- 2 Pet. 1:1-3:18
Today’s reading is the second letter of Peter. As mentioned yesterday, this letter was written to all Christians living at the time and its focus was to: 1.) refute the false teaching which had arisen and thereby remind the Christians what their responsibility and mission for life was, and 2.) remind the Christians of the coming judgment and destruction of the ungodly. Peter references his death as being “soon” so it is likely this letter was written about 64 A.D. There are many similarities between the contents of 2 Peter and that of Jude and Paul’s two letters to the Thessalonians.
Peter reminded the Christians that GOD had provided for their needs and Peter offered a step-by-step guide to personal spiritual growth into a mature Christian—something which applies to us today. Peter writes:
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
(2 Pet. 1:3-11 NIV)
What amazing promises! Did you catch that statement that, because of GOD’s gifts, we have the opportunity to participate in the divine nature? That means we can participate with GOD’s very nature! That’s an amazing truth! But we’ve got work to do, in order to grow like GOD wants us to.
Toward the end of Peter’s second letter, he reminded the reader about GOD’s patience and the destruction to come upon the ungodly. This serves as a sobering reminder of man’s ultimate end and the choice we face that will determine our eternal destiny. Peter writes:
3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 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.” 5 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. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 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.
8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
…17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
(2 Pet. 3:3-18 NIV)
GOD’s will for you is that you be saved. His will is that you grow in His grace and knowledge. Let us all submit to His will.