March 27 - 2 Peter 2:10-16

Thursday, March 27, 2014

2 Peter 2:10-16

This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority. 
Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings; yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord. But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.

They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.  With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness. But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—an animal without speech—who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

First, false teachers despise authority and follow corrupt desires.  They are bold and arrogant and will even slander celestial beings.  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.

Because of the ease of access we have in this day and age to all manner of insanity, both in the news and through our social media networks, we often feel as if we are assaulted on all sides by these false teachers.  We are over-exposed to their slanderous talk and often believe that the only thing we can do is combat it. We often lower ourselves to their level, saying and writing things that are unacceptable.

Look at what Peter says. Even the angels who are stronger and more powerful, do not return abuse when they deliver judgment.

We must understand that we can't change their minds, we can't fix their accusations and we can't expect them to live differently than they do. We do not have the power. It is in God's hands and his alone.

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!  When Peter speaks of a feast, he is speaking of the family-type gatherings that Christians had regularly.

But 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, and they love the payment they get for wickedness.  When I was in business, it was always a challenge to be above board and honest. Dishonesty happened 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 condemns these actions!

Even though Peter's condemnation of sinful behavior is strong, it still doesn't change the fact that this will continue to occur until Christ's return. We want justice while we are earthbound, while God sees justice occurring on a much larger scale. We want God to fix this world and stop these people from having control. God knows that this behavior isn't new; it has been around since the beginning of civilization.

We need to behave more like his angels who refuse to heap abuse on those God judges. Our only task as Christians is to love … unconditionally. It isn't up to us to deliver judgment. It isn't up to us to ensure that morality is found on earth.

Peter assures us that God's judgment will prevail over evil and sinful behavior.

Just as he dealt with Balaam, whose donkey forced him back on the path toward holiness, God deals with each person in this world. We must remain on the straight path, aligning our lives with God's will.