Tuesday, June 16, 2009

II Peter 2:3b Ready or Not-Here it Comes Part II

Ray Stevens is one of my favorite singers. I mean, he sings really goofy stuff but it’s funny and you can have a good laugh about it as a family. One of his songs that is my particular favorite is “Santa Clause is Watching You”. I can remember as a kid being told around Christmas that I had better be good because Santa was watching. Of course, being the smart aleck that I am, I would always think “Well, there are a bunch of people in this world. One Santa can’t be watching all of them all the time. The odds are in my favor that I’ll get away with hanging my sister’s Barbie from the ceiling fan and not have ol’ Saint Nick catch me”. Some people have the same idea about God or at least they live as though they do. They defy God’s holy word and openly mock the truth with their sinful living—and sometimes it’s people in the church that are most guilty of this kind of behavior. However, God is watching and He will judge in His own good time. Those who teach false doctrine and lead other people astray will find that there is in fact a payday and they will receive the penalty for their sins.

First of all, notice that Peter describes just how final their judgment is going to be. He uses the Greek word “apoleia” (684) which is translated in the text as “destruction”. It’s the same word used in verse 1 to describe the kind of heresy’s these false teaches taught. The word does not mean destroyed as in obliterated but rather carries the idea of a loss of well being—the idea of having suffered a loss from which these false teachers will never recover. Once they are eternally condemned to hell and are suffering for all eternity as payment for their sins they will never receive a pardon. They will be punished with unquenchable fire and they will be tormented endlessly. God may suffer their mocking and disrespect for a time but they will suffer His wrath for all time. These false teachers, Peter says here, are doomed and their doom is sure.

However, some might say, as a child might before Christmas, “Does He really see everything?” To quote Ray Stevens—“He’s everywhere, He’s everywhere”. God is omnipotent and omniscient. He knows what we’re doing and what we’re thinking. While there may be times my children can do something wrong and I might miss it, our heavenly Father is always watching and so the destruction of these false teachers “is not asleep”. There is no time where God has nodded off and missed something. Furthermore, just because their destruction has not come upon them, these false teachers should not assume that God has forgotten to set His divine alarm clock, metaphorically speaking. He is not taking a nap so as to be distracted from His divine appointment to judge these people. God is fully alert, awake, and prepared to execute his divine wrath.

We can be as sure about the destruction of the wicked as we are about our salvation. Being aware that such judgment is coming should motivate us to be even more diligent to share the truth with this lost and dying world. The time grows short and judgment is coming.

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