1. Hello, listening friends.
2. If you are joining our broadcast for the first time,
3. we are nearing the end of a series of messages on 2 Peter.
4. Peter was a man brimming with over-confidence;
5. but, in three and one-third of a year as he walked with Jesus, he was humbled;
6. and, then, finally, he was renewed and restored as a new man in Christ.
7. Simon became Peter.
8. His self-confidence became God-confident,
9. and this letter, which is his last,
10. was written at a time when Peter knew that his time on earth was drawing to a close.
11. Not long after he wrote this Epistle,
12. Peter was crucified upside down on a cross for the sake of the Gospel.
13. He was certain in his knowledge that, although his soul would leave its earthly tent,
14. he would soon be in his real home with the Lord;
15. and one of Peter’s greatest concerns was his concern for young believers.
16. By this, he meant people who were young in their spiritual maturity.
17. This second Epistle of Peter, therefore, is written to all believers.
18. Let me review the past several messages from the second Epistle of Peter.
19. In Chapter 1,
20. he took the offensive and reiterated the Gospel.
21. Peter affirmed that the Bible is nothing less than the very Word of God, breathed by the Holy Spirit.
22. In Chapter 2,
23. he warned believers against being misled and misguided by false doctrine and false teachers.
24. In Chapter 3,
25. Peter, here, tells us about the signs of the end times,
26. and how we can rejoice and wait expectantly for the return of the Lord.
27. If you have a Bible, please turn to 2 Peter, Chapter 3, verses 1 to 9.
28. My listening friend, I want to ask you a question.
29. Have you meditated or even given a fleeting thought to the return of Christ?
30. How many of us in the past weeks or months actually have longed for the return of Christ?
31. Some of us, when we get into a crisis or feel pressed from every direction,
32. we look upon the return of Christ as a way out of our current trouble;
33. but is the triumphant return of our Lord really the desire of your heart?
34. That even the fleeting desire that most of us feel one time or another points to a spiritual truth.
35. One of the signs of the end of times and the return of the Lord is when God’s people long for Him to return.
36. Jesus will not come back to take His church when they would rather stay here
37. and, as we see the signs of the times in the news
38. of economic upheavals,
39. ecological disasters,
40. population explosion,
41. and the breakdown of law and order;
42. we will be, if we are not already, longing for Jesus to come back;
43. but, times of uncertainty, like these days,
44. are the best times for the spreading of the Good News of the Gospel.
45. Times like our times are a tremendous opportunity for God’s people to rise up
46. and proclaiming Him as the only Answer to man’s problem.
47. Times like our times, where people are working hard and even enjoying life less than ever,
48. these are times when believers need to point them to Jesus Christ.
49. Times like our times, believers ought to stand up and be counted.
50. Times like our times are the best times for believers to do more, give more and serve more.
51. These days, the world may say to us to be afraid
52. or run,
53. or hide,
54. or hoard--
55. look out for yourself,
56. but the Bible says,
57. “Lift up your head.
59. for your redemption is drawing nigh.”
60. The world says,
61. “Pull the shades down.
62. Get to bed and pull the cover over your head;”
63. but the Bible says,
64. “Be exceedingly glad, and get onto the rooftop and shout
65. because you are going to rule with your heavenly Father.”
66. In 2 Peter, Chapter 3,
67. the Apostle talks about these times.
68. Peter tells us that, while you must not trust the false teachers who deny the Bible as the Word of God,
69. but we must trust God and the Bible as His Word.
70. He tells us that the Lord is coming.
71. God always keeps His promises
72. and He is always on time.
73. In 2 Peter 3:1, Peter says
74. “Beloved, I now write this second letter to you to stir up in your minds a reminder.”
75. Peter says that the battle in the believer’s life takes place in their minds.
76. The Bible says,
77. “As a man thinks in his heart, so he is.”
78. If Satan is going to get you, he is going to get you in your thinking.
80. Because when you think wrong, you will act wrong.
81. Peter is saying “I want to bring the Lord to your mind, and I want you to remember.”
82. My listening friend, let me ask you this question:
83. what was the first thought that you had this morning when you woke up?
84. Did you wake up thinking of the Lord,
85. or, were you waking up thinking about your problems?
86. Whatever you think of when you get up sets the stage for your thinking for the rest of the day.
87. Paul tells us, in 2 Corinthians 10:5,
88. to bring every thought captive in obedience to Christ.
89. Your greatest defense and your certainty of victory in life is to remember what you already know.
90. As believers, you already know that you have the assurance of eternal life with your heavenly Father.
91. When Jesus broke bread and gave it to His disciples and said, “Do this in remembrance of me,”
92. He intended for this meal to be a constant reminder of His promises,
93. and this ought to be a constant reminder to the believers.
94. It reminds us that God did what we could never do for ourselves.
95. It should evoke our memory.
96. We must remember that the reason our sins are forgiven is not because of our good works.
97. The reason our sins are forgiven is not because we follow the rules.
98. The reason our sins are forgiven is because Jesus paid our penalty on the cross
99. and, when He rose again from the grave,
1. He lifted us up above the dominion and the power of sin.
2. What is the purpose of this reminder?
3. So that we will be exceedingly grateful.
4. My listening friends, let me ask you this:
5. when was the last time you came to the Lord’s Table with tears in your eyes?
6. When was the last time you came to the Lord’s Table with a grateful heart that Jesus died for you?
7. Peter tells us that we must always remember what the Scripture says.
9. Because that’s the only thing that will keep us on the right track.
10. The word used here in verse 1, "to stir up," means to arouse or awaken fully;
11. not just a nostalgic memory, but this is a memory that is going to evoke our emotions toward God.
12. This is a memory that is going to evoke our feelings toward God.
13. This is a memory that’s going to stir up our minds toward God.
14. Now, my listening friends, this is very important.
15. We need to be fully awakened to the truth of God’s Word and the truth of our faith.
16. There is a specific thought that Peter is deeply concerned about here.
17. Believers must be fully awakened to this task.
18. It is upholding the truth of the Scripture in a world that denies Its authority and power.
19. Peter said, in verse 2, that the true prophets and apostles
20. are those who were inspired by the Holy Spirit to put the Scripture together;
21. therefore, the Scripture must be fully trusted.
22. Don’t trust in false prophets.
23. Do not trust in false teachers.
24. They cannot be trusted.
25. Their philosophical theories cannot be trusted.
26. Their speculations are mere guesswork.
27. Their hypotheses are based on fantasy and fiction.
28. Their suppositions are based on human feelings.
29. Their ideas never stand when they are held to the light of the Scripture,
30. but the true prophets and the true apostles, who are entrusted by God to write down His Word,
31. should be fully trusted.
32. My friend, I want to tell you this as I conclude this message:
33. cling to the Word of God without hesitation.
34. Hold onto the Scripture without neglect.
35. Embrace the Word of God without fear.
36. Believe the Scripture without doubt.
37. Live under Its authority for It is your only hope.
38. Why should you trust, believe and obey the Scripture?
39. First, because It is the Word of God,
40. but, secondly, Peter tells us, in verses 3 and 7,
41. because God is in control.
42. Next time, we will look more closely at these verses.
43. Until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.