Never Say It Could Never Happen To Us

by Staff February 5, 2016

from Michael Green:

“Why has Peter expended so much powder and shot on the false teachers? . . . Because he is primarily a pastor. He is concerned to feed his Master’s sheep (cf. John 21:15-17, 1 Peter 5:1ff.), and he is furious to find them being poisoned by lust masquerading as religion. It is only by paying very cursory attention to the contents of this passage that Kasemann can say, ‘The attack on the heretics has taken on a stiff and stereotyped character, because the writer is so no longer conducting the campaign on the basis of his own experience.’ It does our generation little credit that such passion for truth and holiness strikes an alien note in our minds. Peter’s plain speaking . . . has a very practical purpose, just as Jesus’ warnings had: ‘What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch!’ We would be mistaken to assume, ‘It could never happen to us.’ Both Scripture and experience assure us that it could. ‘Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall’ (1 Cor. 10:12). Covetousness, sophistical arguments, pride in knowledge, gluttony, drunkenness, lust, arrogance against authority of all kinds, and, most of all, the danger of denying the lordship of the Redeemer — are these not all the paramount temptations of money-mad, sex-mad, materialistic, anti-authoritarian, twentieth-century man?”

– Michael Green, “2nd Peter,” in The Second Epistle of Peter and the Epistle of Jude, TNTC (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1982), 122.

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