PETER GIVES FINAL WORDS OF CAUTION AND BLESSINGS
Peter gives final words of caution and blessings
This will be the last article I will be writing in 2nd Peter because I am at the end of the book. In verse fourteen Peter writes beloved seeing that we look for these things. Well obviously the apostle is talking about the rapture and the day of the Lord because that is what he was writing about in the previous verses. He urges us as true believers in Christ to be found in peace without spot and blameless.
I noticed that almost every time the rapture of the church is mentioned we are instructed on how to live as Christians. Well that makes sense because these righteous principles we obey will determine whether we go up in the Blessed Hope or whether we will be left behind to endue the day of the Lord.
Some believers may ask, "If I live like the devil in sin will I still go up in the rapture? I have to laugh at this question because you may not even be alive when the Lord returns but if you are not living a holy and obedient life as a Christian the answer is no because this is what the Bible teaches.
Why is it that almost every time this wonderful precious event is mentioned in the word of God we are told how to live holy before God, ourselves and other people? Because our righteous living is connected with being taken up in the rapture.
One example would be in Matthew chapter twenty five starting in verse one up to verse thirteen. The wise virgins went up but the foolish virgins did not go up in the coming of the Lord. Jesus even went as far as saying in verse twelve, "I know you not." Of course He was speaking to the foolish virgins. Notice they were all virgins which is an indication they were all believers in Christ. A sinner who does not know the Lord can not be a virgin. As Peter writes in 2nd Peter 3:14 a sinner or unbeliever could never be found living in peace through Jesus Christ without spot and blameless. They do not have the presence of the Holy Spirit giving them the power to live in peace without spot and blameless. Every time I spoke about this subject with an unbeliever they responded, "I don't know what you are talking about." By the way I know a good number of Christians that rocked the world for Jesus Christ and are now living in habitual sin. We can not do the work of God at the neglect of our own salvation.
The apostle Peter tells us the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation. How patient has God been with me? Wow I do not even know the answer to that question. I have been forgiven of many sins. Thank you Jesus. Peter mentioned the apostle Paul but more about that after I quote the passage. In short Peter does write some truths are hard to understand in the Bible but that does not give us license to distort the scriptures.
In context what Peter was concerned about he even says in the second to last verse of 2nd Peter seeing you know these things beforehand and then he gives his readers the warning --- beware lest you also be led away with the error of the wicked. If we do this we will fall from our own steadfastness. Peter seems to warn Christians many times that we do have the ability to fall away from the grace of God into a lifestyle of sin.
The apostle Peter ends this very excellent book on a positive note by writing grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Let me quote the original passage so you can read the text and perhaps make reference to it if need be in this particular study of the Bible.
(14) "Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless. (15) And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; (16) As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. (17) Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. (18) But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Je'sus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." 2nd Peter 14 - 18.
Peter is again exhorting that his readers be renewed again. The state that the apostle desired them was to be renewed in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit through righteous living because when the Judge appears (Jesus Christ) they could give a good account of their life at the judgment seat in heaven.
We need to be found of Him in peace and reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ. Since our sins are pardoned we should strive to have peace with God because our refuge is in the Person of Jesus Christ. We should strive with peace in our consciences which we can not fake. I know this because I tried to do this in my past. We should strive to have peace with people. If you ever observed certain individuals that always want to fight with other people it is the most unbecoming sight to endure.
We should want to be found of Christ without spot and blameless to follow after holiness as well as peace. Peter encouraged his readers to spotless purity and perfection. Another way of saying this is we as believers in Christ should be perfecting holiness. Life is a practice so if a person practices sin this is what he or she will become but if an individual practices holiness that is what he or she will become before God. It is only the diligent Christian who will be the secure believer in the day of the Lord.
I see foolish virgins in the faith and I noticed a common denominator which is they do not do anything for the Lord. They just sort of replace Christian living with worldly living. If they are the foolish virgin how could they be the profitable servant? If they in essence refuse the presence and power of the Holy Spirit how can they have any Godly authority in doing something constructive for God and people? They may tip God on occasion but Jesus Christ is not a waiter. It is very interesting to me that in Matthew chapter 25:14 Jesus speaks about the parable of the profitable servants compared to the unprofitable servant and this is right after the first thirteen verses in Matthew chapter twenty five which is the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. Is there a connection? I believe there is but I would encourage you to read Matthew chapter twenty five. Wise virgin / profitable servant. Foolish virgin / unprofitable servant.
Jesus Christ desires to reward us for our faithfulness. Peter writes in this passage and account the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation. We can look at our own life to see how patient God was and is with us or we can look at the coming of the Lord and see the same principal. In either situation God is giving us a space of time to repent because He does not desire anyone to perish. We need to remember something, when a person gets consigned to hell for all eternity they can not get out so this is final forever. The Bible is very clear on this issue that a person has to prepare in this life to spend eternity in heaven.
Peter compares his writing to the apostle Paul to make the same good use of divine forbearance to live holy, serve God and people for the right motive. They were brothers in the faith, fellow Christians and fellow apostles. Peter calls him beloved and knew this man had an uncommon measure of wisdom given to him. Peter understood that the understanding and knowledge that qualify men to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ is a gift from God. The apostle Peter endeavors to lead others as far as he himself was guided into the knowledge of the mysteries of the gospel.
Some truths are hard to be understood in the Bible. Peter makes this point but to distort the scriptures is the line that Peter draws as unacceptable. This is why it is so important to be not only well instructed but well established in the truth of the Bible because this teacher is in danger of perverting the word of God. The Bible was given to us for the purpose of instructing people in divine truth. The persons on the receiving end of biblical teaching become more secure from falling into errors. The consequence of the errors that ignorant and unstable people fall into will probably be their own destruction.
When Peter cautions he does it because he cares about them. If people take the Bible way out of context they are in danger of being seduced and will eventually turn away from the truth. In the worst case scenario it could be their utter ruin. Falling into the error of the wicked is the exact opposite of their original goal. If we believe their false teachings because of misinterpreting the Bible it is inevitable that imitating their practices will be the next step in our journey through earth. Those who are led away by error fall from their own steadfastness. They will be unsettled in their heart unless these people truly repent and go back to what the Bible truly says because false theology leads to a lack of closure in Jesus Christ.
The apostle Peter directs us to grow in grace. More grace, more steadfastness in the truth of scripture and our faith in Jesus Christ. We must grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ because this conforms us to Him. Jesus Christ becomes more drawn to our hearts in a practical way and preserves us from falling off in times of general apostasy.
Peter ends in a very warm way by writing to Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. If you desire to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins then invite the Son of God into your life. If you just made that decision stay with the truth in the Bible. First look for the main idea and empathies that the Holy Spirit is portraying in the scriptures. Just read the passage for what it says which means do not read into the word of God. Take the Bible for exactly what it says which means throw your pre conceived notions out and read the scriptures. I always say, "I am dumb but God is All Knowing." Let God be true and every man a liar.
God Bless you,