II Peter 3

Vs. 8, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”  Peter admonishes us all to have perspective.  That is why he wrote this second letter to them (vs. 1)  There will always be scoffers and opponents of the church (vs. 1-7).  Throughout Scripture, we have been told of a day of judgment (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Amos & Zechariah).  Jesus continued teaching of such things (Matthew 24-25).  Just like the days of Noah and those who scoffed judgment, we live in such times today.  God is not limited by time (vs. 8-10) and His desire is that all turn to Him.  Question: What then do we do with this truth?  We are to continue to grow in the Lord with patience and alertness (vs. 11-18).

Regarding application…Live Holy Lives.  Vs. 11, “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives.”  Question: What does it mean to live holy?  Holy basically means to be separate.  In essence, living holy lives means to not live like the world.  God chose us to live as His children.  Having a right perspective on this temporary world will only help us remember how unimportant the things of this world really are.  As we venture into a new year and think about all of our goals and aspirations, let us humbly consider what God has planned for us.  We can’t control our future, but we can control how we live each day.

II Peter 2

Vs. 1, “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.”  Yikes, this is not a comforting thought, but Peter does not shy away from confronting the enemies tactics.  Question: What did this look like?  If we look at Peter’s description of destructive heresies, this would indicate that there were some who were promoting division and strife.  Heresy originally meant “to make a choice,” but then it came to mean “a sect, a party.”  So basically, destructive heresy were those who were pressuring people to side with them and cause division.  Some of us are all too familiar with this when it comes to the history of our own churches.  Part of their deception was to come in with ulterior and hidden motives from the onset.  They manipulate God’s word to deceive, for their source is the father of lies, Satan.  Because of this, they produce many false Christians who only want their idea of Christianity.

Regarding application…Turning Away.  Vs. 21, “It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.”  This is a grave warning.  Peter is quite blunt to let us know that those who have known who Jesus is and have experienced the church yet turn away or in worse shape than if they had never known.  Like a dog who returns to its vomit, people would disgustingly turn back to the world (vs. 22).  Brothers and sisters, this should not be.  We should not be so quick to assume that everyone in the church has the mind of God.  That is why we should be discerning.  Remember Jesus’ exhortation, “be shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16).

II Peter 1

Vs. 13, “I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body.”  Peter knew that the recipients of his letter needed an encouraging reminder of their faith.  Rather than jump straight to addressing the false teaching issue, Peter takes sometime to acknowledge the faith that got them there in the first place (vs. 3-11).  The Lord gives us every tool we need from His workshop to accomplish whatever He desires us to build.  As we grow in our faith, we grow in increasing measure this wonderful list of characteristics of a believer (vs. 5-7).  Peter knew that his time on earth was about to end (vs. 12-15), so that is why see this sense of urgency.  Unlike the false teachers who were growing in abundance, Peter was an eyewitness of Christ (vs. 16-18).  Through the Holy Spirit, God chose select people to administer this message of hope (vs. 19-21)

Regarding application…Assurance of Salvation.  Vs. 10, “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble.”  Earlier, Peter reminded us in his first letter of the blessed hope that our inheritance will never spoil or fade (I Peter 1:3-5).  As we grow in our knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, our own assurance of salvation will grow.  Our salvation was sealed when we put our trust in the Lord.  However, our emotions at times can betray us and that is why the more we know the Lord and grow, the more our confidence will soar.  My early years of faith certainly had moments of doubt.  However, the common denominator of those doubts were because I was not growing.  We are going to doubt and lack faith at times, but know that the salvation is achieved not by our own doing, but because of Jesus on the cross!

II Peter 3

Vs. 8, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”  It was not an easy time for the Christians during Peter’s letter.  You can see Peter’s strong admonition to stay true to God’s Word (Vs. 2).  We should never be ignorant (not knowing) of God’s Word…we know that Jesus will return, therefore we should never forget it and live like He could return today.  I love Vs. 9 and how it reminds us that God has chosen not to come back yet because of His desire for us to make sure we are doing our job to go out and bear witness of Him!  We must be diligent in our walks & always be alert of the traps & mines that can come along our path.  We must grow both in the knowledge (His Word) & the grace (Walking with Him) of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Regarding application…Make Every Effort!  Vs.14, “So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.”  In other translations “dear friends” = Beloved.  Think about this…  Question: What really matters in this life?  There are many worthwhile things to pursue in this life…Godly friendships, good grades in school, good career to support a family one day, find a good church…etc.  But, the heart of the matter…what really matters is asking yourself…what is true object of my life?  My goals or God’s goals?  God’s Goals or My Goals?  You cannot choose both.  You must choose one.

I loved the child book story of the “Little Engine That Could.”  The whole premise is this little “choo choo” train having to go up this enourmous mountain.  It is a daunting task and it seem impossible by all human standards.  Yet the “little engine that could” had this mantra (saying)…rather than feels sorry for itself or say, “I can’t do it”…the “little engine that could” kept on repeating these words…”I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, etc…”  It’s a wonderful story to show not only children but all of us a illustration about life.  But for the Christian…”I think I can” should really translate to “I know God can, I know God can, I know God can….”  When we “Make Every Effort” to die to ourselves, God can do anything His will desires in our life.  Amen!

II Peter 2

Vs. 1, “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.”  We should never underestimate the danger of false teachers.  Please note: Keep in mind that a false teacher is not a person who teaches false doctrine out of ignorance.  Throughout history, many great teachers over time have and do hold different interpretations to minor matters…but false teachers are professed believers who know the truth but who deliberately teach lies in the hope of promoting themselves or getting financial gain from their followers.  But we know God will ultmately condemn them for their selfish greed.  I like the fact that Peter doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to this very serious topic.

Regarding application…Sad Reality.  Vs. 21, “It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.”   Pastor John Vernon McGee would once say after his sermons…“Friends, if you came in here today unsaved and you walk out of here unsaved, I am the worst enemy that you have ever had, because you have heard the gospel and you can never go into the presence of God and tell Him that you have never heard the gospel. You have heard it, and it will be worse for you when God pronounces judgment than for any heathen in the darkest part of the earth today.”

This reminds me of Judas Iscariot…Jesus would say it would have been better if Judas had never been born.  This is different from those of us who know what is right, but the flesh is weak.  These are people who deliberately strive to hurt the church and all that it has worked for.  Let us be discerning children of God so we can not only keep from being duped…but also help others be able to keep from following such false teachers.

Introduction – II Peter

Peter’s second letter was written shortly after the first one…around 66 A.D.  This letter was written a little before his martyrdom…Peter could sense his end was near.  Peter puts up warning signs against many of the so called Christians abandoning their faith and going to false beliefs.  The storm clouds are approaching and Peter hopes to warn all Christians on how to fight the good fight.  One of those weapons is knowing the Word & knowing Jesus Christ in our daily lives.  The Christian life is more than “born again”…it is a continual process of maturity & growth.

II Peter 1

Vs. 3, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”  The definitive word here is “knowledge”…God has given us His Word as a precious gift.  We see the emphasis of growing in His knowledge from Vs. 5-11, as we possess all of these qualities we grow and are able to continue to be used powerfully by the Lord.  As we look at Scripture, we see the that all of this prophecy has its roots in Jesus Christ & inspired by His Holy Spirit…there is no need to ever doubt the truth!

Regarding application…Always Remind.  Vs. 12, “So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.”  Question: Why would Peter be stressing this so importantly?  Because Peter knew his days were numbered.  Perhaps if he knew he would live to a ripe old age…the urgency wouldn’t be there…but knowing his days were numbered, he was compelled to urgently remind all those who would listen how important it was to continue to grow in the Lord…even if they had it in their head knowledge, he was still going to remind them.  Peter might have sounded like a broken letter, but we can never remind each other enough to love & grow in our Lord Jesus Christ.  That is why we have church, that is why we turn to the Lord in our QT’s, that is why we have Christian accountability (S.A.G.)…the moment we arrogantly think we don’t need to be reminded…well…that’s a pretty powerful indicator that our heart has grown cold.

QT – II Peter 3

Vs. 8, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” It was not an easy time for the Christians during Peter’s letter. You can see Peter’s strong admonition to stay true to God’s Word (Vs. 2). We should never be ignorant (not knowing) of God’s Word…we know that Jesus will return, therefore we should never forget it and live like He could return today. I love Vs. 9 and how it reminds us that God has chosen not to come back yet because of His desire for us to make sure we are doing our job to go out and bear witness of Him! We must be diligent in our walks & always be alert of the traps & mines that can come along our path. We must grow both in the knowledge (His Word) & the grace (Walking with Him) of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Regarding application…Make Every Effort! Vs.14, “So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” In other translations “dear friends” = Beloved. Think about this… Question: What really matters in this life? There are many worthwhile things to pursue in this life…Godly friendships, good grades in school, good career to support a family one day, find a good church…etc. But, the heart of the matter…what really matters is asking yourself…what is true objective of my life? My goals or God’s goals? God’s Goals or My Goals? You cannot choose both. You must choose one.

I loved the child book story of the “Little Engine That Could.” The whole premise is this little “choo choo” train having to go up this enourmous mountain. It is a daunting task and it seem impossible by all human standards. Yet the “little engine that could” had this mantra (saying)…rather than feels sorry for itself or say, “I can’t do it”…the “little engine that could” kept on repeating these words…”I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, etc…” It’s a wonderful story to show not only children but all of us a illustration about life. But for the Christian…”I think I can” should really translate to “I know God can, I know God can, I know God can….” When we “Make Every Effort” to die to ourselves, God can do anything His will desires in our life. Amen!

QT – II Peter 2

Vs. 1, “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.” We should never underestimate the danger of false teachers. Please note: Keep in mind that a false teacher is not a person who teaches false doctrine out of ignorance. Throughout history, many great teachers over time have and do hold different interpretations to minor matters…but false teachers are professed believers who know the truth but who deliberately teach lies in the hope of promoting themselves or getting financial gain from their followers. But we know God will ultmately condemn them for their selfish greed. IItalic like the fact that Peter doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to this very serious topic.

Regarding application…Sad Reality. Vs. 21, “It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.” Pastor John Vernon McGee would once say after his sermons…“Friends, if you came in here today unsaved and you walk out of here unsaved, I am the worst enemy that you have ever had, because you have heard the gospel and you can never go into the presence of God and tell Him that you have never heard the gospel. You have heard it, and it will be worse for you when God pronounces judgment than for any heathen in the darkest part of the earth today.” This reminds me of Judas Iscariot…Jesus would say it would have been better if Judas had never been born. This is different from those of us who know what is right, but the flesh is weak. These are people who deliberately strive to hurt the church and all that it has worked for. Let us be discerning children of God so we can not only keep from being duped…but also help others be able to keep from following such false teachers.

QT – II Peter 1

Introduction:
Peter’s second letter was written shortly after the first one…around 66 A.D. This letter was written a little before his martyrdom…Peter could sense his end was near. Peter puts up warning signs against many of the so called Christians abandoning their faith and going to false beliefs. The storm clouds are approaching and Peter hopes to warn all Christians on how to fight the good fight. One of those weapons is knowing the Word & knowing Jesus Christ in our daily lives. The christian life is more than “born again”…it is a continual process of maturity & growth.

Vs. 3, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” The definitive word here is “knowledge”…God has given us His Word as a precious gift. We see the emphasis of growing in His knowledge from Vs. 5-11, as we possess all of these qualities we grow and are able to continue to be used powerfully by the Lord. As we look at Scripture, we see the that all of this prophecy has its roots in Jesus Christ & inspired by His Holy Spirit…there is no need to ever doubt the truth!

Regarding application…Always Remind. Vs. 12, “So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.” Question: Why would Peter be stressing this so importantly? Because Peter knew his days were numbered. Perhaps if he knew he would live to a ripe old age…the urgency wouldn’t be there…but knowing his days were numbered, he was compelled to urgently remind all those who would listen how important it was to continue to grow in the Lord…even if they had it in their head knowledge, he was still going to remind them. Peter might have sounded like a broken record, but we can never remind each other enough to love & grow in our Lord Jesus Christ. That is why we have church, that is why we turn to the Lord in our daily devotions, that is why we have Christian accountability (S.A.G.)…the moment we arrogantly think we don’t need to be reminded…well…that’s a pretty powerful indicator that our heart has grown cold.