Keep It Real
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darknessto be held for judgment; 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; 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; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 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. 2 Peter 2:4-9 (NIV).
Let’s keep it real: there is more to these verses than simple explanation…except that there actually is a simple explanation. I won’t keep you in suspense: God abhors sin. He won’t tolerate it. He can’t because He’s God and He’s holy. These verses give repeated examples of how God both punished unrepentant sin and preserved those who repented. Peter gives several examples of this. Rebellious angels; Noah; Sodom and Gomorrah; Lot: Peter lists them all as examples of those who both rebelled against God and those who clung to God’s promise.
Which one are you? Be real, be honest. Answer: both.
Make no mistake: “the Lord will not leave them in their power.” The wicked will only rule so long; sin will only look like it is victorious. In reality, in the long-game, in talking about both now and in eternity, the Lord NEVER abandons those who believe in Him.
Yet look in the mirror and make no mistake about something else (especially if you think you’re doing just fine): we all have the potential to rebel against God. Even the most ‘righteous’ among us. Without the righteousness of Jesus covering us, we’re as bad as those condemned to hell. The angel removed Lot and his wife from Sodom before it was destroyed, yet Lot’s wife doubted God and went rogue. Even Noah, who had trusted God for a century or more while building the ark, gave in to temptation and got himself good and drunk.
Even you. Even me. Even in every one of us is a sinful nature, screaming to break free at each and every moment. In each and every one of those moments, remember Jesus. Remember that He isn’t indifferent in our lives. Remember that He’s always there with us, beckoning us to turn and start over. And, even when we fall, remember that He who abhors sin is always there to pick us up and begin again.
For further reading: Genesis 6:1-8, Genesis 19:16&24-25, Numbers 26:10, Psalm 37:33, Matthew 10:15, Romans 9:29, Romans 15:31, 1 Timothy 3:6, Hebrews 11:7, Jude 6-7, Revelation 3:10, Revelation 20:1-2, 2 Peter 2:10
There’s a whole world here, Lord, fighting against You. Grant me your strength to be in it but not of it.
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