Summary: God delivers those He declares righteous but judges and destroys sinful rebels -- eventually!
The Rescuer Up Over
Review the Trinity and 10 Commmandments
Main Idea: God delivers those He declares righteous but judges and destroys sinful rebels -- eventually!
I. Old Testament EXAMPLES (4-8)
This portion of 2 Peter is very similar in order, content, and expressions to a section of the Book of Jude. Some think Jude sort of copied from Peter, others vice-versa. Although they are similar, they are not copied word for word.
A better explanation is that both Jude and Peter are summarizing and adapting a memorized sermon preached in the churches. I have mentioned how memorization was a lot of first century discipleship. It is conceivable that memorized sermons were spread around the churches.
A. Noah and pre-flood SOCIETY (4-5)
1. Connected to FALLEN angels
Angels were created as beautiful, powerful spirit-beings. But they rebelled against God under the leadership of Satan and became demons. Sin degrades. A portion of these demons decided to experiment with human genetics.
2. The NEPHILIM event of Genesis 6:1-4
3. God IMPRISONED these demons
• The word used here is Tartarus, a section of hell.
• Fruchtenbaum, "Josepheus refers to Tartarus as a place where pagan gods are chained."
• Bound and free demons
4. God DELIVERED Noah and family
B. Lot and the PERVERTED society of Sodom (6-8)
1. In what sense was Lot RIGHTEOUS?
• Lot was in the world but still kept his faith
• He participated in corrupt society, trying to be light
* But his children and wife were impacted negatively; rotten apples tend to infect the good apples rather than vice-versa
* We should not underestimate environment
* It is easier to be a good Christian in San Francisco than it would have been in Sodom
Still, the principle of I Corinthians 15:33 means something: "Do not be misled: 'Bad company corrupts good character.'"
* God might lead us into situations where it is hard to maintain the faith, but we need to be careful about where we drag our families…
* Lot was spiritual, but he did not seem to have the gift of wisdom
2. He was DISTRESSED by sin
Matthew Henry writes, "In bad company, we cannot escape either guilt or grief."
3. God led Lot out of SODOM before its destruction
Application: Sometimes when God brings destruction, he rescues his own beforehand. In other instances, the righteous suffer with the unrighteous. Ultimately, when it comes to eternal destiny, the separation is clear and consistent.
II. New Testament APPLICATION (9-10)
A. The Lord knows HOW
1. To RESCUE from
2. To UPHOLD in the midst
• It is hard to resist temptation when it is all around, but God can help us to do just that.
• Ardent baseball fans will remember Kirby Puckett, who died suddenly in 2006. He had led the Minnesota Twins to championship victories in 1987 and 1991. Even though he was offered larger contracts by other teams, he stayed with the Twins for his entire career. When Puckett was diagnosed with glaucoma in 1996, his career ended abruptly.
During Puckett’s induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001, he recalled the difficulties he had faced when growing up. His passion to become a professional baseball player was subject to temptation many times. Drug dealers and gang members repeatedly invited him to join in their destructive lifestyle. But whenever temptation enticed him, Kirby remembered that he had a higher calling—baseball. [Our Daily Bread]
3. To RESERVE the unrighteous for judgment
• They are held now in the prospect of judgment, which will be realized later.
• The question is not "if" but "when?"
B. Judgment is especially APPROPRIATE for some
1. Those who never repent from CORRUPT desires
Simon was an Orthodox Jew. He had a Gentile friend, James, who noticed that Simon owned four sets of false teeth.
One day James asked his friend why he had so many sets of false teeth. Surprised by the question, Simon explained, "My friend, as you know, I keep kosher. I have one set of teeth I wear when I eat milk products; I have another set for meat products; and the third set I use for Passover." After a moment of silence, James pressed further, "Well, then, what about the fourth set?" Simon snapped in response, "Is it any of your business if I want to eat a ham and cheese sandwich once in a while?" [From the Messianic Devotional, "The Word of the Lord"].
2. Those who DESPISE authority
We either use our wisdom to alter and circumvent the Bible, or we use the Bible as our authority and adjust our opinions to match it. That means we are under authority, and some people cannot stomach being under authority.
C. Implication: It is a STRUGGLE to live a godly life in a corrupt society