Twin Routes To Disaster
Although judgement may not seem an encouraging topic for a devotional, Peter intended it to bring courage to those who were so downhearted that they were tempted to give up, thinking that evil might win. In his detailed description of those who are under God's wrath, Peter identifies two character defects that drag people to hell, unless they repent and are saved. And believers should be alerted to identify those parts of our human nature which Satan may tempt, in order to pull us away from following Jesus.
We (including the most powerful preachers and wonderful worshippers) all have a sinful nature. We know that from the Scripture (Romans 7:18) and the repeated experience of sinning, even when we know that we should not. We are born sinners (Psalm 51:5), and have been further corrupted by the world and the Devil as well as our own desires. To ignore that fact, and allow ourselves to follow what seems 'natural' is like crossing a busy road blindfolded - it will end in disaster. What matters is making the choice not to follow what corruption commands, and, instead, following Jesus (Romans 8:13).
A second set of alarm bells should ring when people despise authority, any authority (2 Peter 3:17). However camouflaged, it is a mind-set that is so self-centred that it cannot see anybody higher than themselves. This is dangerous in any business or profession, in politics or the church. Not only will it inevitably hurt other people, but it cannot give the first place to Jesus - who is Lord of all. The hell-bound have this deeply rooted in their belief system and it totally validates God's judgement. But Christians also need to use this truth as a mirror (James 1:22-25), asking God's help to see if any of this evil has seeped into our character. In addition, when we see friends and colleagues caught up with following corruption naturally and despising authority, we can see how much they need Jesus; and so our prayers and spoken witness may be life-saving (Jude 22-23).
© Dr Paul Adams