II Peter 2:4-9

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

GOD’S JUDGMENT OF HERETICS

INTRODUCTION:

 

In II Peter 1 we have seen –

 

            1.   That the Lord has called believers

 

            2.   That the Lord implanted within believers a divine nature

 

            3.   That the Lord gave believers His power to enable them to live godly lives

 

            4.   That believers should live God-honoring lives

 

            5.   That God has given believers His Word in order to guide them in their lives.

 

In II Peter 2:1-3 we see that there are going to be false teachers.

 

Will false teachers be permitted to get away with corrupting the Word of God, or will God act in judgment toward them? The answer is that false teachers will not get away with corrupting the Word of God but will most certainly be judged by God.

 

II Peter 2:1-3 1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

 

In this message we want to consider II Peter 2:4-9 in a way which is different from what we normally do. First, we want to note the structure of the passage. Secondly, we want to note the point of the passage. Then, we want to note the illustrations of the passage. Finally, we want to note the conclusion of the passage.

First we note –

    I.     THE STRUCTURE OF THE PASSAGE

 

Verses 4-9 form one big conditional sentence.

 

Verses 4-8 form the condition. It is a three-fold condition, all of which, for sake of discussion, is assumed to be true. Furthermore, all of it is actually true.

 

Verse 9 is the conclusion of this conditional statement. Inasmuch as the three-fold condition is actually true, the conclusion is also true and definite.

Second, we note –

 

  II.     THE POINT OF THE PASSAGE

 

The point of the passage is found in verse 9.

 

The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations.

 

The Lord also knows how to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished, i.e. the Lord knows how to reserve false teachers for judgment, and He will definitely and finally judge them. It is just a matter of time before He does.

Third, we note –

 III.     THREE ILLUSTRATIONS OF GOD’S JUDGMENT – II Peter 2:4-8

 

The first illustration of God’s judgment is –

            1.   The angels that sinned – II Peter 2:4

 

II Peter 2:4 4 For 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.

 

For is used in the sense of and or now, and it continues the idea that the judgment and damnation of these false teachers will soon occur.

 

If introduces a series of conditions whose structure in the Greek text indicates that all of them are assumed to be true. It is, therefore, understood in the sense of since, inasmuch as, assuming that, or in view of the fact that.

 

God spared not the angels that sinned indicates that angels sinned but that God did not allow them to get away with it.

 

The reader cannot help but wonder which angels these were and what their sin was. Those, who believe that the sons of God who cohabited with women in Genesis 6 were fallen angels, typically believe that Peter is referring to this event in this verse.

 

By contrast those, who view the sons of God in Genesis 6 as godly humans who intermarried with ungodly humans, look elsewhere for their explanation. They typically conclude that there is some sin angels committed which is not mentioned in the Bible or that the sin mentioned is their following Satan in his rebellion against God. Apparently, one third of the angels fell with Satan. No matter which position you take, your view is going to have some difficulties which you will struggle to resolve.

 

For your information, I reject the view that the sons of God in Genesis 6 are angels and prefer to live with the liabilities of the view that angels’ sin mentioned is their following Satan in his rebellion against God.

 

In any case, God did not spare the angels that sinned but cast them down to hell.

 

But introduces a strong contrast.

 

Cast them down to hell means held them captive in Tartarus.

 

Three Greek terms are translated hell in the New Testament.

 

Hades is the place where the unsaved dead are awaiting the great white throne judgment.

 

Gehenna is the lake of fire or eternal hell.

 

Tartarus, which is mentioned only in this verse in the New Testament, is the place of confinement of fallen angels. Might it be another name for the bottomless pit? I wonder, but I don’t know.

 

And delivered them into chains of darkness indicates what God did after He confined the fallen angels to Tartarus.

 

Delivered is handed over, gave over, or turned over.

 

What God handed these fallen angels over to was chains of darkness.

 

Chains is used in the sense of cords or ropes, but they are not the literal chains of iron or steel which are familiar to us.

 

These chains are made of darkness. Angels are spirit beings and, therefore, cannot be confined by the types of chains with which we are familiar.

 

To be reserved unto judgment tells the purpose for which they are in chains of darkness.

 

Reserved suggests held, kept, or preserved. They are unable to free themselves from this darkness.

 

Unto judgment is for judgment or for judging and implies that there is no escape for these angels that sinned from these chains of darkness or from their confinement in Tartarus.

 

The second illustration of God’s judgment is –

            2.   The unbelievers destroyed in the flood – II Peter 2:5

 

II Peter 2:5 5 And 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.

 

And indicates that verse 5 continues the condition begun in verse 4 which extends through verse 7. Once again, for sake of discussion, this entire condition is assumed to be true.

 

Spared not the old world refers to the people that lived on earth prior to the flood. God did not allow them to continue to live; instead, He took their lives in the flood.

 

But introduces a statement in strong contrast.

 

Saved is not the word which is ordinarily translated saved or delivered but one which means guarded or protected.

 

Noah is the one whom God protected through the judgment of the flood by means of the ark.

 

He is described as the eighth person, which is literally the eighth. It cannot mean that Noah was the eighth generation from Adam. Noah’s ancestors are listed in Genesis 5 as Adam, Seth, Enoch, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, and Lamech; and it is stated that Lamech begat Noah. Now a simple count of these indicates that Noah was actually the ninth generation from Adam. So, this cannot be Peter’s meaning. In what way, then was Noah the eighth person? There were eight persons saved in the flood, but we are not told in what order Noah and his family entered the ark. However, although we cannot be certain, it seems likely that Peter means that Noah was the eighth and last one to enter the ark and thus to be saved in the flood.

 

Noah is further described as a preacher of righteousness.

 

A preacher is one who proclaims something. He is a herald.

 

What Noah proclaimed is righteousness. It is the same message preached today. We proclaim how a man might receive the righteousness of God by faith. Of course, in the age in which we live on this side of the cross, more has been revealed than had been revealed in Noah’s day.

 

Bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly tells when God protected Noah and his family.

 

Bringing in suggests while He brought, when He brought, and He brought, or but He brought.

 

What God brought was the flood, and upon the world of the ungodly, which indicates those on whom God brought the flood.

 

The world of the ungodly is literally (a) world of ungodly ones and makes it very specific that those who died in the flood were ungodly or godless individuals. They were all unsaved people.

 

The third illustration of God’s judgment is –

            3.   The wicked destroyed in Sodom and Gomorrah – II Peter 2:6-8

 

II Peter 2:6-8 6 And 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; 7 And 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;)

 

In verse 6 and indicates that the condition begun in verse 4 is continued. The entire condition which extends through verse 7 is, for sake of discussion, assumed to be true. God did turn Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, and He did make an example of them. He also delivered righteous Lot.

 

Turning . . . into ashes means reducing to ashes and indicates the means by which God condemned Sodom and Gomorrah. It was by reducing them to ashes.

 

The cities of Sodom and Gomorrha, which God reduced to ashes, included the inhabitants. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is recorded in Genesis 19:24-25 .

 

Genesis 19:24-25 – (24) Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of Heaven; (25) And he overthrew those cities and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

 

Condemned indicates God’s act of judgment, and with an overthrow is with ruin or with destruction. In other words, God judged the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by destroying them.

 

Making is putting or placing, and its tense indicates an action completed in past time with its result continuing on. Sodom and Gomorrah were placed as an example of what happens when a nation chooses wickedness, and they remain an example of this to this day. By destroying Sodom and Gomorrah, God demonstrated His view of homosexuality and the current LGBTQ movement in our country, that it is not something new and wonderful which we should accept.

 

Them is the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

 

An ensample is an example, a pattern, or a model.

 

Unto those that after should live ungodly refers to those persons who would live after the time of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and who would also choose to live ungodly lives.

 

II Peter 2:7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked.

 

And continues the condition found in verses 4-6, which concludes in verse 7. For sake of discussion, the entire condition is assumed to be true. Lot was delivered.

 

Delivered is saved or preserved.

 

Just Lot does not mean only Lot. It means righteous Lot. Although Lot was living among the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah where he should not have been living, Lot was a man who had been justified by faith like Abraham.

 

Vexed is subdued, tormented, worn out, wearied, or oppressed. Its tense indicates that its action was going on constantly. As a righteous man, he could hardly endure their behavior; yet, Lot failed to separate himself from them as he should have done.

 

With the filthy conversation of the wicked is what vexed Lot.

 

With indicates direct agency and suggests by.

 

Filthy is the translation of a prepositional phrase which describes conversation. It is literally in licentiousness, in debauchery, or in sensuality and refers to sexual excesses. Filthy is, therefore, understood in the immoral sense of indecent.

 

Conversation is way of life, manner of life, behavior, or conduct.

 

Of the wicked tells us that it was the filthy behavior of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah which vexed the righteous soul of Lot.

 

The wicked is the lawless ones or the unprincipled ones.

 

II Peter 2:8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds.)

 

Verse 8 is a parenthetical statement intended to explain verse 7.

 

For that righteous man is for this righteous one and refers to Lot.

 

Dwelling suggests by his dwelling among them, while he was dwelling among them, or because he was dwelling among them.

 

Dwelling among them is living among them, i.e. living among the wicked, living among the lawless ones, or living among the unprincipled ones mentioned in verse 7. It means living among the immoral inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah.

 

In seeing and hearing describes how Lot vexed his soul and is best understood in the sense of by means of seeing and hearing. He was not able to shut his eyes or stop his ears to all that went on about him.

 

Vexed is a synonym of the word used in verse 7. It likewise means tortured or tormented, and its tense suggests that its action was repeated over and over again.

 

What Lot was tormenting was his righteous soul.

 

From day to day suggests that the torment of Lot’s righteous soul went on periodically day after day. It did not happen all at once; nor was it continuous. It was done repeatedly.

 

With their unlawful deeds indicates that Lot vexed his soul with the lawless acts, deeds, or works of the inhabitants of Sodom. Each time he saw or heard about the indecent conduct of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, he tormented his soul a little more.

Finally, we note –

IV.      THE CONCLUSION:

 

If it is true that –

4 . . . 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,

 

And it is.

 

And if it is true that –

5 (God). . . 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,

 

And it is.

 

And if it is true that –

6 . . . Turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes (God) condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly,

 

And it is.

 

And if it is true that –

7 . . . (God) delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked,

 

And it is.

 

Then, it is also true that –

      1.   The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations – II Peter 2:9 a

 

II Peter 2:9 a – The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations. . .

 

The Lord knoweth suggests the Lord sees or the Lord perceives.

 

What the Lord knows is how to deliver the godly out of temptations.

 

Deliver is understood in the sense of save, rescue, or preserve.

 

The godly suggests the devout, the pious, or the reverent.

 

Out of temptations suggests that they are already involved in temptations and will be delivered out from them.

 

Temptations can mean tests or trials. It can instead mean enticements to commit sin. The context must determine which meaning is intended. Since Lot is cited as an example of one whom God saved or delivered out of Sodom and since Noah was guarded from the flood, the context demands the meaning testings, i.e. trials which are divinely permitted or sent.

 

Are you a saved person messing around with sin, exposing yourself unnecessarily to it?

 

Then you are vexing your righteous soul day after day, i.e. you are subduing, wearing out, tormenting, or oppressing your soul which is vexed with the filthy conversation, (i.e. manner of life or lifestyle) of the wicked.

 

There is a way out for you. I Corinthians 10:13 says plainly,

 

I Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer [i.e. permit, allow] you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

 

I Corinthians 10:13 is true for you whether the temptation is a solicitation to commit sin or whether it is a trial or test. Lot was exposing himself to sin.

 

Stop the sin, or stop exposing yourself to it. Confess it to God and forsake it. If you do not do this, be sure your sin will find you out.

 

I Corinthians 11:28-34 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. 33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. 34 And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.

 

It is furthermore true that –

      2.   The Lord knows how to reserve the unrighteous to the day of judgment to be punished – II Peter 2:9 b

 

II Peter 2:9 b – . . . The Lord knoweth how . . . to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.

 

And introduces a second thing which God knows: how . . . to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished. It is a word which often indicates a mild contrast and may be understood in the sense of but.

 

To reserve suggests to continue holding, to continue keeping, or to continue preserving; and its tense indicates something done continuously.

 

The unjust is unjust ones or unrighteous ones.

 

Unto the day of judgment indicates what the Lord is able to preserve the unrighteous or unjustified ones to. Not a single one of these unsaved individuals will escape this judgment.

 

To be punished indicates the purpose for which these unrighteous individuals will be preserved. The judgment is the great white throne judgment. Those judged are all the unsaved, and they will be banished to the lake of fire for all eternity.

 

Revelation of Jesus Christ 20:11-1511 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.