In II Peter chapter 2, there is a description written about people that Peter calls “false prophets” and “false teachers.” He warns the Christians to whom he was writing about their greed, exploitation, condemnation. The whole narrative just pours down as thick as molasses. It’s burdensome to read about their disregard for all things spiritual and good.
At one of the heaviest points in the text, Peter says this about them: “…They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you. They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children!” (2 Peter 2:13-14)
I read this, and I really have to fight the instinct to feel…maybe a little more entitled to God’s grace. I mean, you see just how evil some people are, and it’s easy to look in the mirror and thing, “Well, I’m not as bad as that guy.” We should celebrate good choices and thank God for the grace that helps us make those choices, but I also always want to use passages like these to shine a light back on myself. To help remind me that, to some degree, any of the descriptions in this passage could be about me.
As he prepared to conclude his second letter, Peter wrote this familiar statement about our God: “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Even those deeply corrupted false teachers are loved with a passion I can’t even begin to grasp. God wants you in heaven when your time on earth is completed. That promised “day of the Lord” is coming at a time that none of us knows. Then, the universe will be no more. Peter wrote, “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness.” I thank God that He has rescued me from the clutches of sin. When so many around us are completely wrapped up in the desire for and consequences of sin, how thankful should we be for complete freedom and forgiveness?