Peter was defending the concept of the return of Christ against false prophets and teachers. These were people who were making their own “return” – to their own vomit and to mud.
In essence, Peter was condemning false church leaders who had gotten a taste of the glory of Jesus Christ and yet were returning to their old ways – to sensuality, greed, and other wrongdoing.
“The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”
In ancient Israel, dogs and pigs were not animals of honor. They were despised and discarded. False teachers, Peter wrote, are like that.
This isn’t “nice.” Our culture prefers everything to be nice. It preaches tolerance. But some principles are at stake here that go beyond being “nice.” To reject Christ and to lead others to do the same brings destruction. We don’t have to go too far out on a limb after reading this chapter to understand God judges wrongdoers and hell is a real thing.
And so we ought to hold even more firmly to Christ, whose death on the cross covers over all of our sins. We believe and are saved.
And we ought not to return to the things of old that once held us captive – to those sinful habits that gripped our lives before we met Jesus.
What are those things for you, and in what sense might you be tempted to return to them? How can you help others in our church family to remain steadfast in their faith?