2 Peter 2:4, “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment;”
In a day when many older heresies are being repackaged for people by television preachers and authors, it can be easy to get discouraged because of the false teaching we encounter every day. Even so as Christians, we are to contend for the faith (Jude 3) earnestly. While the rise of false teaching is indeed troubling, Christians should not think that is worthless to resist false teaching and to teach against it from the Word of God. After all our heavenly Father is not surprised by false teaching. False prophets arose under the Old Covenant, and they will arise and trouble the Church today (2 Peter 2:1-3).
2 Peter 2:4 begins a section in Peter’s epistle reminding God’s people not to be discouraged by false teaching because the Lord God will not allow false and wicked teachers to escape condemnation. To do this, Peter gives three examples of God’s past judgment on the wicked to remind the people of God that just as the Lord judged evil in the past, so He will in the future.
2 Peter 2:4 focuses on God’s committing the angels to “chains of gloomy darkness” which is the day of judgment. Here many have thought Peter is referring to the “sons of God” who sinned by marrying the “daughters of man” (Genesis 6:1-4) preceding the time of Noah. Genesis though is more likely describing the intermarriage of righteous men with pagan women before the Flood. In 2 Peter 2:4, Peter gives a reference to the fall of the angels and the origins of demons which happened sometime between the Creation and the Fall. The Lord has restrained not eliminated these fallen angels with chains, even while they still exert influence on the earth. The day of judgment is sure to come. While false teachers also have influence like demons, they are ultimately on God’s leash and subject to the sovereign will of God.
Though it may seem like false teachers and demons themselves are powerful enemies of the people of God, you and I must never fear them. After all, they serve the ultimate purposes of God and are restrained by the mighty sovereign, powerful hand of the Lord God. The Lord God is never responsible for evil, but He does use the actions of His enemies even to accomplish His sovereign purposes and will. This is why when you are tempted to be fearful or discouraged regarding evil, please ask the Lord to remind you of His sovereign power and mighty over evil and do all you can to serve God by resisting it and preaching the Word of God to people.
Dave Jenkins is happily married to Sarah Jenkins. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, the Host and Producer of Equipping You in Grace Podcast, and is a contributor to and producer of Contending for the Word. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021) and The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against the Spirit of the Age (G3 Press, 2022). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.