Not In Short Supply
The sin problem is not something that is simply a temporary lesion of the soul that can be solved; that can be healed with a Band-Aid.
Alright. Thank you very much and hello again. My dear radio friends, how in the world are you? Yes, this is your good friend, Bob Cook, and I am glad to be back with you for another few moments of sharing from God’s blessed Word, God’s eternal, inerrant, infallible Word, the Bible. The Bible doesn’t just contain God’s Word. It is God’s Word to us. And there is a difference in those two statements you know that. We depend upon God’s Word and if there’s any difficulty, anywhere that you find where the Bible seems to disagree, or let me put it differently. Where modern science and modern knowledge seem to disagree with the Bible, wait 50 years until science catches up.
You’d be surprised how many things have been settled by the passage of time where people were so sure, about something and then later on, they say “Oh well, we discovered that some of the things were true.” I tried to sell some of my old high school books after I’d gone on into college and even into seminary days, and I had a bunch of books leftover from high school days and early college days and I thought I’ll sell them. So I went down to the secondhand bookstore in Philadelphia. We were living in Philadelphia at that time, just married and I was making all of $30 a week, I recall.
And so I needed some cash, I thought I’ll sell these books. I brought down a big box of textbooks, and I said “I want to sell these secondhand books.” And he said “All right, I’ll look at them.” And he took them out of the box and he said “We’ll keep this one. We’ll throw that one away. I can’t take that one.” I said “What’s the matter? And those are good books, hardly used.” And he said “Oh, we don’t — that’s out of date, we don’t believe that stuff anymore.” I managed, I guess to sell maybe 5 or 6 books out of the whole box full, and the rest had to be discarded because they weren’t believed anymore.
When I was in the classroom, what was in those books was told me for truth. But you see, science had marched on a bit and people had discovered something. They used to say there was no such place as Ur of the Chaldees. Are any of you old enough to remember that some of the scientists so-called and higher critics said, “Ur of the Chaldees where Abraham was supposed to come from–no such place.” And then one day a man, an archeologist was digging and discovered that there was indeed a place called “Ur of the Chaldees,” and that the Bible after all was true.
Well, I got started on all of that simply by saying that our basis of fellowship, yours and mine is the inerrant Word of God. I’m glad we have some absolute in this age of uncertainties, aren’t you? Now, we’re in 2 Peter 2, and it is a pejorative chapter, it seems that it’s totally negative. It begins with false prophets and it ends up with “The dog returns to his own vomit again and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” This is a discouraging chapter about human nature. True, all of it true, but so discouraging.
And so, what I am trying to do is to be true to the truth of the chapter and to point out exactly what Peter is saying and at the same time to give to all of us a contrast in the work of our Lord Jesus Christ in and for the believer. Do you follow that? So in verse 1, “Denying the Lord that bought them.” Well, our job is to confess Him as Lord, Mathew 10:32-33, “Whosoever therefore shall forth confess me before men.” And Philippians 2, “That every tongue should confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”
And in verse 2, “Many shall follow their pernicious ways,” error is contagious you can always get a following if you go off on attention, somewhere there will always be some people who are not mentally upper ten who will follow you. “Many shall follow their pernicious ways.” But Paul says “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” You’ll be sure to walk close to the Lord Jesus and you will have people following you on the way to glory.
And then, in verse 3 Peter talks about “For those who threw covetousness and feigned words make merchandise of you.” They make money on you. They manipulate you and their motivation is not to serve you but to use you. See, these are the two great distinctive since societal interaction. Some people wish to serve, other people wish to be served and in that process they use other folk.
I remember many years ago a Christian leader who shall be nameless was heard to remark as he saw a fine upcoming young man, he said to his staff in a quiet voice, “Be very kind to him. We may need him.” Oh, bless his heart. He’s in heaven presumably now and knows better. But you know that’s not the way to do it, you don’t use people, you serve them. And so, you come over to Galatians 5 and Paul says “Brethren, ye have been called unto liberty but use not that liberty as an occasion to the flesh but by love serve.” He used the Greek verb “doulos” which means serve like a slave.
By love, serve one another. There is the contrast. Not to use people but to serve them is Christ’s way. Well, then we come to verse 4, 5, and 6 and these are the “spare not” verses. “If God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness to be reserved unto judgment.” “And spared not the old world but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly. And he didn’t spare Sodom and Gomorrah, he turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them with an overthrow making them and example unto those which after should live ungodly, but he delivered just Lot who is vexed with the filthy lifestyle of the wicked.” The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation.
Now, these are the “spare not“ verses. And what is he saying? In the pre-creation ages at some time or other, it entered into Satan’s heart and those who followed him to be like God. He said “I will exalt my throne above the sides of north. I will be like the Most High.” That’s what Satan said. God cast him out. He spared not the angels that sinned.
It’s possible for sin to enter into a perfect environment. The Garden of Eden of course is example A so far as human life is concerned. That was a perfect environment, but Adam and Eve spoiled it by sinning against God. Heaven itself was a perfect environment but the idea of being like God, exalting his throne, Satan’s throne above that of God entered into his consciousness. So, God spared not the angels that sinned. And then Peter uses the example of flood, Noah’s flood, “He spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, and brought the flood upon the world of the ungodly.”
Here you have, again, the fact of an environment that was favorable, people were learning all types of skills, they were building great cities, they had multiplied and they were using the world around them to prosper, but it says in Genesis 6, “That every imagination of the thoughts of man’s hearts was only evil continually.” This was a chronic problem. By the way remind yourself that the sin problem is not something that is simply a temporary lesion of the soul that can be solved, that can be healed with a Band-Aid.
It says, “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. God is the spare not God, but he’s also the God of mercy to those who seek Him. And then the third illustration of “spare not” is Sodom and Gomorrah. These people who had as a lifestyle, the very essence of immorality, and it was a wicked, wicked environment, Lot was there. And God in answer to Abraham’s prayer delivered him. It said, “They spared not Sodom and Gomorrah and condemned them with an overthrow making them an example. He delivered just Lot who is vexed by the filthy lifestyle of the wicked, for that righteous man dwelling among them, seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds.”
We’ll think about Lot for just a moment, shall we? You know there came that day when the herdsmen of Abraham and the herdsmen of Lot, because they each had some property, they were quarreling. The first western is in Genesis where they were quarreling over the pasture and the water rights and so on. And so Abraham said “Listen, let’s not fight about it. What you do is you pick whatever you want and I’ll take what’s left.” Now, that of course is poor business but it was very good policy. And so Lot, it says “Beheld all the plain of Sodom.” That it was well watered everywhere.
Let me read that for you in Genesis 13:10, “Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. It was like the garden of the Lord, like a land of Egypt as you come unto Zoar. Then Lot chose all the plain of Jordan and Lot journeyed east and they separated themselves, the one from the other, and Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom. But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly. God came later on to Abraham and said, “I’m going to destroy Sodom.” And Abraham of course prayed, and said “If you can 50, or 40, or 30, or 20, or even 10 righteous, don’t destroy the city.” And the angel of the Lord said “If I can find 10 in that city, I won’t destroy it.”
Well, two Angels came to Sodom at the evening tide; you know the rest of the story. Lot was there, sitting in the gate, he was a big shot now. And the angels had literally almost to pull him and his family out of the city before that fire of God fell and destroying it. Lot vexed his soul by dwelling there. This is what we’re going to talk about the next time we get together. God is the spare not God. Let me give you this verse by contrast, and we’ll come back to it the next time. “If God spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with Him also freely give us all things?” He is the spare not God, but it’s on both sides of the ledger.
Dear Father today, O, may we depend upon Thee, the spare not God. We know that your heart is open to us through Christ and we pray in His name, even Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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