II Peter 2:9
There are only two great classes of people in the world – the godly and the unjust. First, the godly are those who have been born again. (St. John 3:7) says, “…Ye must be born again.”
Secondly, the unjust are those who live to themselves and to the world. For John declared in I John 2:16), “…For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” God knows how to reserve the unjust to the day of judgment.
Who are those that are unjust and cursed? All who are living in any known sin, all who are living in forgetfulness of God, all who are not in Christ’s favor, all who are not showing forth the blessed fruits of the Spirit in their daily lives are the unjust and the cursed. Delayed judgment is not a sign of indifference. The Lord knows how to rule and to judge, for His wisdom and justice are alike. They are faultless. His power is irresistible and His knowledge is all-embracing.
God see’s the distinction in each of us. We have different principles and standards. David said to Goliath “…I come to thee in the name of the Lord” (I Sam. 17:45).
We often estimate our fellow-man by such things as social position and status, and show little regard to their Christian belief or standards. Oftentimes, people in power have little regard to Christian beliefs. James stated in (James 2:9), “…But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.” We cannot know the thoughts and intents of a persons’ heart. Hence the inadequacy and corrupt standards and morals of some tend to create a moral distinction among the just and the unjust, regardless of their position or lack thereof.
According to St. Peter, our Divine ruler distinguishes men, both the ungodly, or those energized by true godliness by a reverence for God’s law and their appreciation of His love. The unjust, or those who have no respect for the law of rectitude, human or Divine will be judged regardless of their earthly power, social position or status. “…Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” ( Rom. 1:21).
Let us take a look at the corresponding distinction of treatment on the part of the Lord. The godly are not exempted from trials and temptations but delivered out of it. Noah, whose lot was cast in a generation of sinners and scoffers,
believed God’s word and acted upon it. He believed that God was about to destroy the inhabited parts of the world with a flood. Noah called for repents. They said ‘we will believe it when we see it. You are trying to frighten us, in order to make us give up our sins.’ Noah preached; the people laughed; it was all unheeded. No one turned from their evil ways; no one believed the message. Noah persisted in building the ark, and this enactment revealed his own faith in the message. God comforted and supported Noah by making him a covenant or solemn promise that he and all his family should be saved. “…But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee” (Gen. 6:18).
The strongest nations are not shot-proof against the arrows of God. There is nothing peaceable when God is an emery. Sodom and Gomorrah did not escape the arrows of God. Men, women, homes, plants, monuments, and all that grew on the earth were destroyed according to Gen.19:25. You shouldn’t think you’re safe because you have escaped one judgment. When you are farthest off from one evil, another is ready to fall upon you. Note Amos 5:19, “…As a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.”
Lot was delivered from participation in Sodom and Gomorrah’s guilt and doom. Yet, Divine providence allows the purest and the best to come into constant contact with the bond-slaves of sin. “…Know ye not, that to who ye yield yourselves servant to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Romans 6:16.
For what purpose? In order that our virtue to be tested and our character strengthened. God will never abandon those who confide in His care, and who comply with His conditions of safety.
The unrighteous cannot escape just retribution. It does not matter how high your station is in life, or in what esteem you are held by your fellow-creatures, or what your power and skill level may be. If you defy and forget God, know that you are subject to the control of infinite justice and that it is administered by omnipotence.
Let me remind you that the angels that rebel were cast in to hell, “…and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” (v.4) That a flood was brought upon the ancient world of the ungodly, (v.5) That the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were turned into ashes. (v.6) For all sinner there is punishment here and there. God shall render to every person according to his words. All those who have exalted themselves against the Divine shall awake to “shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2).