Peter’s Application

 

This morning, let’s have a look at 2 Peter 3:1-9, and later on, we’ll visit 3:10-18 and complete our tour of Peter’s letters.  I must admit that this is my very favorite chapter of Peter’s… awesome!  It clearly and directly tells us what the point of everything else is.  Why did he go on in chapter 2 about false teachers?  Why the big build up?  Where is all of this really headed?  Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s find out!

Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.  I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

2 Peter 3:1-2

Here’s the set up; he wants to encourage us to wholesome thoughts, reminding us of the teachings of the prophets and of the Lord, given through the Apostles.  In the last chapter, Peter spoke as a prophet bringing us God’s indictment of false teachers, not for us to point accusing fingers, but for us to avoid being fooled and to remain firm in our walk with Christ.  Here he is telling us that he is trying to influence our thinking towards wholesome things… but this is the introduction, not the conclusion.

Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

2 Peter 3:3-7

As is always the case in the New Testament, the “last days” are spoken of as having come already; we are today living in the “last days” just as Peter’s readers were living in the “last days” back in the first century.  Oh, how I grow weary of the teachings of some today that things have changed, and of their bellowing that writers like Peter meant this only for us!  Read your history!  There were these “scoffers” in Peter’s time, there are such “scoffers” now, and there have been in the centuries in between… and every generation has thought itself to be the last.  Peter then points out that God created everything in His own time, and that He has done various things throughout history at the time of His choosing… and the return of Jesus Christ will also be at the time of God’s choosing. Yes, He is coming back, yes, he is coming back to judgment… just as soon as the Father gives the word.

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. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:8-9

God’s perception of time is much different from ours, for God is not subject to time or space.  We, who live but a short while in the body, think two thousand years is a very long time… but to God?  It’s nothing!  Just think, dear friends… If Jesus came back in Peter’s day, Peter would have rejoiced… and you wouldn’t have had an opportunity to have a relationship with Jesus at all… ever.  Are we so selfish that we would deny this opportunity to unborn generations?  Relax, and be patient!  Know that God has this all figured out the right way, and you will spend eternity with Him.  No amount of our time compares with the length of eternity! For now, let’s be about serving God and thinking wholesome thoughts.

And… don’t your dare miss the next, and concluding episode of 2 Peter, posting later today!

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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20 Responses to Peter’s Application

  1. Little Monk says:

    Reading your posts is such a joy. There is such love and light and joy announced by all of Jesus’ “messengers” (apostalos)… As we speak, I’m watching “Peter and the Last Supper” on Netflix… and I’m finding it wonderful. You might enjoy, and it seemed to go well with reading this post.

    Grace — LM

  2. TJ Petri says:

    Just yesterday was studying this scripture with another believer. Amazing how God has a way of confirming His points! Great post.
    TjP
    http://www.dontlabelmykid.com

  3. katebortell says:

    I wouldnt miss it for the world Don!!

  4. abundantlife says:

    I think it is important to identify false teachers. We are seeing a lot of them these days – and the flock is lead astray because they know not the Word of God nor seek the face of Him who alone is holy. Over my 30 years of following Jesus, I’ve seen many leaders rise and many leaders fall. Many today are preaching a false gospel… and such is a great offense to God. I’ve seen friends who have been seduced by lying spirits, ungrounded in the Word and wanting their ears tickled. And many these days are using a book written by a man, Eugene Peterson, called The Message, as if it were God’s Word. I have zero problem exposing this as heresy… for we are responsible for what we know.

    • Don Merritt says:

      You bring up a really interesting point, and I’m glad that you did. Peter tells us not to heap abuse on people. He certainly did not tell us we should ignore false teaching. Identifying false teaching is one thing, heaping abuse on someone is quite another. In my experience, we sometimes hurl abuse at someone, not for false teaching as much as for a disagreement over an interpretation, and I can cite the example of the time that I was denounced as a heretic and called an “infidel” because I have this crazy and wild idea that it is OK to use musical instruments in worship.

      You raised a second great point: The lack of spiritual maturity and widespread Biblical illiteracy of most congregations is shameful; a great failure of leadership. I sometimes wonder, if we did a better job of bringing our people up to speed, that maybe false teachers would have a much harder time gaining a foothold in our midst… anyway, thank you for a very thought-provoking comment!

      • abundantlife says:

        Oh, I so concur with your statement! We do need to do more discipleship – this has been on my heart greatly as of late… I am guilty for not helping to make disciples. Sure, I share the Word, but discipleship is altogether different. We can also have head knowledge of the Word, as many so called Christian leaders do, but hearts may be far from Him… and this is why you see leaders fall greatly. I am reminded I must be praying more for Christian leaders.

        Thank you for for sharing wisdom. May God bless you abundantly.

  5. People Empowerment Project says:

    Reblogged this on Africa's Orphans.

  6. People Empowerment Project says:

    We can rest assured that Peter never forgot Ananias and Sapphira. Many people call out, in their carnal minds, much of the time, for the renewal of miracles in our day, wanting the Lord to provide a sign to justify our faith in Him, or simply to justify Himself, to prove Himself to us. We can also rest assured that if the miraculous was in our midst as in the days of the early Church, we’d see many false teachers dropping like flies and carried away for burial.

    My experience, is that I am my own false teacher, leaning on principles of sand, balancing my life on branches of the weeping willow. I attempt to draw strength from my emotions, and suffer the consequences.

    Some of our favorite hymns hold a candle to shine upon the darkness of false teaching.

    Hymns like Rock of Ages.

    1. Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
    let me hide myself in thee;
    let the water and the blood,
    from thy wounded side which flowed,
    be of sin the double cure;
    save from wrath and make me pure.

    2. Not the labors of my hands
    can fulfill thy law’s commands;
    could my zeal no respite know,
    could my tears forever flow,
    all for sin could not atone;
    thou must save, and thou alone.

    3. Nothing in my hand I bring,
    simply to the cross I cling;
    naked, come to thee for dress;
    helpless, look to thee for grace;
    foul, I to the fountain fly;
    wash me, Savior, or I die.

    4. While I draw this fleeting breath,
    when mine eyes shall close in death,
    when I soar to worlds unknown,
    see thee on thy judgment throne,
    Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
    let me hide myself in thee.

  7. This scripture has given me hope in the past and renewed hope today: “Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” I have many people I pray will come to know Him and experience the gift of grace. It’s hard sometimes because I want them to know Him now, today, this minute. But it’s according to God’s timing. And He is patient. Oh so patient. He waited even for me.

  8. Pingback: Peter’s Application | A disciple's study

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