November 28 - Punishment

Friday, November 28, 2008

November 28 - Punishment - 2 Peter 2:10-22

Ahhh ... this is much better. For some of you, Black Friday is something to get excited about ... for me, it would be punishment. So, I find it easy to write about that subject today.

The subject matter is paralled in Jude 8-16 if you want to look for the similarities.

As I read this through, it occurred to me that Peter was absolutely furious with someone. This sounds like a retribution tirade if I've ever heard one! I've had these conversations with Max when I've been righteously angry at someone for corrupting others.

2 Peter 2:10-12 begins to describe who these people are. I hope that you can see this in someone other than yourself ... because if you see yourself in these words, you will have some 'splainin to do!

First they despise authority and follow corrupt desires. They are bold and arrogant and will even slander celestial beings. By the time you get to 2 Peter 2:12, Peter assures us that not only are they brute beasts, but they are ignorant. They don't even know what it is that they are talking about! Wycliffe says 'their self-assurance was matched by their ignorance.' Paul speaks of this type of people in Colossians 2:18.

2 Peter 2:13 speaks of people who attend Christian events and then carouse, living a life that is completely different than the one they live while chatting it up in church! Peter speaks of a feast, he is speaking of the family-type gatherings that Christians had regularly.

In 2 Peter 2:14-15, we find that there is more to come with regards to their bad behavior. They never stop sinning. Their eyes are adulterous, they seduce the unstable, they are experts in greed, they love the payment they get for wickedness. When Carol and I were running Insty-Prints, it was always a challenge to be above board and to be honest. We watched dishonesty happen all around us. The business world is not an easy place to be a Christian. Too many Christian business people find themselves easily swayed by the easy dollar. It's much too simple to take a shortcut and charge the higher price ... Peter is fully condemning those actions!

As we move on through these verses, Peter emphasizes that it isn't enough that these people are corrupt, but they have to drag others into their corruption. In fact, they even go after people who are weak (2 Peter 2:18). They promise freedom, yet drag people away from true freedom of knowing Christ (2 Peter 2:20). For them, he says it would be better if they have never known the hope of righteousness, because turning your back on it is the worst possible consequence (2 Peter 2:21).

Peter ends this passage with the words of Proverbs 26:11 and everything seems very dismal. He has delivered these words to people whose corruption knew no bounds. It seems appropriate in this day and age to be reminded of his tirade against the ways of wickedness. We are an accursed people without the saving grace of Jesus Christ. It is impossible to live this life on our own.

Where will you stand today? Have you left the straight way and wandered off (2 Peter 2:15)?