The next two chapters set before us, on the other hand, the two forms of evil that characterise the last days-the false and corrupt teaching of bad men, and the unbelief which denies the return of the Lord on the ground of the stability of the visible creation. The former really denies the Master who bought them. It is no question here as to the title of the Lord, nor of redemption. The simile is of a master who has purchased slaves at the market, and they disown and refuse to obey him. Thus among the converted Jews there would be false teachers, who disowned the authority of Christ-His rights over them. Many would be led away by them; and as they bore the name of Christians, the way of truth would be bought into disrepute by their means; while in fact, by their covetousness and hypocritical words, they would make merchandise of Christians for their private gain, count them as mere instruments of it. But the resource of faith is always in God. Judgment would overtake them. The examples of the fallen angels, of Noah and the deluge, of Lot and Sodom, proved that the Lord knew how to deliver the righteous out of their trials, and to reserve the unrighteous for the day of judgment.
That which would characterise this class of evildoers would be the unbridled license of their conduct. They would indulge their carnal lusts, and despise all authority in a way that angels would not dare to do. Still they would call themselves Christians and associate with Christians in their love-feasts, deceiving their own hearts, addicting themselves continually to evil, promising liberty to others, but themselves the slaves of corruption.
Now, to be thus re-entangled in evil, after having escaped it through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour, was worse than if they had never known any thing of the way of truth. But it was according to the true proverb-The dog had returned to his own vomit, and the sow that had been washed, to her wallowing in the mire. They were apostates therefore, but here the Spirit of God does not so much point out the apostacy as the evil, because the government of God is still in view. In Jude the apostacy is the prominent thing. Peter tells us that the angels sinned; Jude, that they kept not their first estate. But God will judge the wicked.