Blistering and Marvelous
Blistering and Marvelous
Words of Faith 3-11-2020
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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2 Peter 2
 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;  if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;  if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;  and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men  (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)--  if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.  This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority.
Just how strongly does God deal with those who would rebel and lead His people astray? And how willing is he to rescue those who walk in faithfulness? Peter gave several illustrations to demonstrate both the Lord's judgment and His deliverance. The descriptions are, well, blistering and marvelous, respectively.
The first example is that of fallen angels. Angels fell with Satan in his rebellion against God (Ezek. 28:15), and angels sinned in Genesis 6:1-4. If God in His justice punished angels, surely, He would not hesitate to punish people. He plunged the angels into hell, literally, "tartarus" apparently a prison of custody (gloomy dungeons) between the time of the judgment and their ultimate consignment to the eternal lake of fire. There will be no future trial for their doom is already sealed. False prophets, Peter argued, will taste the same judgment as the rebellious angels will.
Noah, his wife, his three sons (Shem, Ham, and Japheth), and their wives were rescued even as God's unsparing hand came against the antediluvian civilization of he ancient world with its ungodly people. Not only was Noah a righteous man and shipbuilder, Peter added that he was also a preacher of righteousness who spoke out against the vile corruption all around him.
Peter pressed a pointed question: Do false teachers today think they can escape God's judgment because of their large numbers? Peter reminded them and those who are the targets of their delusions that God can judge evil even when it involves the entire human race with the exception of only eight people.
God's destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by fire is a classic example of the universal destruction of the ungodly (Gen. 10:15-29). The participle tephrosas means "burning them to ashes.” Peter concluded this illustration by saying that God made them an example-- a model or pattern of what is going to happen to the ungodly. These two ancient cities had grown comfortable with the practice of homosexuality. They slipped into shameful conduct that led to destruction.
But God also rescued Lot during that great destruction. Although godliness was not a consistent mark in his daily conduct, Let stood before God as a justified man. Peter described him as "righteous" three times. Perhaps part of the key was that Lot was distressed, tormented and oppressed by the enormity of iniquity all around him. He recognized the difference! Peter describes the people in those twin cities as being "in sexual debauchery" that was "shameful" and lawless or without standard. The people were without a standard or measure to live by.
Besides being distressed, Lot was also tormented in his righteous soul-- literally, "he tormented his righteous soul.” Seeing and hearing about all their vile ways day after day grieved Lot to the point of inner torture. But the Lord knew how to rescue the righteous and to punish the unrighteous.
The very same God that can bring judgment can deliver the godly from trials and be a source of comfort to believers. Noah and his family and Lot and his family are examples. God offers rescue.
On the other hand, God holds or "keeps under guard" the unrighteous for the coming day of great white throne judgment and the lake of fire. Meanwhile, God continues their punishment in this life and in hades after death.
Peter closes this warning saying that "this is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority." The traps are there. We don't want to follow corrupt desires or despise the authority of God.
I don't know about you, but all this makes me want to do a double check on the surrender of my heart and spirit to the Lord. The judgment is blistering. The rescue is marvelous. I want the rescue.
Father God, as I begin a New Year with You, search my heart. Set me on the right path with You. If I have grown comfortable with sin, root it out. If I have grown bitter toward people, put Your light on that darkness. If I have grown complacent about the lost, spark my heart. Show me how to share the transforming Good News of Your Gospel. In Jesus' Name.
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