March 29 - 2 Peter 3:1-7

Sunday, March 30, 2014

2 Peter 3:1-7 – The Day of the Lord

Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. 

Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

Peter does a few interesting things in this letter, things that we might not realize are so important. In his first letter, the emphasis was holiness. Peter encourages his readers to be more than what the world expects, to be whole and complete, because that is what we are in Christ Jesus. The problem we have as broken people, is that we forget that and still respond to the world as though we are in pieces.

Wholesome thinking, he says. As our minds think, so go our actions. In today's culture, it is easy to live in anger and brokenness. We are self-centered enough to believe that our thoughts and desires should all be met and that life must be fair. Jesus calls us to something greater than that – to focus on him alone, rather than our own needs and the actions of others. He makes us whole, having our thoughts on him is what brings us health and righteousness. We can't do it on our own, we can't live a life that meets the needs of the world and still be holy.

The next thing that Peter does is to emphasize the continuity of scripture. He wants us to recall the words spoken in the past, the command given by Jesus … through the apostles. This is the tether, the tie that binds us throughout history to moment of creation. God's word has been made real through the people of Israel to the disciples who followed Jesus Christ.

Peter's next bit of preaching is to those who question the truth of Jesus' return. The earth and the heavens have been here for millennia and nothing has changed. But, he says that the one thing we forget is that there was that moment when God spoke creation into existence. That changed everything. And by that same word, God is preparing for the day of judgment. We should not be so arrogant as to believe that we have things in control and that just because God is waiting, doesn't mean it won't happen.

Be prepared for the day of judgment. It will come.