Summary: We must constantly reinforce and pass on the truth of God's Word.
Far Sighted Strategy: Preparing the Generations
1. When our kids were young, we enjoyed watching Sesame Street with them, especially Hannah. This was before Elmo took over the show.
2. This added vocabulary and shared experiences. The Golden AN, Planet "Ch," "Put Down the Duckie if You Want to Play the Saxophone, " and a host of other memories.
3. One song that we used to sing around the house was called, "Opposites." Big -- small; Short-long...
4. As human beings, we think in terms of comparison and contrast. The modern obsession with avoiding labeling means we don't think as well, because comparisons should result in categorization; when putting people or things into categories is taboo, our level of sense and reasoning declines. The same is true with contrast.
5. But Peter and the Scriptures are not bound by modern constraints; we have liberty to think clearly and freely. And thus Peter takes us in an opposite direction from last week.
6. In our previous passage, Peter scolds near-sighted Christians; in this passage, he models being far-sighted, sharing long-term thinking. While many of us are trying to pay the bills at the end of the month or get through a phase in our kids' lives, God wants us to have eternity and future generations on our minds.
7. I have learned many years ago that you cannot persuade people to head in a certain direction against their will. But one thing you can try to do is to obey the Lord yourself; this may not persuade the unwilling, but it will serve as a model for those who really want to live in a godly and wise way.
8. And Peter offers us an excellent model. Rather than say, "I don't care what happens to the church after I am dead," Peter left a legacy for future generations, including this epistle.
9.The generations coming up do not have what we have; we should not suppose that they have learned and grown with our experiences -- they need their own. But we have to provide the basic information for them. That means repetition and cycles.
Main Idea: We must constantly reinforce and pass on the truth of God's Word.
I. Repetition, Review, & REINFORCEMENT (12-13a)
A. INTENTIONAL Reminding
1. If you remind someone too much, it becomes nagging or meaningless
2. If you do not remind them enough, truth is lost
3. Example: The Ten Commandments, Books of the Bible (AWANA)
4. Yet lots of teens and adults can no longer produce this information
5. But here is the catch: Peter is reminding people who hunger to know God and are serious about their faith; this is not always the case!
B. Pursuing GRACES
C. Established in TRUTH
Established believers can become shaken if they lose what they once knew. I have seen this happen many times. That attacks of false teachers can be persistent; if we hear something often enough, we tend to believe it. That is why we must rehearse the truth.
You can teach teens the answers to questions their college profs will raise, but most teens will forgot those answers and will even forget that there are answers…which is why they need to be involved in Navigators or Campus Crusade.
The reason they forget is that, when they were taught, the issue did not seem relevant! I use the example of my experience with English teachers…
D. It is RIGHT (13a)
1. To REFRESH
Just like a computer sometimes needs to be restarted because operating files become corrupted, so we need to "refresh" ourselves in all areas. Bits of information or zeal drop out of the equation, and soon we freeze up spiritually.
If it seems boring to review some truths of God's Word or to restudy a part of Scripture, study at a higher level or from a different angle. Most Christians are content and do well at a popular level (with an emphasis on the devotional), but some are bored there.
In our Sunday School class downstairs, I have been impressed with the level of our curriculum. Chuck and Glenn have used it for years, as have others since who knows when.
2. The importance of MEMORY
Our minds are also like hard drives on computers -- there is only so much room on them. Thus, there is a competition going on -- lots of competing interests are vying for space on our mental hard drives. Thus we come down to "Seek first…"
II. A Burden to Indoctrinate FUTURE Generations (13b-15)
A. Our time is LIMITED (13b-14)
1. Our bodies are TENTS
--some of us are pup tents, & some can accommodate an entire family; tents nonetheless!
2 Corinithians 5:1, "Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands."