(2 Peter 2:17-22) – “The last state has become worse for them than the first.”
That is the big question that needs to be answered in this passage. The implications are enormous!
Some have read this and inferred that Peter is saying that a genuine Christian can lose their salvation.
But that’s obviously not what’s being said, other Scriptures (Romans 8; John 10; Ephesians 2, etc.) are clear that salvation is by grace, not by anything we’ve done.
Since we didn’t gain it, we can’t lose it.
So who is Peter talking about?
The first part of the passage finishes the description of false teachers by saying that they make big promises but aren’t able to keep them. Even worse, the thing they promise (freedom) is something they’ve never experienced.
And the people they are going after is people who have just been exposed to God, His church, and the like.
These are people who haven’t yet made a decision about Jesus personally, but have surrounded themselves with Christian community. They are beginning to get away from the world and are moving closer to the things of God.
They’ve been exposed to truth, and the false teachers try to entice them away from the faith before they surrender their lives to Christ.
Many of these “phenomenological Christians,” people who maybe looked like Christians on the outside because of outward conformity, were drawn back to the world and its ways.
For them, going back to the world is a worse place to be than before they were ever exposed to truth in the first place. Why? Because now they are held accountable to that truth. They’ve rejected a higher level of revelation.
And for that, their eternal judgment is far worse.
So should we not share with people because of that? Absolutely not, we have no way of knowing how a person will respond to truth. Our job is just to share.