Knowing the Lord and staying with Him
The apostle Peter continues by writing that people tend to forsake the right way and go astray. He uses an example in the Old Testament of people following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor who loved the wages of unrighteousness. This is another way of saying he loved his sin.
This next verse is very difficult to talk about because it is a little out of the ordinary. A donkey rebuked him for his iniquity with a human voice. The out of the ordinary response was for the purpose of restraining this man from his folly. If we are on this road sometimes it takes something off beat to stop us in our sin. If we drive our car down a road it takes a little maneuvering to get on another road.
Peter then writes about wells without water in the mist of darkness reserved for ever. This is obviously eternal separation from God but I will expand on what this means in a greater degree after I quote the passage.
Some people speak words of vanity but the allure or trap is always through the lusts of the flesh. Peter seemed very comforted regarding the people of his day that were clean and escaped from these false teachers who lived in error. These speakers that give words of vanity almost always promise liberty in one form or another but the problem is they are servants of corruption. Peter is talking about these people being in bondage to wickedness yet they are speakers influencing other people in the form of righteousness but deceiving them into the pits of hell.
The apostle then quotes the words of Jesus by writing if they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of Jesus Christ and are again entangled in a lifestyle of sin and (overcome) the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. The reality of this lifestyle is it would have been better for these people to have not known the ways of righteousness then after they have known it to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. Another observation I would like to make from this passage is if these Christians have the ability to be overcome by the pollutions of the world (sin) wouldn't it only be common sense for us believers in Jesus Christ to pray to Him that we become and stay overcomers through our Savior and Lord?
I was indoctrinated in the once saved always saved theory when I was a child. I was walking through life deceived with this idea that a person could just make a decision for Jesus Christ past tense and forget my present tense salvation and still go to heaven. Please do not get me wrong I was trying my best to live for the Lord. In 2009 God kept mysteriously throwing after life testimonies, debates and sermons on this subject in my computer. I called my Dad and he gave me much resistance on the subject. He read the Bible from beginning to end and said, "You are right the Bible does not teach this precept in context of any passage I read in the word of God."
I also noticed that the only people that believe this are those that have been taught it in seminary or by their pastor. If prisoners just pick up the Bible and read it they almost never embrace the once saved always saved theory. A person would really have to read into so many verses to come to this conclusion. We are not called to read into verses. We are called to read the entire context, not just one verse out of context which is a pretext.
Peter then quotes an old proverb writing a dog is turned to his own vomit again so obviously the principal is when a person gets redeemed through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, going back to a lifestyle of sin is not only wrong but very dangerous. Let me quote the passage so you can read it and perhaps make reference to the text if need be in this particular study of the Bible.
(15) "Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Ba'laam the son of Bo'sor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; (16) But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. (17) These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. (18) For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. (19) While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. (20) For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. (21) For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. (22) But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." 2nd Peter 2: 15 - 22.
Obviously the apostle Peter proves in verse fifteen that these Old Testament people were cursed children because they forsake the Godly way of life. They erred and strayed from the righteous way of living to follow Balaam the son of Bosor. Balaam desired riches and honor but he understood that the road he chose displeased the Lord. As a result of his worldly desires this man became a hardened sinner and was rebuked for his iniquity because a donkey spoke to him and rebuked the madness of his conduct. He was living in vain because he chose an evil way so this should make us think and the conclusion should be a righteous way of life. The real truth of the matter is this is the only decision and way of life God will accept from us as human beings living before God. Jesus Christ will always rebuke a sinner for his or her sin but the real question is will these individuals repent and return to a holy life.
In verse seventeen the apostle proceeds to a further description of seducing teachers. The word of truth is the water of life but when this verse writes wells or fountains of water then it is obvious that these deceivers are set upon spreading and promoting error. These teachers are empty inside, there is virtually no truth in them and as a result their listeners will fall into a pit. A solid Bible teacher desires his listening audience to be lifted up in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Clouds that yield no rain are clouds carried with a tempest. They change their opinions like the wind because these people are crowd pleasers so any responsible person would conclude that they are not guided by the Holy Spirit because their own ambition is more important to them than the will of God. If we were to look at a bunch of clouds they would obstruct the light of the sun and make the air darker. These people are promoting the darkness of the devil in this world so because of this their portion in the next life will be in otter darkness.
Great and swelling words of vanity sounds great to the ear but there is no biblical sense in what they are saying to people. The truth of the matter is this appeals to the corrupt affections and carnal fleshly lusts of people. These leaders tend to be very skilled in promoting error. They are fishers of men but are employed by demons.
This idea that Christians who adhere to the truth can not be deceived by their false teaching is simply not true. It is our responsibility to discern if the person we are listening to is a servant of corruption. If their lusts whatever they may be have gotten victory over them then we on the receiving end listening can be in bondage to their false theology.
Do not be led away by a seducer because if we are living clean we have the ability for our latter end to be worse than our beginning. If this happens to us we would have to be listening to false teachers, demons, groups, individuals or being carried away by our own lusts. We should desire to be kept from the pollutions of the world by the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. We were saved by the grace of God through Jesus Christ and we are kept by grace through our faith and obedience to God.
If we receive the love of the truth and hide the word of God in our hearts we can expect sanctification from the Holy Spirit for our daily living. On the other hand if we do become entangled with the pollutions of the world which is sinful living we will be easily overcome. If Christians who have once escaped are again entangled then the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. All we have to do is look at the real world --- if a person has been working for a company for five years he or she should know way more than a person that does not even work for the company.
A state of apostasy is way worse than a state of ignorance because apostasy is condemning righteousness especially after they have had some knowledge of the truth who is Jesus Christ Himself. The misery of these particular Christians that for all practical purposes deserted Jesus Christ is more intolerable than an unbeliever that falls into ignorance and apostasy. To speak in general terms God is highly provoked by those who by their conduct despise the gospel of Jesus Christ and pour contempt upon His grace either through neglect or rebellion. These people are in big trouble and should repent as soon as possible with the motive of forsaking their sins.
The last verse that I quoted in verse twenty two is saying these Christians are returning back to their old sins as a lifestyle without repentance but are also wallowing in that filthiness from which they were forgiven and cleansed from by the shed blood of Jesus Christ Himself.
These set of verses are not only thought provoking but should put a reverential fear of God inside our spirit whoever you are in this world. If we over here in America had a proper fear of God and a basic respect for life at least half of our problems would be repaired gradually through time. If you do not know the Lord Peter makes it clear we should desire to be kept from the pollutions of the world through the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. If this is what you desire and please be honest with yourself then now may be a good time to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Lord into your life. There is nothing like being in the will of God because we will have a clear conscience. I would rather have that than live in darkness and be destined for otter darkness. I hope and pray that you just made that decision for your life and eternity.
God bless you,