2 Peter 3:1-2 ESV
“This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles.”
What predictions of the holy prophets are in these letters?
• The grace of God that was to be ours through Jesus Christ
• The sufferings of Christ
• The Good News of our salvation from sin
• Jesus as our precious cornerstone
• The promise of Jesus’ first and second comings
What commandments of our Lord and Savior through the apostles?
• As obedient children, don’t conform to ways of the world
• Prepare your minds for action & be serious minded
• As God is holy, be holy in all your conduct, in the fear of God
• Love one another from a pure heart
• Put away all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy & slander, etc.
• Long for pure spiritual milk
• Turn from evil and do good
• Do not be surprised at fiery trial to test your faith
• Rejoice in your sufferings and in your persecutions
• Judgment begins with the household of God
• Resist the devil, cast anxieties on Jesus, stand firm in faith
• Beware false prophets/teachers and their lies
• Live godly and holy lives while waiting for Jesus’ return
• Take care that you are not carried away by error of lawlessness
• Grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ
These are not exhaustive lists, as you can see, but they hit some of the highlights of what Peter was referring to here when he stated that he was writing these letters to stir up our minds by way of reminder.
And, what he is reminding us about are the prophecies of the prophets regarding Jesus Christ as our Messiah, his coming, his suffering, his death and resurrection, and his grace and salvation he provided for us, as well as the predictions regarding his second coming.
And, he is also reminding us, to stir up our minds, of the commandments of our Lord through the apostles, some of which are listed above, but all of which have to do with us dying with Christ to sin and with us living to Christ and to his righteousness, in walks of obedience to our Lord, in God’s power.
2 Peter 3:3-4 ESV
“…knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.’”
A scoffer is someone who ridicules, mocks, makes fun of, and puts down what he despises, disapproves of, and/or that which he doesn’t comprehend. These scoffers also ridicule and mock whatever contradicts the evil desires of their hearts. And, we have a lot of them these days who are doing that, and many of them are preachers and teachers of the Scriptures.
For, they say we don’t have to obey God’s commandments. So, all the commandments of God Peter talked about in his two letters, and all the ones mentioned by the other apostles who wrote books of the Bible, they say we don’t have to obey. They say we aren’t supposed to “do” anything, but that Jesus does all the “doing.”
They also say we don’t have to repent (forsake our sins), for they call that “works,” which they say we don’t have to do.
So, if that is the case, we don’t have to resist Satan or flee temptation or love others or forgive enemies or stop hating, killing, thieving, gossiping, cheating, lying, or committing adultery, or worshiping other gods, etc. Thus, we can sin as much as we want, to our hearts content, and yet claim God can’t even see us when we sin, and that heaven is still our destiny.
So, what these scoffers are promoting is absolute depravity, anarchy, and total lawlessness, which is of Satan, not of God. It is Satan who doesn’t want us to obey God, and it is Satan who doesn’t want us forsaking our sins, for he is the one who wants to keep us in bondage to sin.
And, they will try to convince us that life is going to continue as normal, like it always has, and that we don’t need to be concerned about Jesus’ coming back anytime soon, and we don’t need to be concerned about judgment, either.
For, they say “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace. So, they are leading many people straight to hell while promising them heaven as their home.
2 Peter 3:5-7 ESV
“For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.”
They deliberately ignore the prophecies, the teachings, and the instructions of Scripture, because they are of Satan, and they just masquerade themselves as servants of righteousness. For, their goal is to deceive you into following the lies of Satan, to catch you in his trap, so you will continue to live in sin while being given a false hope of salvation and eternal life.
2 Peter 3:8-10 ESV
“But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.”
Just because Jesus has not yet returned for us, it doesn’t mean he isn’t going to return for us. Just because he hasn’t yet, at least not to the fullest extent, entered into judgment with those who have rejected him to follow after other gods, and who have done much evil in his sight, it doesn’t mean it isn’t going to happen, or that it is far away from now.
And please know that the book of Revelation was written to the church, and the letters to the seven churches were written to the church, and it was the church (5 out of the 7) who he called to repentance, and who he warned of judgment if they did not repent. And, then what follows that are declarations of the judgments he said would come against his unrepentant church.
So, if you are claiming faith in Jesus Christ, but you are still in bondage (addiction) to sin (or specific sins), don’t expect to escape God’s judgments.
And, for you saints of God who are facing much rejection and persecution and mocking because of your stand on the Word of Truth, be encouraged. Don’t let their mocking get to you. Don’t let persecution and rejection move you away from your pure devotion to the Lord or from God’s calling on your life. Keep on speaking the truth in love, even if you are hated in return.
Why So Downcast?
An Original Work / December 21, 2012
Based off Psalm 42
Why so downcast, O my soul,
And why so disturbed now within me?
Put your hope in Jesus Christ,
For I will praise His name.
He’s my Savior and my God,
So therefore I’ll remember Him through
Storms and tempests sweeping o’er me.
Still I’ll praise His name.
Put your hope in God.
By day the Lord sends forth His love.
In the night His song is with me.
I pray to the God of my life.
I will praise His name. I say to God my Rock,
“Why must I be called to suffer this way?”
Foes attack me; Satan sneering.
Still I’ll praise my God.
Put your hope in Him.
As a deer pants for the waters,
So my soul pants for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God who’s living.
When can I meet Him?
My tears have been my food at night,
When men say, “So, where is your God?”
I pour out my soul to my God.
I’ll still praise His name.
Shout with joy to Him.