2 Peter Series - Part 4
“Never mistake kindness for weakness.”
Drill Sargeant Passmoore
““God is going to invade this earth in force. But what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream, and something else -- something it never entered your head to conceive -- comes crashing in; something so beautiful to some of us, and so terrible to others, that none of us will have any choice left? For this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing; it will be the time when we discover which side we have really chosen, whether we realized it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back, to give us that chance. It will not last forever. We must take it or leave it.” Are you ready for that day?”
C. S. Lewis
“The will of God is not something you add to your life. It’s a course you choose. You either line yourself up with the Son of God…or your capitulate to the principle which governs the rest of the world.”
Questions for the
- READ: 2 Pet. 3:1-7, Isa , Jer , Ezek. 11:3, Mal , Acts , 1 Thess. , 2 Tim 3:1-9. Who are the scoffers that Peter is referring to? How does Peter’s exhortation to the Church at this time differ from Pentecost? Do these warnings apply to us today, or are they to come in the future?
- 2. READ: 2 Pet. 3:8-9, 1 Tim. 2:4, Rom. 2:4, Ezek. , 32, 33:11, Rev. 20:2,4,5. Compare 2 Pet. 3:8 with the Rev. passages. Is Peter describing a literal thousand years in this passage? Why or why not? How do we know how to confirm a literal 1,000 years from a figurative? In 2 Pet 3:9, is Peter teaching universalism? Why will all not “reach repentance?”
- 3. READ: 2 Pet. 3:10-13, Ps. 102:25-26, Matt 24:35, Heb 1:10-12, Rev.6:14. Is Peter expecting an imminent return of the Lord? Is he admonishing his readers so that they won’t miss the Lord’s return, or is it just good advice? What did Jesus say needed to happen before he returned? In what ways do you expect the heavens will be “set on fire?”
- 4. READ: 2 Pet. 3:14-18, 1:5-11, 1 Cor. 15:58. Rom 8:1-5, 2 Cor. 3:1-18, Gal. 5:1-6, As Peter closes out his letter, he calls his readers “beloved” 4 times in this chapter alone. Is he trying to use honey or vinegar (fire consuming the heavens) or to get to his audience? Is strong language more effective than the softer we’ve seen from Paul for instance? In light of Peter’s acknowledgment that some of Paul’s writings are difficult to understand, and have been twisted to promote sin and lawlessness, what remedies does Peter have? (Think Chp. 1)
- Knowing that Peter was the rock of the early church, and one of Jesus’ closest friends, how can we take his words seriously to heart?
How can we use Peter’s words to help correct those who have distorted views of the Gospel, yet do it with “gentleness and respect?”