Summary: This final chapter of 2 Peter is probably where the idea of meeting Peter at the pearly gates comes from. And while that is cute, the one who will really be interviewing us is Jesus himself. I thought the interview with a typical Christian in the waiting
So, you call me Lord, how did you do the will of my Father? (Mt 7:21) Ahhh well I went to church most Sundays, I read some parts of my Bible once in a while, I prayed, gave 2 or 3 percent of my income to the church when times were good.
How did you love your enemies? (Mt 6:44) “I didn’t kill any of them”.
Did you ever put people down in anger? (Mt 5:22) Yeah about that one, you didn’t really mean that if I call someone a moron I am actually in danger of going to hell did you?
Were you a humble person putting others above yourself? I didn’t hang out with street people or anything like that, but yeah as long as I had extra and got something out of it for myself, I helped people.
Were you gentle – merciful – pure in heart - a peacemaker? Jesus are we done? Where’s Peter and those beautiful gates with the pearls and stuff.
Just a little more, I like hanging out with you, I have been looking forward to this for over 2000 years, can you give a few more minutes?
Were you ever made fun of or persecuted because of me? Well once in a while people made fun of my singing in church. Somebody even stole the fish off my car once.
Did you try to make disciples? I don’t really have the gift for evangelism, and I really don’t like telling people what to do.
Did you forgive others when they sinned against you? Well sure I did, I remember when my wife came in and turned the TV off right before the end of that overtime game in the playoffs a couple years ago. I don’t have to forgive that guy who ripped me off for 500 bucks though do I?
OK, one last question. If you hadn’t said a prayer that asked me to save you, how would I know you? Well Jesus, to be honest I really wanted to live according to your commands, but there were too many things competing for my attention and efforts. I put you on the back pages of my life and only really brought you to the front when I really needed you. I guess I really don’t deserve to go to heaven”.
Oh my child, of course you don’t, no one does. When you called on me, I made you worthy, but I also wanted you to have a taste of my Kingdom while you lived on the earth, and I wanted you to be a part of speeding up my return.
Maybe just keep in mind how you want that interview to go as I continue through our text today, and that’s really what your action plan is about. So let’s get to Peter’s letter and the third and final chapter. The first thing to look at is:
I. Why Peter is Writing the Letter (vv 1-6) READ
A. For Understanding (v 1)
He says I am stirring up your sincere mind, another translation says developing understanding. Knowledge is not necessarily understanding. You can sit here and listen to me, and hear my words and not necessarily have understanding of what I’m saying. That was also true for many of the words Jesus spoke. It might be good to read this as awakening a sincere understanding, which includes a desire to understand.
B. As a Reminder (vv 1-6)
He says he is stirring this up as a reminder of what? That you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Saviour through your apostles.
Two things. First of all if you think prophecy isn’t worth paying attention to, than you’re wrong and will have less understanding of God and his plan. Yes there are many whackos who come up with their own weird interpretations of Biblical prophecy, but he doesn’t say to pay attention to them. Rather we are to pay attention to the holy prophets. And the truth is that no prediction in the prophecy books of the Old Testament has ever been false, they have all occurred just as spoken.
Now are the apostles and writers of the New Testament prophets as well. Yes they are. Jesus predicted many things that have happened and haven’t happened yet. Peter and John also bring many predictions from God that haven’t happened yet. Peter says pay attention to these prophecies, but also to the commandment of the Lord and Saviour Jesus.
Here’s how I understand what Peter’s saying here. Take the prophecies at face value, keep them in your memory so that when you see things happen in the world, you understand what’s going on. Also remember the commandment to love God and love each other as Christ loved you, no matter what is happening in the world.