“For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment.”
Chapter two is in the minor key. It tells the dark tale of apostasy. The Bible warns that the church will go into apostasy in the latter years.
For if God
In previous verses, Peter talks of false teachers. Now he gives several examples of apostasy. First, he turns to fallen angels (Ezek 28:15; Jude 6).
The “if” here assumes the reality of Peter’s proposition. It is true that God did not spare angels who sinned. Peter now compares the false teachers of his day with beings who apostatized centuries ago. This is the first of three historical comparisons with the past. The other two judgments are the flood (v.6) and Sodom and Gomorrah (v.6).
If God punishes angels who committed apostasy, surely He will punish people in Peter’s day who apostatize. God will not “spare” fallen angels. God will inflict retribution upon fallen angels.
It is interesting that the “if” clause begins here in verse four and ends with a “then” clause in verse nine. That is all one sentence. If we do not take note of this, we will lose contact with Peter’s argument.
did not spare the angels who sinned
“Spare” carries the idea of refrain, abstain. God did not refrain from the execution of justice upon fallen angels. God cannot abstain from justice. God cannot hold back His essence and abandon His standards. He must act according to His own character for He is immutable. There is no latitude in God so God cannot be lenient toward sin. He must judge sin or the sinner who will not accept His judgment of sin.
The sin of these angels was fornication with human beings. God must judge sin no matter how high the creature might be. If God does not spare a higher order of beings, He surely will not spare human beings.
Who are these angels that “sinned?” These angels may be the angels of Genesis 6:1-9. This may have been Satan’s strategy to mix angelic and human natures so that when Christ came, He could not represent humanity in His death for their sin. Their sin was a sin of sex perversion. The next phrase, the term (Tartarus) for hell may support the idea that the Genesis six situation was co-mingling of humans and angels.
There are two kinds of angels: good and bad,
Mt 25:41, “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’”
God must be consistent with His own character.
I have never seen a liberal who could not mouth sloppy sentimentalism towards God’s character a dozen different ways. Let us look at the character of God. Some of God’s attributes are absolute, sovereign, pure justice, absolute righteousness, and perfect love.
God is immutable in all these attributes. He does not bend His character to fit a situation. Can He get tough? You bet He can. We cannot read the Old Testament or the New Testament without getting this point.
If we think we can get away with things with God, we fool ourselves. We need to flag ourselves down in time. We need to alert ourselves to our folly as quickly as possible. If we detect cancer early enough, our lives may be spared. It is the same with the gospel. If you discover early enough, you still have a chance to receive Christ. If you come to Christ, you will never come to judgment. The gospel is the good news that we are forgiven in full and free.
God spares His own Son,
Ro 8:32, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
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