your life as you live for Christ. As the Apostle Paul says in Romans 8:13:
If you are living according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
So according to Scripture if someone claims to be a Christian and a teacher of God but they display an immoral character, they actually invalidates the gospel message. This is characteristic of false teachers and false prophets and those who follow them. The result and the effect of such godless living is living that is so contrary to Jesus’ life and to the transformative gospel that we have in Christ, that it doesn’t even look like what the Bible is talking about. What should it look like? It should look like what it says in 2 Peter 1:5-7:
In your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.
All those things God will produce in the heart of a real believer. A fifth threat of false teachers is that a false teacher actually maligns or slanders the way of truth. The way of truth is synonymous with Word of God in the gospel, which is specific truth that leads to true faith in Christ and a godly life. False teachers have actually abandoned the gospel when the world of unbelievers looked on the Church and saw no difference than themselves. In some cases, there was even worse behavior. What do they conclude? That they should blaspheme God and the gospel. They gave the gospel the black eye and speak injuriously to defame the reputation of God. They may not say it with words all the time but they do it in their actions and behaviors, that’s why you have to look at both doctrine and lifestyle.
The sixth thing is that in their greed, false teachers will fabricate clever false words. 2 Peter 2:3 says:
In their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
Also in 2 Peter 2:14 it says:
Having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children.
They’re actually trained in greed as it says here. It means that the heart has been exercised in greed and one that faithfully practices greed. Greediness has been natural to them and they have developed a habit capability so they do it without thinking. They think it’s all right and that it’s what they’re meant to do. They habitually behave greedily but they don’t exercise it. They say and do anything to keep the money coming in.
The danger of the accumulation of wealth or teaching people that you should accumulate as you can as it becomes the god of that person. They trust in money for security, for happiness, and for getting things done. We all need money of course, but it’s a tool to live life and use properly.
The Apostle Paul warned in Ephesians 5:
For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
Most false teachers today, just as in Peter’s day and every day, allow greed and selfishness to rule them. Their message is that God will give you healing and wealth and other material blessings in return for money. Give enough money and you will get what you want. These false teachers bend, fabricate, and make up words in order to keep the money coming in.
Scripture really exposes them here in the passage because by using the phrase “false words,” which is really the Greek word plasticos which we get plastic from. Plastic can be formed and fashioned and shaped and molded in any way you want. That’s what he uses here. The twist their words into manmade arguments. False teachers fabricate and make stuff up; they just pull it out of whatever they want.
If they know that it will get someone’s attention they’ll use it. They are counterfeits to the truth and pass themselves off to be trustworthy anointed prophets and apostles and spirit-led teachers which they are not. According to Scripture, if someone claiming to be a teacher of god fails to uphold the Word of God, that is a characteristic of a false teacher or false prophet.
Prosperity preachers have made true Christianity a laughingstock in the eyes of the watching world. And yet this is the kind of Christianity that is sent all over the world. That’s when you go to a foreign country, that’s all they know. They don’t know what sound Biblical teaching is. So however deadly and damnable heresy is, the Word of God is intentionally twisted by spiritual swindles and snake oil salesmen. Surely it’s to a laughing stock or something to laugh about at all.
So we are given the reasons for the threat of false teachers and their doctrine upon the church. It is not easily detected and it leads to hell by the signs of Heaven. It denies the Master and Creator. It caters to the masses of people and gives truth a bad name and it condones loose and greedy living. So that means that Christians are called by the Scriptures to be discerning concerning Christian books that they are reading, what conferences they go to, what blogs and YouTube videos they read and watch.
We are also responsible for listening to sermons because they may have different theological perspectives and you have to know what they are. Are you skilled enough in Scripture to detect when someone is not correct? They can be good, instructive, edifying, and motivating and many times they are motivational speeches. Or they can be bad, destructive, and leading one to error. A constant diet of error can become a defiling influence in one’s life in which you will start living according to their teaching.
So what are we to do as Christians? Here is the admonition of the Apostle John in 1 John 4:1:
Test the spirits to see whether they are from God.
We do that by testing their words and comparing them with the objected standard of the Bible. Imitations and deceptions of Satan are behind these words and these deeds and these appearances and these teachers. It is always to mislead people and never to help and keep them in bondage. So we need to expose fraudulent teachers whether they are on the radio, TV, internet, because the speed of communication and publishing today, error is everywhere. You can publish your own book and get it out there to the masses. It doesn’t have to be vetted or footnoted or saturated with Truth or anything and end up being a bestseller. People eat that stuff up today.
So what do you do? It’s tricky to find the best among the good. The criteria to examine all teaching is there in the Bible. There are some yardsticks we can use. Some practical things are the following four items. Number one, is the teaching doctrinally sound? Is it coming from the Bible? 1 Timothy 6:3-4 says:
If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching they are conceited and understand nothing.
Are we able to see that in a teacher, that they must hold to orthodox doctrine. If core doctrines are denied, their teachings must be discarded immediately. If they are promoting salvation by works, or denying the Trinity or the Second Coming or that there is a final judgment. The false teachers deny that right here in 2 Peter 3. If they confuse the roles of men and women, they are affirming the culture, redefining marriage, and promoting the acceptance of same sex union, then they are to be avoided.
It’s when the person says they are looking for a more progressive church, they are not looking for a church that holds to the standards of Scripture, but looks like the culture. Number two, is the teaching drawn from an accurate handling of Scripture. 2 Peter 1:3 says:
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
We’ve been looking at what the Bible says, that God gives all things that pertain to life and godliness. The true knowledge of Christ starts with the Bible and continues on the Bible. A life built on any other foundation is destined to collapse. Teachers who promote building life principles on secular science and psychology, evolutionary views, and cultural norms are to be avoided. Those are sources that are often brought to Scripture, laid overtop of Scripture and interpreted that way. We have to take Scripture as it is and interpret everything else out there. That doesn’t mean that some of those things are not helpful, but we have to discern what is helpful and good and throw out the stuff that is not good and will not benefit us spiritually. It’s like what the Apostle Paul said in Colossians 2:8-10:
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.
A third question is whether the teaching is gospel-focused. We should avoid any teaching that calls anyone to rely on your own strength to earn God’s acceptance, both in salvation and after salvation. Rather we should rest on what the Father has done in Christ and what the Spirit does for us in His work. The fourth thing is that teaching is rooted in history. Is it historically attested? We’ve been learning that there’s nothing new under the sun.
So when anybody comes along and says they have a new perspective on the teaching of Scripture, don’t believe them. It’s been thousands of thousands of years and people have died for this book and it has been affirmed. The 66 books of the Bible frame the truth delivered to the saints. Nobody has perfect theology or that they have arrived and know everything. But how much error can a teacher hold and still be worth learning from?
We are all called to mature in our faith and be as discerning as possible. As it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:21:
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
Hold fast to that which is good and abstain from every form of evil. So what two things should happen when we test everything? What judgment is good and right? We should judge doctrine and we do that by the Word of God. And we should judge behavior and not look past a person’s life. That determines holiness and godliness. We are looking for the desire to want know and love God. You can know the direction of someone’s life when they are doing it in a consistent, regular way by learning the Word of God, putting things into practice, serving the Lord, being part of the church.
We should hold fast to what is good and determine whether something is consistent with Scripture or not, then we should abstain from what is evil and turn away from it. Then leave it as bad and not healthy or helpful, then go on in Scripture.
So the great danger that faces the Church in these false teachers is that we need to be discerning. False teaching makes it easier for the ungodly to live the kind of life they want to live without being condemned in their conscience. One thing that the Word of God and Spirit of God does is give us a really sensitive conscience. We’re sensitive about our sin and what is going on in our hearts.
So we have looked at discerning the threats of false teachers to the church. In our next section, let’s focus our attention to the justice of God. That is the main idea throughout this passage. The apostle wants us to know that no one is going to be able to get away with anything. There’s nothing that is going to pass God’s judgment at all whatsoever. In 2 Peter 2:3 it says:
Their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
False teachers may feel secure in their message of peace and think that they are being blessed by God, however the Lord is not asleep on the throne concerning what they are doing and saying. He will act decisively and quickly and the sentence has already been pronounced. This passage is bringing up an endemic problem that we have. It’s that false teachers and false prophets and those who follow them have their eschatology and end time doctrine wrong and their ethics wrong.
This is because they don’t get things from the source of Scripture. Because of these errors, they don’t get their information from the source of Scripture. False teachers are leading others down the rose petaled covered path of destruction. They are blind guides, and all it takes is a small twist of Scripture like believing that there will not be a future coming judgment.
They assume that their behavior will not be called to account at the end. If you deny God and His justice and judgment, then you can live anyway you want. It was Jeremiah the prophet who told the king of Israel that judgment was coming by way of the Babylonians. While the false prophets were saying, “peace peace,” destruction wouldn’t come to the king. Jeremiah could only tell the king and the people what God told him, that judgment was coming. Do these things and it will be easier, but judgment is coming.
They responded by attacking the prophet because he was the face of the Lord. They sent him to prison with a bread and water diet. They sent him and dropped him in a well full of mud and were going to leave him there with no regard to the Word of God or Jeremiah’s well-being. The facts still remain no matter what happened to the prophet that according to the Word of God, judgment was inevitable and it did come just as Jeremiah had prophesied.
So many Scriptures bear out as to what actually took place. Those were the Scriptures read in Jeremiah this morning. See the king and the people just did not want to believe or receive that what the prophet was saying was true. The historical fact bears it out that what Jeremiah proposed exactly happened as it was written. God did bring judgment even though everyone around the king said it wouldn’t.
We’re faced in our day with the same problem. At this present time, we live in the cancel culture. This mindset wants to divorce itself from history, even American history. It tends to ignore, rewrite, and cancel it all together, the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you do that with the Bible, then you’re also going to be in trouble because you will say that it is old stuff in the past that doesn’t mean anything.
We can’t do that! We have to go back into history, back to what the prophets say and what the patriarchs of the church were saying. It was Edmund Burke who is attributed with saying, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” That brings me to look at 2 Peter 2:3 where he says:
Their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
This means that God determines to fulfill His justice in the future. From this passage of Scripture, not all the justice arrived yet. The fullness of the judgment of God has not happened yet. Some day it will come in its fullness and everything will be judged. This is the third time judgment is mentioned in 2 Peter on false teachers who are ungodly. Our passage today demonstrates that there is plenty of historical precedent in Scripture and history for God acting in judgment. Therefore the false teachers and ungodly better beware because judgment is on the move and it is very much awake. God is just withholding His destruction and may release it in its fullness at the time set.
I want you to notice in 2 Peter 2:4-10 that it says one single, conditional sentence. It is not a hypothetical if but a real condition. If x is true, then how much more is y true. Look at verses 4-10:
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter; and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority.
Now saying all that, Scripture is actually acknowledging God’s righteousness and justice on the people who are reading it and the false teachers who are denying it. Righteousness and justice are all over Scripture and the terms are different in English from the Hebrew. But in the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament, there is only one word group behind the two English terms and they both speak on the attribute of God. So righteousness and justice mean the same thing.
God’s righteousness means that God always acts in accordance with what is right and is Himself the final standard of what is right. Now, it was Wayne Grudem in his theology who asked the question of what is right. He says this, that whatever conforms to God’s moral character is right. He asks another question, that is why is whatever that conforms to God’s moral character right? The answer is that is is right because it conforms to God’s moral character. See if indeed God is the final standard of righteousness or justice, then there can be no standard outside of God by which we measure righteousness or justice. He is the final standard and there is no other.
When Christ died to pay the penalty for our sins, it showed that God was truly righteous because He did give appropriate punishment to sin. So when born again Christians hear of the justice and righteousness of God, it should cause us to be filled with thanksgiving and gratitude when we realize that righteousness and omnipotence are both possessed by God. If they were not, there would be no guarantee that justice would ultimately prevail in the universe and it would remain a horrible place. But our God has the ultimate power and a character in which He must do what is right and just and will do just that.
That should be a great comfort to us and it should cause some fear also. That means that from the Scriptures, justice is part of God’s character. Turn to Deuteronomy 32:4:
The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He.
This is who God is and that is His character. God’s justice is declared in Scripture to be incorruptible and impartial. It says in 2 Chronicles 19:7:
Now then let the fear of the Lord be upon you; be very careful what you do, for the Lord our God will have no part in unrighteousness or partiality or the taking of a bribe.
In Psalm 89:14 it says:
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; lovingkindness and truth go before You.
Everything is built on that and if you don’t have that, everything crumbles. God’s justice is not to be sinned against in Scripture. God’s justice denied often by the ungodly where it says in Ezekiel 33:17:
Yet your fellow citizens say, ‘The way of the Lord is not right,’ when it is their own way that is not right.’
God’s justice is exhibited in the forgiveness of sins because of the justice of God that we’re forgiven. Jesus died to satisfy the justice of the Father so we can be set free. God’s justice in redemption in His government and in His judgment that we’re going to look at in this book. It says in Genesis 18:25 when the Lord was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah and Abraham was asking him not to. It says in the verse:
Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?
Sodom and Gomorrah turned to ash because there were not ten righteous people in that city. God’s justice is also magnified in Christ’s coming. Not only do we see that in Revelation or 2 Peter, but it also says in Psalm 98:9:
He will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with equity.
God’s justice works both ways, to judge and hold people responsible for sin, and also works to rescue people from sin. We know that the only way you can be reduced is to believe in Christ as your Lord and Savior. This brings me back to 2 Peter and I want you to notice that not only God determines to fulfill His justice in the future on the false prophets, but also in the past as it shows in 2 Peter 2:4:
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment.
Notice here that God has final authority over the judgment in the spiritual realm of heavenly beings because heavenly beings are also created by Him. God judges fallen angels who sinned and rebelled against God’s authority. These angels perverted God’s way and He refused to spare them because of the wickedness of their sin.
This is a difficult passage, as a matter of fact when you go to many commentaries they skip over it because they don’t want to make any decisions on it. But I believe that Genesis 6:1-4 gives us a sense of what’s going on. It says:
Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
Literally the translation of the word nephilim is the word giant. Considering this passage and this difficulty, there are several interpretations of it. Some interpret the sons of God being rulers claiming divine status or possibly demon possession. The second interpretation is more in line with Jude’s epistle, that the sons of God were mating with human women. Fallen angels came to earth, took human bodies, and cohabited with women and produced children that became the mighty warriors of the ancient times. These fallen angels crossed the species line by mating with human women.
In Jude 1:6 he makes the sin more clear by saying this:
And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day.
This was really a deliberate plan by a company of fallen angels to rebel against God’s plan and order. These fallen angels left their own house and domain and went after strange flesh by lusting after human women to try and produce a demon human race that would be come unredeemable because angels are not redeemable.
Look at what God did to these angels in 2 Peter 2:4:
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment.
Peter doesn’t say anything about what I just talked about because he doesn’t want to take attention off the justice and judgment of God. No one is going to get away with it, not in the spiritual, demon, or human realms. No one is going to pass by God’s justice, judgment, and righteousness. The word hell means to be hurled into tartarus, regarded by the Greeks as a place of torment below hades. It was the darkest, lowest, saddest place anybody could be cast into. Hades was considered by the Hebrews as a place that God would execute punishment on evil-doers.
We must not forget that fallen demons work ceaselessly to hinder God’s redemptive purposes. They are always about coming against the gospel and Church and God’s people. When you’re skilled in the Word of God, they have a hard time because you have the armor of God and you can stand up against the wiles of Satan. It is hard for him to trick and dupe you. These mighty beings are smart, skilled, organized, and harbor a strong malice towards God and His people.
In Matthew Jesus gives us a sense of the demonic power that wants to overtake the Church. It says in Matthew 16:18:
I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
The point in this first example is that God’s wrath did not linger or slumber. God’s judgment is swift on a group of demons that violated the order of their being in order to commit wicked sins that corrupted the world in Noah’s day. That’s why God had to send a worldwide flood. There’s no help or rescue provided to these demons but only darkness in which they await final judgment. In all this time, they’re kept in darkness and chains away from everything and they’re not being judged. God is going to hold the great white throne and they will be cast into the lake of fire which is the final judgment.
Anybody who does not believe in Christ will go there with them. God’s justice will be in hell in a large way. In this example, and each one following, you the reader and hearer of this letter are to consider very seriously the judicial activity of God every day in your life. You must examine what you’re following and who you are following. Does your life line up with a holy and godly life? If you were brought into God’s court right now, is there enough evidence to convict you of being a Christian. That’s what we should all be thinking.
Are you developing your own philosophy of life that is not founded on sound, Biblical teaching or are you following the false teachers whose teaching is not grounded on sound, Biblical hermeneutics? The admonition is to follow your own spun philosophy of life, or the heretical teachers for instruction, or turn to God to rescue you and for salvation.
Even today, the government is trying to take on the role of teaching and they’re trying to mandate and tell people how to think, what to believe, and what to do. And if you don’t do that, you’re going to get punished for it. There are evil rulers today and although it’s not everyone, many are. Many of them are dominating and trying to mandate morality, and yet one million abortions are happening in our country each year. They promote the LGBTQ community that follows sexual perversion. They teach and espouse things that destroy the family.
They even want to make laws that protect pedophiles, a bill that was passed in California, number 145. If a young person agreed with an adult, even the age of 10 years old, to have some kind of sexual relationship with them, they cannot be brought into court and convicted of anything. We live in this kind of culture, but with all that going on God will still judge it. John MacArthur said that we’ve gone from a sexual revolution, to a homosexual revolution, to a revolution of mindlessness and perversion and insanity.
People can’t even rationalize what is good or bad anymore. Everything that was once good or bad is opposite. Listen to things on the news and we shake our heads asking if we just heard that. It says in Proverbs 14:34:
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.
Righteousness comes from God and rulers are called by God to fall under His standard of Righteousness even it they’re not believers to do what is right before the people and to make laws that are healthy for the community and country. You will not find in our passage, demons leading anyone to any kind of rescue, but only to destruction. When wickedness reaches extreme proportions, God holds judgment. God is long-suffering and patient, but there is a time when the sin reaches Heaven and He must act. But He will always act with righteousness and justice.
If great and powerful angels can’t escape God’s judgment, how much less will mortal men like false teachers be able to escape? Imminent judgment is only a preview of future judgment that is coming. The only way to be rescued from future judgment is to turn to Christ and repent of your sin. Believe in God’s provision to rescue you from the wrath of God. Christ is the only One who can save you from the wrath of God and if you haven’t done it yet, ask Him to save you. This passage is about judgment and rescue. I want to end with this passage and I will take it up again in the next message. In 2 Peter 2:9 it says:
Then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment.
Let’s pray. Lord, we talked about this morning some heavy things in Scripture. Thank You that what we see is true and what we hear is founded in the reliable source of the Word of God. We want to be people who grow in our faith and in the virtues mentioned in 2 Peter 1. I want to grow and I want Your people to grow in godliness and holiness. I pray that they would keep short bouts of sin, and they would learn to confess it quickly and cast themselves upon You and Your help every day. Lord, make us into the image of Christ and deliver us from ourselves and the culture that may be influencing us more than we think. Give us an overwhelming discernment to know when we are not receiving the truth. I pray that we would know what that is, drop off what’s bad, keep what is good, and continue to grow in faith. I pray this for myself and your people and I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.