2 Peter 2:9 “…then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.”
So many of us find it difficult to face the opposition associated with evangelism. The unknown factor always comes down to response and reaction. Some people are very open to discuss Christ and some people are very offended, even to the point of physical violence. We live in a country where we do not often see a physically violent response to evangelism, but there are countries in the world where proclaiming the name of Christ means jail or possibly even death.
When Jesus sent his apostles out on mission, he gave them instructions to go through the area of Galilee and preach his Kingdom. It seems that there would be mixed response. Some would reject them. Some would accuse them, refuse them, disown them, and persecute them. These apostles would be vulnerable for the sake of Christ.
While it may not initially seem like an encouragement, Jesus tells his apostles that it will be worse for those Jews who reject his kingdom than for Sodom and Gomorrah. Why on earth should this information be helpful for apostles facing the difficulties of ministry? It is helpful because it says that they represent a power greater than themselves. They also represent a power greater than those who will reject them. I believe that Jesus wants them to know that even if they are rejected for the sake of his name, truth and authority is on their side. They are in the hands of the supreme King and Judge of the universe. He is the one with power to save and bring peace to anyone who accepts his good news. He is the one with power to eternally judge anyone who rejects his good news. We represent him!
The example of Sodom and Gomorrah is one that is used throughout the New Testament. Jesus uses this example a few times regarding the Jewish rejection of him as Messiah. Peter uses this example to encourage Christians that seem to be overwhelmed by the onslaught of false teachers and debauchery all around them. Often it seems like we are so alone. It seems as though evil is so much more powerful than us. The truth is, it’s not. In Peter’s example, Lot was one man within a whole city. God saved Lot from that city and brought destruction upon those who had rejected him. Peter says it this way, “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.”
No matter what happens to us, if we are in union with Christ, God has given us an example in Sodom and Gomorrah to remember. No matter the circumstances, God knows how to save his own. If we are able to keep this in mind, doesn’t this then help us to be more emboldened to go out without counting personal cost? Can’t we believe and remind ourselves that whatever man might do, we are in God’s hands for all of eternity. God is using Christians as his means to go into an evil world and preach his salvation. For some people, this will mean salvation and peace with God. For others it will be a sealing of their judgment. No matter what the response or situation, God knows how to rescue us. We not only trust a greater power. We are in the hands of the Omnipotent – everyone is. That’s either terrifying or wonderfully comforting. What is it for you?