2 Peter 2:4-10
For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness…
I. THINK OF THE CRISIS WHICH IS INDICATED BY THE TEXT. "The day of judgment." At the day of judgment those of whom our text speaks will be present. These unjust ones will avowedly be all there. They are still existing, because then they will be forthcoming. Yes, and all besides these unjust ones are still existing, in order that they may be forthcoming then. Every descendant of Adam is existing unto this hour; living as much as we are living, away amidst the intermediate blessedness or woe; awaiting there the coming of the Lord to judgment. Public pronunciation must there be of the allotted destiny, world without end. The present does not terminate upon itself.
II. THINK OF THE PARTIES DESIGNATED BY THE TEXT. "The unjust." This word is used to represent the ungodly. To be unjust towards our fellow-man is to do unto him that which should have been avoided, and to neglect to do unto him that which should have been performed. We sustain to him relationships involving manifold obligations. We sustain towards God relationships involving manifold obligations. Certain things are due from us to God; certain tempers of heart; certain modes of thought; certain habits of life. They are in no wise optional Now, in the judgment of the great day inquisition will be instituted accordingly. Not a godly man has lived who will not then be honourably recognised. Not an ungodly man has lived whose ungodliness will not then be brought transparently to light. Compromise will be impossible. Suppression will be impossible. Evasion will be impossible.
III. Think of the doom declared by our text. "Punishment unto which they have been reserved." There was, according to the intimation, an idea of ultimate escape. The penalty which had been merited would somehow be averted. So in their folly men imagined they should not surely die. But God was knowing them all the while; preparing, moreover, all the while, as His forewarnings told, to execute His will. Dare any man amongst us to suggest that the great God was inconsiderate when He spoke of a fearful looking-for of judgment? Dare any man amongst us to suggest that He who holdeth us responsible for the full sincerity of our own words has been so far indifferent to the full sincerity of His own as to speak of tribulation in the future life when there is no such thing as tribulation? Real, downright positively real, this future punishment of the unjust. Forecast-ings of the punishment are sometimes realised in the present life. Instances of punishment have now and then occurred among the children of men which are enough to silence the objections which some of you are making now. You want the preacher to remember the goodness of God. I have it in remembrance; but I have in remembrance also the blindness of Elymas the sorcerer, and the latter end of Herod, who was eaten up of worms. You want the preacher to remember the goodness of God. I have it in remembrance; but I have in remembrance also the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise; the cherubim with the flaming sword being placed there to dare them ever to return.
Parallel VersesKJV: For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;