Read 2 Peter 3: 1-9
Where does your thinking need to be stimulated? How does remembering what our Lord has done for you in the past help strengthen your faith for the future?
Peter restates his purpose of the Epistle, and desires to get his people thinking about Christ, not the trends of the day, not the new philosophies, false teachers, or the scoffers.
How relevant is this now? What that early church was going through, is what we are going through right now!
Some key words from Second Peter three:
“Dear friends” means “loved ones.” Peter wants us to know for certain that Christ will return! Which is the prime point of Escatolody, that Christ is coming back. So, what he is doing is to “Stimulate” as to “stir you up.” this is a literary device to grab attention, so this is important, a call to listen up. In order to help them remember who they are in Christ and the wonders of Him, not the lusts and desires of the flesh. God wants us to live lives that are worthy of being given the grace and to show excellence in our character for His glory, and our contentment in Him (1 Pet. 2:11; 4:12).
One of the goals of Christ’s Second Coming that takes us beyond a carrot on a stick to as Peter states, “simulate”, but to what? That would be, “Wholesome thinking” which means to have a pure mind, undefiled by the filth of false teachers so we can be better prepared (Matt. 24:42-44; Rom. 12:1-3).
Peter affirms his argument by identifying the Old Testament prophets with the New Testament Apostles as of equal authority. Both are specially called and used by God to spread His truth. This is so we trust in what he says, so we can get it. However, this may not apply to us today, as we should get the fact the Bible is God’s Word! What we can take to heart is that whoever is in Christ is now a representative of Christ and has responsibility and His authority to spread His knowledge (2 Cor. 5:20).
The Peter brings us the other aspect of the Second coming we do not hear much about, why He is coming. We get so captured by the vehicle delivery apparatus theories and miss the point. Like we are more exited about the hubcaps of the limo than the fact it is taking us to the Grammies. We have a call attention to an important issue. The issue is, there will be a judgment!
Here is a key word many get wrong. Because they assume in the English and not bother to look it up in the Greek and its Junra and syntax…. “Last days” and its equivalent, “last times”… So what does it mean? It is the “Christian era.” It does not necessarily refer that the actual, final days of our existence, as in the second coming, are around the corner. Rather, it means the period from the resurrection to His second coming. In other words, the present time. Many have mistaken this term to mean that Jesus is right around the corner. Maybe He is, but for countless generations who have said that, well, they have been wrong and have missed the point (Acts 2:17; Heb. 1:2).
The main point is that Peter wants them to focus upon Christ and the precepts and the hope He brings. And of course, this means us too! This applies that, our thinking needs to be based on Christ, not what we want or how we think things should be. This takes trust and seeing hope. God wants us to understand that He has real, true substance for us to know and do! We have the responsibility to know this trust and hope and put both into our life and practice them.
How important is the “Second Coming” to you concerning how you live your life? Consider theses applications:
How does it make you feel and/or strengthen your faith that God intervenes, cares, and He is involved, with the intention of making you for a plan and a purpose?
What about the idea that you are no mistake, so therefore, you are wanted and have a destiny?
So, what can you do to put His willingness to infuse and use you into practice?
How do we live lives that are worthy of being given the grace and excellence in our character for His glory and our contentment in Him?
Read Jesus’s Words in Matthew 11: 20-30
What is the “Day of Judgment” about? Basically this means, no one has an excuse.
When we look to Scripture and the judgments God has done, we can see the pattern of what He will still do. Even in the wickedest of cities, the righteous people testified on behalf of God. God showed mercy upon mercy, until there was no hope for their repentance (Book of Jeremiah; Matt. 12:41; 23:13; Luke 12:47-48; Rom. 1:20-2:16).
What do we need to learn and take away from this?
Judgment as we looked at before means God will overthrow every resistance of evil (1 Cor. 6:2-3; Matt. 25:31-46). It will bring the deeds of darkness to the Light (Isa. 29:15; 45:16-17). It is a part of the liberation of Christians who trust and obey God (Luke 18:1-8; 2 Thess. 1:5-10; Rev. 6:10). This also means a new world administrated by Christ that will replace the present one (2 Peter 3:13; Rev 21:1).
We all are responsible to God, according to the election and Grace that we receive or reject (Matt 3:11-12; 24:29, 35; Luke 12:17 ff.; John 5:22; Rom. 2:12-16).
What are we to focus on in our teaching about Judgment?
We cannot justify ourselves or say we are right in wisdom and learning (1 Cor. 1:26).
Wisdom is never something a wise person would claim or boast. When they do, then you know they are not really wise (Job. 12:24; Prov. 3:5-6; 12:15; 16:2; 21:2; 26:12).
To fear God is to reverence Him and acknowledge that He is Lord over our lives. It is not fear as in being afraid; rather it is ultimate respect and awe (Job 28:28; Psalm 11:10; Prov. 1:7; 9:10). We can be in His rest with awe!
God sees the humble as the real wise ones, whereas the world looks to pride and arrogance, which God hates (1 Sam. 2:39).
God does not owe anyone an explanation or a revelation!
God’s judgment is the Christians hope and comfort!
Yet, God is patient–as in long-suffering–in exercising judgment so that people may have the time and the chance to come to faith and repentance (Luke 13:6-9; Rom. 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9).
Take a look at this key word, “Hidden these things from the wise.” This refers to God’s sovereignty and control. He alone chooses who will be clued into His truth, and who is not worthy to know or not ready. God is the One who chooses and dispenses wisdom and life. He is the only One who is capable and sufficient in knowledge, wisdom, justice, and mercy to do so. God reveals Himself in the heart and His Word. We cannot come to know Him or understand God from any other secular means; no learning, science, or power can grasp whom God is or what He is up to.
All things means that all things in the universe have been committed to Jesus. Being fully God, He is Sovereign (John 12:44-46). When you know Jesus, you know God; God’s Spirit allows us to know Jesus. Thus, Jesus has the power of predestination.
Yet, what is our Lord up to? He tells us to….Come unto me, which is is a promise of wisdom and the offering of God’s strength, and perhaps the most endearing words uttered by our Lord! It is so simple for the humble to see and accept, yet so hard for a mind preoccupied with the pride of self. Without humbling ourselves to acknowledge Him, we cannot receive the Savior. Rather, we get a need unmet and a soul empty.
This is a picture of Jesus, offering Himself to us. He has the authority to invite and He is the author of our salvation. Jesus’ load is heavy and requires our fullest for His Highest; yet, it is easy when our eyes and faith are on Him (1 John 1:7)!
God will Judge justly in His perfect timing, and He is patient–as in long-suffering–in exercising judgment, so that people may have the time and the chance to come to faith and repentance. How can this thought give you comfort if a loved one has passed away, and you are not sure if they knew the Lord?
How has Grace protected you?