“"Again Entangled And Overcome"”Categories: Apostasy, Baptism, Bible, Christian, Compromise, Daily Living, Expository Study, Faith, False Doctrine, God, Gospel, Heaven, Hell, Memory, New Testament, Obedience, Peter, Truth
The last three verses of II Peter 2 are perhaps more well-known than other parts of this chapter. This section of Scripture is used to show (correctly) that a Christian may fall away from God and be lost (also II Pet. 3:17). “Once-saved-always-saved” or the impossibility of apostasy is not a teaching found in Scripture. Therefore, let us take a look at this section and see what lessons we can learn.
First, II Peter 2:20 is talking about the people who had been fooled by false teachers (v. 19). The reason why Peter wanted to make sure that the Christians were grounded in “the present truth” (II Pet. 1:12-15) is that it was possible for one who had “escaped the pollutions of the world” to be “again entangled and overcome”! To be “again entangled” implies that these folks had, at one point, been “untangled!” Yes, false teachers can tempt us to return to error if we are not vigilant (II Pet. 3:17)! Therefore, if people become entangled once more, then “the latter end is worse than the beginning.”
I find this statement fascinating because if the impossibility of apostasy doctrine is true, then Peter’s last statement is not true. According to those who believe in “once-saved-always-saved,” a man who is “again entangled” never really was saved anyway! In that case, the latter end couldn’t be worse than the beginning for this person, because, from the beginning, this man was doomed and damned to Hell! At the same time, if the impossibility of apostasy doctrine is true for the saved person, then Peter’s last statement is still not true! This is because if a man is saved and bound for Heaven, then he stays saved regardless of what he does while on earth. So, from the beginning, this man was going to Heaven, and how could his destiny be any better? Can we see now how the “once-saved-always-saved” teaching contradicts plain truth? Let’s stop reading the Bible through a “filter,” and let’s accept the Bible for what it says!
II Peter 2:21-22 continues to describe this one who has fallen back into his old ways of sin. Included in this is Peter’s quotation of Proverbs 26:11. God looks upon the saved person who reverts to a life of sin like a dog that vomits and then laps it back up! If this is a disgusting description to you, then you got the point! The actions of a Christian who goes back into sin and the world are as repulsive to God as watching a dog eat puke! Similarly, it reminds God of a freshly-washed sow who rolls in the mire. For those reading who have not been around hogs, please understand that “mire” is not merely “mud.” There is something else in the mud that she is rolling in in order to stay cool! If we think that it is disgusting for a hog (or anything) to root and roll in their own waste, then you get the point! When God sees Christians leave Him and go back into sin, they are rolling in the filth once more!
God does not teach the “once-saved-always-saved” doctrine. The old dodge that says, “a man that falls back into sin never really was saved in the first place” can’t be correct. First, it is not correct because the statement is illogical. Someone who “never really was saved” was just that -- not saved! You can’t fall back into the mire if you never left! Second, we know that old dodge can’t be right because the text says the sow was “washed”! If she was washed, she was clean. She was free from the filth! Then she went back to the “wallowing.” She was out of the mire, washed and clean, and then went back. This is a picture of a person who was taught the truth, saved, cleansed from sin (I Cor. 6:11; Acts 22:16), and then went back to his life in sin. A living example of II Peter 2:20-22 is Simon (Acts 8:13-22). Peter witnessed that event.
Let the words from II Peter 2:20-22 stand as a warning to us. Christians can sin so as to be lost! What can saved people do to prevent this? Get our minds saturated in God’s word (II Pet. 1:12-15) and live it! Don’t listen to false teachers, those who lie to us about our souls (II Pet. 2:19), but listen to the truth of God and be faithful all of our lives (I Cor. 15:58)!
- Jarrod M. Jacobs