Sermon Notes & References

False Teachers’ Coming Doom

2 Peter 2:4-9

January 12, 2020

1.  Introduction

     a.  Sub-Series: False Teachers

     b.  Judgement Is Certain

2.  Angels & the Abyss (v 4)

     a.  Who Are These? Footnote

     b.  Where Are These? Footnote

3.  Noah & His Neighbours (v 5) Footnote

     a.  World Flooded

     b.  Noah Preserved

4.  Lot & His Location Footnote

     a.  Cities Burnt (v 6) Footnote

     b.  Lot Rescued (vv 7-8)

5.  The Point Made (v 9)

     a.  God’s Justice Will Come

     b.  To Make All Things Right


Endnote  2 Peter 2:4-9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .False Teachers’ Coming Doom

 

1.  Introduction

     a.  Sub-Series, False Teachers

          i.   in this series of messages on The Letters of Peter

                (1) in this second chapter of second Peter

                (2) we come upon a sub-series within this letter

                (3) on the subject of false teachers

                (4) that we began last week

                (5) and will carry us through this month

          ii.  the subject of False Teachers; …

                (1) … their Methods & Motives, last week

                (2) … their Coming Doom, today

                (3) … their Character & Conduct, next week

                (4) … their Evil Influence, to finish.

 

     b.  Judgement Is Certain

          i.   in the first three verses, and throughout the chapter, this point is made concerning false teachers: judgement is upon them

                (1) in verse 1 we are informed that their teaching and anti-Christian words are “bringing swift destruction upon themselves”.

                (2) and, in verse 3, that “their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”

          ii.  the saying’s origin is lost in antiquity, but is expressed by one writer, ‘Though the mills of God grind slowly; Yet they grind exceeding small; Though with patience He stands waiting, With exactness grinds He all.’ Endnote

          iii.  in Peters’ following words

                (1) the subject seemingly switches away from false teachers

                (2) to other subjects: of angels, and of Noah, and of Lot

                (3) but the ‘for if’ of verse 4 begins to give series of examples

                (4) confirming for these false teachers

                (5) that God’s justice – their punishment, judgement, destruction – “though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”

 

2.  Angels & the Abyss (v 4) – For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment;

     a.  Who Are These?

          i.   both the OT & NT words for angels simply means messengers

                (1) such messengers can be heavenly beings, human beings or simply an event (such as Paul’s thorn in the flesh, 2 Corinthians 12:7)

                (2) the Bible describes the heavenly angels in various forms

                (3) and divided into two general classes: God’s and Satan’s

          ii.  of the origin of the latter, fallen angels, the Bible does not say much

                (1) indeed, of Satan himself, there only some indirect statements,

                (2) being the descriptions suggesting his being the power behind

                     (a) the king of Babylon in Isaiah 14

                     (b) and the king of Tyre in Ezekiel 28

                (3) and of the fallen angels, or demons,

                     (a) in this passage, that they had sinned

                     (b) in Jude 1:6, “And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day.”

                     (c) and also comprise various forms: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

                (4) which tells us all that we need to know: to flee them like the devil

 

     b.  Where Are These?

          i.   they are ‘those cast down to hell or, Tartarus’ –

                (1) this is a single word in Greek and only found here in Scripture

                     (a) used in pagan and Jewish literature as a place even lower than that of the place of departed spirits of men,

                     (b) a place of divine punishment

                (2) it is described here as pits – possibly chains, the words are very much the same – of darkness

                (3) the bottomless pit written of in Revelation, may be a symbolical reference to this “place”

                (4) and there they are in some fashion contained until judgement

          ii.  the verse in Jude is very much the same

                (1) they did not keep their original estate, their proper domain

                (2) rather now being confined in eternal bonds

                (3) described, as is this world, as a place of gloom, of darkness

                (4) under judgement, awaiting final judgement and punishment

          iii.  yet, in this world, such demons have some measure of power

                (1) in Jesus’ ministry that seems to have been at a peak

                (2) as illustrated by the man possessed by Legion – many demons

                (3) having a certain measure of freedom

                (4) “And they were entreating Him [i.e., Jesus] not to command them to depart into the abyss.” (Luke 8:31), abyss perhaps being Tartarus

                (5) so that Jesus sent them into the herd of swine instead

          iv. since the cross, in some way, they are even restricted further

                (1) for, having described the baptism of the believer into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we read of God’s

                (2) 14 having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.” (Colossians 2:14-15), i.e., Jesus Christ

          v.  so, God’s judgement is swift & certain according to God’s time-table

 

3.  Noah & His Neighbours (v 5) – and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;

     a.  World Flooded

          i.   another example of God’s certain judgement is related in Genesis 6ff.

                (1) reading through the preceding chapters we see that from man’s viewpoint this was slow coming as sin increased

                (2) but the time came when judgement was to be delayed no longer

                     (a) there came intermarriage between the godly line of Seth and the wicked line of Cain (as most responsible commentators understand Genesis 6:2)

                     (b) the separation between godly and wicked had broken down

                     (c) so the situation was, “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5)

          ii.  so God repented that he had made man on the earth (6:6)

                (1) and sent a great flood

                     (a) destroying all mankind and all beasts that crawled, walked and flew upon the face of the earth

                (2) except for those with Noah

 

     b.  Noah Preserved

          i.   for Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord (6:8)

                (1) and it is only after that he is described as a just man (6 :9)

                (2) God gave to Noah instructions on the building of the ark

                (3) and it appears that Noah was about 100 years in making it

          ii.  so that at the age of 600 years

                (1) Noah, his wife, his three sons entered into the ark

                (2) and with them land animals and birds

                (3) so that these were rescued from the flood to continue life on earth

          iii.  with the covenant from God that never again would He destroy the people of the earth in this way

 

4.  Lot & His Location (vv 6-8)

     a.  Cities Burnt (v 6) – and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly thereafter;

          i.   this, with Noah, was the Lord Jesus’ own illustration of the certainty of the coming judgement in Luke 17:22ff.

          ii.  you will recall Abraham’s interceding with God on the behalf of these cities, if there should be 50, working down to 10, righteous persons within them, that God would spare them from destruction

                (1) and there were not

                (2) judgement had been delayed for we do not know how many years

                (3) but its people were eating, drinking, marrying, giving in marriage – life went on in its normal way

                (4) but at last there was no more delay, and destruction fell upon them

                (5) except for this man, Lot

 

     b.  Lot Rescued (vv 7-8) – 7 and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men 8 (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day with their lawless deeds),

          i.   and rescued Lot was, for the records describes the angels as having to take hold of Lot and his family, pulling them out of their house, city

          ii.  describing Lot as a righteous man raises one’s eyebrows in questions

                (1) this man who offered his daughters for immoral purposes to the townspeople in place of the angelic strangers who had come to him

                (2) given the situation why did he persist in living there?

                     (a) just as he had found the land attractive when given the choice

                     (b) so he found the city attractive once he settled in it

                     (c) his part (as Abraham’s nephew) in the rescue of the people of the city from their capture had given him a certain status

                     (d) so, quite rightly Lot can be used as an object lesson of the dangers for a carnal believer

                (3) it describes him as oppressed by their conduct

                     (a) his soul tormented daily by what they did

                          (i)  because it was wrong?

                          (ii) or, because he could not freely join into it?

                     (b) Christians who fall out of fellowship can feel this way.

                (4) or was it positional righteousness of faith, albeit weak faith

          iii.  yet, God adjudged Lot with all his failures and weakness

                (1) as belonging to himself

                (2) and so delivered him out of the catastrophe to these cities

 

5.  The Point Is Made (v 9) – then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment,

     a.  God’s Justice Will Come

          i.   the Lord will deliver His own people

                (1) from the temptation and testing

                (2) and thus from the coming destruction

          ii.  and the Lord will deliver the ungodly

                (1) into a suffering prison-house

                (2) until their coming destruction

 

     b.  To Make All Things Right

          i.   so while false teachers should beware

          ii.  God does take care of His own

          iii.  as Noah, as Lot

          iv. even unto this present day

          v.  though it may tarry, yet His justice will not tarry forever