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Last week Peter told us that false teachers indulged their flesh. They despised authority and had very high opinions of themselves. The false teachers were bold and arrogant and because of this, God’s judgment of them is right, proper, and just. This morning, Peter wastes no time in telling it like it is.
2 Pet. 2:12-13 tells us, “But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed, suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you.”
Peter describes these false teachers by saying they are, “Like unreasoning animals.” Remember they had a high opinion of themselves. The KJV translations calls them, “brute beasts.” Consider this phrase because it really is quite harsh. Peter says the behavior of these false teachers is, “like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct.” The false teachers prided themselves on their intellect. They act on instinct rather than reason. They are controlled by their feelings. Animals act without reason. In the wild, animals don’t kill for fun; they kill when they’re hungry or threatened. These false teachers acted on their desires and feelings rather than upon reason. I’m not saying deny your feelings, God gave them to you, but don’t be like false teachers. We hear all the time people saying, “I feel like the Lord . . .” Don’t tell me you “feel” in a way that is contrary to Scripture. Don’t tell me some spiritual mumbo jumbo and cover it by telling me you have peace about it. I’m put on edge very quickly when people throw out that spiritual talk when it’s obvious they haven’t consulted God or His Word about anything. They’re not using reason, they’re using feelings. Feelings will typically get you in trouble when you allow them to control your actions.
Peter is considering what happens to animals. They are, “Captured and killed.” Think about this. Animals were designed by God for us to have dominion over, to provide meat for us to eat and skin to cloth ourselves. They’re captured and killed. The false teachers are like unreasoning animals. If that’s not bad enough, these false teachers revile, “Where they have no knowledge.” While Peter is talking about false teachers, I think this really describes the church world that we live in. Remember revile comes from the same word where we get blaspheme. Blaspheme in general, means to show a lack of respect, or to speak irreverently about God or His Word. People today do this frequently and perhaps may not even know it. They’ll tell me all kinds of things about God, the Bible, their behavior, their opinions, etc. where they have no knowledge. You’ve heard it too. God is love and therefore wouldn’t condemn people to hell. God wants me to be happy and He doesn’t want me to live like this. I don’t have to participate in the things of God to be a good Christian. I know it’s wrong, but I hope God will forgive me. These kind of statements are just like the false teachers that spoke wrongly about God. Before you say dumb things, at the very least check out what God says in His Word. Listen to what happens to them, “But these [false teachers] will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed.” The same thing that happens to the animals will happen to the false teachers. Destruction is coming.
Peter’s condemnation continues in the next verse. Sometimes we wonder when judgment will come. We don’t wonder about ourselves, but for others. When are people going to pay for what they’ve done? I don’t know the time or the place, but it will come. Peter begins a series of short sentences. He begins the series in v. 13 by saying, “Suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong.” Wrong here actually means injure. In other words, they reap what they sow. When you sow bad seeds, you get bad crops. Gal. 6:8, “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” These people will be injured for injuring others. Jer. 4:22, “For My people are foolish, they know Me not; they are stupid children and have no understanding. They are shrewd to do evil, but to do good they do not know.” You get what you give. “They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime.” Nothing good happens after midnight. They are so consumed with evil that they don’t wait until dark to engage in their illicit behavior. Rom. 13:12-13, “The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.” The daytime is when normal people work and instead these false teachers are indulging in their pleasures. “They are stains and blemishes.” Remember these false teachers were in the church according to 2:1. What they engage in, what they practice, their manner of life leaves a stain on the congregation. “Reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you.” Revel means gain great pleasure from. Carouse means lively drinking party. These false teachers are not alone, they’re engaging in these activities with people from the church, because the people from the church have been deceived.
Once again, Peter declares that it really does matter what you do in life. Be careful who you hang out with and what they lead you to do. Know the truth and follow it. There are no excuses.