2 Peter 2:1:10a
2 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. 4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless 8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. 10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority.
This passage contrasts God as both Judge and Saviour. His Judgement is sure whether for the entire world or for every individual. Yet in every example we see God is merciful and “knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.”
Like Lot who was “tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard” we sometimes grieve about what we see in our world and sometimes the church and we cry to God for justice. But as believers we no longer fear his judgement. Now we celebrate the mercy of God having passed from death to life. It’s still challenging though considering God’s nature includes both Judgement and Mercy, particularly considering those that don’t yet know Him.
But have we personalised that he knows how to rescue us? Sometime ago before minor surgery, I became certain that I was not going to come out of hospital. Laying on the theatre trolley I was challenged that if I was going to meet Jesus, did I really trust that He held my salvation surely in his hand. But laying there I had to trust him. I prayed and handed over everything to him no matter what the outcome. Obviously I did come out. It took me nearly 24hrs to recover from the aesthetic, I found out after the operation that there had been a record keeping error and I had been given too much anaesthetic. This was a potentially deadly mistake but “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials”.
I pray no matter what our circumstances we would grow in the revelation that Jesus knows how to rescue us and that nothing could every steal us from his hand.
Written by Shaun O’Neill