2Pe_2:1. But there were false prophets also among the people,
How true that is still! Be not startled, brethren, as though some strange thing had happened to us in this generation. It always was so, and so it will continue. If there are true prophets, there will also be false prophets; and if there be the Spirit of God, there will be the spirit of evil; and often, in proportion as the everlasting truth is full of power, the everlasting lie will be full of power, too, and will strive mightily against it. That same sun and shower, which shall make yonder wheat to grow, will at the same time cause the thorns also to spring up; and perhaps for a time they may threaten to choke the wheat, until at last the wheat will choke the thistles.
“There were false prophets also among the people,”-
2Pe_2:1. Even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies,
They always try to do their hateful work privily; and then they ask, “What is all this fuss about? We have not departed from the truth, we are as sound in the faith as any of you are,” when they know, traitors that they are, that they are undermining the foundations, and trying to take away the very corner stone of the faith. These “ false teachers” will deceive the very elect of God if it be possible; but they are not easily deceived, for God has given them a discerning mind by which they “try the spirits whether they are of God.” The Lord Jesus said of his sheep, “A stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.” Sheep though they be, they have discernment enough to know their Shepherd; and the godly soon detect false teachers who privily “bring in damnable heresies,”-
2Pe_2:1-2. Even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
They say, “It is narrow; it is old-fashioned; it is not in accordance with the spirit of the age.” I know not what else they say; but for all that they say, it still remains “the way of truth.”
2Pe_2:3-4. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
“If God spared not the angels that sinned,” he will not spare any who sin, however high their position may be; even though they be the angels of the churches, he will “cast them down to hell.”
2Pe_2:5. And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
Which some in these days say could not be consistent with the acts of a God of love. Their imaginary deity, from whom they have taken away every glorious attribute of holiness and justice, would not have done this; but the God that judgeth righteously must and will punish sin, as he ever has done; and “this God is our God for ever and ever,” even the God who is “a consuming fire.”
2Pe_2:6-8. And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; and delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (for that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)
I love to see in God’s people a holy horror of the sin which surrounds them. In several of the prayers in which we joined before we came upstairs to this service, there were many tears and cries over the wickedness of our streets,-the impurity and the drunkenness which defile so many all around us. Alas! alas! Men seem bent on horrible iniquity; and it looks as if London, this great modern Babylon, will repeat the story of the cities of the plain. Well may we pray, “O Lord, have mercy upon the people!”
2Pe_2:9. The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations,
As he delivered Lot,-
2Pe_2:9-10. And to reserve the unjust unto the Day of Judgment to be punished: but chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government.
We have far too many, nowadays, of both these sorts of sinners, and of the two sorts joined in one: “them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government.”
2Pe_2:10. Presumptuous are they, self willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
There let us cease our reading, and turn to another holy song, in which we will praise our God, whose grace hath made us to differ from the ungodly by whom we are surrounded.
This exposition consisted of readings from 2Pe_1:16-21; 2Pe_2:1-10.