Saturday after the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Posted on November 24, 2018 byunder
Scripture: 2 Peter 2:1-22 (NKJV)
2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; 6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; 7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)—9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority.
They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, 11 whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord. 12 But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption,
13 and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, 14 having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. 15 They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet.
17 These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. 18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”
St. Peter goes to great lengths to describe the depravity of false teachers. Some preach a license to sin so that men can do as they please and follow their wicked lusts because they think God will not punish. Others preach for financial gain, following in the way of Balaam. They scratch the itchy ears of their hearers, telling them whatever they want to hear. Their hearers reward them for their servitude with wealth, possessions, and honor. No matter what motivates them, each one is the same, bringing destructive heresies which in some way deny the Lord.
God will punish false teachers. It doesn’t always appear that way, but Scripture has foretold their doom and given us examples. Rebellious angels were cast into Hell, chained in darkness. The entire ancient world was drown in the flood. Sodom and Gomorrah was burned to ash. This is what awaits the unrighteous and unbelieving world.
Consider Noah, a preacher of righteousness. Consider righteous Lot, who was oppressed by Sodom’s wickedness. These men were righteous by faith in God’s promise. Faith is the only way God declares any sinner righteous. God will judge the world for its unbelief. But all who believe will be rescued like Noah and Lot, and escape the wrath of God upon the impenitent.
Take care to whom you listen. Hear only those who preach the righteousness of faith. All else leads to destruction. But the true Gospel leads to life everlasting.
We pray: O God, so rule and govern our hearts and minds by Thy Holy Spirit that, being ever mindful of the end of all things and the day of Thy just judgment, we may be stirred up to holiness of living here and dwell with Thee forever hereafter; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.