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2 Peter chapter 2

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10But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. 11Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. 12But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; 13And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; 14Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: 15Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. 17These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. 18For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. 19While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 20For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

What does 2 Peter chapter 2 mean?

In 2 Peter chapter 2, Peter describes and harshly condemns the false teachers who had entered the church. He promises their destruction, which will be brought by God. Peter also shows the impact of their lies on those who might believe them. Who are these false teachers? They were not strangers who showed up spouting false doctrine in a full frontal attack against the community of Christians. Instead, they came from within the church. They were sneaky. They "secretly" introduced their destructive heresies, or "lies about the truth."

This passage highlights a few of the more serious sins involved, but not all possible details. Peter doesn't fully reveal all of the contents of their false teaching. This is deliberate, so that the point is not lost: any false teaching is a problem, not only some specific doctrinal error. By leaving this description general, Peter ensures that his meaning is applied in all such situations.

Peter does highlight three main aspects of these deceptions. First, these false teachers denied the sovereignty of Christ. They taught that He was not Lord, even though He bought them with His blood. Second, they openly indulged in sexual sin and taught others to do the same. Finally, they used lies to exploit the Christians for their own gain. They were greedy.

As both encouragement and warning, Peter assures his readers that God is aware of the practice of these false teachers. Their destruction is coming, hanging over them even now. This is not something God is ignorant of, or powerless against. Peter lists historical examples to demonstrate that God is ready and willing to bring destruction on those who reject Him. He did not spare even the angels who sinned. He did not spare the entire ancient world that lived in the time of Noah, though only Noah and his family were saved. And God burned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes for their wickedness, though He saved Lot.

Peter's point is that God knows how to both rescue His people, and punish the unrighteous at exactly the right time. The final and ultimate reckoning will occur on the day of judgment.

Another sin of these false teachers is that, in their arrogance and ignorance, they insult or heap abuse on celestial beings without fear for the destruction that is coming on them. They practice their sexual sin right out in the open with "eyes full of adultery." They've had so much practice with greed that they have become experts in it. Peter calls them cursed children, echoing a Hebrew phrase meant for those who were damned by God. He compares their path to that of the Old Testament prophet Balaam, who was headed blindly toward an attacking angel until his donkey revealed what Balaam could not see.

Finally, Peter details the impact these teachers have on those who believe them. They are like rain clouds that never bring rain, their boastful words are empty, and they blatantly appeal to lustful desires. Even so, some people buy their deception. Those most vulnerable are the ones just coming out of the world and into the church. They lack the experience, or the knowledge, to know better.

Although the false teachers themselves are slaves to their own sinful desires, their victims are attracted by a false promise of "freedom." They feel released to indulge in sin, assuming it will happen without consequence. In the end, they are entangled by that sin and dragged back into their old place in the world. Once these deceived ones turn their backs on the "sacred command" to believe in Jesus for their salvation, they end up worse than if they had never heard about the gospel in the first place.
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