A BIT OF EXPOSITION & DOCTRINE: Verse by Verse Exposition of Second Peter 2:1-3; 3:1-18 READ
Peter in this epistle is writing to all Christians wherever they are who have obtained saving faith through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ. In chapter two Peter reminds us of false prophets, false teachers, who secretly damnable heresies and deceive many with clever sounding words that they use for their own wicked purposes. They will be cast into hell.
Verses 1-7 What we are to remember
• In the last days scoffers will come promising that all things will continue as they have since the Creation.
• Their ignorance is willful. They know better but are overpowered by a superfluity of naughtiness.
• They ignore the judgment against the world God brought to the earth during the time of Noah.
Verses 8-10 What we are to know.
• God has a plan and in time will execute His plan.
• God does not count time as we do. One day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.
• To God time is irrelevant. God is right on His schedule.
• He has not forgotten his promise of a new heaven and new earth but is being patient for the sake of all who will yet repent and come to Christ by simple faith.
• The end will come when it is least expected and the violence of the destruction of the heavens (not the place of the abode of God) and the earth will be dramatic and complete.
Verses 11- 15 What we should be looking for.
• Knowing the promises of God we are accountable to Him for our behavior and our growth in personal holiness.
• We are not to lose sight of the fact that the Day of the Lord is coming when all heaven and earth shall dissolve and melt with fervent heat.
• We having these promises look for these things and by looking we will be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
Verses 16-18 What we are to expect in the meantime.
• Many will come with false predictions and their heresy will be the justification of their own destruction.
• Since we know these things are going to happen we need to watch ourselves that we not be led away with their error.
• We are to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
• To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen.
Illustration–The Danish philosopher, Kierkegaard, tells a parable of a theater where a variety show is proceeding. Each show is more fantastic than the last, and is applauded by the audience. Suddenly the manager comes forward. He apologizes for the interruption, but the theater is on fire, and he begs his patrons to leave in an orderly fashion. The audience think this is the most amusing turn of the evening, and cheer thunderously. The manager again implores them to leave the burning building, and he is again applauded vigorously. At last he can do no more. The fire raced through the whole building and the fun-loving audience with it. “And so,” concluded Kierkegaard, “will our age, I sometimes think, go down in fiery destruction to the applause of a crowded house of cheering spectators.” Resource, July/August, 1990.
Can we ridicule the Scoffers: In view of all the false predictions regarding the end of the world and their failure to come true, many people simple have ceased to believe it will ever happen or refuse to listen to biblical commentary that says it will!
SUPPOSITIONS: It is common knowledge that the best way to tell if something is counterfeit is to study the original then, when you hold the counterfeit up to the true the differences are clearly observable. The best thing that can be said about those who predict the end of the world is that they can imagine but they cannot know.
Now, if you are not a Christian or if you are but know little or nothing about what the Bible teaches on the subject of the end of the world, then you, along with others worry yourself sick. The closer the calendar comes to December 21, 2012 the worrier you will become. The world will end they cry! Maybe on December 21, of this year (2012), or it could end on March 8th 2013, or it could end today, January 8th, 2012. These types of predictions are just presumptions based on imagination and nothing more. Yet, many people will believe them to their own hurt.
The date 12/21/2012 comes from an ancient prediction that originated in a long extinct civilization we know as the Mayan’s. They predicted that on 12/21/2012 that the North and South Poles would shift dramatically causing the crust of the earth to twist. The earth’s crust is roughly 2 miles and up to 70 miles thick depending on the various ecological and geological measurements taken of the earth. The average thickness of the earth’s crust is approximately 27 miles or about the distance from here to MCI Airport just North of us. Such a shifting of the poles and the twisting of the earth’s crust would cause instant geophysical disasters of incredible magnitude that would certainly destroy all of life. The Continents would move rapidly (not gradually as they do today) crashing into one another, the oceans would overflow the tallest buildings in New York City; Giant Tsunami’s, hundreds of feet high would swamp the sea and ocean shores over-flooding hundreds of miles inland. Huge gaps on the surface of the planet would swallow entire cities – Nothing and no-one would survive, and the planet itself would die and grow dark and cold and never again be inhabitable for people or plant or animal. If this would occur the molten hot core of the earth (from 4000 to 7000 degrees C or 12,600 degrees Fahrenheit) would spew from beneath its crust and fire and lava and poisonous gasses belching forth would finish things off. If this doesn’t cause the strongest heart to tremble…whatever would? Or could?
Biblicists with a strong biblical foundation, holding geological interest, and in possession of faith-based training, believe that a great catastrophe did indeed occur causing just such a phenomenon in ages past.
Will it happen again, yes, someday, not in the same way that the world ended in Noah’s time, that is not by water as in the great Deluge, nor by a “shifting of the poles, but one day this old earth will be completely rendered uninhabitable, not destroyed in its substance, but uninhabitable nevertheless…and so will the heavens be destroyed, not in its substance, but completely changed, and not the Heaven which is the dwelling of God, but the stars and moon and planets, and yes, the entire Universe but not its substance. God will not RE-create, but He will CREATE a New Heaven and a New Earth wherein will dwell righteousness.
Until this happens the earth beneath us and the heavens above us will remain essentially the same as they are today. This does not mean that great and cataclysmic changes will not or could not occur…they already have and do so every day, but not to the extent as to wipe out all civilization and all life forms.
The earth is not static. Much is going on in, on, and under the earth that we know nothing of and will know nothing of until and if they become of such magnitude as to appear as if “out of the blue,” but in reality have been building up steam for a long, long time. This is true even of the seemingly limitless darkness of outer space. Scientists are constantly finding things going on in the outer reaches through greater and more powerful technology. They are hearing things and seeing things that they have never heard or seen before. The space above us is not static but is dynamic and changing and developing all the time. All these things may or may not be used by the Creator to accomplish His purpose, but surely some will. What? We do not know and can only speculate.
HERE IS WHAT WE DO KNOW
The Heavens and the Earth are in a state of Chaos. Life and the Cosmos have, since the Fall of Man, been under a curse and fallen. Our environment, due to sin, is chaotic and unstable. Sin, has caused the once stable Creation to be much out of sync.
• The Universe is unstable—huge Nova’s; Black Holes; rogue asteroids—not if, when!
• The Earth itself is unstable—catastrophic changes; ice caps melting; volcanic eruptions, earthquakes; Tsunamis, etc..
• The Economy is unstable—jobs lost; savings lost; homes lost; businesess lost; giant companies bankrupt; government bail-outs.
• The Mind of man is unstable— Romans 1:29-32 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity ; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. Is this not true??
What is keeping the world from imploding within itself? Who holding everything together? Why, it is Christ The LORD! Colossians 1:15- 17 – Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist [sunistao (soon-is-tah’-o); or (strengthened). However, few are prepared for God’s ultimate and final judgment of this present Creation.
APPLICATION: I ask you to consider three simple things that we can and must do as Christians in view of the barrage of false prognostications regarding the end of the world. What can we do as we prepare for the actual and soon coming of the Lord and the end of this present age?
I. WATCH, DON’T WORRY
A. WATCH- Matthew 25:1-10 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps , and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps , and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps . 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps . 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
• We are to watch and be diligent and ready for the Lord to Return and gather those who by God’s unconditional grace and the Gift of faith in Jesus Christ have been foreordained in the eternal decree of an Omnipotent God to salvation and everlasting life.
• We are to love the promise of His appearing and by watching we will be ready with our lamps full of oil to trim upon hearing the glorious herald, BEHOLD! THE BRIDEGROOM COMETH.
B. DON’T WORRY- Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing ; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
• Christians should not worry over the fact that God will bring to an end all matters concerning us, this earth, and the Universe. He has a time, He alone knows the hour down to the final second. We should not worry about what unspiritual men predict. Worry leads to doubt, and to doubt the Word of God where the teaching is plain and clear, is sin.
• Worry is a tool of the devil and tends to impede beneficial spiritual activity which in turn leads to an overweening interest in the creature and lessens hope and trust in God the Creator.
• Worry reduces our interest in an Eternal Blessed Hope and maximizes our concerns that are temporal in nature.
• Worry has a tendency to cause us to look inward and downward when we should be looking outward and upward.
II. WEEP, DON’T WAIL
A. WEEP — Psalms 126:5-6 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. 6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed , shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
• We are to believe God when He says that there is coming a day when He will judge unbelieving mankind and bring an end to any hope of redemption or salvation.
• We are to weep for those who are the recipients of the awful poured out wrath of God.
• We are to weep great tears of hope as we ferventlay pray for our lost loved ones.
• We are to weep great tears of sadness as we consider the fate of many who have taken the broad road that leadeth to their own destruction.
• We are to weep great tears of joy as we carry the precious seed of the gospel of Christ knowing that by scattering the good seed many will receive it with joy and be brought into the family of God.
B. DON’T WAIL– Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
• Yes, there will come a time when the wicked will wail and mourn for their pitiful souls in the face of their own destruction.
• They will cry for the rocks to fall upon them and cover and hide them from the wrath of Almighty God.
• They will wail knowing that being in dying in unrepentant filthiness they will remain filthy throughout all eternity and forever be separate from God with no further opportunity for salvation.
• They will wail and lament for a mere drop of water to cool their dry, burning, and thirsty tongue as they languish in a burning hell with no hope of escape.
Don’t you wail Christian for these things will never befall you. God has better things in store for you.
III. WORK, BUT DON’T WILT
Illustration: During his 1960 presidential campaign, John F. Kennedy often closed his speeches with the story of Colonel Davenport, the Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives: On May 19th, 1780 the sky of Hartford darkened ominously, and some of the representatives, glancing out the windows, feared the end was at hand. Quelling a clamor for immediate adjournment, Davenport rose and said, “The Day of Judgment is either approaching or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for adjournment. If it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. Therefore, I wish that candles be brought.” Rather than fearing what is to come, we are to be faithful till Christ returns. Instead of fearing the dark, we’re to be lights as we watch and wait. Harry Heintz.
A. WORK – 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
• We are to work for God in the field, that is, in the church and outside of the church, for they are both white unto harvest. Fifty percent of all church members, I’m told, are blind to their lost condition and are unsaved.
• We are not appointed to harvest. We are commanded to plant. If we are not in some way planting the gospel seed, then we are not in compliance with the Lord’s command found in Matthew 28.
• We must work in the fields carefully planting good seed, precious seed, and be caring for the fields once their tender fruit begins to grow and let the angels in God’s time do the harvesting.
• We are to work while it is day for the time will come when darkness shall shroud the earth and there will be no more time or reason or opportunity to work—it will be too late!
• We are to labor in the Lord as did Tryphena and Tryphose and Persis, of whom Paul tells us about in Romans 16:12, Galatians 6:12-14 (for) many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. 13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. 14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
• We are to work so that, whether someone is watching or not we may be accepted of him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men. 2 Corinthians 5:9-11
• We are to be working with our hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Ephesians 4:28 We work, we earn money, we support the ministry by giving to the poor. We should not see the righteous begging bread or refusing honest labor or depending on others to support our every need. If we can walk and talk and move about, we can work! We should not burden friends with our troubles, but we are to tell God. If you have a need and you are a child of God you will have not need that He cannot or will not fill. Tell him!
• We must work out our faith by our works and do so in a work of love and have patience in our hope in our Lord Jesus Christ and do so in the sight of God and our Father; Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. 1 Thessalonians 1:3-4
• We are to work in the remembrance that God who is not unrighteous to forget our work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. Hebrews 6:10
B. DON’T WILT- Hebrews 10:21-25 21 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.– Luke 12:7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
In view of the state of things in the world we admit that if not now; soon, the Lord will return and we shall forever be with Him in glory. This is not the time for Christians to throw their hands up in the air in pitiful submission to the devil. We must give up any thought that our God is a weak God and that the devil is overcoming His efforts and is winning the battle for the souls of men. The devil is only doing what he is allowed to do, nothing more. And, whatever the devil is doing, though it may appear to be defeating the purpose of God, he is in actuality only doing what God is permitting him to do, and we are to know that God will get glory from it all.
• We must not weaken our resolve to stand up for our Lord Jesus before men and proclaim the liberty that He has provided for all who believe in Him and trust Him for their salvation.
• We are not to wilt in the face of the times.
• We are to put on the armor of God and stand steadfastly shoulder to shoulder ready to resist the works of the devil knowing that our resistance to him will cause him to flee from us.
• We are not to wilt when we hear these puny prognosticators of the end of the world because they simply have no idea of what the plan of God is for this world and when His plan will be realized by all mankind.
Illustration: After 14 years of studying the Bible, William Miller became convinced that Christ would return in 1843. When Miller announced April 3 as the day, some disciples went to mountaintops, hoping for a head start to heaven. Others were in graveyards, planning to ascend in reunion with their departed loved ones. Philadelphia society ladies clustered together outside town to avoid entering God’s kingdom amid the common herd. When April 4 dawned as usual the Millerites were disillusioned, but they took heart. Their leader had predicted a range of dates for Christ’s return. They still had until March 21, 1844. The devout continued to make ready, but again they were disappointed. A third date–October 22, 1844–was set, but it also passed.
Who will you believe, dear Christian? Those pitiful prognosticators of gloom and doom who take shots in the dark predicting the end of the world, or The LORD Jehovah God, Jesus Christ who made the world and who knows the beginning from the end? I prefer the latter! And finally, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:58
January 8, 2012