QUESTION: Please explain 2nd Peter 2:4-9.


ANSWER: Before we look at these verses, let’s read 2nd Peter 3:3-4, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the father’s fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” Peter is writing of those who deny that God is going to judge the world when Christ returns and they base this on the thought that since creation began the world is progressing normally, implying that God has never intervened in the affairs of men by judging the world. We shall see, in the passage before us today, that these scoffers are ignorant of the fact that GOD HAS JUDGED THE WORLD BEFORE, and this means we have every reason to believe His Word that HE WILL JUDGE THE WORLD AGAIN.

Now let’s read 2nd Peter 2:4-7, “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but having cast them down to the deepest pit of gloom has delivered them to chains of darkness to be kept for judgment; and spared not the old world, but preserved Noah, the eighth, a preacher of righteousness, having brought the flood upon the world of the ungodly; and having reduced the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes, condemned them with an overthrow, setting them as an example to those that should afterwards live an ungodly life; and saved righteous Lot” (DARBY). The apostle Peter sets forth three examples of God’s judgment in Old Testament times to show false teachers of his day and future scoffers that God does indeed judge ungodly sinners. He HAS JUDGED:

1) The ANGELS THAT SINNED. We believe this refers to the sin recorded in Genesis 6:2 where “The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” This unholy union of angels and women caused God to deliver those angels to the “deepest pit of gloom,” which is the “bottomless pit” of Revelation 20:1-3.

2) The WORLD OF THE UNGODLY. The corruption just spoken of in Genesis 6:2 was accompanied by “ungodly men” and this is what God said about them in verse 6, “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The verses that follow bring out God’s purpose to destroy every living thing with a universal flood, with the exception of Noah and his family.

3) The CITIES OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH. The history of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is found in Genesis 19. Jude 7 records the sin that brought upon them God’s judgment, “giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh.” Sexual promiscuity and homosexuality was rampant in these cities and God rained down fire and brimstone, reducing them to ashes. Yet even there, God spared Lot who was a righteous man.

Can anyone read these verses and doubt the fact that God is holy and He must judge sin? We saw that God has “set them as an example to those that should afterwards live an ungodly life,” thus we know that God will indeed judge the world again when Christ returns. Acts 17:31 declares, “He hath appointed a day, in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained.” There is still a ray of hope in these verses though, for just as God delivered Noah and Lot from the judgments in their day, He will deliver all those who have put their trust in Christ for salvation. Verse 9 confirms this, “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.” Will you be DELIVERED or PUNISHED in that day?  (201.7)  (DO)