Some things Hard to be Understood
2 Pet. 3:15-17
We continue about Peter and Paul. However, this time it’s not about them anymore but about the spiritual things which they taught particularly the Apostle Paul. The longsuffering of the Lord as the Bible says results in salvation. False teachers distorts the Word of God especially in some of Paul’s letters which Peter says “some things hard to be understood”. I have files of the verses which the false teachers misunderstood and twisted to their own destruction but I will only mention a few here. Paul’s emphasis on salvation as a free gift from God apart from human works of righteousness (justification by faith) is for me on the top of their list. Paul’s teaching about eternal security of the believer written in the book of Hebrews is another one. Let’s take a closer look at them.
I. Some basic principles
A. The Apostles who personally walked with Jesus for several years did not always understand Him (Mark 9:32; Luke 2:50; 9:45; 18:34; John 2:22; 10:6; 12:16; 16:18).
B. The Apostles also does not understand the writings of other Apostles. (2 Pet. 3:16). Peter finds it difficult to understand some of Paul’s writing (maybe just like us also)
C. None of us can understand and know all things in the Bible.
D. The Apostle Peter tells us “not many things” but only “some things”, that means only a “few” will be hard to be understood. God’s Word is very clear in lots of areas.
II. Erroneous Teaching about Salvation by False Teachers.
A. We are all God’s children so we can say that we are all going to heaven. This is the erroneous universal fatherhood of God teaching!
1. This is false because not all people are sons of God. John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
2. Not all will be saved. Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
3. More will go to hell than those that will go to heaven. Matthew 7:13-14 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
4. Many thinks that they are saved but in reality they are not. Matthew 7:22-23 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
B. People are saved by means of Baptism
1. Simon was baptized but he is never a Christian and he is never saved. Acts 8:13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.
2. Leader of the cults like David Koresh (Branch Davidian), Jim Jones (Guyana
Massacre), Joseph Smith of (LDS) were all baptized by immersion yet they are not saved.
3. Judas Iscariot also was a baptized disciple but was not saved.
4. The Popes (during the Dark Ages), Hitler, Fidel Castro, Stalin, were all baptized but they were monsters who killed millions of innocent people.
5. The thief on the cross was never baptized yet he is saved. Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
C. Being a member of a religious organization saves. (Teachings of the INC)
1. Judas was one of the disciples and their treasurer yet he is not saved (Jn. 12:6).
D. Being prayerful and religious can save.
1. Cornelius was prayerful and very religious yet Peter has to teach him about salvation. Acts 10
E. Scriptural Teaching on how to get saved: Roman Road as written by Paul in the Epistle to the Romans:
1. We are all sinners . – Romans 3:23
2. God’s penalty or punishment for sin is death. – Romans 6:23
3. In His great love, God has made provision for the salvation of sinners. – Romans 5:8
4. Each person must put his trust in God’s Son, Jesus Christ. – Romans 10:9-10, 13
III. Erroneous teaching that Salvation can be lost:
A. Their proof text:
Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
Hebrews 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
Hebrews 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
1. Analysis of the text:
a. He has been enlightened by the clear presentation of the gospel and its invitation to repent and believe. Apparently, he has made a profession of faith and has reached out to Christ as his Saviour.
b. He has tasted the heavenly gift, (which is not the same as spiritual gift); that is he has a part in the activity of the church, the joyous fellowship of other Christians in the worship and service of the Lord, and has shown good testimony to the public.
c. He has tasted the goodness of the Word of God. He has clear understanding of the message of Scripture. He has mentally and intellectually approved and appreciated the faithful and earnest presentation of the gospel by the preachers.
d. He has even tasted the powers of the coming age – just as Judas Iscariot did, when he came back with the other eleven, exuberantly exulting that in the course of their two by two evangelistic campaigns, even the demons are subject to them as they preached the Lord Jesus (Lk. 10:17). Evidently Judas was so completely involved with them in this effort that, at the eve of Christ’s betrayal by him in the Garden of Gethsemane, none of his colleagues suspected his treachery during the Passover meal. The other disciples could not even tell whom Jesus have in mind as His betrayer.
a. All the first three qualities were true of Judas as well. He had been enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift and the goodness of the Word of God as he had sat for three years under the personal teaching of the Lord Jesus.
b. Insofar as he had participated in the gospel preaching and the expulsion of demons, he also had been a “sharer” in the Holy Spirit.
c. This falls short of becoming “indwelt” by the Holy Spirit so that his body has been actually taken over by the enemy.
d. Christ could read his heart and He saw the hypocrisy and the treachery within it. Jesus spoke of Judas as the “son of perdition” (Jn. 17:12)
e. Judas was never a” born again” believer no matter how convincing a
performance he may have put on before his fellow disciples.
f. The four qualities described were true for all apostates or false teachers and they were also true for Judas as for all “make believe” Christians.
B. Other Proof Texts of False Teachers
Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
Hebrews 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries
1. Analysis of the text:
a. Here again there is a prior receiving of the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus (similar to the “once enlightened” of Heb. 6:4), and a full understanding of the meaning of the cross.
a. Unfortunately it is possible to grasp the plan of salvation as a concept and communicate it clearly to others as a matter of teaching and yet never really yield to the Lord.
b. The Bible defines true believing as a matter of receiving Christ Himself – not simply the teaching of Christ as a philosophy or a theory – as both Lord and Saviour (Jn. 1:12).
c. The believer who receives Jesus as Lord in all sincerity and truth will never sincerely or willingly go back into the practice of sin, will never “trample on the Son of God” (Heb. 10:29); he will never regard His shed blood as unholy or profane and will never wantonly insult the Holy Spirit.
d. Like Judas, who never really put himself under the Lordship of Christ, a person who does the above were never a Christian but just a counterfeit.
e. God is never satisfied with a counterfeit. Christ only accepts the real thing, and He can never be deceived by outward shows or appearances. He reads our hearts. (Encyclopaedia of Bible Difficulties by Gleason Archer)
Some things are hard to be understood in the Bible, but there are more things that even a young child can understand. The Bible’s teaching about salvation is easy, the problem is the hardness in the heart of the people who will be facing the consequences for their
unbelief and disobedience. Come to Christ and be saved.