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    • January 12, 2017 9:47 PM EST
    • 2 PETER

       

      2 PETER 1

       

      OPENS WITH...THE SURE CHRISTIAN LIFE, An encouragement to know God and to REMEMBER what He has done for us.

       

       

      Verse 1 tells us Introducing a letter from Peter, to believers.

       

      Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:”

       

       

      Simon Peter…

       

      The Apostle called himself Simon Peter. Perhaps, since he wrote this letter later in life, he still did NOT want to forget where he came from, and that sometimes he was still more like the old Simon than the new Peter.

       

       

      We remember that Simon was his given name at birth…

       

      Peter was the special name given to him by Jesus, to call this man to "rock-like" thinking and behavior.

       

       

      Some have said that Peter did NOT write this letter because the subject and style is somewhat different than 1 Peter. Yet the purpose of the two letters are quite different.

       

      WHY?

       

      1 Peter was written to encourage Christians under the threat of violent persecution.

      2 Peter was written to warn those same believers of the danger of false teachers and harmful influences.

       

       

      PETER WAS CONVINCED that the BEST antidote for heresy is a mature knowledge of the truth, Peter exhorts his readers to have a proper appreciation for prophecy, Jesus teachings, and to live holy and godly lives while awaiting Christ's coming and to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.

       

      A bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ…

       

      The order of these titles is important. Peter considers himself FIRST a SLAVE, A BONDSERVANT, and then an apostle. His standing as a bondservant was MORE important to him than his status as an apostle.

       

       

      To those who have obtained like precious faith…

       

      Peter wrote to those who had the same salvation he had experienced, which he called "a like precious faith." This faith was obtained, and not by the efforts of man, but by the righteousness of our God.

       

       

      SPURGEON says it well, "He tells us too, that faith is 'precious;' and is it not precious? For it deals with precious things, with precious promises, with precious blood, with a precious redemption, with all the preciousness of the person of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

       

       

      Like precious faith ALSO speaks to the fact that the Jews and Gentiles enjoyed the SAME faith, and therefore the SAME benefits in Jesus.

       

       

      Our God and Savior Jesus Christ…

      The grammar of the ancient Greek proves that Peter said that Jesus Christ is our God and Savior. "The expression God and our Saviour is in a construction in the Greek text which demands that we translate, our God and Savior, Jesus Christ, the expression thus showing that Jesus Christ IS the Christian's God.

       

      The grammar leaves NO doubt that in these words Peter is calling Jesus Christ both God and Savior. It is an absolute PROOF that Peter calls Jesus Christ GOD.

       

       

      Verses 2-4 tells us A greeting expanded into an understanding of the VALUE of the knowledge of God.

       

       

      Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

       

       

      Grace and peace by multiplied to you…

       

      Peter indicated that grace and peace - those two most precious of gifts - are ours in the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. As we know God we gain these essentials foundations for living.

       

       

      His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness…

       

      However, not only grace and peace - but all things that pertain to life and godliness are ours through the knowledge of Him. Knowing God is the key to all things that pertain to life and godliness.

       

      We are willing to try almost anything EXCEPT the knowledge of JESUS.

       

      We will trust in the schemes and plans of men instead of the knowledge of Him.

       

      We will try knowing ourselves instead of the knowledge of Him.

       

      We need to come to the same place the Apostle Paul did, when he said, “That I may know Him.” Philippians 3:10.

       

       

      DID YOU KNOW…

       

      The ancient Greek word knowledge does NOT refer to a casual acquaintance. It means an exact, complete, and thorough knowledge.

       

       

      Through the knowledge of Him…

       

      We come to knowledge of Him as we learn of Him through His Word, through prayer, and through the community of God's people. It is true that we need God alone, but God does not meet us only in our "aloneness" but also in His Word and in the community of His people.

       

       

      Who called us…

       

      This knowledge of God comes to those who are called. It is knowledge, but it is NOT mere intellectual understanding or intuition. It is the knowledge that comes by experience - the experience God's people have of God Himself.

       

       

      Who called us by glory and virtue…

       

      It is Jesus' glory and virtue that motivated Him to call us, and it is His glory and virtue that draw us to Him.

      By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises…

       

      This explains the value of the glory and virtue of God that calls us. By these He gave us exceedingly great and precious promises. This means that the promises of God are based upon His glory and virtue, and therefore perfectly reliable because God would NEVER compromise His glory and virtue.

       

       

      Psalm 138:2 reminds us that God honors His word even above His name. We never have to doubt any promise of God. Instead we should let God be true but every man a liar, confirmed in Romans 3:4.

       

       

      For these reasons, God's promises are both exceedingly great (in the sense of being large and imposing), and they are precious, in the sense of being valuable.

       

      SPURGEON says, "Many things are great which are not precious, such as great rocks, which are of little value; on the other hand, many things are precious which are not great-such as diamonds and other jewels, which can not he very great if they be very precious. But here we have promises which are so great, that they are not less than infinite, and so precious, that they are not less than divine."

       

      That through these you may be partakers of the divine nature…

       

      This explains the VALUE of these great and precious promises. Through these promises, we are partakers of the divine nature. Peter's idea is similar to Paul's idea of our glorious status as adopted sons and daughters of God, confirmed in Galatians 4:5-7.

       

       

      Having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust…

       

      God is above and beyond the corruption of this world. It should also be that way with those who are the partakers of the divine nature. The corruption that is in the world expresses itself through lust - the ungodly desires of this world.

       

       

      Verses 5-7 tells us How to live as a partaker of the nature.

       

      But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.”

       

       

      Giving all diligence…

       

      We are partakers of the divine nature, but once we are made spiritual sons and daughters, growth in the Christian life doesn't just happen to us. We are supposed to give all diligence to our walk with the Lord.

       

       

      Add to your faith virtue…

       

      We begin our walk with the Lord with faith, but faith progresses into virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love - love being the capstone of all God's work in us.

       

       

      The scope of the list demonstrates that God wants us to have a well-rounded Christian life, complete in every fashion. We can NOT be content with an incomplete Christian life.

       

       

      Giving all diligence…

       

      These beautiful qualities are not things that the Lord simply pours into us as we passively receive. Instead, we are called to give all diligence to these things, working in partnership with God to add them.

      Verses 8-9 tells us How to use these qualities to measure our Christian walk.

       

      For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.”

       

       

      If these things are yours and abound…

       

      If we have these things, and abound in these things, it is evident to everyone that we are not barren nor unfruitful in our knowledge of Jesus.

       

       

      The words barren and unfruitful characterize the lives of many Christians, who lack these qualities because they lack in their knowledge of God - knowing Him relationally in an increasingly fuller and deeper sense.

       

       

      Abound…

       

      Some may feel good that these qualities are seen in us from time to time. But Peter says they should abound in us.

       

       

      He who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness…

       

      If we lack these things, it shows we have "eye trouble." We are shortsighted, unable to see God, only ourselves. This makes us virtually blind, showing we have forgotten that we were cleansed from his old sins.

       

       

      The reason for this condition is also stated; such a one has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

       

      Perhaps this one has FORGOTTEN how bad he was, and how much he needed this cleansing.

       

      Perhaps this one has FORGOTTEN the great cost of this purging of sin's dirty stain.

       

      Perhaps this one has FORGOTTEN how great and complete the cleansing is, making a once guilty sinner now as pure and as white as snow (Isaiah 1:18).

       

       

      Verses 10-11 tells us Making our call and election sure.

       

      Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

       

       

      Be even more diligent to make your call and election sure…

       

      How can we be sure that God called us, and that we are His elect?

       

      By doing these things spoken of in 1 Peter 1:5-7 (faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love).

       

      As we see these things in our life, we know that our lives are becoming more like the nature of Jesus.

       

      It shows that we are being conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29).

       

      UNDERSTAND THIS…

       

      It is possible for an unsaved person to do many moral and religious duties. But the "these things" Peter wrote of are matters of the heart, and should be evident in anyone born again.

      Simply put, if we are called, if we are elect, then we are born again - and if we are born again, it shows in the way that we live more and brighter each day.

       

      For if you do these things you will never stumble…

       

      In pursuing these things we keep from stumbling. Continual growth and progress in the Christian life is the sure way to keep from stumbling.

       

       

      Entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…

       

      Peter here reminded his readers of the great reward of a calling and election made sure.

       

      They would enter heaven gloriously, not as through fire (1 Corinthians 3:15).

       

       

      Will be supplied…

       

       

      SPURGEON says, “Just one thought more. It is said that the entrance is to be 'ministered to us.' That gives me a sweet hint that, I find, is dwelt upon by Doddridge. Christ will open the gates of heaven, but the heavenly train of virtues - the works which follow us - will go up with us and minister an entrance to us."

       

       

      Verse 12 tells us Peter explains why he writes about things they have heard before - the basics of Christian living.

       

      For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.”

       

      For this reason…

      Peter just wrote about the promise of entrance into the everlasting kingdom of God (2 Peter 1:11). Because coming to that kingdom is so important, it is helpful and necessary for Peter to remind you always of the basics of the Christian life.

       

       

      I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know…

       

      Even though his readers were did know the truth, in light of what was at stake - their eternal destiny - it is worth it to go over theses things again and again.

       

       

      A sports team going for the championship will practice the same fundamentals over and over again. They do this, even though they know the techniques, because they know what is at stake.

       

       

      For this reason, Christians should NEVER get tired hearing the basics of the Christian life. We should rejoice every time Jesus Christ and His gospel and plan for our lives is preached.

       

       

      Established in the present truth…

       

      Established is the same word translated strengthen in Luke 22:32, when Jesus told Peter "when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren." Here, Peter fulfilled that command of Jesus. He would establish and strengthen us by reminding us of the basics of the Christian life.

       

       

      Verses 13-14 tells us The URGENCY in Peter's heart.

       

      Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me.”

      I think it is right…

       

      Because of what is at stake, Peter knew it was right to remind people constantly, especially because he knew that the days of his earthly life were soon coming to an end.

       

       

      Shortly I must put off my tent…

       

      Peter considered his body no more than a tent. A tent is a temporary place to live. Tents should be taken care of, but you would NOT invest large resources into fixing up a tent. You save your real resources for a more permanent place to live. Our more permanent place to live is heaven, and we should invest more in heaven than in our tent.

       

       

      How did Peter know that shortly I must put off my tent?

       

      Perhaps it was because Peter was simply getting old.

       

      Perhaps it was because the flames of persecution were getting hotter around him.

       

      Church history tells us that Peter did die a martyr, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed him in John 21:18-19.

       

       

      This shows that Peter believed that the prophetic words of Jesus were to be fulfilled literally.

       

      Jesus showed Peter that he would die a martyr, and he believed it - even if he might have wished it were only symbolic.

       

       

      Verse 15 tells us Peter prepares for the future.

       

      Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.”

       

       

      I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder…

       

      Peter put this reminder in a letter, so that we could have a constant reminder even after his departure.

       

       

      After my decease…

       

      Peter seemed aware of the significance of the passing of the apostles, and the need to preserve the authoritative teaching of the apostles and prophets. This, the written teaching of the apostles and their associates, is the foundation of the church confirmed to us in Ephesians 2:20 and preserved by God for all generations.

       

       

      Verses 16-18 tells us The evidence of the transfiguration.

       

      For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.”

       

       

      We did not follow cunningly devised fables…

       

      Peter solemnly declared that the testimony of the apostles - testimony they endured torture and gave their lives for - was not based on clever fables or even half truths, but on eyewitness testimony; that they WERE eyewitnesses of His majesty.

       

      Fables translates the ancient Greek word mythos. Some people think the gospel and the Biblical record are just ancient MYTHS. They may admire their power as myths, but Peter rightly insists that his message was NO myth - it was history, seen by eyewitnesses.

       

       

      We can reliably reconstruct historical events from the testimony of eyewitnesses, who must be checked to see if they are telling the truth.

       

      The apostles and writers of the New Testament have been checked for centuries and have been found truthful.

       

       

      Eyewitnesses of His majesty…

       

      When did Peter eyewitness the majesty of Jesus?

       

      There were MANY occasions, but one probably stuck out in his mind.

       

      The transfiguration of Jesus, recorded in Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:1-9, and Luke 9:28-36.

       

      We know this because Peter quotes here what God the Father said to Jesus at the Transfiguration: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

       

      At the transfiguration, Jesus was transformed in glory before the apostles, not merely changed in outward appearance. The effect was extremely striking; Jesus became so bright in appearance that it was hard to look at Jesus. He shined like the sun, confirmed to us in Matthew 17:2.

       

       

      One may saw that this shining glory was NOT a new miracle, but a "pause" in an ongoing miracle. The real miracle was that Jesus, most of the time, could keep from displaying His glory.

       

      This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased…

      At the transfiguration, the Father spoke from heaven to declare His approval of and joy in God the Son. As Peter wrote this, we sense the words were still ringing in his ears, because at the transfiguration he made the mistake of making Jesus equal with Moses and Elijah, who appeared along with Him.

       

       

      Those words from heaven were important, because Jesus had just told His disciples that He would have to be crucified and His followers would also have to take up their cross to follow Him (Mark 8:31-38).

       

      His disciples needed this word of assurance to keep trusting in Jesus, and needed to hear that Jesus was still well pleasing to the Father, even though He said He would be crucified.

       

       

      The words from heaven also clearly put Jesus ABOVE the Law and the Prophets. Jesus was NOT merely another, or even a better law giver or prophet, He was and is THE BELOVED SON OF ALMIGHTY GOD.

       

       

      Essentially, the voice from heaven was a REBUKE to Peter.

       

      REMEMBER…Mark 9:3-7

       

      His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”, because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid. And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!”

       

      Yet now, what was once a rebuke became a SWEET memory to Peter!

       

       

      WHY DID MOSES AND ELIJAH APPEAR WITH JESUS?

       

      Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus because they represented those CAUGHT UP TO GOD, confirmed to us in Jude 9 and 2 Kings 2:11).

       

      They represented the Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah).

       

      Moses and Elijah also figure together in prophecy, with a strong connection to and most probably the TWO witnesses of Revelation 11:3-13.

       

      And we heard this voice which came from heaven…

       

      It was awesome for Peter and the disciples to see the transfigured, glorified Jesus.

       

      It was awesome for them to hear this voice … from heaven.

       

      Yet the experience itself did NOT transform their lives.

       

      Only being born again by the Spirit of God did that, giving them boldness beyond measure.

       

      The transfiguration was awesome, but it was a passing experience until they were born again.

       

      Verse 19 tells us The evidence of fulfilled prophecy.

       

      And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;”

       

      And so we have the prophetic word confirmed…

       

      Peter's experience at the transfiguration was amazing. But even more sure than Peter's personal experience was the testimony of God's word about who Jesus is. The fulfillment of the prophetic word confirmed is a certain, reliable testimony of the truth of the Scriptures.

       

       

      Which you do well to heed…

       

      When we consider the prophetic testimony to Jesus, we do well to HEED it.

       

       

      DID YOU KNOW…

       

      There are at least 332 distinct Old Testament predictions regarding the Messiah that Jesus fulfilled PERFECTLY.

       

      The combination of this evidence together, from a simple statistical perspective, is absolutely overwhelming.

       

      WHY?

       

      Professor Peter Stoner has calculated that the probability of any ONE man fulfilling JUST EIGHT of these prophesies PERFECTLY is one in 100,000,000,000,000,000 (10 to the 17th power).

       

      NEED A VISUAL ANALOGY?

       

      That number of silver dollars would cover the state of Texas two feet deep.

       

      Stoner says that if you consider JUST 48 of the prophecies PERFECTLY FULFILLED, the odds become one in 10 to the 157th power.

       

       

      As a light that shines in a dark place…

       

      No wonder Peter could say that the prophetic word is CONFIRMED, and that it is as a light that shines in a dark place, something we should cling to until the day dawns and Jesus returns.

      Verses 20-21 tells us Principles for prophetic assurance.

       

       

      Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

       

       

      No prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation…

       

      Even in Peter's day, enemies of Jesus WERE twisting Old Testament prophecies, giving them personal and bizarre meanings so as to EXCLUDE Jesus from their fulfillment. But Peter says that prophecy is NOT of any private interpretation, but its meaning is evident and can be confirmed by others.

       

      Though Peter here speaks of prophecy of Scripture, the same principle is true for the gift of prophecy today.

       

      There must be sober confirmation of any prophetic word, and that not through another prophetic word, but through the Scriptures. In the gift of prophecy, God never speaks to only one person, and always provides confirmation.

       

       

      Prophecy never came by the will of man…

       

      It is wrong and invalid to twist prophecy to our own personal meaning, because prophecy does NOT come from man, but from God, though it comes through holy men of God - but only as they are moved by the Holy Spirit.

       

       

      As they were moved by the Holy Spirit…

       

      According to Green, the ancient Greek word translated "moved" has the sense of carried along, as a ship being carried along by the wind or the current (the same word is used of a ship in Acts 27:15, 17). It is as if the writers of Scripture "raised their sails" in cooperation with God and the Holy Spirit carried them along in the direction He wished.

       

    • January 12, 2017 9:44 PM EST
    • 2 PETER 2

       

      OPENS WITH...THE FACTS ABOUT THE RISE AND FALL OF FALSE TEACHERS

       

       

      Verse 1 Peter tells us The presence and work of false teachers.

       

      But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.”

       

       

      But there were also false prophets…

       

      Even as there were holy men of God who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21), so also there were false prophets - and false teachers today. Peter stated this as A FACT and not as a possibility; and he said they WERE AMONG YOU, not only on the outside of the church.

       

       

      Who will secretly bring in destructive heresies…

       

      False teachers work secretly. It is NOT that their teaching is secret, but the deceptive nature of their teaching is HIDDEN. No false teacher ever announces himself as a false teacher.

       

      Destructive heresies…

       

      False teachers bring in destructive heresies that destroy by telling lies about Jesus Christ and His work for us and in us. By these heresies people are hurt and destroyed. Heresy is NOT harmless. TOO MANY TO COUNT HAVE DIED BELIEVING FALSE TEACHINGS AND FALSE GOSPELS AND HAVE ENTERED THE GATES OF HELL, INSTEAD OF THE GATES OF HEAVEN. THAT IS FAR MORE THAN HARMFUL...IT IS WILLINGLY FALSE LEADINGS THAT **** THOSE WHO FOLLOW AND BELIEVE THEM.

       

       

      Even denying the Lord who bought them…

       

      False teachers deny the Lord who bought them. In this, Peter says that at the very least, they appear to be saved, otherwise Peter would never say that the Lord bought them. At the same time, they are false, destructive teachers.

       

       

      Even a person has what appears to be a godly walk and relationship with Jesus Christ can still bring in destructive heresies. Often times, the worst damage is done by good men and women who teach lies. Their lies are accepted far more easily because of their GOOD WORLDLY CHARACTER, THE ICONIC STATUS, AND THE SINCERITY OF THEIR TALK...BUT IN THE EYES OF JESUS...THEY ARE HERETICS.

       

      THE POPE, JOEL OSTEEN AND HIS EARNEST SMILE, THE COPELANDS AND THEIR SOUTHERN GOOD OLE TWANG, BENNY HINN AND HIS ARROGANT SLICKNESS, JONI AND MARCUS LAMB, TD JAKES, CREFLO DOLLAR, PAULA WHITE, KEN HAGIN, JESSIE DUPLANTIS, BETHEL CHURCH, JOYCE MEYER, HILLSONG CHURCH, THE CROUCHES OF TBN...MIKE MURDOCK, JOSEPH PRINCE...ALL FAMOUS, ALL WEALTHY...JUST TO NAME A FEW ALL ARE LOVED AND FOLLOWED AND ARE PROCLAIMED AS CHRISTIANS...THEY LOOK GOOD, THEY SOUND GOOD, BUT WHAT THEY TEACH, PREACH, AND PROCLAIM ARE IN THE EYES OF JESUS CHRIST HERETICS...FALSE TEACHERS, PREACHERS, PROPHETS.

       

      NOT ONLY DO THEY WALTZ THEIR FOLLOWERS STRAIGHT INTO THE GATES OF HELL ITSELF, BUT THEY BRING THE WORST OF SWIFT FURIOUS DESTRUCTION ON THEMSELVES FOR PROSTITUTING JESUS CHRIST WITH THEIR TWISTED LIES AND FALSE TEACHINGS.

       

      NOW YOU CAN SEE WHY JESUS HAS A SPECIAL PLACE IN THE LAKE OF FIRE AND THE WAITING PRISON OF HELL FOR EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM.

       

      THINK ABOUT IT...HOW MANY DECEIVED AND SEEKING SOULS BELIEVE THEIR LIES, AND DIE IN THAT DECEPTION...AND FIND THEMSELVES IN THE WAITING PRISON OF HELL..INSTEAD OF IN HEAVEN AS THEY WERE TAUGHT AND PROMISED.

       

       

      Bring on themselves swift destruction…

       

      False teachers are promised swift destruction, even though they are NOT judged fast enough in the opinion of many.

       

       

      Verse 2 tells us The popularity of false teachers.

       

      And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.”

       

       

      Many will follow their destructive ways…

       

      This reminds us that false teachers may be popular. Just because something "works" in attracting a crowd of followers, it does NOT mean that it is of God. We know that God's work will always bear fruit, but WE TEND TO FORGET THAT SATAN’S work can also increase.

       

       

      The most distressing aspect of the work of false teachers is not that they are among you (2 Peter 2:1). False teachers always have been and always will be among Christians. The most distressing fact is that so many Christians will FOLLOW AND BELIEVE their destructive ways.

       

       

      Because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed…

       

      When false teachers are at work and when crowds are following them, the way of truth is blasphemed. God's holy name and honor are disgraced.

       

      THEY MAY FOR A TIME BE STORING UP WEALTH AND RICHES AND FAME IN THIS LIFE...BUT THEY FORGET, HAVE DECEIVED THEMSELVES INTO FORGETTING THEY ARE ALSO STORING UP THE FULL WRATH OF ALMIGHTY GOD TOO.

       

      SO WHAT IS EVEN 100 YEARS OF WEALTH, FAME, AND ACCLAIM, IN THIS LIFE, COMPARED TO FOREVER AND FOREVER WITHOUT END IN THE LAKE OF FIRE WITH SATAN AND HIS DEMONS??

       

       

      Verse 3 tells us The strategy and destiny of false teachers.

       

      By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.”

       

       

      By covetousness…

       

      False teachers use covetousness - both their own and in their followers. Many false teachers, both today and in previous times, present a gospel that has self-gratification at its heart. All this is presented with deceptive words, because false teaching NEVER announces itself.

       

       

      Their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber…

       

      Peter assured us that false teachers WILL be judged. Even though it seems they prosper, their judgment is NOT idle. God's wrath pours out on them even in allowing them to continue, thus heaping up more and more condemnation and hardness of heart in themselves.

       

      A PERFECT EXAMPLE THAT COMES TO MIND, IS BENNY HINN, ON TBN, WAS ASKED ABOUT THOSE WHO SAID HE WAS A SCAM, A FALSE TEACHER AND NOT A CHRISTIAN AT ALL. HE SAID, “I WISH I HAD A BAZOOKA, SO I COULD GUN DOWN ANYONE THAT BLASPHEMES ME LIKE THAT.”

       

       

      BUT WE KNOW...God knows how to take care of both the righteous and the ungodly.

       

       

      Verses 4-6 tells us The ungodly will be judged.

       

      For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly;”

       

       

      If God did not spare the angels who sinned…

      God judged these wicked angels, setting them in chains of darkness. Apparently some fallen angels are in bondage while others are unbound and active in the earth as demons.

       

       

      The sin of angels can be thought of in TWO main ways: in the original rebellion of 1/3 OF ALL OF HEAVEN’S angels WHO SIDED WITH LUCIFER against God, and in the sin of the "sons of God", THOSE DEMON ANGELS WHO HAD SEX WITH, AND PRODUCED CHILDREN WITH HUMAN WOMEN described in Genesis 6:1-2.

       

       

      It may ALSO be that the sin of Satan and his angels (Revelation 12:4, 12:7) was occasioned for mankind.

       

      1. Man is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26) and angels are not. Satan and his angels resented this plan to create a being that would be more closely connected to God than they were.

       

      2. Though mankind is beneath the angels in dignity (Hebrews 2:6-7a, 2 Peter 2:11), it is the job of angels to serve mankind (Hebrews 1:14, 2:7-8, Psalm 91:11-12). Satan and his angels resented a plan that would command them to serve lesser beings.

       

      3. Redeemed mankind will be lifted in honor and status above all angelic beings (1 Corinthians 6:3; 1 John 3:2). Satan and his angels resented a plan that would glorify these lower beings to places above them.

       

       

      Cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness…

       

      By not keeping their proper place, they are now kept in chains of darkness. Their sinful pursuit of freedom put them in bondage.

       

       

      Those who insist on freedom to do whatever they want are like these angels: so "free" that they are bound with chains of darkness (a powerful poetic description of their miserable bondage). True freedom comes from obedience.

       

       

      Cast them down to hell…

       

      The ancient Greek word translated “hell” is literally Tartarus. In Greek mythology, Tartarus was the lowest hell, a place of punishment for rebellious gods. Peter borrowed this word to speak of the place of punishment for the angels who sinned.

       

      SPURGEON says it well, “Angels have a high office and a high service of God; yet it was still possible for them to fall. We should take ample warning from this. As well, we can understand that in some ways we can sin worse than these angels did. "I answer that the devil never yet rejected free grace and dying love; the devil never yet struggled against the Holy Spirit in his own conscience; the devil never yet refused the mercy of God. These supreme pinnacles of wickedness are only reached by you who are hearers of the gospel, and yet cast its precious message behind your backs."

       

       

      And did not spare the ancient world…

       

      God judged the ancient world, the world before Noah's Flood, because the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5)

       

       

      And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction…

       

      God judged the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, making them an example of His judgment, because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave. (Genesis 18:20)

      Making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly…

       

      These three examples of judgment show us the important principle that Peter wants to highlight.

       

      1. God judged the angels who sinned, so NO ONE is too high to be judged.

       

      2. God judged the ancient world before the flood, so God does NOT grade on a curve.

       

      3. God judged Sodom and Gomorrah, so even the prosperous can be judged.

       

      Therefore, what makes the ungodly think they can escape God's judgment?

       

      Their coming judgment is certain.

       

      As Jesus said in Luke 10:10-12, for those who reject the truth it will be more tolerable in that Day for Sodom.

       

       

      Verses 7-9 tells us The righteous will be delivered.

       

      And delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds); then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,”

       

       

      And delivered righteous Lot…

       

      Peter already told us how the Lord delivered Noah (2 Peter 2:5). Now, he shows us that the Lord delivered righteous Lot.

       

      And delivered righteous Lot…

      Lot was righteous in God's eyes, though perhaps it was hard for others to see his righteousness. Yet the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah tormented his righteous soul from day to day.

       

       

      Lot's soul was tormented, but he failed to follow through with godly actions and separate himself and his family from the ungodliness of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Lord delivered Lot because of his righteous soul; yet Lot lost everything else because of his too-close association with those wicked cities.

       

       

      Then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations…

       

      Even as the Lord delivered Lot, He knows how to deliver us from the temptations we face, and He knows how to reserve the unjust for the day of judgment. We can TRUST in God's deliverance of the godly because it is just as certain as His judgment of the ungodly.

       

       

      The Lord knows how…

       

      We can take GREAT confidence in this. Many times we do NOT know how, but the Lord KNOWS how. This is a good principle for both life and doctrine.

       

      The unjust have reservation made for them…

       

      They ARE reserved for the day of judgment. But believers have NO such reservation. God WILL deliver us from the very day of judgment, from the VERY time of wrath that He pours out on the earth (Revelation 3:10).

       

       

      "Peter (if any man) might well say, 'The Lord knoweth how to deliver his;' for he had been strangely delivered, Acts 12." In Acts 12, God wonderfully delivered Peter from prison and He painfully delivered Herod to judgment. God knows how to do BOTH.

      Verses 10-11 tells us A DESCRIPTION OF UNJUST They are fleshly and proud.

       

      And especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.”

       

       

      And especially those who walk according to the flesh…

       

      These ungodly ones are especially reserved for judgment. They live according to the flesh, not the spirit, and are marked by uncleanness.

       

       

      They ARE presumptuous, self-willed…

       

      These ungodly ones are proud, despising authority. In their presumption they will even speak ill of spiritual powers (Satan and his demons) that the angels themselves do not speak evil of, but the angels rebuke them in the name of the Lord instead.

       

      Much of what goes on under the name of spiritual warfare shows this kind of pride and presumption. While we recognize our authority in Jesus, we see that it is only in Jesus that we have it - and we leave the reviling accusations to Him alone.

       

      Whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation…

       

      Here Peter contrasted the behavior of those who walk according to the flesh with angels, that is, faithful angels. The faithful angels did NOT slander or exaggerate in what they said or how they represented the sins of others; these who walked according to the flesh did.

       

      Verses 12-13a tell us Their spiritual doom is sealed.

       

      But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime.”

       

       

      Like natural brute beasts…

       

      Since they function in the flesh, not the spirit, they are like animals. They are fit only for destruction (made to be caught and destroyed) and they are ignorant.

       

       

      And will receive the wages of unrighteousness…

       

      The ungodly will be "paid" for their evil - and their fleshly lives will be paid the wages of unrighteousness.

       

       

      BARCLAY adds, "What these evil men, who were troubling Peter's people, were doing, was to say that they loved and served Christ, while the things they taught and did were a complete denial of him."

       

       

      Verses 13b-17 tells us A list of the sins of the false teachers.

       

      They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man's voice restrained the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.”

       

       

      Carousing in their own deceptions…

       

      These ungodly false teachers are a dangerous and corrupting presence in the body of Christ, not only deceiving others but deceiving themselves also.

       

       

      Having eyes full of adultery…

       

      Their heart is set on the flesh, and their eyes on adultery, both spiritual and sexual. They prey on the unstable to join them in their ways (enticing unstable souls).

       

       

      Literally, Peter wrote that their eyes are full of an adulterous woman. They lust after every girl they see; they view every female as a potential adulteress.

       

       

      They have a heart trained in covetous practices…

       

      They are equipped, but not for ministry, only for selfish gain - they are truly accursed. We all train our hearts in something, either training them in covetousness and lust, or in godliness.

       

       

      Following the way of Balaam…

       

      They are like Balaam, who was guilty of the greatest of sins - leading others into sin, and that for the sake of his own gain. Balaam had to be restrained by a dumb donkey because he would not listen to God.

       

      These are wells without water…

       

      These ungodly false teachers are empty - as useless as wells without water - and like clouds that bring only darkness, and no nourishing rain.

       

       

      Verses 18-19 tells us The ALLURE of the false teachers.

       

      For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.”

       

       

      They speak great swelling words of emptiness…

       

      The message of the ungodly false teachers is empty of real spiritual content, though it is swollen big with words. Their allure is to the lusts of the flesh in their audience, just as the crowds who wanted bread from Jesus, but did NOT want Jesus Himself (John 6:25-27, 6:47-66).

       

       

      While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves…

       

      They promise freedom, but freedom can never be found in the flesh, only in God's Spirit. Freedom isn't found in what Jesus can give us, but only in Jesus Himself. When we seek freedom in the wrong way, we become slaves of corruption (decay and death).

       

      By him also he is brought into bondage…

       

      In being overcome by the flesh and the false teachers, they become slaves to both.

       

      Verses 20-22 tells us THE DANGER of falling away and following after false teachers

       

      For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: "A dog returns to his own vomit," and, "a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire."

       

       

      The latter end is worse for them than the beginning…

       

      It is better for a person to have NEVER known a thing about Jesus than to hear some truth, hold to it, and later reject it. Greater revelation has a greater accountability.

       

       

      Their end is worse … than the beginning because they are have returned to the pollutions of the world. These [pollutions] are called miasmata, things that infect, pollute, and defile. The word was anciently used, and is in use at the present day, to express those noxious particles of effluvia proceeding from persons infected with contagious and dangerous diseases; or from dead and corrupt bodies, stagnant and putrid waters, marshes etc., by which the sound and healthy may be infected and destroyed.

       

       

      It would have been better for them not have known the way of righteousness…

       

      Peter described a picture that certainly has the appearance of people losing their salvation, BECAUSE THEIR SALVATION IS OF MAN AND THE WORLD AND NOT OF JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF ALONE.

       

       

      1. He speaks of those who have escaped the pollutions of the world.

      2. He speaks of those who did this through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

       

      3. He speaks of those who had known the way of righteousness.

       

      Christians warmly debate the issue of whether or not it is possible for a true Christian to ever lose their status as a true Christian and fall away to damnation. Perhaps the best way of understanding the issue is to say that it is certainly true that those who APPEAR saved - those who fit the description of Peter here - can end up in a place where it would have been better for them not have known the way of righteousness.

       

       

      IN OTHER WORDS, THEY HAVE HEAD KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS CHRIST AND HIS WORD, BUT THEY DO NOT HAVE HEART KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS CHRIST AND HIS WORD. THEREIN LIES THE DIFFERENCE.

       

      A dog returns to his own vomit…

       

      Their nature as dogs is displayed by the way they return to the vomit of the flesh and the world. They are like the brute beasts described in 2 Peter 2:12, more animal than godly because they live for the flesh.

       

       

      The dog which has got rid of the corruption inside it through vomiting it up cannot leave well enough alone; it goes sniffing around the vomit again.

       

    • January 12, 2017 9:39 PM EST
    • 2 PETER 3

       

      OPENS WITH…JESUS IS COMING AGAIN!!! LIVING LIKE A LAST DAYS CHRISTIAN

       

       

       

      Verses 1-2 tells us The CERTAINTY of the last days and God's promise. Another reference to the importance of being reminded.

       

       

      “Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior,”

       

       

      I now write to you this second epistle…

       

      Peter already wrote to us about the importance of being reminded (2 Peter 1:12-13). But here he wants to emphasize what they SHOULD know in light of the coming of Jesus and the prophecies surrounding His coming.

       

       

      That you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before…

       

      Peter knew the importance of REMINDING his readers of the Scriptural message, both received from the Old Testament (spoken before) and contemporary to his own day (and of the commandment of us).

       

      Peter clearly BELIEVED that the words of Scripture WERE important; the words themselves, and NOT merely the meaning behind the words.

       

       

      SPURGEON says it well, “Peter BELIEVED in the inspiration of the very 'words' of Scripture; he was not one of those precious 'advanced thinkers' who would, if they could, tear the very soul out of the Book, and leave us nothing at all; but he wrote, 'That ye may be mindful of the words' - the very words - 'which were spoken before by the holy prophets.' 'Oh!' says one, 'but words do not signify; it is the inward sense that is really important.' Exactly so; that is just what the fool said about egg-shells. He said that they did not signify; it was only the inward life-germ of the chick within that was important; so he broke all the shells, and thereby destroyed the life.... If the words could be taken from us, the sense itself would be gone."

       

       

      By the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior…

       

      By placing the messengers of the new covenant on the same level as the messengers of the old covenant, Peter understood the authority of the New Testament, even as it was being formed.

       

       

      Peter understood that Jesus gave His apostles the inspired authority to bring forth God's message to the new covenant community. He understood this from passages such as Matthew 16:19, where Jesus gave the apostles authority to bind and loose, much as the authoritative rabbis of their day.

       

       

      "Your apostles does not merely mean 'your missionaries', the folk who evangelized you. When the New Testament writers mean merely 'church emissary' by apostolos, they say so, or the context makes it plain (Philippians 2:25). Peter is referring here to the 'apostles of Jesus Christ'. It is they and they alone who are put on a level with the Old Testament prophets."

       

       

      Significantly, Peter saw this authority invested in the apostles, not in him alone. He would think it strange for supposed papal authority to be credited to him. Just as the papal authority said Paul was a spy for them, PRETENDING to be a Jew and a Christian.

       

      Verses 3-4 tells us The message of SCOFFERS.

       

      “Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation."

       

       

      Knowing this first…

       

      Christians should NOT be surprised to find that there are those who scoff at the idea of Jesus coming again. Peter told us that the scoffers will come. This is the FIRST thing to know.

       

      SPURGEON adds, "Every time a blasphemer opens his mouth to deny the truth of revelation, he will help to confirm us in our conviction of the very truth which he denies. The Holy Ghost told us, by the pen of Peter, that it would be so; and now we see how truly he wrote."

       

      So every time we are scoffed at, slandered, and maligned for our faith in Jesus Christ and His Gospel and Jesus soon return...we should not be angry, but smile and be amazed...they have just PROVED the prophecies of Jesus and Peter and the rest of the apostles given us thousands of years ago.

       

       

      Will come in the last days…

       

      In a sense, the last days began when Jesus ascended into heaven. Since that time, we haven't rushed towards the precipice of the consummation of all things; but we have run along side that edge - ready to go anytime at God's good pleasure.

       

       

      Walking according to their own lusts…

       

      These words remind us that scoffers do not only have an INTELLECTUAL problem with God and His word. They also have a clear MORAL problem, wanting to reject the Lordship of Jesus Christ over their lives.

       

       

      Where is the promise of His coming?

       

      This is the message of scoffers. In the thinking of these scoffers, Christians have talked about Jesus coming for two thousand years and He still has NOT come back yet.

       

       

      All things continue as they were from the beginning of creation…

       

      The scoffers base their message on the idea that things have always been they way they are right now, and that God has NOT and will NOT do anything new in His plan for creation.

       

      The argument of the false teachers is essentially a naturalistic one - a kind of uniformitarianism that rules out divine intervention in history.

       

       

      Verses 5-7 tells us the ERROR of scoffers.

       

      “For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”

       

       

      For this they willfully forget…

       

      The scoffers presume upon the mercy and long-suffering of God, insisting that because they have NEVER seen a widespread judgment of God, that there will NEVER be one. But they willfully forget God's creation and the judgment God poured out on the earth in the days of Noah.

       

       

      A literal belief in Creation, in Adam and Eve, and in Noah's Flood are ESSENTIAL for a true understanding of God's working both then and now. To DENY these things undermines the very foundations of our faith.

       

      Sadly, today it is many Christians who WILLFULLY FORGET these things, thereby putting themselves in the place of scoffers.

       

      That by the word of God the heavens were of old…

       

      The Bible clearly teaches that the active agent in creation was God's word. He spoke and creation came into being.

       

       

      The world that then existed perished, being flooded with water…

       

      Peter's point is that things on this earth have NOT always continued the way they are now. The earth was different when God first created it and then it was different again after the flood.

       

      Therefore no one should scoff at God's promise that He will make it different once again, judging it not with water, but with fire. The same word of God that created all matter and judged the world in the flood will one day bring a judgment of fire upon the earth.

       

       

      The lesson taught by the flood was this is a moral universe, that sin will not forever go unpunished; and Jesus himself used the flood to point to this moral (Matthew 24:37-39). But these men CHOSE to neglect it.

       

       

      Verses 8-10 tells us Truths that scoffers DENY but God's people cling to.

       

      “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”

       

       

      That with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day…

       

      What seems like forever for us is but a short time for God, just as an hour may seem to be an eternity for a child but a moment for an adult.

       

       

      SPURGEON adds, "All things are equally near and present to his view; the distance of a thousand years before the occurrence of an event, is no more to him than would be the interval of a day. With God, indeed, there is neither past, present, nor future. He takes for his name the 'I AM.' … "He is the I AM; I AM in the present; I AM in the past and I AM in the future. Just as we say of God that he is everywhere, so we may say of him that he is always; he is everywhere in space; he is everywhere in time."

       

       

      Peter did not give some prophetic formula, saying that a prophetic day somehow equals a thousand years. He instead communicated a general principle regarding how we see time and how God sees time. When people use this verse as a rigid prophetic "key" it opens the door for great error.

       

       

      God sees time with a perspective we lack; even the delay of a thousand years may well seem like a day against the back-cloth of eternity. Furthermore, God sees time with an intensity we lack; one day with the Lord is like a thousand years.

       

      HEAVEN IS TIMELESS. TIME WAS CREATED BY GOD FOR MAN AND NATURE AND CREATURES...TO WAKE UP TO, WORK, GROW, CREATE, AND LIVE, AND WHEN TO REST.

       

       

      The Lord is not slack concerning His promise…

       

      The truth is that God will keep His promise, and without delay according to His timing. Any perceived delay from our perspective is due to the longsuffering of God, who allows man as much time as possible to repent.

       

       

      Many of those who are Christians today are happy that Jesus did NOT return ten years, or five years, or two years, or one year, or even two months ago. There is a compassionate purpose in God's timing.

       

       

      Not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance…

       

      Peter here revealed some of God's glorious heart. The reason why Jesus' return isn't sooner is so that all should come to repentance, because God is not willing that any should perish.

       

      We understand that God is not willing that any should perish not in the sense of a divine decree, as if God has declared that no sinners will perish. Rather, Peter's statement reflects God's heart of love for the world (John 3:16), and His compassionate sorrow even in the righteous judgment of the wicked.

       

       

      It is the same thought as expressed in Ezekiel 33:11, “As I live, says the Lord GOD his way and live.”

       

       

      So wonderful is his love towards mankind, that he would have them all to be saved, and is of his own self prepared to bestow salvation on the lost.

       

      As God is not willing that any should perish, and as He is willing that all should come to repentance, consequently He has never devised nor decreed the damnation of any man, nor has He rendered it impossible for any soul to be saved...Man in his rejection of Jesus Christ grace, mercy, & salvation WILLINGLY CHOOSES DAMNATION.

       

       

      But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night…

       

      Though the Lord's long-suffering love to the lost makes it seem that perhaps He delays His coming, the truth is that He will indeed come. And when Jesus does return, He will come at a time that will surprise many (as a thief in the night) for the Rapture of the Church before The Great Tribulation begins. The FINAL AND ULTIMATE result of His 2ND coming will be a total transformation of this present world (in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat).

       

       

      God could destroy the earth again as He did in the days of the flood. "There is still water enough to drown the earth, and there is iniquity enough to induce God to destroy it and its inhabitants. Yet God has promised to deal with this world with fire, not flooding.

       

       

      Verses 11-13 tells us Living in light of the last days and God's promise. Holy and godly living in anticipation of a new created order.

       

      “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”

       

      Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be…

      In light of the fact that this world order and the things associated with it will be dissolved, we should live our lives seeking FIRST the Kingdom of God and its righteousness - that is, having holy conduct and godliness.

       

       

      We tend to think that the world is more enduring and will last longer than people. This is not true, and Peter reminds of it. People will live into eternity, longer than even the earth as it now exists.

       

       

      Will be dissolved…

       

      REICKE adds, “They will all be separated, all decomposed; but none of them destroyed. The solar system and the great galaxies, even space-time relationships, will be abolished … All elements which make up the physical world will be dissolved by heat and utterly melt away. It is a picture which in an astonishing degree corresponds to what might actually happen according to modern theories of the physical universe."

       

       

      What manner of persons ought you to be…

       

       

      Looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God…

       

      Peter says there is a sense in which we can hasten the Lord's coming. It's remarkable to think that we can actually do things that will "help" Jesus return sooner. In the immediate context, Peter says that we hasten the Lord's coming by our holy conduct and godliness.

       

       

      We can also hasten the Lord's coming through evangelism. Paul said that God's prophetic focus on Israel will resume when the fullness of the Gentiles has come in (Romans 11:25).

       

      We can also hasten the Lord's coming through prayer. Even as Daniel asked for a speedy fulfillment of prophecy regarding captive Israel (Daniel 9), we can also pray "Even so, come, Lord Jesus!" (Revelation 22:20)

       

       

      Because of which the heavens will be dissolved…

       

      Peter tells us that the very elements of this world order will be dissolved. God will genuinely make a new heavens and a new earth, even as Isaiah promised: For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind (Isaiah 65:17).

       

       

      A new earth in which righteousness dwells…

       

      The most glorious characteristic of this new heaven and new earth is that it is a place in which righteousness dwells. In God's plan of the ages, this happens AFTER the millennial earth ruled by Jesus Christ. It is the re-creation of this world order as described in Revelation 21:1: Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.

       

       

      Verses 14-15a tells us Keep diligent and do not despise the long-suffering of God.

       

      “Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation;”

       

       

      Looking forward to these things, be diligent…

       

      If our hearts are really set on the glory of the new heaven and new earth, we will endeavor to walk godly in regard to our brothers and sisters (in peace) and in regard to God (without spot and blameless).

       

      The long-suffering of our Lord is salvation…

       

      It is easy for Christians to sometimes resent the long-suffering of God; after all, it in some sense delays His coming. Yet, the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation for others, and it is salvation for us.

       

       

      SPURGEON says it well, "We are puzzled at the long-suffering which causes so weary a delay. One of the reasons is that we have not much long-suffering ourselves. We think that we do well to be angry with the rebellious, and so we prove ourselves to be more like Jonah than Jesus. A few have learned to be patient and pitiful to the ungodly, but many more are of the mind of James and John, who would have called fire from heaven upon those who rejected the Savior. We are in such a hurry."

       

       

      Verses 15b-16 tells us A note regarding the letters of the Apostle Paul.

       

      “As also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.”

       

       

      As also our beloved brother Paul…

       

      It is fashionable for some critics to say that the Apostle Peter and the Apostle Paul are NOT in agreement. These same critics also often say that Peter and Paul are NOT in agreement with Jesus. Yet here Peter affirmed Paul's teaching in the warmest terms. He called Paul beloved, and he said that Paul wrote with wisdom.

       

       

      This praise from Peter is even more wonderful when we remember that at one time Paul publicly rebuked Peter for public compromise (Galatians 2:11-21).

       

       

      In which are some things hard to understand…

       

      Though Peter praised Paul's ministry, he admitted that some things in Paul's writings were hard to understand, and those who were untaught and unstable could use some of the difficulties to their own ends, twisting Scripture.

       

       

      Twist … the Scriptures…

       

      Peter reminds us that the Scriptures can be twisted. Just because someone quotes the Bible does NOT mean that they teach Biblical truth. It's possible that they twist … the Scriptures. That is why we should be like the Bereans, who searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so (Acts 17:11).

       

       

      CLARKE adds, "I may just add that the verb [twist], which the apostle uses here, signifies to distort, to put to the rack, to torture, to overstretch, and dislocate the limbs; and hence the persons here intended are those who proceed according to no fair plan of interpretation, but force unnatural and sophistical meanings on the word of God."

       

       

      To their own destruction…

       

      Peter is very firm. The action of the false teachers in twisting Paul to justify their own libertinism and rejection of the parousia is so serious as to DISQUALIFY them from salvation.

       

       

      Verses 17-18 tells us Peter’s conclusion.

      “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.”

       

       

      Since you know this beforehand…

       

      We, who know of the Day of the Lord and await it with patient expectation, must persevere lest we fall from your own steadfastness. We must take care to keep abiding in Jesus.

       

       

      SPURGEON adds, "In order that they might know how to stand, and to be preserved from falling, he gave them this direction: 'grow in grace;' for the way to stand is to grow; the way to be steadfast is to go forward. There is no standing except by progression."

       

       

      But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…

       

      We prevent a fall from your own steadfastness by a continual growth in grace and knowledge of Jesus.

       

      Grace is not merely the way God draws us to Him in the beginning. It is also the way we grow and stay in our steadfastness. We can never grow apart from the grace and knowledge of our Lord, and we never grow out of God's grace.

       

       

      SPURGEON adds, "But you will remark that our text does not say anything about grace growing; it does not say that grace grows. It tells us to 'grow in grace.' There is a vast difference between grace growing and our growing in grace. God's grace never increases; it is always infinite, so it cannot be more; it is always everlasting; it is always bottomless; it is always shoreless. It cannot be more; and, in the nature of God, it could not be less. The text tells us to 'grow in grace.' We are in the sea of God's grace; we cannot be in a deeper sea, but let us grow now we are in it."

       

       

      We must also grow in our knowledge of Jesus Christ. This means knowing more about Jesus, but more importantly, knowing Jesus in a personal relationship.

       

       

      To Him be the glory…

       

      When we are this ready and this steadfast in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, it gives God glory.

       

       

      Spurgeon noted that this second letter of Peter ends on "two trumpet blasts."

       

      One is from heaven to earth: grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

       

      The other is from earth to heaven: To Him be the glory both now and forever.

       

       

      Amen…

       

      This final word in not included in all ancient manuscripts of 2 Peter, yet it is appropriate for a letter affirming the truth in the face of the danger of false prophets and scoffers. We can say there are four meaning to "Amen":

       

      1. It expresses the desire of the heart.

       

      2. It expresses the affirmation of our faith.

       

      3. It expresses the joy of the heart.

       

      4. It expresses the declaration of resolution.

      DID YOU KNOW…

       

      Under the law, Amen was only said at the declaration of the curses (Deuteronomy 27:14-26).

       

      Under the New Covenant, we say "Amen" at the announcement of a great blessing and praise to God.

       

      Adam Clarke added this insightful postscript to Second Peter:

       

      "We have now passed over all the canonical writings of Peter that are extant; and it is worthy of remark that, in no place of the two epistles already examined, nor in any of this apostle's sayings in any other parts of the sacred writings, do we find any of the peculiar tenets of the Romish Church: not one word of his or the pope's supremacy; not one word of those of affect to be his successors; nothing of the infallibility claimed by those pretended successors; nothing of purgatory, penances, pilgrimages, auricular confession, power of the keys, indulgences, extreme unction, masses, and prayers for the dead; and not one word on the most essential doctrine of the Romish Church, transubstantiation."