Summary: How is our wholesome thinking?
We continue to learn from the Apostle Peter as God told him what to write. Please open your Bibles to 2 Peter Chapter 3….
We will focus on the first 9 verses today but let us read the entire chapter….
Why did God ask Peter to write letters to Christians?
I actually like the way the New Revised Standard Version translates v1-2: This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you; in them I am trying to arouse your sincere intention by reminding you that you should remember the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets, and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken through your apostles.
And so, why did Peter write the letters?
v1: God calls every Christian to wholesome thinking!
What is wholesome thinking? The other English translations of the Bible give us hints; NRSV: sincere intentions; NKJV: pure minds; NASB: sincere minds
God desires the mind of a Christian, the intentions in life, to be sincere and pure!
And we note in v2, how Christians can have sincere and pure minds and intentions.
v2: Christians are to recall God’s words! God’s words are from the prophets of the Old Testament, the Apostles and Jesus Christ in the New Testament.
And, God reminds Christians of a few things:
v3: there will be sinful people and scoffers (mockers) of God’s Word.
Christians should not be surprised that sinful people:
v4: will always question God’s Word.
v5: will deliberately forget that God spoke and the heavens and earth were created!
v6: will deny the worldwide flood.
And again God reminds Christians that there are consequences to sin.
v7: God will judge with fire the present heaven and earth and destroy the ungodly!
Now, verse 8 is one of those bible verses which people can easily take out of context. False teachers will take v8 and literally apply it to other verses associated with time; for example, false teachers will say that God did not create everything in just 6 days, it could have been 6000 years; as a matter of fact, it could even be 6 billion years because it makes more sense to us and God can be flexible with time!
Bible verses must be understood within its context! What context is v8 in? Verse 9 states that it is about God’s timing not man’s! This passage is saying that God has the power and right to do things whenever He desires!
v8-9: God’s timing is always perfect and not dependent on man’s clock!
2000 years ago, many Christians, especially those who were having hardships and persecutions, had this attitude: “Why doesn’t God take care of me and judge the ungodly right now? Lord, get me out of here!!” Ever feel that way? I have often.
And so God tells us why in v9 of 2 Peter 3…..
God keeps His promises!
God is not slow in anything! Again, God’s timing is always perfect!
God is patient, long-suffering, because He is love!
God desires everyone not to perish but repent!
And so, it is true, God is loving, patient and long suffering; does this mean God will never judge the ungodly??
How do we know that God will eventually judge the ungodly??
God will certainly judge the ungodly; v7, Chapter 2, v10!
Verse 10 actually tells us that God’s judgment will happen soon and sudden! We will look at this in more detail next week.
What Biblical principles from this first part of 2 Peter Chapter 3 can we apply to our lives today?
1. How wholesome is our thinking on a daily basis?
a. Is our thinking what God desires? – note also 2 Corinthians 10:5b - take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
b. What are our intentions in life? – Are they God pleasing?
c. Check with God what you put in your mind!
How much of God’s Word do we put in our minds on a daily basis?
2. We must learn to deal with sin and sinful people lingering in our lives.
With the power of the Holy Spirit:
a. We are to say no to sin
And because sinful people around us will soon be judged by God,
b. We are to pray for opportunities to share the Gospel to those around us!
3. Trust God’s clock!
a. In context, accept God’s time frames in Scripture.
b. How impatient are we?