2 Peter - Trouble From Within
2 Peter - Trouble From Within
One of the themes of 1 Peter is that Christians sometimes suffer even though they are innocent and are doing right. It was written just before or at the beginning of the persecutions of Nero. What should be our response when we suffer unjustly?
We are to continue to do what is right!
1 Peter 1:13-16
Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
1 Peter 2:9-10
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
1 Peter 3:9
Not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.
1 Peter 4:19
Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
The theme of 2 Peter is different. It was written while the persecutions were in full force.
Peter is imprisoned and is expecting to die soon (1:14). It appears that he was executed before Paul, because when Paul writes 2 Timothy from Rome, he makes no mention of Peter being in the city.
Instead of warning of the outward persecutions, Peter is now warning of another kind of problem.
3:1 - He is reminding them of what they have already heard.
2:1-3 The source of the trouble is from within the church.
Peter begins by telling the Christians they need to be growing
1:8-10 If you do these things, you will never fall
1:12, 13, 15 They needed to be reminded of these things although they already knew them.
2:1-3 Warning! False Teachers Are Coming!
1 Peter dealt with trouble from persecution from non-Christians. Now he is warning them of another kind of trouble.
Just as the nation of Israel had problems with false prophets, the church will too.
Some characteristics of the false prophets in Israel
They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ when there is no peace.
Her heads judge for a bribe, Her priests teach for pay, and her prophets divine for money. Yet they lean on the Lord, and say, “Is not the Lord among us? No harm can come upon us.”
But they also have erred through wine, and through intoxicating drink are out of the way; The priest and the prophet have erred through intoxicating drink, they are swallowed up by wine, they are out of the way through intoxicating drink. They err in vision, they stumble in judgment.
Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” says the Lord, “and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all,” says the Lord.
They will Secretly (privily - KJV) bring in destructive heresies.
And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.
For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
These are not honest individuals! Too often many want to think that some are sincerely mistaken, and it does happen! But some people are not honest! We need to see them for the ravenous destructive wolves that they are.
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting.
The context: this happens in the church!
3 examples of judgment on the wicked
1. God did not spare the angels (What about once saved always saved?
And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day.
2. The ancient world before the flood
Noah - “Few” were saved (8 - 1 Peter 3:20) “Few” find the narrow gate
3. Sodom and Gomorrah
Lot was delivered. He was far from perfect. He was a compromiser, but he obeyed when the Lord told him to get out of town.
2:9 - Application
Balaam - 2:15
The use of Balaam indicate one point he is trying to emphasize is that these false teachers are motivated by money.
Balaam started out as a true prophet.
Num. 22:9 - God came to him
Num. 22:10 - Balaam does not appear to be surprised at God speaking to him
Num. 22:12 - God said “Don’t Go”
Num. 22:13 - Balaam refused to go
Num. 22:18 - Balak sent more messengers - Balaam give right answer
Num. 22:19-22 - Balaam went back to the Lord to ask again. This angered God.
God already said don’t go.
Num. 22:38, 23:3, 12, 26, 24:1, 24:12-13 - Balaam spoke the right attitude!
Num. 25 - Israel “played the harlot” physically and spiritually.
Num. 31:1-8 - Destruction of Midian and the death of Balaam.
Look, these women caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to trespass against the Lord in the incident of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord.
2 Peter 2:18
The speak like they know what they are talking about.
They give lessons that may sound pretty but are empty.
“They brag with words that mean nothing” (NCV)
“For they speak bombastic nonsense” (NRSV)
Textus Receptus - clean escaped
Nestle-Aland - barely escaped
Others have an abundant entrance (1:10 these barely escape.
Just as some are not far from the kingdom, while others are afar off.
2 Peter 2:20-22
For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”
These were once forgiven Christians!
3:1-2 - Jesus and the apostles warned of the false prophets to come.
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.”
For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.
For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.
1 Timothy 4:1-3
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
2 Timothy 3:1-5
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
2 Timothy 4:3-4
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
1 John 2:18
Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.
1 John 4:1-3
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
They end up denying the Flood and the 2nd Coming. These two go together. The Flood is one of the greatest testimonies that God judges the wicked. The earth still bears the marks of that judgment everywhere and people refuse to consider it.
All things will continue as they are today!
3:8-10 - The day of the Lord will come!
3:11-14 - How then should we live?
The way we think concerning the Flood and the coming judgment will affect our behavior!
3:17 - We must be on guard for ourselves too!
3:18 - Peter begins and ends the letter with the need of growth.
No matter what anyone else does, we must keep on doing right. There may be trouble from without (1 Peter) or there may be trouble from within (2 Peter), but keep your eyes on the Lord and the promise to be fulfilled.