Apostle Peter who walked on water (Matthew 14:29) and got 3,000 people saved (Acts 2:41) in a matter of a few minutes sermon, wrote this concerning the Apostle Paul “…..His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” 2 Peter 3:16
If Peter said “some things” Paul wrote “are hard to understand” then I totally understand why some scriptures can be confusing for some believers, however, the question remains: is the scripture confusing or the people confused? I pick the people-bam!
God is not Author of confusion. People are confused by their sinful desires and Peter is telling us here that ignorant (ouch!) and unstable (wow!) people DISTORT the WORD of God to their own destruction. What did Paul meant when he wrote “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,” Philippians 2:12.
First of all, this text is often misused to instill fear into people, warning them that it means that they can lose their salvation. The word “distort” fits perfectly in the narration. If Paul meant you will lose your salvation if you do not “work out” then everything else he has ever written is contradicting and it means 1/3 of the New Testament message is invalid and perhaps the Gentiles (non-Jews) were never saved or included in God’s plans. Do you see the downward spiral? Have you noticed how far off one can get when they twist and turn the WORD of God? Where did Mormonism and Watch Towering came from?
Ok, let’s set the record straight. Paul did not confuse you or contradict himself. He in-fact balanced out everything he has ever written and fitted it perfectly with the entire Gospel Message and the entire Bible. So, tighten your seatbelt because I’ve found an article about this “Work out your salvation” controversial summarized beautifully on Radically Christian. Head over there, read and come back to read the rest of this article. Come on go read it, I will be waiting……..
Welcome back. Did the message open your eyes? I have done my homework. I read many commentaries preparing to clear the controversial but then I couldn’t beat what Radically Christian put together. So I trust you’ve learned something.
Now, Paul is not the only one accused of confusing believers. The “ignorant” and “unstable” people according to Peter puts Jesus, James, and others in the same category. For example, you’ll find what Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness’” is totally misconstrued.
The Parable of Ten Virgins in Matthew 25:1-12 many times finds itself in the midst of controversies. “Faith without works is dead” and “a man is justified by works, and not by faith only” (James 2:14-26) again taken out of context by the workers of lawlessness then teach others that the work of the cross is not sufficient. Well, let them do it to their own destruction.
I’ll end with this; I’d rather be someone who doesn’t know anything than one who takes the Word and change its meaning. And unsuitably teach others erroneous message. These are the people Jesus will say “depart from me, I never knew you.” These are “the five foolish virgins.” These are the ones who think they can add self-righteousness to the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. These are the ones Peter rebuked and called them “ignorant” and “unstable.”
Dear Sisters and Brother, do not be such a people.