and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they revile angelic majesties,2 Peter 2:10(NASB)
Like many of the apostles, Peter showed contempt and deep displeasure for the false teachers of his day. Indeed, a considerable proportion of his epistle highlights the ungodly conduct and wrong motivation of these religious charlatans. Peter made it clear that these were religious leaders who secretly taught destructive heresies to pliable believers, and even denied the Lord Jesus, Who bought them.
Peter warned that the terrible way such false prophets and deceitful teachers blaspheme the Lord God Almighty, with their outrageous teachings and destructive apostasy, would bring swift destruction upon themselves. It would bring the same swift, severe judgement on these false teachers, that the fallen angelic host will one day have to face.
There were many such infidels in the early church, and there continues to be many today, who have set themselves up in places of authority within Christendom. They are men who reject biblical authority and substitute it with a range of unbiblical doctrines and ungodly philosophies. Peter warns us to avoid these ungodly and presumptions people... "especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires."
Peter warns about fleshly, carnally-minded teachers, to whom he refers as, "reckless, self-willed men." He wrote that they are "audacious, and insolent people who do not have any respect for those in authority, including the heavenly host." So spiritually insensitive and supremely arrogant are these false teachers about whom Peter wrote, that he said, "they do not even tremble when they actively revile angelic majesties."
They do not even show respect for God's holy angels, and Peter warned that these self-seeking, materialistic men and women, blaspheme the name of God, show contempt for the angelic host, and take no account of the authority of Scripture. They do not follow the truth of God's Word. They violently twist the truth, slander the Lord, and lead others astray, through their own diabolical greed.
These people delight to exploit those who listen to their falsehoods, and Peter warned that such people would face severe judgement. They will have to face the equivalent punishment that is awaiting the angels who rebelled against God, and left their first estate. Also, a day is coming when they will have to stand before God and give an account of their deeds, and face the terrible judgement of God that was prepared for the devil and his angels.
The description that Peter gives of these ungodly, unprincipled men should be a warning. It should be a wake-up call to every born-again child of God. Just as there were gullible people in Peter's day who were misguided by the self-willed people Peter exposed, there are also gullible people today, who are biblically illiterate and ready to pay heed to their lies, because they deliver the things their itching ears long to hear.
The Lord did not spare the angels who sinned in the days of Noah. Rather, He cast them into hell (Tartarus). He committed them to pits of darkness, and they will finally be judged at the great white judgement seat of God. The shocking truth is that the destructive, self-willed false teachers of his day, who indulged in fleshly pursuits and did not even tremble when they revile angelic majesties, will be judged by God. And today there are also destructive, self-willed false teachers who are following in their footsteps, who will also be judged.
This is not a fuzzy message, but a wake-up call to all of us to identify and reject the destructive, self-willed, false teachers of our day, who indulge their flesh in corrupt desires, despise authority, and do not even tremble when they twist God's word or revile angelic majesties. Like the fallen angels, they will be judged - but praise God that He knows how to rescue those that are His, and by His grace, we will stand in His presence in the Day of Christ.
In the meantime, let us trust in the Lord with all our heart and not lean on our own understanding. In all our ways, let us acknowledge Him, and reverence His holy name, and let us permit Him to direct our path into the way of peace.
Heavenly Father, give me wisdom and discernment to recognise and reject those 'teachers' who indulge in fleshly desires, or present a watered-down gospel that deceives its hearers. Open the eyes of my understanding, that I may see wonderful truths in Your Word. Help me to be strong and very courageous in standing up for the truth of the gospel, and help me to be still before You and know that You are God, and there is none other. Thank You, for the promise of Your presence in the lives of all Your people. In Jesus’ name, I pray, AMEN.
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