First look at the opponents. Farewell addresses typically predict future crises (Acts 20.29–30
), here, the advent of false teachers.
When they deny the Master, they declare that God does not judge, a common deviant doctrine among Greeks and Judeans. One reason for thinking this is
the observation of the slowness of judgment. It is idle or God sleeps (
First responses. Responding to a denial of divine judgment, Peter cites proof from the Bible.
God did not spare evil angels; God saved Noah, but brought a flood on the ungodly; God rescued Lot, but turned Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes.
These examples prove that the Lord knows how to rescue the godly and to keep the unrighteous until the day of judgment. Besides God's judgment, the author also defends the belief in survival after death, when God's judgment will reward the
good and requite the wicked.
Peter resorts to name-calling (bold, willful), accusing his opponents of insulting the angels who are predicted to accompany the divine judgment (Mt 24.30–31
). More name-calling follows: irrational animals, blots and blemishes, adulterous, and greedy. He continually pronounces judgment on them (caught and killed, will be destroyed, suffering the penalty for doing wrong)—a judgment they deny.
Balaam (Num 22
) provides another biblical example of a “false prophet
” who was rebuked by his dumb donkey.
More name-calling, but in terms of things that fail: waterless springs are all promise and no payoff. He accuses his opponents of base motives (first greed and now license) and argues that their
doctrine cannot lead to moral integrity.
In promising freedom, they proclaim freedom from fear of God's judgment and presumably God's law; but this perverse idea only leads to slavery,
not freedom, and to corruption, not holiness.
The opponents are likened to the most unclean animals in that culture, dogs and sows; after baptism
and purification, they return to their previous vomit and mud. The opponents' doctrine, then, only leads to a bad end—proof that it is wrong.
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