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Summary: 1. Stir-up your mind with Scripture (vs. 1-2). 2. Don't be sidetracked by scoffers (vs. 3-4). 3. Count on God's control (vs. 5-8). 4. Keep sharing the good news of salvation (vs. 9).

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What to Do Until the Lord Comes Back - Part 1

2 Peter 3:1-9

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - April 21, 2013

*Have you thought about the Lord coming back lately? -- We really should, you know, and not just because of what's going on in our world. We should be thinking about Jesus coming back, because He wants us to think about it.

*And one of the most important questions we can ask is this: "What should we do until the Lord comes back?" Tonight let's look at four answers from the Word of God.

1. First: We should stir-up our minds with Scripture.

*In vs. 1&2 Peter stressed this great purpose for his letters:

1. Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder),

2. that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior,

*In vs. 1, Peter tells us that he wrote these letters to "stir up" our minds. This purpose was important to Peter, and we know this because he said basically the same thing back in chapter 1.

*The original word for "stir up" primarily means "to fully wake somebody from a sound sleep." It's the same word translated "awoke" in Mark 4:37-38. In that Scripture, Jesus was asleep in the boat with His disciples.

37. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling.

38. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?''

*How do you think they woke Jesus up? Do you think they whispered, "Pssst, Jesus? It's time to wake up."? -- No! -- They cried out, "Jesus! Master! Teacher! Wake up! Don't you care? We are about to die!"

*This same passion was in Peter's heart when he tried to wake us up with God's Word. Peter knew how profitable God's Word is for our lives. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."

*Alton Coleman gave us a good summary of how God's Word is profitable for us:

-In James 1:22-25, the Bible is profitable as a mirror to see our spiritual lives.

-In Ephesians 6:17, it's the sword we can use to fight spiritual battles.

-In Psalm 119:105, it's a lamp to guide and direct us.

-In Matthew 4:4, God's Word is spiritual bread to strengthen and nourish us.

-And in 1 Peter 2:2, it's spiritual milk for growth and development.

*The Word of God is also profitable because:

-In 1 Peter 1:23, we are born again by the Word.

-In John 15:3, we are cleansed by the Word.

-In Psalm 19:7, we are made wise by the Word.

-In Psalm 19:11, we are warned by the Word.

-And in Psalm 119:103, we are satisfied by the Word. There the Bible says, "How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" (1)

*What should we do until the Lord comes back? Stir-up our minds with Scripture.

2. And don't be sidetracked by scoffers.

*In vs. 3-6 Peter said we should be:

3. knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts,

4. and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.''

5. For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water,

6. by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.

*Here Peter is warning us not to get side-tracked by the scoffers in our world. The scoffers of Peter's day at least acknowledged that God created the universe. Their great error was in denying God's judgment on the world by the great flood.

*The scoffers today have gone much farther, even denying that the world was created by God. Atheism has certainly been on the rise in our country over the last few years. Some of the best-selling books of recent years were written to promote atheism.

*Some of the titles include:

-"The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins

-God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything" by Christopher Hitchens

-"Deconverted: A Journey from Religion to Reason" by Seth Andrews

-And "Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists" by Dan Barker, Richard Dawkins (2)

*James Merritt gives us this insight on the scoffers: "The last days are going to see people who will laugh and mock at those of us who take seriously the Word of God. They will make fun and call us 'flaming fundamentalists,' and 'Bible thumpers' who live our lives according to the fairy tale of a book that is out of date, old fashion, and obsolete."

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