Wednesday, September 7, 2011

2 Peter Chapter 3 – God's patience means our repentance

Apology! I am so sorry for the length of this post!! I thought about making it two posts, but didn't want to go through the effort! Please forgive me and hopefully enjoy!

2 Peter 3: 8-13

God's patience is something I have a hard time understanding. Could it be because that is one of the qualities I need to PRACTICE!!!! Those who know me well, know I can be a little impatient at times. But God! How do we begin to understand a God who waits until all those he has called come to repentance before bringing destruction on the ungodly? How do we begin to understand how day after day he can suffer all types of sadness brought on, not only by those who practice evil, but by His children? It is something I have such a hard time wrapping my brain around, do you?

But here beginning in verses 8 & 9 Peter reminds his beloved again to not overlook this ONE fact ~ to the Lord 1 day is as 1000, and a 1000 like 1 day. He is not slow in KEEPING his PROMISES as some count slowness, but is PATIENT towards us, not wishing that ANY should perish, but that ALL should reach repentance!” BUT the day will come!! Mark God's word, that day will come! All those scoffers from the previous post will one day see and understand, possibly to late for them, that God is God. He is who he says he is, and He will do what he says he will do. Follower of Jesus Christ, please understand that! God can be trusted! He has proven himself to be THE faithful, just, gracious, merciful God that he claims to be! He will come like a thief, completely unexpected. Then what he said will happen, will happen. The current heavens and earth will be completely burned up and dissolved (can you imagine?!) and ALL that is done on earth will be exposed! Yikes! Well yikes to those who are not covered in the blood of Jesus Christ. This will come as a complete shock to them, even though they had been warned.

Peter then asks the question ~ Since all these things(heavens and earth) are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought we to be? We're to live holy and godly lives, waiting (to expect , to look for) and hastening (to haste, make haste, to desire earnestly) the day of the LORD which will come and destroy the current heavens and earth, knowing that a new heavens and new earth await. Here's the really cool part too: Righteousness dwells there!!! This reminds me of my study of Ezekiel, where God's presence returns to the Temple. In the very last verse of Ezekiel 48:29 it says: And the name of the city from that time on shall be “The LORD is There.” So cool!!!

I have to admit here I needed a little help. The version of scripture I use to study (ESV) is a little confusing in it's wording. In the text Peter is posing a question, but to me never really seemed to answer it. When I went to the NIV it showed a little clearer what was being stated. Well that and calling my pastor to discuss it (Thanks Steve).

2 Peter 3:14-18

Here Peter begins with that wonderful word again “Beloved”. But before that he uses “Therefore” and you know what that means! What is the “therefore” there for? “Therefore” because we are waiting for what is going to happen we need to be about a few things:
  • We are to be diligent (to hasten, make haste, to exert one's self, endeavor, give diligence)

  • To be found by him (to come upon, hit upon, to meet with, after searching, to find a thing sought, without previous search, to find (by chance), to fall in with, those who come or return to a place, to find by inquiry, thought, examination, scrutiny, observation, to find out by practice and experience, to see, learn, discover, understand, to be found i.e. to be seen, be present, to be discovered, recognized, detected, to show one's self out, of one's character or state as found out by others (men, God, or both), to get knowledge of, come to know, God, to find out for one's self, to acquire, get, obtain, procure)

  • To be without Spot(free from censure, irreproachable, free from vice, unsullied)

  • To Be without Blemish (that cannot be censured, Blameless)

  • To be at Peace (a state of national tranquility, exemption from the rage and havoc of war, peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord, security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous), of the Messiah's peace, the way that leads to peace (salvation), of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is, the blessed state of devout and upright men after death)

  • To Count (regard) the LORD's patience as salvation.

We are not to be passive in our waiting. We are not to be like the statement “To heavenly minded for earthly good”. God has called us to a mission. That mission is to proclaim The GOOD NEWS to ALL people. We are to be actively pursuing God and his righteousness.

I so love the next part of this section because again it shows how Peter's heart had changed. He ends the above verse with “just as our beloved Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him.”

There was a time when Peter and Paul didn't see eye to eye (See Galatians 2:11-15), so this tenderness and validation of Paul's ministry is big. They both agreed on this issue, and most likely many more. It makes one think of how you can work through issues to the Glory of God doesn't it?!

Paul wrote concerning this same thing (God's kindness meant to lead us to repentance) in Roman's 2:4.

Peter is reminding the people of the symmetry of scripture. How all the Apostles teachings reflect each others, because their hearts are in tuned to God. Each one validates the other. The people needed to know this because (as we all know) Paul's teachings can be hard to understand. Which the “ignorant and unstable” will twist to their own destruction. These scoffers, these false teachers are getting it wrong, and proclaiming what they believe as truth, as they do other scriptures.

Again Peter uses the word “beloved” when he tells them (and us) ~ you know all this beforehand. We have told you, so you are aware and prepared for WHEN it happens. So don't be carried away by these falsehoods. Stand firm, so as it says in 2 Peter 1:10-11 “Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fail. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Be confident in the truth you know! Know that truth, and know the God of truth!

“Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

2 Peter 3:18

WHY

TO BRING GLORY TO GOD BOTH NOW AND TO ETERNITY!

AMEN!!

  1. God is patiently waiting until all he has called comes in. How are you sharing your story with others to bring them to repentance? Aren't you excited about the new heavens and new earth where righteousness dwells?
  2. Are you standing firm, or do the scoffers make you doubt? Because you are in Christ even the hard stuff of scripture will be made clear to you by the Holy Spirit. Do you trust that?


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3 comments:

Mari said...

Kim - I have so enjoyed this study of Peter. Actually - not just enjoyed, but have been convicted, prodded, blessed...
Again in this post I came to the list of what we are to be doing while waiting and found myself sadly lacking.
Thanks for taking the time to share what you have learned with us!

Tiffanee said...

Very good! Thanks for breaking it down for me. Just what I needed today! Thanks!!

e-Mom said...

I absolutely adore your enthusiasm for Scripture, Kim. You preach it, sister!!!! Very well done!

A couple of points to discuss:

He is not slow in KEEPING his PROMISES as some count slowness, but is PATIENT towards us, not wishing that ANY should perish, but that ALL should reach repentance!

1. Some (false teachers) argue for Universalism with this passage. (i.e. that in the end, absolutely everyone will be saved.) However, when read correctly in context, it's the "not wishing" clause that defines the "any should perish" clause and renders Universalism null and void.

2. I also want to say that this is a key verse which causes me to not accept Calvinist teachings on predestination. God DOES wish that ALL should reach repentance, not just a certain group of "elect." You may disagree with me on this point.

3. The points about being "without spot or blemish" of course refer to the perfect lamb that was sacrificed at every Passover. As you know, we can only attain that kind of perfection through the blood of Christ. Yay, and Amen!

4. Another point that is debatable is whether the earth and heavens will be completely destroyed, or simply cleansed by the fire of God's just wrath.

Some theologians argue that the heavens and earth will be renewed, rather than completely created anew. Ask your pastor what he thinks. I was taught the latter in an AOG college... and I tend to agree. (In his book, "Heaven" Reformed Pastor Randy Alcorn presents a pretty convincing case for the latter too.)

As always, I enjoyed your post, Kim! Not too long... don't know how you could have made it understandable as two.

Keep on thinking, studying, and writing, my friend!

((Hugs)) e-Mom ღ