2 Peter 2:19–22
19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”
Peter uses a word picture to describe a human action. The picture is that of a dog eating his vomit, a most disgusting thing to see your precious pooch do. That loving pet who licks your hand and for some of you even your face, takes that same tongue and licks up his own vomit. YUCK! You are running and screaming, “Noooo!” to no avail while he licks up the last morsel. Or the picture of a pig who is washed and cleaned for the fair and as soon as possible runs back to the muck of the pig pen and burrows his once clean nose right back into the stinking mire of the pen.
These two pictures describe someone who comes to church, hears the message, likes the people, enjoys the music, and makes friends. They participate at the knowledge level but never at the faith level. They come to your house and they share your food and you share your family with them. They enjoy your friendship and you think they also love your Lord. But when the right time for them comes, they go back to the sin that they came from. They return to the anger, the bitterness, the deceit, and eventually leave the church totally to embrace the old sinful ways.
As victims of Satan’s lies, he promised them liberty, they are once again enchained, wrapped up in sin’s bondage. I have tried to rescue many from this nasty return to the vomit and muck but they resist the pull and pull back away from the knowledge they once had. These who return never had faith. Like seed sown on thorny ground, they grew for awhile but never produced spiritual fruit. When the cares of this life and the lust for other things came in, they were deceived and drawn away taken back to the life that they never really left.
The answer to this dilemma is discipleship. We are now encouraging those who come to church, whether they manifest Christ or not, to come to discipleship. Under careful study of the Word of God they will come to know whether they are in the faith or not. If not, we pray they will be drawn to the Savor. If so, we pray they will grow closer to Christ and farther from the world and its deception.
I am leaving today for John Alagaban’s graduation. Lizzy is graduating with her associates in child care and then is return to finish her bachelor’s degree. A nephew of mine and two nephew-in-laws (they are married to a niece or going to be married to a niece) are also graduating. We are very thankful to God for His leading in John and Lizzy’s lives. What a joy to see the Lord bring them out of their lost condition into His light and for them to follow the Lord as they have.
This Sunday is Mother’s Day. I hope to see you all there. Steven Jr. will be bringing the message as a help to me since I am gone until Saturday. We are looking forward to a great day together.
If I do not get a devotional out tomorrow, remember to pray for Pastor Bill’s community services and for RU tomorrow night. Nancy Schmidt’s son, Nathan and his girlfriend, Amber are getting married tomorrow. Keep them in your prayers and send Nancy a congratulations.
Today is the “National Day of Prayer.” I hope you will be able to support some of the local prayer gatherings as they seek the Lord for His guidance and His mercy on our nation. Pray that our President and Governor will sincerely pray to the God of heaven asking for His wisdom and mercy.
Have a great day in the Lord,