Summary: It is foolish to think what God says will happen will not happen, just because it hasn’t happened yet. Sermon 23 in a study in 1 & 2 Peter
The Apostles certainly lived in expectation of the Lord’s return, simply believing the promise that He made to do so. In the whole of the New Testament only Philemon and 3rd John, both very short letters, make no mention of the return of Christ.
The very ones who walked with Him, saw Him die, were witnesses to His resurrection and saw Him ascend into the heavens are the ones that were so confident of His return that they mention it over and over again, either directly or indirectly, as incentive toward holy living and toward keeping watch with eager anticipation, and as the event that will mark the fulfillment of all His precious and magnificent promises concerning our eternal future.
Now, here, as Peter is beginning to draw his letter to a close, he once more expresses a desire to stir up, wake up, arouse in them, remembrance of the things they already know but should not let slip; specifically, the things that were spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and from the Lord Himself, and then the apostles.
Things thrice confirmed by the Holy Spirit through His agents; the pure truth of God’s Word.
Remember, he has just warned them in the strongest of terms to be on the alert against false teachers and then he has described these creatures born for destruction. So by way of contrast now, he says that he wants them in defense against the deceit of the false teachers to remember the holy prophets, as opposed to the unholy prophets, and the Lord’s own teaching, and the things taught them by the Lord’s chosen Apostles.
As Christians, if we have been in the Word as we should and submitting ourselves to sound Biblical teaching, we know these things Peter has reiterated throughout this letter.
But we need to be stirred up. We need to be awakened by having the truth of God’s Word concerning our eternal security, holy living and staying alert against the enemy’s attacks paraded before our eyes and our minds and taken to our hearts, often.
A MATTER OF PRIORITY
Not all false teachers deny the second coming of Christ. There are those who even teach the coming rapture and the Great Tribulation, but so much of their doctrine is demonic it makes one wonder why they are not trembling in dread of having to face Him.
Others teach that He has already returned. The practitioners of the Baha’i cult even teach that not only has He returned, but He has returned numerous times. He just pops in for a visit once in a while.
Just surfing the web a little bit I discovered that some guy named Harold Camping has been teaching since 2004 that Jesus has already returned, invisibly, and is judging the churches. Another couple with their own heretical website is teaching the following:
“The return of Christ with its complete destruction of the world, so widely speculated on, is not true. Rather, the return of Christ is to the hearts of individual believers who have prepared the way for him to return to them.”
www.hallvworthington.com HERESY ALERT! Reader beware.
They obviously do not read the Bible, since the declaration of Christ’s Apostles can hardly be called ‘speculation’.