1But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves.
The Holy Spirit constantly warns us that there will be many false teachers within the churches. This scripture that speaks about even those that deny the Master does not necessarily mean that the false teachers were ever true believers. When Christ died for their sins, that enabled them to be saved, but only if they truly entrusted their lives to Christ as Lord and Savior.
2Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered.
Many who claim to be believers will follow fans preachers and their immoral ways. Because of the sinful lifestyle of these leaders and their followers, God's message is put to shame.
3In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed.
False teacher will commercialize their Christian faith and the true message of Jesus. They are experts in greed and manipulation and will get money from believers enhance their own ministries and their personal lives. We as Christians must be aware of these made up stories and sensationalized testimonies that are impressive but false. Because these ministers defile God's truth and mislead others, they are condemned to spiritual destruction.
4For God did not spare even the angels who sinned. He threw them into hell, in gloomy pits of darkness, where they are being held until the day of judgment. 5And God did not spare the ancient world—except for Noah and the seven others in his family. Noah warned the world of God’s righteous judgment. So God protected Noah when he destroyed the world of ungodly people with a vast flood. 6Later, God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and turned them into heaps of ashes. He made them an example of what will happen to ungodly people. 7But God also rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a righteous man who was sick of the shameful immorality of the wicked people around him.
This is the only place int the NT that the Greek term "tartarus" translated to the word "hell". The greeks used the term to designate a place where wicked spirits were sent for punishment. Peter used this same term to describe a place reserved for the angels that rebelled against God. The scripture goes on to speak of Noah and his family and Lot. Peter is letting us know that God does not spare those who continue to follow false teaching. But if you can turn away from false teachers and not go along with the world, you too can be spared. That is why Christ came to this earth and gave his life for our sins.
8Yes, Lot was a righteous man who was tormented in his soul by the wickedness he saw and heard day after day.
Tormented is often a characteristic of people who are truly right with God and who are devoted to living by His standards. We are seeing it all too often in today's world.
9So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while keeping the wicked under punishment until the day of final judgment.
By saving Noah and Lot, we can see that God will rescue those of us that are true believers and live for Christ. We need to reject evil just like Lot dd. God does not want any person to follow the ways of the wicked and he is giving everyone time to turn their lives around and give up their ungodly conduct. This is why it is so important for us as believers to spread the Good News.
10He is especially hard on those who follow their own twisted sexual desire, and who despise authority.
These people are proud and arrogant, daring even to scoff at supernatural beings without so much as trembling. 11But the angels, who are far greater in power and strength, do not dare to bring from the Lord a charge of blasphemy against those supernatural beings.
We are clearly warned here of not following authority. We are also warned of "twisted sexual desire". When you clearly want to just do your own thing, you are proud and arrogant. Those same proud arrogant people often scoff at God himself and have no fear. They do not yet understand that even angels, that are more powerful than mankind dare not to work against the Lord and His will. People that choose to follow poor teaching and work against God need to understand that they should fear God.
12These false teachers are like unthinking animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed. They scoff at things they do not understand, and like animals, they will be destroyed. 13Their destruction is their reward for the harm they have done. They love to indulge in evil pleasures in broad daylight. They are a disgrace and a stain among you. They delight in deception even as they eat with you in your fellowship meals.
False teachers are compared to unthinking animals. We are told they should be caught and destroyed that they do not understand. Their destruction is actually their reward for the harm they have done. These teacher disgrace and stain us. We see it in the news all the time. Well known evangelists that have gone off on their own and are actually false prophets have been brought to their knees for leading others astray.
14They commit adultery with their eyes, and their desire for sin is never satisfied. They lure unstable people into sin, and they are well trained in greed. They live under God’s curse.
This is happening regularly today. Sex sells. You see it everywhere. The deviation and corruption of sexual desires is becoming more and more accepted in society today. We can not succumb to this. Those people live under God's curse.
15They have wandered off the right road and followed the footsteps of Balaam son of Beor, who loved to earn money by doing wrong.
Balaam was a false prophet determined to curse Israel against God's command. He wanted the money that was being offered by Balak. Peter uses these examples to show that sexual impurity, love of honor and greed for money often are characteristics of false teachers and preacher.
16But Balaam was stopped from his mad course when his donkey rebuked him with a human voice.
17These people are as useless as dried-up springs or as mist blown away by the wind. They are doomed to blackest darkness. 18They brag about themselves with empty, foolish boasting. With an appeal to twisted sexual desires, they lure back into sin those who have barely escaped from a lifestyle of deception.
Peter believes in the miracles of the OT in so much that he repeats this miracle here. The donkey that spoke in a human voice to rebuke Balaam. We are told people like Balaam and these false prophets are useless. They are doomed. We can recognize them because they brag about themselves and they appeal to twisted desires. People that are not strong are easily lured back into their deception.
19They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you.
This verse is very clear. Promises are made but they are made to control us. They are empty promises and we have to remember, we are only a slave to what controls us. That can also be a servant. I want to be controlled by the true Jesus Christ and be His servant. I do not want to be controlled by false teachers.
20And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. 21It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life. 22They prove the truth of this proverb: “A dog returns to its vomit.” And another says, “A washed pig returns to the mud.”
We clearly are warned that once we find Christ, we must be very careful not to go back to our old wicked ways. Things will be worse for us than if we had never know Jesus to start with. We must truly do our best to keep safe and raise up the baby Christians we know and also to stay strong ourselves so as we never truly turn away from the holy lives we have come to know.