In this sermon, Pastor Joseph Babij continues teaching regarding God’s coming judgment on false teachers and their followers. Pastor Babij considers another historical example of judgment demonstrating God’s ability to judge the wicked and rescue the righteous: the worldwide flood and Noah’s ark. Pastor Babij also considers what a love of justice and fear of judgment should mean for voting in the upcoming election.
Okay let’s take our Bibles this morning and turn to 2 Peter 2:4-9, whichI’ll be reading from now:
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 us pray. Lord, this morning as we again look to Your Word, we thank You Father for the Lord Jesus Christ. We thank You for what He has done on behalf of those who would believe Him. Thank You for His obedient life and for Him willingly and with great ability to go to the cross and finish what we could never have done. We thank You, Lord, for His shed blood and His resurrection for all those who believe in Him and who are made right with You. How great that is Lord! Those thoughts never leave out mind. I pray that as we live our Christian lives, make us believers that walk in the fear of the Lord and understand what it is to love and serve You and Your Word and Your people. I pray that all of us would walk with You every single day of our lives and would want to do rightly and justly, I pray this in Christ’s Name, Amen.
We have already been looking at discerning the threats of false teachers to the church. In this next portion of Scripture, we started to examine the idea of the justice of God. Justice is part of God’s character where it says in Deuteronomy 32:4:
The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and just is He.
By way of definition, God’s righteousness means that He always acts in accordance with what is right and is Himself the final standard o what is right. If you ask yourself or anyone else how we know the difference of what is right, well it is not what you, teachers, society or culture think it is. It’s really what God knows it is because it is His character that tells us what is truly just and right! It says in Psalm 89 that righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. That’s what He builds everything on. In Genesis 18:25 it says:
Far be it from You to do such a thing, to kill the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?
The answer to that question is yes He does and will always deal justly. He will always act in righteousness. So we moved into discerning the terrors awaiting false teachers. In 2 Peter 2:3, God determines to fulfill His justice in the future and how He does that is by holding judgment upon those who teach falsely and who are ungodly. In fact this is the third time the judgment is mentioned in 2 Peter. It’s a warning against false teachers and the ungodly to beware because God’s judgments are on the move. They are awake as it says in 2 Peter 2:3:
In their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
In this long conditional sentence, he is using this conditional “if” to show us that this is not a hypothetical situation and is a real condition like in verse 4:
If God did not spare angels when they sinned.
And in verse 5:
[God] did not spare the ancient world.
And in verse 6:
If He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
And of course in verse 7:
If He rescued righteous Lot.
And then in verse 9 which is the conclusion says:
then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment.
So the end of false teachers is absolutely certain. Their judgment from long ago is not idle or asleep. False teachers may feel secure in their message of peace peace and think they are being blessed by God but of course God is not asleep on His throne and He will act decisively and quickly and the sentence has already been pronounced as far as God has been concerned.
In this passage we do understand there’s an endemic problem with false teachers and false prophets especially in their end time view of eschatology because they are all wrong. Because of these errors in thinking and teaching, false teachers are leading others down the path of destruction. They are blind guides and all it takes from Genesis is a little twist of the truth when Satan lied to Eve and put a little doubt in her mind to lead her into temptation.
So a little twist of the truth like believing that there will not be a future coming judgment and acts on that, then a person assumes that one’s behavior will not be called into account in the end or at the eschaton. But it will and that’s where they are being lied to and manipulated. Our passage demonstrates that there is plenty of historical precedent for God acting in judgment. We saw the first one last week in 2 Peter 2:4-8 where God demonstrates His justice in the past. There’s three past judgment examples of wicked sinners and we looked at fallen angels in verse 4.
Notice that God has the final authority to judge the spiritual realm and heavenly beings which no one can do except God. So God judges fallen angels who sinned and that is they rebelled against God’s authority and these angels perverted God’s way and God refused to spare them because of their wicked sin and what did God do? He cast them into hell and committed them into the pits of darkness reserved for judgment and this very word He hurled them into tartarus. It was guarded by the Greeks as a place of torment and punishment below Hades and that’s where divine punishment was executed.
We know that hell was created for the devils and demons so they were cast there into this dark place so we mustn’t forget that these fallen beings and demons works ceaselessly to hinder God’s redemptive purposes. They are organized and harbor a strong malice against God and His people. The point of this first example is that God’s wrath in the past is not one that lingers or slumbers.
God’s judgment was swift when it did happen on this group of demons that violated the order of their being in order to commit wicked sins that corrupted the world of Noah’s day. So our text says there is no help or rescue provided for these demons but only darkness in which they await final judgment at the end of verse 4.
They are reserved and held there for final judgment in that gloomy holding tank until the final decision of God happens. These demons are not partying there, but they are being removed from the goodness and mercy of God and experiencing the wrath of God. So this was a sinister plot of Satan to contaminate the human race by involving the birth process. He tried to hinder God’s plan to have Mary supernaturally become pregnant in order to bring about the incarnation of the Son of God.
In this example, and each one following, the readers and hearers are to consider very seriously the judicial activity of God. If God acted in judgment in the past with such decisiveness, then He will act with judgment in the present and the future. When wickedness reaches extreme proportions. God holds judgment. In fact, how great and powerful these angels are that they cannot escape God’s judgment. And how much less will mortal men escape and false teachers escape? They will not.
So immediate judgment is only a preview of future judgment. The warnings of future judgments are all for the purpose to help keep the faithful, those who are following the Lord Jesus Christ and God on the straight and narrow path. It causes us to examine what and who we are following and what we’re believing and how we’re living. Are you following your own developed philosophy of life that is not based on sound Biblical teaching, or are you following some false teacher whose teaching is not grounded in the Word of God or truth.
The question Peter is asking is are you adding to your faith what is excellent from 2 Peter 1 what is knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love? If you do then you will be stable and convinced that there will be an entrance into the Kingdom of God. If you are growing in the true knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, then those things will be present in your life. So here’s the admonition: follow your own spun philosophy of life or someone else’s who is not teaching the truth, and it will only lead to destruction. Or you can turn to God, be rescued, and receive His salvation. The gospel is always the answer.
Now let’s move to the second example of God’s justice being meted out on wicked sinners which is found in verse 5, which talks about the ancient world in Noah’s day. It says in 2 Peter 2:5:
[He] 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.
So see God sent a worldwide flood to kill ungodly mankind and the seeds of a demon human race. The judgment is only a preview of the future judgment. This diabolical plot was overturned when God wiped out the contained seed which produced an abundance of ungodliness. The only ones who escaped this gross, abominable, and accursed practice was Noah and his family. It says in Genesis 6:11-13
Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for humanity had corrupted its way upon the earth. Then God said to Noah, “The end of humanity has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of people; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.”
So who was Noah? He was blessed by a harmonious relationship and communion with God. If you look up a few verses in Genesis 6:8 that it says:
But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
Notice what it says about him in Genesis 6:9-10:
These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. And Noah fathered three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
This was a man who simply obeyed God, listened, and walked with him every day of his life. Even in the midst of all his unbelief and corruption, he still stayed faithful to what God said. The length of time in which Noah labored and preached was long. God delayed the flood for 120 years while he was preaching for the very purpose of giving the world of people time to repent and believe Noah’s message.
In fact back in 1 Peter 3:20 it says:
When the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.
Now just think of that for a minute. It wasn’t the majority or the minority that was right. A lot of times people think today that if a lot of people believe it, it must be true. But that is usually not the case. What is the case is that truth is only held by a few people. In this case, only eight. Just eight people were brought through safely because they believed God.
So Noah challenged the unrighteous generation in his day to repent, and to put their trust in God and warned them that if they continued in unbelief, divine judgment would overtake them. Again in 2 Peter 2:5 it says:
[He] 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.
They’re highlighting Noah’s righteousness and faith because he was told by God as yet unseen, it came to be in every last detail to an unbelieving world. Here’s a personal righteousness contrasted with the godlessness all around him. Genes 7:1 says:
Then the Lord said to Noah, “Enter the ark, you and all your household, for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this generation.”
So his faith condemned the people around him who disbelieved god and disregarded the warning for 120 years. Not one person responded to his faithful example and his righteous preaching. That’s a sad story, but 1 Peter 3:20 tells us:
Eight persons, were brought safely through the water.
Now in this passage of Scripture, we have the word world. Now the term for world does not only mean creation, neither does it mean the life of the world in general like family relationships, businesses, authority, government, and power. What the Bible means specifically when it uses the term the world, is the organization and mind and outlook of mankind as it ignores God and does not recognize Him and lives independent of Him. It is the whole outlook upon life that is exclusive of the God of creation and the God of the Bible.
It says in 2 Peter 2:5 that He did not spare the ancient world for that because it was full of terrible things. It also says in Genesis 6:5:
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of mankind was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually.
God destroyed the world by the flood and judged and condemned it. People in the ancient world did not take the preacher’s words to heart. This is what Jesus says in Matthew 24:38-39:
For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.
In that passage, it is the past reality of the judgment of God and looking forward to the future reality of the judgment of God when the son of Man comes again to this earth. The prospect of judgment does not make a serious impression on those thinking that this life is all there is. Many times people who conclude that say that they should just eat, drink, and be merry. That’s an evil way of thinking and needs to be turned around before the ark is shut in the next generation.
It’s like when Peggy Lee in the 1960s wrote a song that says, “If that’s all there is, then let’s keep dancing. Let’s break out the booze and have a ball if that’s all there is.” But the Lord promised us that He would come that we would have life more abundantly. That is the truth for all those who come to believe in the Lord. So the water rose to the highest point which is 27 feet above the highest mountain. We know that because Genesis 7:19-20 tells us:
And the water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered. The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered
When I was 10-15 years of age, I would visit my grandmother and hike to the top of the mountain by her home in Pennsylvania. I would find fossils of leaves embedded in stone at the top of those mountains. I asked myself how unique things like these got up here. What happened to produce images of leaves in stone. I thought it had to be some powerful event. I knew that diamonds were made deep in the earth under great pressure, but these fossils were on top of the mountain.
I didn’t get an answer to that question until I was introduced to the Bible. Hence, the Bible said there was a worldwide flood that covered the mountains. It convinced me and the matter has been settled forevermore in my heart. That’s what truth does; it closes the door on everything else. It can’t be any different! That’s what’s so intriguing about the Truth. When you hear it, it rings clear in your heart even when you can’t pinpoint where. That’s how God’s Truth is. It gets down to our hearts and squeezes us.
I think that surely thousands of people went up to the mountains as the water rose higher and higher thinking if they could only get to higher ground, then the water would subside. But the water did not subside and people on the earth had 120 years to turn from their wicked ways to repent and heed the words of the preacher of righteousness. They did not. So the young died, those in their prime died, and the aged died.
See how God’s righteousness could not spare the ancient world. His character would not allow Him to spare the world anymore so He brought the flood upon the whole world of the ungodly. However, God’s judgment was not quick, it was slow. But when it came, it was swift and the ungodly were no longer safe.
So the question to ask is, what was it that brought the world into such a state that the justice of God had to fall in such a catastrophic way? There’s only one answer to that question. Mankind had departed, turned their backs on God, and fallen away from God and from His teaching. The teaching was there from Adam but they fell away from it and started living according to their own ideas. The result was departure from God and the consequence of lawlessness that led to the flood.
The ancient world and the world in which we live right now ignores God and lives a life independent of Him. A life that is based upon this world and this life only. This world and our country are ripe for judgment and some say we are already under judgment which is probably true. So, for what reason do you say why God would allow that? The reasons haven’t changed. God’s justice as it fell in the past will also fall in the future. Mankind has departed and turned their backs on God and His teaching. Mankind again has been living according to their own ideas, their own thoughts, imaginations, conclusions without truth.
Departure from God and His teachings and the consequences of lawlessness which we see all around us, will be the cause for the justice of God to fall which will lead to the earth finally being destroyed by fire. If you look in your text in 2 Peter, this is where it is all headed in which false teachers deny and scoff at the Word in 2 Peter 3:5-7, which says:
For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
The fact remains that when mankind turns their backs on God and His teaching, it ultimately leads to moral, political, social, and economic chaos. You cannot conclude any other way. It always leads to throwing God out and His ideas. Now as we experience right now in our country and we’re just a couple of weeks away from the next election, I thought this might be a good place to say somethings about that. So I’m kind of cutting my message short here and taking a bit of a right turn and giving you three things to consider when you vote. We are voting in the hopes that righteousness will last a little bit longer in our country before it all crumbles around us.
So what are you to look for in a presidential candidate? The first thing is that a presidential candidate has to display some sense of what it means to be just. It says in 2 Samuel 23:3:
The God of Israel said it; the Rock of Israel spoke to me: “He who rules over mankind righteously."
So is this presidential candidate working on behalf of the people and for their good? Or are they just serving their own group or advancing their own careers or patting their own pockets? It was David Platt who said, “Doing justice means addressing laws, regulations, structures, and systems to better help those in need on the bottom wrung.” They are the ones who are going to feel the brunt of it when there’s no justice or righteousness in a country.
So justice and fairness for all people should be one of the characteristics of the person who will be in the white house. The third panel on the Jefferson memorial, written by Jefferson himself, says this: “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.”
Jefferson showed concern that future generations might not see liberties as a gift from God and that such belief might invoke the wrath of God upon a nation, which he was right about. There must be a sense in a president of a high, notable, and accountable calling. It sure is helpful to know that somebody who is ruling a country knows that God is watching. They are accountable to God as it says in Romans 13:1:
Every person is to be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.
And again it says in 2 Samuel 23:3:
The God of Israel said it; the Rock of Israel spoke to me: “He who rules over mankind righteously, Who rules in the fear of God.”
Let’s pray that our leaders would have the fear of God and that the fear would be real to them. Someday they have to give an account on how they rule a nation, and we pray that they would realize that. If they have a darkened mind and have rejected and ignored God, they will not deal justly. Especially on the matters of the major issues of our culture like abortion. One million babies a year are killed in the United States, and now they have late term abortions. How heinous and wicked is that! Whoever wrote that should have put that in the trash.
God created all human beings in His image. All human beings are totally human right from fertilization. Also marriage and the family is under attack in a huge way in our country. Divorce is on the rise with one parent families, child abuse, juvenile crime, child trafficking, kiddie porn, homosexuality, same-sex unions, and suicide also on the rise. Marriage needs to be held in high esteem in the highest levels of our country. The homosexuality issue is huge and I will address it next time I’m in this passage. The LBTQ community and their lifestyle as supported as a normal alternative to living. It is unnatural and that is what the Bible says.
What about the gender issue? God only made two types of human beings. He made a male and a female. That’s the only way the world will be populated right? What about climate change? Brethren, we live on a disposable planet. We are to be good stewards of what God has given us on this planet, but we can’t save the planet. It says in Genesis 8:22:
While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
So when our political leaders tell us the earth will be destroyed in 12 years unless we implement some Green New Deal, they are lying to us. We know that is not the truth. In 2 Peter 3:10 it says this:
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.
This is where a darkened mind leads, to democratic socialism. They don’t tell you that the goal of democratic socialism is for the government to have full control of your life as a watchdog telling you what to do, where to go, what to eat, what to buy, and what to give away. A German philosopher named G. W. F. Hegel was a young man in Europe at the time of the Constitution was being framed. He penned two statements that today’s liberal democrats would fully embrace.
This is what he said: “The state is the march of God through the world. Its ground is the power of reason realizing it as will.” He went on to say, “We must worship the state as the manifestation of the divine on earth.” So Hegel saw the state or government as the replacement of God on earth. Any political leader ascribing to the concept of something like that, are definitely thinking about in a big way for our country.
Who’s going to be the ones in the crosshairs when that happens? Well, they won’t be a friend to Christians I’ll tell you that. They will come and silence what the Church is supposed to be doing because the Truth always exposes them and they’ll not have that. A second thing to consider when you vote is the presidential candidate has to understand the role of government. Vote for those who want to maintain law and order, which is the main role of government. When government gets too big, it wants to control everything which it was never meant to do.
Government was meant to punish evil doers like it says in 1 Peter 2:14:
To governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.
Romans 13:3 says:
For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same.
Even the government should exercise their prerogative to punish serious crimes by capital punishment and due process. Genesis 9:6 says:
Whoever sheds human blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made mankind.
And then Romans 13:4 says:
For it is a servant of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a servant of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.
So we don’t want a leader who’s going to look away and let violent criminals do whatever they want and then let them out of prison. We want righteous judges who are going to judge righteously and persecute those who break the law. It’s for the benefit of all of us and the survival of the country. We need to look to a leader who understands that that is their main job, to keep us safe and protected and to take care of those who do evil. So that those who do good can continue to do do good and take care of the things we ought to take care of.
A third thing that a presidential candidate should have is they should want to defend our freedoms. Vote for those who want to protect your freedom. The first amendment is the first for a reason. When free speech is taken away and censored, the disintegration of the rest of the amendments is not far behind. We have enjoyed having freedom. We have enjoyed people come to this country because we’re free and the government is not controlling us, yet. We are free to worship as we please and exercise our faith including the preaching of the gospel and meeting together to hear the Word of God.
Don’t you want to continue to do that? But they want to stop our freedoms. In fact new media platforms like Facebook, Apple, Comcast, AT&T, and Google have adopted policies to censor lawful viewpoints expressing Christian views and controversial ideas as hot buttons and some platforms have already started to use those policies to remove orthodox Christian viewpoints and considering them offensive and too controversial for the masses.
They want to squash it but remember when we are voting, that it should not be just for you. It should be for our children as well and for the next generation. We’re voting for them! The young people in our country are under humongous strain and I often say for myself that I’m so glad I’m not a young person today. They are under financial pressure when they graduate from college and have this huge debt. They go to buy a car or house and it’s an extreme amount of money. Everywhere they go, they can’t seem to get ahead and no one seems to be helping them. We’re voting for our kids and grandkids!
My father used to be a Roosevelt Democrat. We always used to have political and religious conversations and he said that he is not voting that away anymore, and he voted for Reagan that year. He said the reason was because they were serving the people anymore. They don’t have our interests in mind anymore. So we’re only one vote away from waking up one day and living in a country very different than we knew before. So that’s why this election is very important than anyone running in my lifetime.
You and I have before us less than stellar candidates and need to do our homework and get informed. Not by CNN, ABC, MSNBC, or those news organizations that are controlled by big business. Christians in America should be especially grateful that they have a country that allows them the opportunity to worship as they please. It has been well said that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Let’s not take it for granted.
If you do not pray for our country, then you ought to. If you do not make it a better place or obey its laws or exercise your right to vote, then you are joining hands with those who are seeking its overthrow. I love our country and I have served this country so I know what it’s about. We want to use the power to keep peace not to have wars or provoke violence or chaos. So we can continue to grow in the Lord, preach the gospel, and establish the Church.
That should be our goal as God’s people! So why is God holding judgment? This is the reason why: departure from God and His teaching. The consequence of that is lawlessness and that will be the cause of the justice of God falling on any nation. Lord help us!
Let’s pray. Our gracious Lord, the temptation to live for the moment is always present. It is difficult, Lord, to refrain from doing that which benefits ourselves and hurts the integrity of our government. President Trump and his administration are subject to enormous pressures from those whose desires are only for self-interest. Their numbers and influence can be seductive and overwhelming. We ask, Lord, that You would help this administration pursue integrity. Protect them from moving in any direction that is not consistent with the definition of justice that Your Word reveals.
We know, Lord, that there is no one like You and Your magnificent demonstration of fairness. We are humbled to know that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ once and for all satisfied Your righteous standard by dying in the place of those who believe in You. Instead of receiving Your wrath, all those who trust in You have Your mercy and love. Thank You, Lord, for that. May all that You have conveyed to us regarding integrity may be understood and be applied by us and those who are our presidents.
Thank You for our country. Continue to work in it, Lord, so You give us more time. Be merciful to us and all this we pray this morning in the Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.