2 Peter 2.6-8
6 …and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; 7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)—
The Story: We have to go back to verse 4 to pick up the “if” which is governing this conditional clause: “If” God did this, “turning the cities…” Further, this is not the subjunctive mood, the mood of possibility, but the indicative, the mood of fact. So “if” is probably better translated, “since.” Since God also judged Sodom and Gomorrah, we should fear lest He should do the same in our day. Sometimes Christians act like there is no historical continuity between the Old and New Testaments, or the Bible and our own time.
We see God doing certain things then that, we have somehow come to believe, He doesn’t do any more. Peter is trying to warn us against embracing that little bit of false teaching. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever; He hates sin as much today as He ever has. We must not be cavalier or indifferent to false teaching and its sinful effects. Lot was “oppressed” because sin tormented his soul. Does it torment ours?
The Structure: Hating sin is a high and holy calling (Ps. 97.10). It’s not something we talk much about these days – “hate” being a “four-letter” word and all. But the people of God are called to hate sin – to hate it in themselves, to hate the destruction it brings on others, to hate the false teaching that encourages or blinks at or rationalizes sin in any way. The sooner we work at hating sin in our hearts, the more we will learn to love God and His truth.
What would you suggest as a way of nurture holy hatred for sin in your own life? Among your Christian friends?
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T. M. Moore
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.