Wednesday, 5 February 2020
…and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, 2 Peter 2:13
Peter continues to speak of the false teachers that he has been referring to throughout the chapter. He states that they “will receive the wages of unrighteousness.” In this life, these false teachers may be profiting handsomely. They may never have trials or troubles, and the money may flow into their coffers like waters rushing in to fill a pond, but these are temporary riches. Eventually, the true wages they deserve shall be paid to them.
The word “wages,” however, is not the same as that which was used by Paul when he speaks of the “wages of sin” in Romans 6:23. It speaks of a reward or recompense which is given as a compensation for an action or decision. It is the same word that will be used in 2:15 when referring to Balaam who was hired to curse Israel. There is an action which is worth a certain hire, and that is what is then received by the one who was hired. In this case, Peter speaks of the reward for their unrighteous actions. He then further defines the thought by saying of them that they are “as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime.”
The idea is that of being completely unashamed of their actions. Those who carouse, normally do so at night. The dark hides their shame and it conceals their identity. During the day, they put on a different face so that they might be thought of as honorable people. But those Peter speaks of are so bold in their unrighteousness that they openly flaunt what they do. They have no care that their teaching is false. The money pours in, the suckers enrich their coffers, and they feel justified that they are worthy of their ill-gotten gain.
Because of the attitude, Peter further describes them by saying that “they are spots and blemishes.” The first word comes from the Greek: spilos. One can see the root of our modern word for “spill.” It was only used elsewhere by Paul in Ephesians 5:27 where he noted that Christ will present His church to Himself without “spot or wrinkle.” When one has a beautiful garment that gets a spot on it, nobody notices the garment any longer. Rather, the only thing that is seen is that horrible spot. That is what these false teachers are like. They ruin what is otherwise pure and beautiful.
The word translated as “blemish” is only found here, mómos. It is that which causes disgrace. One can see that the “spots” speak of the individuals in the church, whereas the “blemishes” speak of how they affect the church. Of these people, Peter then says that they are “carousing in their own deceptions.”
A different word, translated as “carousing,” is used here than was used in the previous clause. It speaks of self-indulgence and luxurious living. They are so set on living out their dream world of luxury that their deceptions are all they can think of. It is as if they are the center of the universe and everything around them was set in place just for them to live out their own luxurious existence. Peter says this occurs, “while they feast with you.”
In other words, even while joining together with believers, their conduct remains unchanged. They have taken on such an openly self-centered existence that they cannot perceive any need for change when they are around true believers who live holy lives and are truly pious in their actions, including the very meals they partake of.
Life application: God, who is rich in mercy, offers a gift – eternal life through the Lord Jesus. On the other hand, Peter takes this concept and says (still speaking of false teachers) that they will receive their wages. These are the people who actively disobey the gospel of Jesus and yet they are the same people who sit at feasts with believers.
Think on those in Christian circles who fit this description – people who claim to know Jesus, but who deny His authority by the life they lead. They openly flaunt their disobedient lifestyle while wearing garbs of the pious.
There is never a reason to trust someone just because they have on a minister’s attire or have a degree from a theological seminary. Rather, an instructor in Christianity is to be evaluated on how he handles the word of God and how he treats the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Lord God, You have stated that judgment begins at Your house. How terrifying it will be for those who have improperly handled Your word, and who have diminished the glorious work of Jesus Christ. They sit in Your church now, but they have never truly been a part of it. Keep us from such teachers that we may be found approved on the Day of Your visitation. Amen.