Second Peter: Staying steady while facing the end of the world
This short post can be thought of as a “preview” or a “teaser” for the book of Second Peter. Hopefully, after you have read this you will go and read the entire book for yourself lingering long over the words and phrases, pulling out all the spiritual nourishment God will allow. This letter serves as the Apostle Peter’s final word to his fellow Christians in Asia Minor. In it, he warns of deceptive teachers, he commends trust in the scriptures, and he points forward to the Day of the Lord when all will be made new. So here we go:
Grow in Grace Through Growing in Knowledge
Peter is writing to those who have “obtained precious like faith” (2 Pet 1:1) and admonishes them [and us] to grow in grace and faith (2 Pet 1:2,5) so that we will not be “barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Pet 1:8). Peter is nearing his death and uses his final letter to emphasize the trustworthiness of Scripture (2 Pet 1: 16-21). Peter’s hope is that Christians will grow in grace according to their knowledge of God and thus be able to survive the false teachers that would come.
Peter’s immunization against these false teachers and false doctrines is for the Christian to grow in the knowledge of God. This is to be done through the scriptures (2 Pet 1: 19-20). This growth by the scriptures is to also be done with an eye (hope) to the future where God will return and dissolve all things with “fervent heat” (2 Pet 3:10) and replace it with a new heavens and a new earth “in which righteousness dwells” (2 Pet 3:13).
Some may say, “What’s taking so long?
We know that any perceived slowness or delay on the part of God means only salvation for us (2 Pet 3:9; Rom 2:4; 1 Tim 1:16) because we know that the Lord Jesus will lose none of his elect (Jn 6:39). He will actually gather every last one of them and bring them to safety in his sheepfold (Jn 10:16). His patience means salvation for his people.
So as we wait we know two things for sure
First, that there will be false prophets and false teachers among us (2 Pet 2:1). Secondly, we can know that because the Day of the Lord has not yet come, the reason is that God is still saving his people (2 Pet 3:9). As the Lord conducts his work in this world we are to “be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless” (2 Pet 3:14) and to be growing in “grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet 3:18).
To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen
This is a timely book written by an Apostle who knew his death was near. It is sharp, instructive and urgent in its content and delivery. Take up and READ!
Below is a small infographic I put together myself (Without the help of my graphic designer wife 😉 I hope this will be a helpful addition to your study of 2nd Peter.