Peter and Jude
Sabbath School Lesson 2017 Quarter 2 Lesson 11 Wednesday
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Read first paragraph,
“Many people have observed that Jude 4-19 largely repeats the message of 2 Peter 2:1-3:7. Whenever Scripture repeats a message, we should be aware that God wants to convey something important. In these similar passages, Peter and Jude take great lengths to notify us of an important truth: God is in control of the destinies of the wicked. Both Peter and Jude leave us with no doubt that God is closely monitoring evil. Whether unrighteous humanity or the fallen angels, God has taken special note of their evil and has planned their punishment on the day of judgment (2 Pet. 2:9, 17; Jude 6).”
What does this sentence mean, “God is in control of the destinies of the wicked”?
Does this mean God determines the outcomes of their lives? That it is God’s choice whether they are saved or not? Or that it is God’s choice that determines their punishment?
These ideas are wrong; they are lies. This statement is evidence that the authors are operating on the false view of God’s law—i.e. that God’s law operates like human law and God will inflict the punishment they deserve.
What determines the destiny of the wicked is not the choice of God, but the choices of the wicked. Their refusal to accept healing, their persistence in evil change them, warp them, harden them, and build up a life history of evil that they will one day face in the presence of all truth and love. This is what determines their destiny, and their own unhealed characters is the source of their suffering.
This is from the book, Hard Sayings of the Bible by Intervarsity Press, commenting on God’s wrath described in Romans 1:
In some sense, God’s wrath is built into the very structure of created reality. In rejecting God’s structure and establishing our own, in violating God’s intention for the creation and substituting our own intentions, we cause or own disintegration. Page 542
The human condition, which Paul describes in Romans 1:18-32, is not something caused by God. The phrase “revealed from heaven” (where “heaven” is a typical Jewish substitute word for “God”) does not depict some kind of divine intervention, but rather the inevitability of human debasement which results when God’s will, built into the created order, is violated. Since the created order has its origin in God, Paul can say that the wrath of God is now (constantly) being revealed “from heaven.” It is revealed in the fact that the rejection of God’s truth (Rom 1:18-20), that is, the truth about God’s nature and will, leads to futile thinking (Rom 1:21-22), idolatry (Rom 1:23), perversion of God-intended sexuality (Rom 1:24-27) and relational-moral brokenness (Rom 1:28-32). Page 543
The expression “God gave them over” (or “handed them over”), which appears three times in this passage (Rom 1:24,26,28), supports the idea that the sinful perversion of human existence, though resulting from human decisions, is to be understood ultimately as God’s punishment which we, in freedom, bring upon ourselves. Page 543
In light of these reflections, the common notion that God punishes or blesses in direct proportion to our sinful or good deeds cannot be maintained… God loves us with an everlasting love. But the rejection of that love separates us from its life-giving power. The result is disintegration and death. Page 543
This from one of the founders of our church;
We are not to regard God as waiting to punish the sinner for his sin. The sinner brings the punishment upon himself. His own actions start a train of circumstances that bring the sure result. Every act of transgression reacts upon the sinner, works in him a change of character, and makes it more easy for him to transgress again. By choosing to sin, men separate themselves from God, cut themselves off from the channel of blessing, and the sure result is ruin and death. Selected Message Page 235
What does the last sentence, “Whether unrighteous humanity or the fallen angels, God has taken special note of their evil and has planned their punishment on the day of judgment,” say to you?
Again, what kind of law does such a statement reveal the authors believe in?
The infection of Satan’s lie is deeply rooted within the landscape of Christianity. The final message to the world to prepare people for the second coming of Christ is to worship Him who made the heavens, earth, sea etc. and stop worshiping the dictator. We are called to designer worship.
Read second paragraph,
“Peter and Jude record three examples of God’s vengeance in the past. They include the destruction of the antediluvian world by the Flood, the incineration of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the chaining of angelic beings for destruction (2 Pet. 2:4-6; 3:7; Jude 6, 7). All of these episodes are laced with a lingering sense of finality. Though Scripture speaks a great deal about God’s mercy and grace, God’s justice also plays an important role in the final destruction of sin.”
Was God’s action at the flood, at Sodom, vengeance? Or was it something else?
First, what law lens are you looking through? Does God’s law function like human law, or is God’s law design law, protocols reality is built upon?
So, if God operates on design law, what do we make of the flood and Sodom and Gomorrah?
Was God acting to punish sin, or was God acting in mercy to restrain sin and keep open the avenue for healing and restoration?
First question—what is the punishment for sin, first death—sleep in the grave and then resurrection, or eternal death? Did the people who died in the flood or Sodom die first or second death? First, it therefore is not punishment for sin.
Second question, speaking in a language of those stuck in the false law construct: Does the punishment for sin happen before or after judgment? Or which comes first, the judgment and then the execution of the sentence for the guilty? Had the judgment happened at the time of the flood and Sodom? So, again it cannot be punishment for sin.
So, understanding reality, we realize what happened then was not God punishing for sin, nor God acting vindictively or vengefully. What was happening?
After Adam sinned, what was the condition of the human species? Could the species human be saved without Jesus coming to earth and completing His mission?
Did Satan know this? Genesis three, God tells the serpent the seed of the woman would crush the serpent’s head. Did Satan know a Messiah was coming?
And what did Satan do? Did he try and prevent the Messiah from coming to earth? How?
Would God have Jesus born to a woman like Jezebel or force a woman against her will to be the mother of Jesus? So, what if Satan gets every person to permanently harden their heart to God? How many righteous people were on the earth at the time of the flood?
So was the flood God acting to punish or God acting in mercy and love to keep open the avenue for Messiah, in order to heal and save?
So the lesson authors see God as the source of inflicted pain, suffering and death—is there a problem with this view of God? What?
What is the truth? God is the source of all good, truth, love and life, sin is deviations from God’s design and sin itself results in pain, suffering and death unless remedied by God.
Which God is the one you can trust?
So what are the false teachings? Those teachings about God that make God into the one we must fear, the punisher, the source of pain and death.
Is it surprising to discover that false teachings are found in every denominational organization?
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