2Pe 2:20-22 “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.”
Throughout this letter of Peter’s to those of like precious faith, it is evident to this point that there is a time of great persecution and temptation taking place. The Adversary is pulling out all the stops in order to shake the faith of those that have committed themselves unto the way of Jesus Christ. While some persecutions are easily spotted others are more insidious. Some of our greatest persecutions today do not come in the form of overt physical harm.
We are bombarded today with all sorts of “pleasant” persecutions by all manner of media. Go in debt for this new car, and you will be admired by all. Get this piece of exercise equipment and become the desire of everyone who sees you. Move to this particular locale and immediately be recognized as being successful. How is this persecution? It tells us that being modest and reasonable are old fashioned concepts that have no place in the world. The most important concept is “I.” What I want, what I think, what I feel, what I see. These persecutions push us away from the place of ministry to others.
Our Lord and Saviour has delivered us for all eternity from our sins. We cannot lose the salvation that He paid for with His own blood. The knowledge of Him has made for us a way of escape from the persecution and temptation of this present world. However, Peter cautions us against becoming entangled with these things again. When Jesus, through the working of the Holy Spirit, sets us free from “I,” we are able to walk with a desire to serve others. If we become caught up in self again and are overcome by our selfish will, our latter end is worse than when we only knew to serve self.
When we only knew to run after the pollutions of the world, there was no condemnation for us in doing so. After we are blessed with the knowledge of Jesus and liberated from those pollutions, there is a great condemnation that comes upon us if we are overcome of those things again. There is a shame that condemns us within no matter how good of a front we put on. Once we have known the way of Christian justification (which is Jesus), we have His holy commandment delivered to us; “As I have loved you…”
We need not pretend that it cannot happen. Peter says “it is happened.” The question is has it happened to us? After knowing the joy of being a servant (minister) unto our Lord and His house, have we become caught up in the “what’s in it for me” mentality? Have we turned again to pollution? Having the knowledge of Jesus does not mean that all our temptations are over. It does mean that we have a way of escape from every temptation (1Cor 10:13) so that we can bear it instead of being overcome.
May we be thankful for the knowledge that we have been called to serve others and trust Him to bless us to be overcomers of the pollution that is in the world!