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. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
I imagine that after Peter saw Jesus stripped, beaten and killed, that those mental pictures stayed with him the rest of his life. No doubt, the gravity of personal experience in the occurrences of the crucifixion played and replayed in his mind at times. It must have been frustrating for him to hear others, (who he called “false teachers”) try to say that mankind was saved any other way than the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. When we see verse 1 today, Peter points out further that the ones who teach these “damnable heresies” (this is pretty much the most solid way of saying “lies”) are actually “denying the Lord that bought them.” This is an interesting phrase. There is a doctrine that says Jesus only died for the sins of those who put their faith in Him. On the other side of the theological aisle is the argument that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world. This idea that Jesus’s death was only for the sins of the saved is known as “Limited Atonement.” This theology speaks about how that Jesus blood was “efficacious” (effective and useful) only for the ones who put their faith in Him. While I agree that Jesus’s blood does only save those who put their faith in Him, the distinction must be made that He did not die just for those who put their faith in him. Rather, His blood was shed even for those who would never put their faith in him. The false teachers in verse 1 were “bought by the Lord,” but they also are reserved to the “day of judgment to be punished.” If Jesus’s blood only paid for the sins of believers, then why would these “bought ones” be eternally punished by God? God is loving. God is just. God is excessively clear on what it takes to be saved from the wrath to come. Payment has been made for all mankind through the atoning work of Jesus. If we come in faith, God graciously forgives and justifies us.
Food For Thought: Read 1 John 2:1-2. Who did Jesus die for, the saved or the whole world? Who is saved by His blood?