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Summary: The nature of false teachers

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II Peter 2:1-22

February 19, 2012

This is just the bare outline of the text. You can listen to the details of this sermon here.

Read Jude before beginning this chapter.

God promises false prophets will infiltrate the church (:1-3)

But there were false prophets also among the people,

Among the Jews in the Old Testament (cf. 1:21).

even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them,

The Greek word for Lord is δεσπότης (despotes). We get our English word “despot” from it.

The fact that they are bought does not mean they are redeemed. It simply means they are the property of the despot.

In other words, they deny that God has any sovereign rule over them even though He is their rightful owner, ruler, etc.

and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you:

They lie to you to make money off of you.

whose judgment now of a long time

The Greek word for “now of a long time” only appears here and in 3:5. Think about this along with Gen. 1:1. In other words, their judgment is as old as the heavens! It,

lingereth not,

Their judgment is not inactive. It is currently pending.

and their damnation

Their destruction,

slumbereth not.

They think things will never change, but judgment is not sleeping or negligent.

Does it seem to be the opposite? Does it ever feel like God lets the guilty go unpunished and like maybe He’ll never return?

God reminds us that He delivers the righteous out of temptations and reserves the wicked for judgment (:4-9)

Example 1:

4For 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;

You can’t forget the contrast between the wicked and the righteous. Here we see angels that sinned were cast down to hell. They will stay there, guarded carefully, in chains of darkness because they have an appointment with judgment!

Now skip ahead and read verse nine.

Were the angels out of God’s control? Did He lose His authority as their Despot? Did He fail to deliver them out of temptation?

God is no liar, and neither is He a failure. Everything happened exactly as He willed it to happen.

Example 2:

5And 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;

This word for saved means “to guard” something. The sinning angels are guarded carefully unto judgment, and Noah was guarded carefully unto salvation.

There’s a stark contrast between Noah and the old world. Noah was righteous because he was a partaker of the divine nature; the rest of the world was ungodly and suffered judgment!

Example 3:

6And 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;

The ungodly have had plenty of warning, so they have no excuse.

7And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)

Lot and Noah are examples for us that God will deliver us! All of these examples are evidence to us that,

9The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations,

The Greek word for “knows” is εἴδω (eido). It means “to see” and “to know.” God sees and knows how to deliver the godly.

Go back to 1:3 and see that we have grace and peace “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness.”

God has given us faith and knowledge so that we are called godly. The work He started He will finish, so He delivers us out of temptation.

and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

The word for “reserves” means to attend to something carefully. We’re told to “keep” God’s commandments. The centurion was “watching” Jesus while He was on the cross. We’re instructed to “keep” unity. It has an idea of someone paying very close attention without being distracted.

In II Peter we find the verse used as a present infinitive, active, verb. God (active, subject) reserves (verb) continuously (present infinitive).

And He reveals the nature of the false prophets (:10-22)

10But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government.

They will not be ruled.

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