2 Peter 2

The Nature of the Untransformed Soul

The Nature of False Prophets (1-3)

Peter knew of false prophets who cared little for transformation and would teach in ways that would cause believers not to follow Christ, even though they imagined they were (1). The teachers would make people think they were following Christ, when in fact they were learning to follow sensuality (2), thus exploiting their learners (3).

The Example of Judgment of Untransformed Souls (4-9)

These false teachers were doomed, just like the angels who were cast into hell and committed to chains (4). Peter reminds them of another day the world came to an end, when Noah was preaching righteousness and God brought a flood upon the world (Genesis 7). Peter wanted to penetrate their minds with the thought that only eight were rescued (5). He then mentions Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18), using them as an example of how an entire city was condemned to extinction and only a very few were rescued (6). Peter draws the connection between Lot being distressed and tormented by the sensual and lawless conduct of the city, pointing out that God knows how to save those who are not comfortable with sensuality (7-9).

The Description of Untransformed Souls (10-19)

Peter next lists out those who will fall under God's judgment as those who:

“Indulge in lust of defining passion" ... displace Jesus from the center of desire and instead enthrone pleasing self;
“Despise authority" ... to think lightly of those who rule;
“Bold and willful" ... presumptuous and obstinately maintain own opinion; assert own rights;
“Do not tremble" ... have no awe nor respect as they slander those who should be honored (10).

Peter makes a mental note: even angels honor and revere authority (11). Peter further describes a person dedicated to the lust of pleasing self and declares such a person to have the nature of animals, who live by instinct. He again calls them disrespectful and declares they will be judged (12).

Peter is fierce in his tone, noting that lust-driven people will suffer for their actions. Peter is clear in his warning: those who actually love pleasure are pretenders (13).

Peter won't let up with his description, likening such people to those who prowl for women to sleep with, who can't get enough of sin, and who are trained to always make decisions based on greed (14).

Peter leaps into the Old Testament for an illustration of Balaam who, for lust of money, was driven to find a way to curse Israel for a handsome fee (Numbers 22). Balaam’s donkey finally had to warn him to stop, and he did for a moment (15-16). Yet, in the end, even his own lust was so encompassing that the talking donkey couldn't stop him, for he was so filled with the madness of greed (Numbers 31:16).

Peter returns to his descriptions of those driven by lust—waterless springs, mists driven, reserved for gloom (17). They are bold as they demand the right to feel good (18). They promote a great freedom but deliver enslavement, for they lead the soul to be enslaved again with lust (19).

The Description of Those Who Have Returned to Lust (20-22)

Peter is clear-headed about one truth: to have once been delivered from lust and then to return to it is to make the soul more addicted and obsessed to pleasure than the soul originally had been (20-22).