Peter the Prophet

May9 001

This post is hard to write. The text in 2 Peter Chapter 2, doesn’t lend itself to being broken down into “bite-sized” pieces upon which to easily chew on one at a time, rather it is one big thought.  Reflecting on it bit by bit would probably cause us to stumble into the same mistakes made by preachers and commentators for centuries, and before we would finish, we’d be pointing fingers here and there and hollering about fire and brimstone; things netter left to God, who has reserved all rights as to vengeance and wrath to Himself!

So, for best results, please read Chapter 2 now…

OK, welcome back, wasn’t that a scream!  There are a few verses that we ought to take a closer look at…

Verses 1-3: Peter sets up the discussion: But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. (1a) Following Peter’s remarks about the old prophets, now he points out that they also had false prophets back in the day, and we will have false teachers. He pulls no punches describing what will happen to them.

In verses 4-10, he recalls God’s judgment of angels who sinned, and then reminds his readers of the times of Noah and of Sodom and Gomorrah, and what God did about the wickedness of the people. He continues through verse 16 describing the wicked ways of false teachers, and how they all came to ruin and judgment, recalling the story of Balaam and the donkey.  This description and ruin scenario continues through verse 19, and then comes home to us:

If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”

2 Peter 2:20-22

There’s the warning we were looking for!  If we, as followers of Jesus Christ, allow ourselves to be drawn back into the old, wicked ways of this world by false teachers, we will have a serious problem with God. Please understand that the things that Peter has said about the false teachers is not so that we can be ready to heap abuse on them. He even pointed out that they heap abuse on angels, and the angels don’t return fire, even when they are there to execute God’s judgment. ( verse 11) No, there is no finger-pointing, no fire and brimstone stuff, and no condemnation from any one of us!  Peter has given us this information so that we can, 1) Recognize what is going on, and 2) avoid falling victim, and 3) encourage and sustain one another so that all of us can avoid falling prey. Remember that he began in chapter 1 telling us what spiritual growth looks like; there wasn’t any condemnation going on in that process, and we must bear in mind that any sort of retribution, condemnation or judging that will take place is God’s job, not ours!

When we get back together tomorrow, Peter will continue with his letter, and you might be amazed at the turn he takes…

Advertisements

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
This entry was posted in Bible and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Peter the Prophet

  1. vwoods1212 says:

    Interesting learning concept. VW

  2. Very informative! I find it hard not to come across as condemning and judgemental when attempting to encourage and sustain others who are caught up in situations or habits like you discussed above. Brothers and sisters in Christ often look at it like we are passing judgement or condeming simply because we think there is an issue to begin with (#1&2). I’d love to hear what advice others could offer or anything they have to say about this. Thanks & God bless.

    • Don Merritt says:

      Thanks, and I must say that is a dilemma sometimes. I’ve found that it often depends on the kind of relationship I have with the person in the situation. If they’re a casual acquaintance, I try to find someone much closer to help them. If I have the position with them of trust and confidence it is much easier to talk bout things like that, but it still takes a great deal of love and gnetleness to get through

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s