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Summary: God waits for us

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II Peter 3:1-18

February 26, 2012

This is just the bare outline of the text. You can listen to the details of this sermon here.

Peter continues with the contrast between God’s true church and the world.

God proves the scoffers wrong (:1-7)

This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:

Don’t skip over this too quickly. Peter’s intentions in both his letters are to “stir up” the readers’ pure minds. He wants them stirred because they need to be diligent. Partaking of the divine nature is productive—it doesn’t cause people to be lazy, but actually causes them to bear fruit for God’s glory.

He reminds them that their minds are pure, which is a contrast to the false prophets who are servants of corruption. Jude calls them “filthy dreamers” (Jude 1:8). You can take a pig out of the mud and wash her, but she’s still a pig and will go right back to the mire. But we have the mind of Christ, and we’ve been cleansed with the washing of water by the word.

He stirs them by “way of remembrance.” In other words, history is proof that God keeps His promise. Look again at 1:4, 1:17-19, and 2:9. We see it in the way God dealt with the fallen angels and Noah and Lot.

Everything He’s promised to do He’s done, and we read about it in what’s called the Old Testament. And so Peter writes saying, “I’m stirring up your pure minds,”

2That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

The prophecies and commandments of the Bible are written for us to remember.

3Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers,

It’s just a fact that scoffers will come in the last days. I think there’s a general sense of despair in our time—we feel like the church has her back against the wall and that morality is at an all-time low.

Maybe morality is lower than it’s been in a while, but the church is exactly where God wants her to be. He’s promised that the gates of hell will never prevail against us, and He keeps His promises.

God isn’t surprised by the scoffers. Think of Proverbs 16:4.

These are the false teachers and the ungodly who think they can do whatever they want against the command. The Greek means “playing like children.” You can picture a kid with his thumbs in his ears and sticking his tongue out. They come,

walking after their own lusts,

They reject the Sovereign Despot and instead do as they please.

4And saying, Where is the promise of his coming?

“He says He’s coming back, but I don’t see Him.”

for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

They say that God’s been promising to return for a long time, and in fact it’s been too long. They figure if He hasn’t come back yet, then He’s not really coming and that leaves them free to live however they want.

Think about the parable of the wicked servant in Luke 12:42-46.

5For this they willingly are ignorant of,

Think about Romans 1:18-26. They willingly suppress the truth so that they don’t have to obey it. They want to be unaware of the fact,

that by the word of God the heavens were of old,

This is just a reference to Creation. God commanded the heavens to exist and they did (Gen. 1:1).

Now don’t miss it that it’s by “the word” of God. This whole book shows how the promise of God is trustworthy. The heavens came into existence by His word alone, so we can be sure He’ll see us through because of His word!

and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

Read Genesis 1:2-10. This adds to our confidence in His word,

6Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

Now we’ve jumped ahead to Genesis 6:1-7 and :17-18. God created the world, but then He flooded it because of wickedness. This is a warning to the wicked and evidence to us that God will do what He promised:

7But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word

The same word that created all things and which promised the flood,

are kept in store,

The idea is a treasure being laid up,

reserved

The idea in the Greek is that God has set aside the heavens and the earth and He keeps them there,

unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

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