Summary: Peter in his second letter the last chapter reminds all the believers to make sure they keep their thinking wholesome and to not give up on Jesus’ return because it is coming and when it comes it will quick like the flash of lightning.
2 Peter 3 – Jesus to the Rescue! - When?
Thesis: Peter in his second letter the last chapter reminds all the believers to make sure they keep their thinking wholesome and to not give up on Jesus’ return because it is coming and when it comes it will quick like the flash of lightning.
Illustration: Jesus to the Rescue- Testimony from Brooklyn Tabernacle
Scripture Text: 2 Peter 3:1-18
1Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2I 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.
3First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
8But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.
11Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.
14So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
17Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. 18But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
Peter knew what it was liked to be rescued by Jesus – He experienced it when he walked on the water and then started to sink when he saw the wind a blowing. Matthew 14:25-32:
25During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29“Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Peter knew what it was like to be rescued by Jesus especially after you had failed miserably. His failures usually came when he allowed fear to overtake him. The reason he started sinking was he saw “The wind and became afraid”. The truth is the result of fear usually causes us to sink. We discover that Peter also became afraid at the time of Christ’s arrest and this caused him to deny Christ three times. All his failures came from fear taking over and losing sight of Jesus. John Ortberg in his book- If You Want To Walk On Water You’ve Got To Get Out Of The Boat notes this about fear: The single command in Scripture that occurs more often then any other-God’s most frequently repeated instruction-is formulated in two words: Fear Not. Do not be afraid. Be strong and courageous. You can trust me. Fear not. Why does God command us not to fear? Fear does not seem like the most serious vice in the world. It never made the list of the Seven Deadly Sins. No one ever receives church discipline for being afraid. SO why does God tell human beings to stop being afraid more often than he tells them anything else? My hunch is that the reason God says “Fear Not” so much is not that he wants us to be spared emotional discomfort. In fact, usually he says it to people to do something that is going to lead them into greater fear anyway. I think God says, “fear not” so often because fear is the number one reason human beings are tempted to avoid doing what God asks them to do” (117,118).