READ: 2Peter 3
BACKGROUND: Peter is specifically addressing the fact that many early Christians expected Jesus to come right back but he didn’t. He is telling them that it will happen in God’s time and not ours, but it could happen at any moment so we should be ready and have hope.
2 – New Testament apostles have the same authority as Old Testament prophets.
5 – Peter criticizes those who doubt Christ’s return by demonstrating the reliability of the Bible.
8 – Time is something God created. He isn’t bound by it like we are. We need to understand this in order to be patient and trust him.
16 – This is a cool verse because Peter clearly sees Paul’s letters (which make up a huge chunk of the New Testament) as having equal weight with the Old Testament.
18 – Always be growing! Martin Luther put it best when he said, “A Christian is never in a state of being but always in a state of becoming.”
THINK: The biggest volcanic explosion in modern history occurred in 1883 when Krakatoa, a volcanic island in Indonesia, erupted. The eruption sent 6 cubic miles worth of debris over 20 miles high into the atmosphere. It caused a shockwave that traveled around the entire globe 7 times and some of the rubble landed in places over 2,000 miles away from Krakatoa. When the volcano erupted, the British ship Norham Castle was fairly close and its captain wrote, “ I am writing this blind in pitch darkness. We are under continual rain of pumice-stone and dust. So violent are the explosions that the ear-drums of over half my crew have been shattered…I am convinced that the Day of Judgment has come.” The eruption of Krakatoa didn’t bring about the end of the world, but 2Peter 3 serves as a solemn reminder that Christ is coming back and the world as we know it is coming to an end. His return will come like a thief, suddenly and unexpectedly. And not only this, but life is fragile, and even if he doesn’t return soon any one of us could die at any moment. Are we ready?
The awesome news for believers is that death has no victory and no sting. It is not the end, but rather the beginning of the eternal life in perfect relationship with God and with one another that we were created for! All of the brokenness and hurt and pain of this world will be set right and God promises us that one day there will be a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. What an awesome promise! What an awesome hope we have! This hope ought to affect the way we live. It has to. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of living for the things of this world. Wealth. Popularity. Possessions. Power. They may all have their appeal, but we know that they’re all going to fade away. Are we living for what really matters? Alexander the Great once saw Diogenes looking attentively at a pile of human bones, and he asked the philosopher what he was looking for. Diogenes’ replied, “That which I cannot find – the difference between your father’s bones and those of his slaves.” At the end of it all our bones will all be the same no matter how much money or influence we had. Only 2 things will matter then: 1. Whether or not we placed our faith in Jesus, & 2. What we did for HIM during the time we had on this earth.
ASK: Am I being diligent to found by God in peace, living a spotless & blameless life (2Peter 3:14)? Am I giving my life to the things that really matter? What does it look like to live my life in view of my death…and my eternal life?
PRAY: Ask God to transform your perspective. Ask him to help you live this life through the lens of the incredible hope that you have in eternal life with him. Confess the times when you haven’t been diligent about living spotlessly & blamelessly, and ask God to give you the courage to give your life to what really matters.