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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder


2 Peter 2:6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly. (Also read verses 4 through 9)

In the first three verses of this chapter, Peter warns all people to beware of false prophets, ...false teachers and the many that follow their pernicious ways. From the beginning of time, God has warned mankind of the consequences of sin and rebellion against His will. The final judgment of the world is yet to come, but we have a number of examples in God's word that gives proof that He has in the past, and will in the future, execute punishment on wicked transgressors, and grant mercy and pardon to His righteous followers. Peter gives three examples of God's judgment in verses four through ten.

The first example given by Peter, as noted in verse 4 of this chapter, was God's judgment against angels that had sinned. Very few details were given about this event. We don't know how many angels were involved, or what their specific sins were. The only things we do know are found in this verse and in the 6th verse of Jude, which says, And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. It appears that the angels rebelled against God's will. This being sin in the eyes of God, they were cast out of heaven and into hell, which, in this particular usage, is translated Tartarus - a place of confinement from which they could not escape - a place where they would be held until the Day of Judgment. Just as sure as He passed judgment on sinful angels, false teachers and their followers will likewise suffer God's wrath for rebelling against the His will.

The second example of God's judgment was against the world of the ungodly at the time of Noah. This is noted in verse 5. It was at this time in history that God observed the sinful, unrepentant condition of the world's inhabitants. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (Gen. 6:5). It was sin that brought this judgment of God: I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth (Gen 6:7). This story is well known and well documented in God's word. God executed His judgment upon the sinful world by destroying mankind with a flood that covered the earth. Likewise, false teachers, as well has their followers, will assuredly be condemned for their wicked and evil ways, just as the evil people of the world were destroyed in the day of Noah.

God's judgment is noted in a third example, as recorded by Peter in the lesson text. God's judgment of destruction was executed against Sodom and Gomorrah because their sin was very grievous (Gen. 18:20b). The complete details of this event are recorded in Genesis 19. In verse 24, we find God's judgment carried out. Because these cities were totally given over to sin, ...the Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven (Vs. 24), which killed its inhabitants and reduced the cities to ashes. Jude mentions this event by saying, Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. This example is additional proof that God's judgment will be carried out and will result in eternal punishment upon all unrepentant sinners. This is one more warning to all false teachers and those that follow the error of their teaching. Without repentance, none will escape the wrath of God's judgment for disregarding His will and replacing it with the erring will of man.

Another lesson found in these writings of Peter is that some were saved from God's judgment. Not all angels were cast out of heaven into the darkness of hell. Some kept their first estate, remained in heaven, and continue serving God. Noah, his wife, their three sons, and their wives were judged righteous, and and were saved by God from the floods, that destroyed all other inhabitants of the earth. From Sodom and Gomorrah, God saved Lot and his two daughters from the fire and brimstone, that destroyed the people of these cities.

Reader, be assured. God's judgment will be carried out. He will deliver the godly, and the unjust will receive eternal punishment. The examples of sinful angels, an unrighteous world in the time of Noah, and the evil inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, assure us that God's righteous judgment will take place.