“False teachers will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master.., bringing upon themselves swift destruction. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. In their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation… is not idle,.. especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.
“Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme… [They] will be destroyed…, suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing… They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions… They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed… Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray…
“For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. Speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh.”
“The Lord… is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. The day of the Lord will come… and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
“Since these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness!.. Be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace… Take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 2:1-3a,10,12-15,17-18; 3:9-11,14,17-18
The contrast Peter sets out could not be more clear. Aware of the culture’s conflicting versions of ‘truth,’ he vividly describes those enslaved by sin and those free in Christ. Mindset, choices, and behavior distinguish the rebel from the saved. He gives both warning and encouragement, graced with the patience, love, and mercy of Jesus, to help his readers daily choose how they’ll live.
We too are bombarded with varied versions of what is right. Scripture’s truth is plain, but the world distorts with, and adds to it, deceptive feelings, heresy, and self-interest. It may be in vogue to sin and condone others’ sin, but such freedom of thought is no freedom at all. Embracing a free-flow license of the flesh enslaves to sin and hinders spiritual progress. There will be a reckoning; each of us is accountable for choices made. (Romans 14:10-11; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 12:1)
To be God’s sort of people, it’s vital to heed these biblical admonitions. Be diligent not to sin. Take care not to be carried away by error. Remain stable, grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ. We must immerse ourselves in the Bible to hone keen discernment, and offer our bodies as living instruments to be fueled and used by God for the working out of His will. (Romans 12:1-2; 1 John 4:1-3a)
When our goal and hope are in this world, we behave to the lowest denominator of banality and selfishness. But when they are fixed in Christ and His advent, we desire to be pure and please Him. What causal attitude toward falsehood, or complacency with sin, need I put away? What sort of person will I be? (1 John 2:28-3:3,6-8a,9-10)
Lord, by daily choices may I be the person You deem Your child: wholehearted and growing, to Your praise and glory.