2 Peter 3 today. Peter wraps us his "second letter to you, dear friends," as he tries "to stimulate your wholesome thinking and refresh your memory" (vs 1). Also, in vs 1, note something very important as we all open our Bibles regularly for God to speak to us. Peter connects the apostles, Jesus' apostles who wrote the New Testament, with the prophets of God, the ones who wrote the Old Testament. Why is this important? It shows that the Bible, as we have it, written by the prophets and apostles, is the complete Word of God. Peter said so. It was understood by the early church that the apostles and prophets wrote the entire Bible. If this is true, here are a few truths that "stimulate my thinking" as I read this chapter from God's Word
1. About the end times, there will be scoffers who do whatever they want. They basically argue, "If what you say is true, where is your 2nd Coming of Jesus?" (vs 4).
2.They deliberately forget that God created the world (vs 5)--Doesn't this fit with the number of "atheists" who now conveniently explain away God? I think they mostly do it to do whatever they want.
3. Peter reminds them that judgment is a part of God's promise. Remember the Flood. One day the earth will be judged with fire (vss 6,7).
4. Remember that from God's standpoint a day is like a thousand years (vs 8). His delay is not his denial. Why does he wait? To give as many people as possible a chance to hear the Gospel, repent and be saved (vss 9). Everything will be exposed to God's judgment.
5. Jesus WILL return, like a thief in the night, suddenly, unexpectedly, when we don’t think he will (vs 10). Therefore, all predictions about the day or hour of his return are silly. A thief doesn't call beforehand and tell us he's coming. Nor will Jesus.
6. Vss 11-14: Though everything will face a judgment of fire, it's a day about which we should look forward. Why? Because there will be a new heaven and a new earth created. It will be a world where everyone will be right with God. What a day to which to look forward!
7. What do do while waiting? Live pure, holy, blameless lives (vs 15). Our personal holiness is a fervent desire of God. Make sure you are at peace with God. How does that happen? Thru the Cross of Christ. He grants us peace with himself. Our sins are forgiven. We are no longer at war with God. We are not his enemies any more. Peace is a fruit of forgiveness.
8. Vss 15ff: God wants all to be saved. People are twisting Paul's teaching (sometimes a bit hard to understand) for their own benefit. My guess is they are taking his teaching about grace and using it to sin! But we are to stand firm until that great day of Jesus 2nd Coming. We are to watch out for the false teachers who continue to suggest that God doesn't exist. That day will come.
To Jesus be "all glory and honor both now and forevermore. Amen" (vs 18).