Summary: Peter's Teaching about the Return of Christ
2 Peter 3 - The Return of Christ
Turn with me this morning to the book of 2 Peter, chapter 3. We have been going through this book that we find at the end of the NT, five books before Revelation, the last book of the Bible. It is written by Peter, the bold fisherman who ended up leaving his nets and following Christ. And we saw last week that in 3:1, Peter is writing to REMIND us of things that we already know to be true, because we need to keep them in the forefront of our thinking. He says, Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. Here in 2 Peter 2, Peter is reminding us of the dangers at hand in the church. He is writing to remind us of things we know to be true. He reminds us that we need to go beyond just being comfortable in being a Christian, and
• we need to add to our faith 7 different qualities - I call them spiritual One-a-days. He reminds us that
• the Lord is returning - and we need to look for His return constantly. Peter reminds us that
• the OT prophets are reliable, and we can rely on what the scriptures record for us. But then Peter goes on to remind us in chapter 2 that
there are also false prophets out there. Peter is giving us a reminder of what we already know - we need to reject false teachers! And to do that, we need to identify them!
Now we go on to chapter 3. And Peter gives us encouragement to hold on to hope - to not give up what we believe in because of criticism we may get - but to keep looking for the return of Christ. Here’s what He has to say. Read 3:1-13 Pray
Peter starts this chapter off like he does chapter 1. Both have the idea of remembering. And both have the idea of understanding what is really important. What does Peter want us to remember? Peter wants us to remember the Lord’s timing! What does that mean? Peter warns us that we will face scoffers in life - people who want to mock us and make fun of us and try to destroy our faith. He writes here in verse 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.” But Peter says these people are not seeking information, simply asking WHEN Jesus will return. No, these are scoffers - people who disbelieve - people who reject the scriptures as true - they say “Jesus is NOT coming back to the earth!
What does that matter? There are a lot of Christians who say, It’s not a big issue - I still believe the bible whether Jesus is returning or not - I’ll still go to heaven when I die. But it IS a big issue. The return of Christ to the earth is a FOUNDATION of our faith! The scoffers don’t want to admit it as truth, because if Jesus IS returning, then they know they will have to stand before Him and give an account of their lives. The return of Christ is just like Creation - which these scoffers also mock - You don’t mean you don’t believe in evolution do you! You mean that everything just happened in a second! But the truth is that we DO believe in creation. That also is a BIG matter for our faith. And if you want some bolstering of your faith in the issue of creation we have some great videos by Ken Ham out in the north room that will give you ammunition to use to refute these scoffers. You see, if we can’t believe in Jesus when He said He would return for us, then how can we believe in Jesus when He says He is providing forgiveness or when He talks about Heaven and Hell. The return of Christ IS a big deal!
The scoffers say Jesus isn’t returning! Everything is the same as it always was! But Peter says they are not truthful - they don’t want to look at the facts. He says But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. Peter wants to reassure us that we don’t need to let our faith be shaken by these “intellectuals.” Peter says they are ignoring the facts. They ignore the truth of creation. As I said, Creation is a foundation of our faith. If we can’t believe what God says about the creation of the world, then how can we believe Him about anything else.