Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Judgement

2 Peter 2:1-3

Those of you who are parents can relate to the concerns we have with our children's friends.  We want our children to make good choices with their friends so they continue to make good life choices.  Because we have life experience, we understand how much influence a friend (especially in high school) can have on our children.  God gives us similar warnings about who's influence we should allow in our lives.  I feel like 2 Peter 2 is a chapter of warnings for those of us who know God to stay away from the false prophets and false teachers.  I also feel it is a warning for those who are turning those astray because of their own greed for power and money. Please look up 2 Peter 2:1-3.

The last part of verse three says, "But God condemned them long ago and their destruction will not be delayed."  The people who are being condemned in this section of scripture are those who purposely deny God and lead others astray just so they can gain.  We see that God doesn't tolerate that.  Jude 1:4 warns of such people, "I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ."  As I was looking through Jude 1, I was struck by how similar the words are in 2 Peter 2.  I have learned that when God has made a point to have something repeated in the Bible, it is something important that He is stressing.  There are those who will come to tell you that you can live however you want because you have received God's grace; however, as we read in chapter 1 God wants His grace to be a life changing catalyst.  Do not follow people who teach different from what the Bible says, they are living a condemned life and will take you with them.

The other point that came out at me is the phrase, "...even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them."  These are people who once knew the grace that was offered to them and decided to turn their backs on Him; Christ bought them with His blood.  I think this is why the judgement is harsh on them, they knew Christ and still have chosen to teach and lead others astray.  The other thing that has stuck out at me is the fact that these people are teachers.  James 3:1 says, "Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly."  I just think of how it must hurt and anger God that those who are in a position to teach good things instead teach destruction.  We see that those who are in a position to teach others are judged more strictly because they are to be examples of how we should be living.

Their judgement is harsh, and we are not to follow them.  Get to know the Word of God so you will not follow in their footsteps!  That may sound dramatic; however, remember that Peter warns that many will follow them and Christ has spoken similar words as well.  I studied the Armor of God before beginning this study and this reminds me all the more how important it is to put on the belt of truth - we need to be able to understand the truth so we can recognize false teaching.

Are you spending time becoming familiar with God's truth?

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