Hold fast to faith
“They have left the straight path and have lost their way.” – 2 Peter 2:15
The days of map reading while traveling abroad are over. Today it is easier to navigate with the use of GPS. This new method significantly cuts down the chances of getting lost. However, in some instances people still lose their way.
Another serious thing is to be lost and not know it. Some years ago, it was said of the tragic end of the son of the late President John F. Kennedy, John John, that while piloting his aircraft he lost sense of direction and could not differentiate up from down. How many of us know of people who are traveling the roads, alleys and highways of life that are clearly marked ‘wrong way’, but they just continue in that direction.
On the tenth day of January 1967, we obtained Majority Rule and on July 10, 1973 we became an independent nation, although we still recognize Queen Elizabeth as our sovereign head and are a part of the Commonwealth.
Today, we are blessed to be called Bahamians. We have come a mighty long way and those with willing minds are able to provide for themselves and their families. But in spite of our achievements, when we look at ourselves, we have been weighed down on many fronts; morally, socially, culturally and spiritually and have lost our noble sinews, muscles and strength!
Peter 1 and 2 was written by St. Peter about A.D. 64. The letter was probably written to those Christians who had fled from Nero’s persecution and had taken refuge in Asia Minor. The chief motive of the letter is to inspire patience and hope amid tribulation and persecution.
Leadership is a wonderful gift – be it in the nation, church, business, education or wherever; but when leadership is laced with something other than truth, then those who follow are bound to suffer the consequences. Peter tells us in his second chapter – But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
Even so, many will follow their immoral ways. In their greed these false teachers will make a profit out of telling you made up stories. For a long time now, their judge has been ready and their destroyer has been wide awake!
God did not spare the angels who sinned, but threw them into hell, where they are kept chained in darkness waiting for the day of Judgment. God did not spare the ancient world, but brought the flood on the world of godless people; he saved Noah, who preached righteousness along with seven other people. God completely destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, destroying them with fire, and made them an example of what will happen to the godless. He rescued Lot, a good man, who was distressed by the immoral conduct of lawless people.
That good man lived among them, and day after day he suffered agony as he saw and heard their evil actions. The Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials and how to keep the wicked under punishment for the Day of Judgment, especially those who follow their filthy bodily lusts and despise God’s authority.
These false teachers are bold and arrogant, and show no respect for the glorious beings above, instead they insult them. Even the angels, who are so much stronger and mightier than these false teachers, do not accuse them with insults in the presence of the Lord. But these people act by instinct, like animals born to be captured and killed; they attack with insults anything they do not understand. They will be destroyed like wild animals, and they will be paid with suffering for the suffering they have caused.
Pleasure for them is to do anything in broad daylight that will satisfy their bodily appetites, they are a shame and a disgrace as they join you in your meals, all the while enjoying their deceitful ways! They want to look for nothing, but the chance to commit adultery. Their appetite for sin is never satisfied. They lead weak people into a trap. Their hearts are trained to be greedy. They are under God’s curse. They have left the straight path and have lost their way; they have followed the path taken by Balaam son of Beor, who loved the money he would get by doing wrong, and was rebuked for his sin. His donkey spoke with a human voice and stopped the prophet’s insane action.
These people are like dried up springs, like clouds blown along by a storm. God has reserved a place for them in the deepest darkness. They make proud and stupid statements, and use immoral bodily lusts to trap those who are just beginning to escape from among people who live in error. They promise freedom while they themselves are slaves of destructive habits – for we are slaves of anything that has conquered us.
If people have escaped from the corrupting forces of the world through their knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and then are again caught and conquered by them, such people are in worse condition at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been much better for them never to have known the way of righteousness, than to know it and then turn away from the sacred command that was given them.
What happened to them shows that the proverbs are true, “A dog goes back to what it has vomited” and “a pig that has been washed goes back to roll in the mud.”
Wow! Imagine the church receiving a letter like that, not from any dignitary, but from The Man of God! Pope Francis sends out global messages to those of The Catholic Faith and even so some fall prey to Satan. But thanks be to God, The Word of God is for all seasons, all ages and all people.
Today we pray to God for those who have once held fast to the faith in Jesus Christ, but like the sower and the seed have allowed worldly thorns, thistles and briars to choke the Word out of them. Father God we petition your throne of mercy to help those who have left the straight path and lost their way, a joyful shout of victory would come because the lost have been found!