By Allen Domelle, Old Paths Journal
2 Peter 2:2
“And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.”
If I told you that a certain life or a certain pathway led to imminent death, you would at the least be a little cautious of living that life or walking in that way. If I told you that a certain food is known to kill people, you would do everything in your power to avoid eating that food. If I told you that the glass of water that you are about to drink has cyanide in it, you would pour that glass of water out. You would avoid each of these things because you knew that they caused death.
However, God talks about ways that lead to death, and many people seem to go ahead and walk down those ways. God says in the verse above, “And many shall follow their pernicious ways…” The word “pernicious” means to have the quality of killing. In this chapter, God identifies several actions that lead to death. These actions may not lead to a physical death, though some of them can, but these actions lead to a spiritual death. Let me point out these death ways so that you can avoid them.
First, speaking evil of the way of truth is a death way. There seem to be many today who have no problem attacking the ways of righteousness. Let me clearly state that nobody has walked the way of truth and ended up regretting the death that it brings. The way of truth has always brought life to those who walked in them. You can talk evil of the ways of truth, but you will soon find yourself living in the death way.
Second, covetousness is a death way. Verse 3 talks about the covetousness of those who walk in the death way. Coveting is still a sin. Many people have gotten themselves into financial debt because they couldn’t control their covetous desires. Just because you want something doesn’t mean you should purchase it. Just because someone else has something doesn’t mean you should have it yourself. You must be careful about feeding covetousness by watching programs that feed that appetite. The only way you are going to overcome the covetous appetite is to be content with what the LORD has given you. You will always find that what the LORD has given you is sufficient to make you happy and to keep you from unhealthy financial appetites.
Third, walking after the flesh is a death way. Verse 10 talks about the uncleanness of walking after the flesh. You can’t follow the flesh and live in the Spirit at the same time. Walking after the flesh always leads to a sinful life, and a sinful life always leads to death. The believer is supposed to crucify the flesh, not walk after the flesh. If you do what your flesh always wants you to do, you will find yourself walking in the death way.
Fourth, despising government is a death way. Despising government in verse 10 is talking about avoiding the structure of authority. You are walking in a death way when you hate and work against the authorities that God has set up in your life.
Fifth, speaking evil of dignities is a death way. Verse 10 warns of speaking evil of those who hold positions of honor as a death way. You may not like someone who holds a position of honor, but you would be wise to avoid talking negative about them. The best thing you can do about the authorities you dislike is to pray for them because God can change them better than evil talk will ever do.
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