Thursday, June 24, 2010

Unstable Leaders – 2 Peter 2:17-19

These are springs without water, and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved. For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved. (NASB)

We are continuing to discus people who follow corrupt desires, slander celestial beings, carouse, are adulterous, seduce the unstable, and a bunch of other things. These are people who call themselves Christians and some even become leaders in their church.

Make no mistake, they are not Christians and never have been. The opening of verse 17 verifies this. They are springs without water. Jesus made it clear that Christians are springs of living water. John 7:37-39 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. (NIV)

Ezekiel describes a vision of the temple during the millennium reign of Christ. In chapter 47, he describes the water that flows from the temple. Zech 14:8 says it will be a river of living water. Ezekiel tells that the living water gets deeper and deeper as it flows from the temple. This is the way it is with God’s Spirit living in us. It continues to flow to others and as it does it multiplies and becomes deeper. This does not occur with the unstable because they not only do not have living water but they have no water.

Ezekiel says that there are trees beside the river. Rev 22:1-3 says that these trees beside the river of life will bring healing to the nations. The Holy Spirit living in us should not bring contention but healing. Unstable people that Peter describes bring strife and anger. They stir up emotions by proclaiming that we should have certain rights and protect those rights at the people of other nations or ethnic groups. They ignore Scripture such as this: Phil 2:3-5 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: (NIV)

What is Jesus’ attitude? How should we protect our rights and our freedoms? Should we follow the advice of talk show host or that of Jesus? Consider the fruitful lives of these unstable people, some of whom have been married multiple times. Consider what Jesus said. Matt 5:38-42 "You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” (NIV) Do unstable people proclaim help for the downtrodden or a me-first attitude? They appeal to the vanity of their followers.

The living water flows from the temple and into the Dead Sea. Ezek 47:9 Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. (NIV) Remember that Jesus said we would be fishers of men. Do we bring life to people or death? Does our attitude turn off people or let them see the love of Jesus? Unstable counselors only breed unstable followers, people who become anxious about the future instead of embracing the opportunities to share the Gospel. They become anxious about the economy instead of trusting God in all circumstances. The unstable leaders prosper at the expense of their disciples.

They are enslaved by their own passions and seek to enslave others as well. Of course they claim that it is for the best of the nation. They claim it is patriotic. However, they are enslaved to their ideals. Their ideals prevent them from living a life free in Christ. Rom 6:22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life. (RSV) What do you want to do? Do you want to be a slave to the anxiety that the world is pumping out or do you want to be free to do what God wants?

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