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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, May 17, 2015

“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” (II Peter 2:4).

The Bible teaches that Satan was a great archangel who rebelled against God, and was cast out of Heaven to the earth. The fall of Satan is given in Ezekiel 28:11-19 and Isaiah 14:13-14. Many angels joined Satan in his rebellion. Some of them were left free to become what the Bible calls “demons.” But some of them were cast down to Hell. These are the demons spoken of in our text. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie said, “These are the fallen angels who sinned grievously by cohabiting with women, as described in Genesis 6:1-4” (The Ryrie Study Bible, Moody Press, 1978; note on II Peter 2:4).

Ephesians 6:11-17 shows that Satan still has thousands of demons under his control – and they are very active in the world today. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “There are thousands, perhaps millions, of evil spirits” (Christian Unity, The Banner of Truth Trust, 1980, p. 58).

I was the founder of a church for young Hippies in the early 1970s. It's still there, though it is a Southern Baptist church today. That experience made me acutely aware of demonic power. I saw and heard things that could not have come from any natural source.
In his classic book Demons in the World Today, Dr. Merrill F. Unger, of Dallas Theological Seminary, showed how demonic forces work today. The chapter titles are “Demons and Spiritism,” “Demons and Magic,” “Demons and Demon Possession,” “Demons and False Religion,” and several others (Merrill F. Unger, Ph.D., Th.D., Demons in the World Today, Tyndale House Publishers, 1971).

But the demons spoken of in our text did more than the ones we encounter today. Dr. John MacArthur correctly said, “They entered men who promiscuously cohabited with women” (The MacArthur Study Bible, note on II Peter 2:4). This produced a race of people who were so demonized that God sent the Great Flood to destroy them all. For that crime, this group of demons was cast down to Hell (Tartarus) – chained in darkness. Dr. Kenneth Wuest said, “Peter is speaking of the place in the unseen world where [these] fallen angels are imprisoned until the Great White Throne Judgment” when they will be cast into the lake of fire (Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies From the Greek New Testament; volume 2, Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1954, note on II Peter 2:4).

Dr. Henry M. Morris said, “A certain segment of the devil’s angels not only followed Satan in his…rebellion against God, but also attempted to corrupt all mankind by taking physical possession of ‘the daughters of men’ (Genesis 6:1-4; II Peter 2:4). They…have been confined to the lowest and darkest compartment of Hades awaiting the final judgment” (Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., The Defender’s Study Bible, World Publishing, 1995; note on Jude 6).

“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” (II Peter 2:4).

The logic here is that since God so punishes these fallen angels, He will also judge fallen men and women who are not redeemed by Jesus.

I. First, think of our text as a warning.

“God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell.”

See in this the judgment of sin. See in this the future vengeance, for they are reserved unto judgment! Notice that these angels who sinned were once angels in Heaven! They once lived in Heaven itself. They had no contact with evil. Their friends were perfect spirits like themselves. Yet they were capable of choosing sin, and they chose sin. Evil entered into the hearts of these angels. Envy, pride and rebellion entered them, and they were cast down to Hell, never to be free again.

You may be a child of godly parents. You may grow up in the church. And yet you may end up as a lost sinner and be “delivered…into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.”

Hitler was confirmed in the church, and baptized. Then Hitler went to a music school to learn to sing in the choir. Mao Tse Tung went to Bible school. Stalin went to a seminary, studying for the ministry. Darwin studied the Bible, and had a bachelor’s degree in theology. In fact, that was the only degree he had! Yet thousands of intelligent people today believe his wild and fantastic theories, from a man whose only education was a bachelor's degree in theology! Think of the untold harm these men did to the human race! Think of the madness and sin that led them to destroy uncounted human lives!

Vincent Van Gogh was the son of a minister. Van Gogh himself took Spurgeon’s printed sermons and preached them in various chapels in London. Yet Van Gogh became addicted to absinthe, went insane from the drug, and committed suicide! The poet Emily Dickinson attended a school that experienced a revival. All of her friends were converted. But Emily Dickinson refused to trust Christ. She ended her life as a recluse, who never left her room, as she sunk into madness and despair. You may say, “Nothing like that will happen to me.” Are you sure of that? The Bible says,

“Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall”
       (I Corinthians 10:12).

No matter how strong you are, no matter how smart you are, be careful! If angels could fall, so could you! The great Archangel Lucifer, Son of the Morning, degenerated into Satan! The angels of Heaven fell into sin and many of them became sex-driven demons that poisoned mankind before the Flood! The Apostle Judas, who performed miracles and cast out demons, became the “son of perdition,” who betrayed the Christ of God!

“Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”

This story is adapted from a sermon that Spurgeon preached on this same text. An officer in India had tamed a leopard. From the time it was a kitten he had raised it. It went around his house like a cat, and everyone played with it. But the man was sitting in his chair asleep one day. The leopard licked his hand. The skin was broken and the leopard tasted blood. From that moment it was no longer content to live in the house. It rushed forth to kill, and ran away into the jungle. That leopard was tamed. But it was still a leopard. So a man may seem to be a Christian. But his heart is unchanged, so he is still a fallen man. The taste of sin will soon reveal the wild animal in him. The thin crust of goodness soon disappears under temptation. You may look good, but unless you are converted you are still capable of the worst evil. I have known men who went into the ministry and preached wonderful sermons who went back to sin of the worst kind. I knew one who was a good preacher.  But after a few years he began to take drugs. His wife threw him out and he lived on the street. One night he was murdered in a park. They could hear him screaming for blocks! The Bible says,

“But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire” (II Peter 2:22).

“The latter end is worse with them than the beginning”
      (II Peter 2:20).

“God spared not the angels that sinned.” Why should He spare any unconverted son of Adam like you? Unless you experience true conversion to Christ, be sure, your sin will find you out. And God will cast you down to the place of torment, prepared for the devil and his angels. God will punish those who live and die in their sins. God spared not the angels that sinned – and He will not spare you if you continue in an unconverted state. That is the warning given in our text.

II. Second, think of the hope implied in the text.

The angels that sinned were given up by God. But a lost sinner like you can be redeemed. By God’s grace, redeemed men and women will stand though the angels fell! Those sinful angels never had a Saviour die in their place. They never had the Holy Spirit convict them and draw them to Jesus. His Blood was never made available to them for cleansing of their sin. They never had the Gospel preached to them. It amazes me that God would offer pardon and salvation to wicked men and women. Salvation was never offered to the fallen angels. They were given up immediately and bound in chains of darkness until the Last Judgment and the lake of fire. God gave the angels no second chance. He did not wait for many years before He judged them for their sin. When they sinned they were immediately cut off for all eternity.

How long have you lived in sin? Some of you have remained unconverted for many years. You have rejected Christ for a long time, even though you have heard the Gospel preached in this pulpit every Sunday! God’s patience with you is amazing! He spared not the angels that sinned, but He has spared you! Why is this?

Those angels were never offered the Gospel. When they fell they had no future chance of salvation. They fell never to rise again. The angels never had a sacrifice. There was no dying Son of God for them. There was no sin-cleansing Blood for them. They had no preacher to proclaim the Gospel to them. Yet I have called you to repent and come to Jesus many times. I have called on you to trust Jesus and have eternal life.

There is no pardon and no hope for demons. And yet there is pardon and hope for you. Again Christ says to you,

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Jesus says to you, “Come unto me.” He never gave that invitation to the fallen angels. But He gives it to you, “Come unto me...and I will give you rest.” Come to me, trust me, and I will cleanse you from all sin by my Blood!

He never offered that to fallen angels, but He offers it to you! That is the amazing love Wesley sang about,

“Amazing love, how can it be
  That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?”
    (“And Can It Be?” by Charles Wesley, 1707-1788).

Jesus is ready right now to save any one of you who trusts Him! No matter what sin you have committed, the moment you trust Him, He makes you clean by His Blood!

How hard is it to trust Him? It is very easy to trust Him. I read Pastor Wurmbrand’s book Tortured for Christ several times a week. The pastor said,

I once knew an Orthodox bishop in Romania. He was a man of the Communists, denouncing his own sheep. I took his hand between mine and told him the parable of the prodigal son. It was on an evening in his garden. I said, “See with what love God receives a sinner who returns. He receives gladly even a bishop who repents.” I sang him Christian songs. This man was converted (Richard Wurmbrand, Tortured for Christ, Living Sacrifice Books, 1998, p. 90).

No matter what sins you have done, or thought of doing, Jesus will pardon you. He will forgive you and you will be made clean by His Blood. What Jesus did for that Orthodox bishop He will do for you. Only trust Him! He will save you. Jesus said,

“Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out”
       (John 6:37).

The Lord Jesus invites you to come to Him. When I think of Jesus pleading with sinners to come and trust Him, I am amazed. It seems to me that sinners should be begging Jesus to save them! And yet it is Jesus who begs sinners to come to Him! It is the Holy Spirit that begs sinners to come to Him! It is the church that pleads with them to come to Him! It is the Christians who pray for them to come to Him!

“The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come” (Revelation 22:17).

What is it that we pray for? We pray for you to come to Jesus! What is it that the Holy Spirit does? He calls you to come to Jesus! What is it that Jesus says? He says, “Come unto me”! What does Jesus tell all of us to do? He says, “Compel them to come in” (Luke 14:23). All of us want you to come in to Jesus and be saved. We do not say this to the fallen angels, but we say it to you! Come! Come! Come! Come to Jesus and be saved! Come to Jesus with all your doubts! Come to Him with all your fears! Come to Him with all your sins!

There for me the Saviour stands,
   Holding forth His wounded hands;
God is love! I know, I feel,
   Jesus weeps and loves me still.
(“Depth of Mercy” by Charles Wesley, 1707-1788).

Father, I pray that some sinner will come to Thy Son Jesus and be saved! In His name, Amen.

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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. Abel Prudhomme: II Peter 2:4-9.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Depth of Mercy” (by Charles Wesley, 1707-1788;
sung to the tune of “Just As I Am”).




by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“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” (II Peter 2:4).

(Ezekiel 28:11-19; Isaiah 14:13-14; Genesis 6:1-4; Ephesians 6:11-17)

I.   First, think of our text as a warning, II Peter 2:4a; I Corinthians 10:12;
II Peter 2:22, 20.

II.  Second, think of the hope implied in the text, Matthew 11:28;
John 6:37; Revelation 22:17; Luke 14:23.