In 2 Pet 2:4-17, Peter continues dealing with the subject of false teachers. In this section of the chapter, Peter tells us that God will judge the false teachers and will not spare them. He cites God’s judgment of the fallen angels, the world that was flooded in Noah’s day, and Sodom and Gomorrah that were destroyed as evidence that God will not spare the false teachers.
2 Pet 2:4 – God spared not the angels that sinned – these angels are called the sons of God in Gen 6:1-4. They took wives of the daughters of men. They left their habitation and kept not their first estate [Jude 6]. Therefore, they were cast “down to hell,” and are “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.”
2 Pet 2:5 – God spared not the old world – God destroyed everything that breathed in the flood in Gen 7-8 because “the earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence,” [Gen 6:11].
2 Pet 2:6 – God spared not Sodom and Gomorrah – in Gen 19, God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of their “pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness” and because they didn’t “strengthen the hand of the poor and needy,” [Ezek 16:49], and because they “committed abomination” before God [Ezek 16:50].
2 Pet 2:9 – Likewise, God will not spare the false teachers – God reserves “the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.” 2 Pet 2:12, “But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed… shall utterly perish in their own corruption.” 2 Pet 2:13, “they shall receive the reward of unrighteousness.” In 2 Pet 2:17, “the mist of darkness is reserved for ever” for them. The punishment for their sins is on par with Noah’s flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Characteristics of unjust false teachers:
- They walk after the flesh – 2 Pet 2:10 – they are enemies of God and cannot please God [Rom 8:6-8].
- They despise government – 2 Pet 2:10 – they will not submit to authority [1 Pet 2:13-15].
- They speak evil of dignities – 2 Pet 2:10-12 – they violate God’s command [Ex 22:28].
- They are spots and blemishes – 2 Pet 2:13 – they are unlike the Lamb [1 Pet 1:19] and his church [Eph 5:27].
- They sport themselves with their own deceivings – 2 Pet 2:13 – to sport is to divert; to make merry. They make themselves merry by doing the evil things they teach.
- They have eyes full of adultery – 2 Pet 2:14 – they are like the false prophets in Judah [Jer 23:14] and like the generation of the Pharisees in Jerusalem [Matt 16:1-4].
- They cannot cease from sin – 2 Pet 2:14 – they are like Judah was in Is 1:4.
- They are beguiling unstable souls – 2 Pet 2:14 – they deceive others and you never know where they stand.
- They are covetous – 2 Pet 2:14 – they want you and they want your money.
- They are cursed children – 2 Pet 2:14 – they are like the children of wrath and disobedience in Eph 2:2-3.
- They follow the way of Balaam – 2 Pet 2:15-16 – they are in it for the money like Balaam was.
- They are wells without water – 2 Pet 2:17 – they are like Judah in Jer 2:13. A dry well is worthless; you can’t get any water out of it.
- They are clouds carried with a tempest – 2 Pet 2:17 – their affect on saints is in Eph 4:14.
God will deliver the godly
God will deliver the godly out of temptations [2 Pet 2:9], just like he delivered Noah out of the flood [2 Pet 2:5] and just like he delivered Lot out of Sodom [2 Pet 2:7-8]. Noah was a just man in a wicked generation [Gen 6:8-9]; he was “a preacher of righteousness.” Lot was a just man whose righteous soul was vexed “with their unlawful deeds.” The reference to Noah and Lot alerts us to the doctrinal significance of this passage in the Tribulation, right before the Second Coming of Jesus [Lk 17:24-30]. As we get closer to Jesus’ coming, we see a rise in apostasy [2 Thes 2:3]. The work of these false teachers will become increasingly prevalent. Therefore, be godly and don’t fall for the lies of these false teachers.