8/12/19 – 2 Peter 2:4-11
This passage today emphasises God’s sovereignty in spite of the choices man makes. That is, if you choose to rebel, you will not be spared the consequences.
2 Peter 2:4 – 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;
that sinned – hamartano (to be without a share in; miss the mark; err; be mistaken; miss or wander from the path of righteousness; do or go wrong; wander from or violate God’s law; sin)
to be reserved – tereo (attend to carefully; take care of; guard; observe; reserve; metaphorically to keep one in the state where he currently is) From teros (a watch)
judgment – krisis (a separating; separation; trial; contest; judgment; opinion or decision; right of wrong concerning justice; sentence of condemnation; punishment) From same root word as krima (judgment) in Vs 3. We get “crisis” from this word.
chains of darkness – Jude 1:6 calls them “everlasting chains under darkness”. Caves of darkness is also suggested as possible by Ellicott.
It’s clear what Peter is saying: God will ensure that the ungodly will face their judgment and punishment one day; this passage therefore gives examples of what to expect if you sin like these ones did. God will also deliver the godly from their times of testing (see Vs 9 below). If you sin, then you’ll pay for it. The soul that sins will die, yet the soul that repents and turns from his sins shall surely live.
Ezekiel 18:20-21 – 20The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. 21But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
You choose your destiny!
Deuteronomy 30:15, 19 – 15See, I have set before thee this day life and good,
19I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: (How can it be said any more plainly?)
We will be held accountable for everything we do in this life, whether good or bad.
2 Corinthians 5:10 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things [done] in [his] body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or bad.
Thus, if you think that you could escape by any means at all, then think again.
Hebrews 2:3a – How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation
For if God didn’t spare any of the angels who sinned (including those involved in satan’s rebellion, and the pre-flood world), if every angel who sinned was cast into hell, bound in chains of darkness and kept there waiting until their sentence of condemnation, then why would He spare others in the same situation? See what the angels get? Then if you do likewise, you will be treated as they are!
2 Peter 2:5 – 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;
saved – phylasso (guard; watch; keep watch; keep a watch upon or over; protect; preserve safe and unimpaired; avoid; shun; flee from; guard for oneself; to keep so as to not violate; keep or observe the law)
a preacher – keryx (herald or messenger vested with public authority; God’s ambassador; herald or proclaimer of the divine word)
bringing in – epago (lead; bring upon; cause something to befall one, usually evil;
the flood – kataklysmos (inundation; deluge) A cataclysm!
the ungodly – asebes (ungodly; destitute of reverential awe toward God; condemning God; impious)
And if God didn’t spare the old ungodly world before the flood, but brought a cataclysmic event (a world-wide flood that would destroy all life on earth except for Noah and his family), if God should not spare even one of those sinners who died, then why should those who sin now be treated with any more mercy than those sinners? For it is God who decides to whom He will be merciful! And if you sin, He will not show mercy to the ungodly unless they should repent and become godly.
Romans 9:14-16; 18 – 14What shall we say then? [Is there] unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 15For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16So then [it is] not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
18Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will [have mercy], and whom he will he hardeneth.
God might choose to whom He shows mercy, but is it God who makes them evil sinners who do not get mercy unless they repent? The calvinists tell us that God makes people either good or bad, using Romans 9:20-21 – 20Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed [it], Why hast thou made me thus? 21Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
But dishonourable vessels may repent and become honourable vessels.
2 Timothy 2:19-21 – 19Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 20But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, [and] prepared unto every good work.
Clearly, before the flood there were only 8 people (Noah and his family) who were shown God’s mercy, with the rest being not spared. Note 1 Peter 3:20 concerning the wicked angels in Vs 4 above (Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.)
2 Peter 2:6 – 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;
overthrow – katastrophe (overthrow; destruction; metaphorically of the extinction of a spirit of consecration) From a word relating to the turning over of the soil by a plough. A catastrophe!
ensample – hypodeigma (a sign suggestive of anything; representation; copy; for example; for imitation; of thing to be imitated; for a warning; of a thing to be shunned)
And if God should overturn (cause a catastrophe for) Sodom and Gomorrha, turning them into ashes, then this should remain as an example of what will happen if others are likewise ungodly.
All these examples (Vss 4-6 above) demonstrate that if you do the crime, you definitely do the time! There is no getting away with any sin against God. If you do it, He will find out, and unless you repent, you will be condemned.
Galatians 6:7-8 – 7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
Numbers 32:23b – be sure your sin will find you out.
So, if you wish to sin against God, then you will pay for it.
There’s nothing free in this life, it seems. Everything has its cost, sin included. So be warned: count the cost before you do it!
Luke 14:31-33 – 31Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. 33So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
2 Peter 2:7-8 – 7And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8(For that (the) righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed [his] righteous soul from day to day with [their] unlawful deeds;)
delivered – or rescued; drew to himself
just – or righteous
vexed (1) – kataponeo (tire down with toil; exhaust with labour; afflict or oppress with evils; make trouble for; treat roughly) From kata + a derivative of ponos (pain)
filthy – aselgeia (unbridled lust; excess; licentiousness; lasciviousness; shamelessness; insolence)
conversation – or behaviour
vexed (2) – basanizo (to test metals by touchstone; question by applying torture; vex with grievous pains; torment; harassed; distressed; of those at sea who are struggling with a head wind)
deeds – or works
But, there is another option, says Peter: to repent and call upon the name of the Lord to be saved. There are two types of sorrow: godly sorrow and the ungodly sorrow of the world (often called “remorse”). Godly sorrow leads to repentance which in turn leads to salvation, while worldly sorrow (remorse) leads to death.
2 Corinthians 7:10 – For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
While Lot did appear to be a bit too worldly, living with such ungodly people (why didn’t he just move out?), the Bible still declares him to be just (that is, righteous). It doesn’t matter what we think about Lot being in Sodom; if the Bible is truth (and it is), then Lot was afflicted with pain by the licentious behaviour of the men of Sodom, for he saw what they did and heard what they talked about. His righteous soul was distressed daily with their lawless works.
Genesis 19:4-7 – 4But before they lay down, the men of the city, [even] the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: 5And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where [are] the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. 6And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, 7And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.
The point here is that while God will certainly punish the ungodly, He will also certainly deliver the godly. This passage today emphasises the choice all must make, to choose this day whom they will serve. It isn’t God who chooses here, for what would be the point of all this explanation here if it were already foreordained from the beginning. The only logical explanation for this passage is that all must make a choice, one way or the other. Why threaten consequences if the conclusion is inevitable? Calvinism just cannot explain this passage at all.
2 Peter 2:9 – The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
knoweth – oida (see; pay attention to; perceive with the senses; examine; know; get knowledge; know how to be skilled in something)
temptations – peirasmos (an experiment; attempt; trial; proving; testing; trial of one’s fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy; enticement to sin; adversity, affliction, trouble sent by God to prove one’s character, faith, holiness; a temptation of God by man; rebellion against God, by which his power and justice are, as it were, put to the proof and challenged to show themselves) This word is also used in the following where it also doesn’t necessarily mean being tempted to sin, but can mean trials, testing, proving, affliction etc.
1 Corinthians 10:13 – There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer 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]. Also note its use in 1 Peter 1:6.
punished – kolazo (lop or prune, as trees and wings; curb; restrain; check; chastise; correct; punishment; cause to be punished) From kolos (dwarf) That is, to punish is to cut down to size!
So here’s the conclusion of the whole matter. Or as Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 states – 13Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man. 14For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether [it be] good, or whether [it be] evil.
It is in God’s hands to judge and sentence every person that ever shall live, either to life or to death.
John 5:28-29 – 28Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
All mankind who has died, all who have left their physical bodies behind (that is, everyone – Hebrews 9:27) will one day hear Christ’s voice, and all who hear shall come forth to judgment. Those who have chosen good will live, while those who have chosen evil will be condemned. But one thing is certain: all shall hear His voice and respond. Note John 6:37 (All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.) There are 2 parts to this verse. The first part talks of all those who have been given to the Son for judgment; that is all mankind! All will come! All will be present! None will be absent! But the second part is talking about the individual (“him”) who makes a choice to come (an active choice) and Jesus will not cast out one of that second group that has chosen to come. There are two different Greek words translated “come” and “cometh”. One means to be present (to have arrived); the other means to come or go somewhere, like moving to a new position. While to be present is a passive attendance (they’ll be there because there’s no other option!) the 2nd term can involve more personal application to where you are going. And choice for the individual is always part of the final judgment to either life or death. You won’t get to choose whether or not you’ll be present in the resurrection, but you will choose where your judgment sends you!
And no matter how long the wait is, maybe thousands of years, all in the grave will come forth and be judged. God is sovereign; He will judge you justly and declare you guilty or not guilty according to your choice. Note the same choice in Romans 4:4-5 (4Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.). You may choose works for your salvation (and be found guilty) or you may choose righteousness by faith (and you will be found not guilty).
The only way calvinism can make a case for no free will in salvation is to completely ignore all the passages that clearly teach that a choice must be made. (And they do, indeed, ignore all that won’t support their lies.)
2 Peter 2:10 – But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government (or lordship or dominion). Presumptuous [are they], selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. – literally: they do not tremble to speak evil of glory (or the glorious one)
chiefly – or especially; most of all; above all
walk – to lead over; carry over; transfer; to pursue the journey on which one has entered; to continue on one’s journey; depart from life; follow one as an adherent.
lust – epithymia (lust; concupiscence; craving; desire for what is forbidden)
uncleanness – or defilement; pollution
despise – kataphroneo (despise; disdain; think little or nothing of)
self-willed – or arrogant
to speak evil of – or blaspheme
dignities – doxa (splendour; majesty; glory; pre-eminence; most glorious condition; most exalted state) Translated “glory” 145 times out of 168 occurrences in the NT.
Of those ungodly who have been reserved for the day of judgment (made to await their damning punishment), in particular (“chiefly”) those who pursue a lifestyle of forbidden desires and defilement by sin are apparently singled out for special judgment and punishment. These extreme sinners despise those in authority over them (especially God), are arrogant, and are not afraid (do not tremble) to blaspheme (speak evil of) those who have majesty and glory – this appears to be talking about those who arrogantly sin in the face of God who then gives them over to their sin. That is, if they want to sin so much, then they will no longer be able to not want to sin.
Romans 1:28 – And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
God will simply laugh at their arrogance!
Psalm 2:2-4 – 2The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, [saying], 3Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. 4He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
2 Peter 2:11 – Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.
power – ischus (strength; force; ability; might)
might – dynamis
railing – blasphemos (speaking evil; slanderous; reproachful; railing; abusive)
accusation – krisis Used for “judgment” in Vs 4 above.
the Lord – kyrios (he to whom a person or thing belongs; about which he has power of deciding; master; lord; the possessor and disposer of a thing or person)
greater in power and might – Most likely it means greater than those evil ungodly men. Some suggest that even angels that are greater may not bring a charge against a lesser angel (see Vs 4 above), but I think this is awkward and unlikely, especially as the main point of this passage is about wicked mankind. The wicked angels in Vs 4 above seem to be more of an example of the inevitability of God’s justice here.
Some might say that it is talking about evil angels (or demons), keeping in mind that “the devil” means “false accuser” or “slanderer”, but the parallel passage in Jude makes it clear that it is talking about God’s good angels. If we look at the passage in Jude that is very similar to today’s passage, we can see that Vs 11 above may be speaking about the body of Moses (Jude 1:9).
Jude 1:3-9 – 3Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 4For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. 5I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. 6And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. 7Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. 8Likewise also these [filthy] dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. 9Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
It is apparent from these two passages (2 Peter 2 and Jude) that even one of God’s most powerful angels did not possess the authority to speak evil of another created being (no matter how evil that being might be). Clearly only God may judge justly; angels may only acknowledge and defend God’s right to judge and His judgment, but may not judge thus themselves. When God judges, it is law, but not one other may judge as God does. We may assess the rightness and wrongness of a person’s doctrine, their behaviour, and at times whether they might be Christians or not by that behaviour. We are to be cunning (shrewd) as serpents (Matthew 10:16) but we may never judge a person guilty of eternal condemnation before God. Many try to say that we should not judge others, quoting many verses which seem to support them. For example, James 4:12 – There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
However, this is not talking about minor judgments we might make concerning behaviour or doctrine. It is clearly judgment concerning life and death which can only be made by God. Church leaders are permitted to admonish those who need correcting, and to rebuke those who sin.
1 Thessalonians 5:12 – And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
1 Timothy 5:20 – Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
This passage today makes God the judge of all, whether to life or to death. These wicked ones in today’s passage may not fear man, and they may not even fear satan and all his demons, but they must (and will indeed) fear God who can decide life or death for eternity for all.
Matthew 10:28 – And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
But, overall, the message is clear. Choose this day whom you will serve.
Joshua 24:15 – And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.