Summary: In this sermon, we discuss Peter's answer to the scoffers who said that Jesus was not coming again. We learn about our need to be prepared always for His return.
A. The story is told about a preacher who was preaching to a packed church about the second coming.
1. He wound up to a fever pitch and quoted Jesus’ promise, “I am coming soon!”
2. He preached some more and said even more loudly, “I am coming soon!”
3. He preached a little longer and threw his arms up in the air and cried out, “I am coming soon!”
4. At that point, he lost his balance and fell off the stage into the lap of a man in the first row.
5. The preacher got up and apologized to the man, but the man replied, “Oh, that’s okay, you warned me three times that you were coming! I should have been expecting you!”
B. The Bible repeatedly speaks of the promise and the warning of Christ’s coming, but how seriously and expectantly are we looking for that coming?
C. I am fascinated by the way we get so wrapped up in end times things and doomsday prophesies.
1. These kinds of things find their way into all kinds of fiction and movie making.
D. One of the oldest famous examples goes all the way back to the science fiction novel “The War of the Worlds” written by H.G. Wells in 1898.
1. Perhaps the greatest impact of that novel was felt on Sunday evening, October 30, 1938 when millions of Americans were listening to the CBS radio network and heard an announcer’s voice breaking into the music of an orchestra, saying, “Ladies and gentleman, we interrupt our program of dance music to bring you a special bulletin from the Intercontinental Radio News.”
2. Then, during the next hour, the audience was stunned to hear a series of increasingly hysterical voices narrating an invasion of Martian monsters, landing first on a New Jersey farm, then unleashing poisonous gases over New York City.
3. The broken, anguished voice of an announcer continued: “All communication with Jersey shore closed…No more defenses. Our army wiped out…artillery, air force, everything wiped out. This may be the last broadcast.”
4. Later they learned that they had been listening to the Orson Welles – Mercury Theatre production of “War of the Worlds.”
5. It has been estimated that millions of people experienced serious levels of distress.
6. Thousands were thrown into absolute panic, but none of it was true.
E. More recent examples of these kinds of doomsday stories include the movies: Independence Day, Armageddon, and The Day after Tomorrow, just to name a few.
1. The big buzz these days has to do with 2012 and the supposed end of the world related to the end of the Mayan calendar.
2. What is strange to me about all this is the fact that we can get all worked up about speculative things that are not likely to happen, like alien invasions, asteroids colliding with the earth, global warming, nuclear holocaust, or Mayan predictions, but we aren’t concerned enough about something that we know is going to happen: the return of Jesus Christ.
F. We have been studying Peter’s second letter for several weeks, and we have seen that Peter is concerned that his readers grow in the knowledge of the Lord.
1. One of the reasons Peter encouraged his readers to grow in the knowledge of the Lord was the fact that there are false teachers and false teaching.
2. Last week we saw how Peter addressed the character and conduct of the false teachers.
3. In today’s section from chapter 3, we want to notice how Peter addressed one of the things the false teachers taught and that was that there would be no second coming of Jesus.
4. It’s very important for us to understand the truths of God’s Word.
5. Just like in Peter’s day, we are surrounded today by people who refuse to take the Bible seriously when it speaks about Christ’s return and the certainty of judgment.
6. Let’s work through these verses and learn important truths about God and Christ’s coming.
I. God’s Word Is True (3:1-4)
A. Peter begins: 1 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.
3 First of 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 fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”
B. We notice that Peter wrote this second letter primarily to awaken his readers and remind them of the truths they already knew.