Archive for the ‘2 Peter’ Category

2 Peter Three: Eska-what?

Posted: August 13, 2011 in 2 Peter

            I’m not sure if I’ve ever delved into the area of eschatology (or the study of last things/end times) before on this blog or not. I remember specifically using that word before, but I don’t know that any of the scripture writers have given us much to talk about or not. Well, Peter changes all that in 2 Peter three. Now here’s the thing. I don’t know much in this area, but I know enough to know that dispensational theologians and covenant theologians have starkly different interpretations of the Bible regarding this.

            Now, I grew up in a dispensational church, and from what I know of their view of scripture, essentially what will happen is the rapture of the church, and then the tribulation, then the reign of the church on the new earth, and a couple resurrections thrown in, and Satan is temporary locked up and then released after a thousand years do have a final battle with Jesus, and then the earth is burnt up, the new earth is formed, and eternity begins with the new heaven and earth.

            Or something like that.

            I don’t know if Peter got the memo for all of that or not, because it’s all oddly missing from his letters. Instead he presents the return of Christ for His bride, the judgment and damnation of the ungodly, and the destruction/recreation of the creation. One return of Christ, one resurrection to eternal life or death, no thousand years of organic Sims…seems a lot less convoluted than Ryrie’s famous chart.

            Nonetheless, details aside, this is what needs to concern you: Jesus is coming back. Are you ready to give an account for your life and how you’ve used the things that He’s blessed you with? More importantly, do you even know Jesus? Seems like a question you should be able answer- the sooner, the better.

 

(Here is some bonus reading concerning 2 Peter 3:9)

2 Peter Two: False Teachers

Posted: August 12, 2011 in 2 Peter

            Chapter two of 2 Peter is one of those chapters that would require books upon books to fully flesh out. There’s a lot of good meat packed into it, and I have to remind myself in reading that my goal in this blog is to simply provide some food for thought along with your reading, rather than exegeting the entire book and providing a running commentary in the process. Because of this, I have to remind you, the reader, that I usually seldom do more than scratch the surface of the material each day. I encourage you to read more and study harder, using a variety of solid sources.

            Having said that, here is the gist of chapter two. Remember how yesterday Peter was reminding us that in Christ we are able to be godly now, and as such should pursue godliness and in the process find assurance of our election? Well, in chapter two the warning is for people who for all intents and purposes look like believers but never exhibit a saving faith in Jesus Christ. This particular batch of individuals is characterized by their heretical teachings, especially regarding sexual immorality.

            Now, here is the simple point I want to make with you. These false teachers, those who will go to destruction if they do not repent and believe the gospel, are said to be “among the people.” What this means is that sometimes, the danger to a church is going to come from inside it, rather than from the outside. Now, what is the best way to know when someone is coming along and teaching false doctrine? By taking heed to the Bereans’ example, who checked even Paul’s teachings against the scripture to make sure that he was teaching the truth. You’ve got to know the truth to be able to detect a lie, and that ability comes with extensive time in the word. Keep reading and studying- you may just protect your congregation as a result.

2 Peter One: Makin’ Sure.

Posted: August 11, 2011 in 2 Peter

            Peter is shaping up to be quite a theologian, and 2 Peter one offers some seriously deep theology. Here’s the breakdown: in verses three and four, Peter is explaining to the Christians reading his letter that through God’s work in their lives, they are now able to be “partakers in the divine nature.” What this means is that believers can be godly now, whereas prior to conversion we were enslaved to sin. Now, however, God has “granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.”

            This being the case, Peter urges his readers to strive to add the following to their lives: faith, virtue (or moral excellence), knowledge, self-control, steadfastness (or patience), godliness, brotherly affection, and love. This is not to be added one at a time, but rather Peter is saying, “Don’t be content to stop with faith, but as you are working at being faithful, also work on your virtue, and while you’re at it, increase in knowledge, and so on and so forth.”

            Now, here’s the incentive for us to actively pursue these things. Primarily, failure to do so indicates that we’re essentially blind to the reality that we have been cleansed of our sins and empowered to pursue these things. Now here’s why this matters: Peter urges his readers to be “all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.”

            Do you see the connection there? The way in which we can be assured that we are saved, one of those elected by God, is in our continuance of being faithful, virtuous, knowledgeable, self-controlled, godly, brotherly affectionate, and loving. And failure to be working at these things is itself evidence that perhaps we are not saved. This mindset is echoed by John in his first letter. The rest of the good news is this- working at these qualities will “keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

            Thus…if you’re seeking to be effective and fruitful in God’s kingdom, then let me echo Peter’s advice: “make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.”