This is an excerpt from the sermon on 2/3/19. To listen to the entire sermon, please visit our resource page.
Sermon Text: 2 Peter 2:1-9
We will now attempt to look at 2 Peter 2 as a whole, to see if we can discern the hope that the Apostle Peter is holding out for us. What have we learned so far? False teachers have infiltrated the church bringing in destructive heresies (v.1). What is the result? Many have followed their sensuality (v.2); resulting in their condemnation and destruction (v.3). But this plague doesn’t contain itself in the church—it is global pandemic—accounting for the defection of fallen angels (v.4); the worldwide flood (v.5); the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (v.6).
And we concluded last week that false teaching is the reason why the world is in the state that it is in today. It is why New York not only legislated the murder of babies up to birth itself, but that they publicly celebrated it. False teaching is why Islamic jihad is an ever present danger. It accounts for why children are now mutilating their bodies to fit their imagined perception of their gender. It is why the suicide rates among young people have never been higher. False teaching is what accounts for all the chaos, confusion and catastrophes that you read on your newsfeed. It is what our souls are drawn to, because it gives us permission to live how we want to live: independent of restraint, independent of accountability, and independent of God.
What Martyn Lloyd-Jones said of the church in his own generation seems to be doubly true nearly a century later:
“The power of evil seems to be so great. We are a small band, and apparently decreasing steadily year by year. The power of evil seems so great, so highly organized, so deeply entrenched in life. The whole world seems not only against what we believe, but against God in outlook and in practice.” (1)
Therefore the danger in our day, just like in Peter’s day, is that the church is tempted to give way to despair, to hopelessness and to utter futility. “How is it that we will be saved from falling away?” (2) What is Peter’s answer? What is the remedy?
The sovereignty of God.
His concluding argument in v.9 is this “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.” The Lord not only knows—meaning He is infinitely wise—but He actually rescues—meaning He is infinitely powerful. Those are the ingredients of sovereignty.
The Sovereignty of God is not a merely theoretical or speculative doctrine. It is a fire breathing dragon that consumes all the chaff of doubt and anxiety in our weak hearts. God’s sovereignty is a roaring lion that roams the earth devouring little kittens like cancer and communism; Satan and sin; death and depression. God’s sovereignty is a tsunami that swallows every thing in its path with a deluge of Divine power and wisdom, that none can prevent, none can prepare for, and none can prevail over.
It is not reserved for theologians, but for small children afraid to go to bed at night. What do you tell your children when they say, “Daddy, mommy, I’m afraid of the dark?” You tell them, “The darkness is afraid of God. If God is for you, who can be against you?” This doctrine is not reserved only for pastors, but for parents who lose their children and are left asking, “How will I ever recover from this?” This doctrine is not merely for the academy but for abandoned spouses and are left asking, “Who will take care of me now?” It is not merely for seminary students but for the spectacular sinners who ask, “How could God ever overcome this sin in my life?”
The sovereignty of God is the courage-breathing, fear-shattering, reality-shaping anchor of the church. It is the only doctrine that can answer the desperate conditions of our times. It is not a doctrine to fight over. It is a doctrine that fights for us.