Have you have ever had someone lie to you and found out about that lie? When I was in high school, I dated this girl and in my mind I loved her. When I moved to college, this girl began cheating on me, or maybe it even started before I moved. I just did not know until about mid-way through my first semester. Anyone can imagine how much it hurts when someone lies to us, especially someone close. In this wasteland, people will lie to us and mislead us, and it just seems like a fact of life that we must deal with. My question here is: How important is it for us to wade through all the lies, even unintentional lies, that we are told and strive to discover the truth about God and about what God desires for us?
But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and will bring swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their unrestrained ways, and the way of truth will be blasphemed because of them. They will exploit you in their greed with deceptive words. Their condemnation, pronounced long ago, is not idle, and their destruction does not sleep.
For if God didn’t spare the angels who sinned but threw them down into Tartarus and delivered them to be kept in chains of darkness until judgment; and if He didn’t spare the ancient world, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others, when He brought a flood on the world of the ungodly; and if He reduced the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes and condemned them to ruin, making them an example to those who were going to be ungodly; and if He rescued righteous Lot, distressed by the unrestrained behavior of the immoral (for as he lived among them, that righteous man tormented himself day by day with the lawless deeds he saw and heard) — then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, especially those who follow the polluting desires of the flesh and despise authority.
Bold, arrogant people! They do not tremble when they blaspheme the glorious ones; however, angels, who are greater in might and power, do not bring a slanderous charge against them before the Lord. But these people, like irrational animals — creatures of instinct born to be caught and destroyed — speak blasphemies about things they don’t understand, and in their destruction they too will be destroyed, suffering harm as the payment for unrighteousness.
Judging from this passage, here are some things that we will have to deal with here in the wasteland that will not be present on the renewed earth:
- People who destroy other’s with their words
- People who deny the true God
- There is greed, and people will preach a message that draws us to them rather than to God.
Surely when we think about it, we have all seen these things present in our world.
After stating these things, Peter declares the power and the just nature of God to his audience: God did not spare the messengers who sinned, but cast them down to Tartarus (or Hell). He did not leave those in Noah’s time unpunished for their unrighteousness.
He burned Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes because no righteous person could be found in them. He made them an example to those who were going to be ungodly. We’ve discovered that everything we do on this earth is an investment in our eternity. This means that we will be held accountable for the things we do that dishonor God. God’s punishment is a real thing. God offers forgiveness, but will not keep punishment from those who do not genuinely seek Him. According to Peter, this applies especially to those who teach what is false.
In this text there are a couple warnings for us:
We should be careful to say only what God has evidently revealed about Himself, for that is how we keep our teaching true.
- We cannot claim our opinion as fact.
- God will hold us accountable for what we say about Him.
- We should also be careful to weigh everything that is taught to us against Scripture.
- If there are false teachers, then we must wade through the muddy waters.
- We must use the discernment that God has given us to discover what is true and what is not when anyone teaches us, especially concerning the things of God.
The comfort we get here is that God will hold others accountable as they teach us.
Peter states that God knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to keep the ungodly under punishment until the Day of Judgment. As we think about this, we must remember that the judgment is the beginning point for the renewed creation. After the judgment, we will no longer have to worry about false teachers, people who lie, people who deny the true God, greed, people who pursue themselves, popularity, income, fame, attention and more. This means that on this earth, we would do good to strive not to pursue any of these things. We do not live to convince people of what we think. We do not live to avoid consequences by lying. We do not live to deny the true God. We do not live with any form of greed. We do not pursue ourselves, popularity, income, fame or attention for ourselves. We live only for God. We seek the truth about God. We stay honest about what God has revealed about Himself.
We remember as we live that anything that is self-seeking is void in God’s presence, while everything that we do to honor God is an investment in our eternity with God. It all begins when we give our lives to Christ.
 2 Peter 2:1-12 (HCSB)