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Learning our lessons: The prophecies of II Peter
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Dr. Lawrence Butler

The Bridge Church, Pembroke

Lesson 7: Chap. 2:10-14

Schools have rules. They must enforce those rules. Student behavior would be unmanageable if those rules were not enforced. However, sometimes little fellows just need a bit more understanding, especially when they are precocious 6-year-olds like me. I got along with everyone, pretty much obeyed the teacher in all situations and earned good grades.

Only, there was that time when I got stuck in the middle.

For some probably undeserving reason (don’t you agree?) I was assigned detention. It seems that it was only about a 10-15 minute detention, but it was enough to cause me some uncomfortable moments. The problem was that instead of walking home as we usually did, we had started taking piano lessons. This was one of those beginning lessons and my mother was outside waiting for me. So, here I am stuck in classroom detention, having to pick up scattered trash from the floor, while my big brother was at the door telling me we had to leave because mama was outside waiting for us. What was a guy to do? I watched for a moment when the teacher wasn’t looking and darted out the door. Boy, I was fast.

We made it to the music lesson on time, where I found out I not only hated detention, but I also hated music lessons. The real problem was that I had to go back to class the next day and the same teacher was back. Again! I knew there was a real situation when she walked by me and said, “Buster, I want to talk to you.”

For parents who don’t understand this kind of relationship between students and teachers, this meant she was not happy with me and I was going to pay the price for leaving early. Oh, well, teachers don’t get to be happy every day.

Did I make the right choice? No.

Should I have handled it better? Certainly, but 6-year-olds don’t have a lot of negotiating skills. Someone once said that grace allows us to receive things we don’t deserve, while mercy keeps us from receiving the things we do deserve. The Lord once promised King David that though David’s descendants might fail to do right, He would punish them, but would never take away His mercy from them (II Sam. 7:14-15). Perhaps you have failed to do what you should have, but God has not withdrawn His mercy from you. Your punishment will not last forever. Believe this, God will bless you again. Oh, by the way, I sat with the teacher during recess instead of playing with my friends for the next few days to make up for my missed detention. I still passed the second grade and went to the third grade the following year. We shall overcome!

If you have been following the studies presented previously, you are aware that Peter is warning future generations of Christians, such as us, that there have always been false teachers.

He informs us that this unfortunate trend will continue, and provides a deeply revealing examination of the character of these teachers and ministers.

False teaching results from ignoring the true God and accepting the works of the flesh in the heart. Such actions take one further from God than we can imagine. Look closely with me at the character revelations provided by Peter.

Sin is deeply grounded in their hearts and character. They “walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government” (v.10). They reject the power of any to hinder the satisfaction of their evil desires, thus answering the question of why they “despise government.”

The failure to restrict sin leads to deeper and more vile sin. They dishonor human nature by their grossness and become little more than “natural brute beasts” (v.12) while demanding the release of any bond that prevents them from fulfilling their evil desires. We often wonder how such tragic sins could occur in our civilized society, but this is clearly the answer.

Peter also informs us that these false prophets have “eyes full of adultery” (v.14). The application of this expression seems to be that their eyes see only the adulteress. In other words, every woman is seen as a target, someone who will potentially satisfy their wicked desires.

As William Barclay states, they have a constant desire to have more of something to which they had no right to desire, let alone have. They fought with their conscience until it was destroyed.

These wicked leaders, for so they are, whether political, social or religious, are described as being “presumptuous” (v.10).

This means these people are bold, daring and audacious. They are not afraid nor ashamed of their actions. When their wickedness comes to light, they either lie about it or pass it off as unimportant.

Leaders such as these must never fill our pulpits, must never be respected or followed whatever position they hold!

Let us pray that God will reveal the hearts of potential leaders before we allow them to fill such a role in our lives or our society. (For a deeper look at these sins, read Romans 1.)

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