Saturday, July 2, 2011

I'd appreciate a warning call next time you break in to my truck

In 2Peter chapter 2 Peter is warning of false teachers and making the reality of their condemnation clear. At the very end of the chapter Peter gives the analogy of a dog returning to his own vomit, and a pig after being cleaned returning to the slop. This is very powerful imagery when put in its context. Peter tells us that these false teachers were brought in to knowledge of Jesus Christ, however, they were so depraved, wicked, and/or deceived that they preferred to satisfy the lusts of their flesh, rather than continue steadfast in the faith. That isn't that unusual that a person would prefer the lusts of this world to righteousness; however, these people are committed to deceiving others of The Truth. It is no wonder why the darkest pit of hell is reserved for them.

I don't know if there is any way for us to know for certain, but Peter seems to be making every effort to be as gentle as he can as he shares the hard-core Truth. He says again in verse 2, be mindful; as he has said before, "I share these things by way of reminder." Not only does Peter remind them of their calling to repentance and holiness, but he also reminds them that they have the prophecies of the Holy prophets that have been pointing to Jesus for centuries:

2 Peter 3: 1-2 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles,

It is interesting that of all the thing Peter is determined to remind us of, he says that the first thing we should know is that "scoffers will come":

2Peter 3:3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.

What will they be scoffing about?

2 Peter 3:4 They will say, "Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation."

I think people have gotten to the point now that they are so hardened in their desire to learn the things of God that they scoff without even given it a thought. Think about how our society responds to somebody saying; "Jesus is coming soon, repent and believe the Gospel." As I write this I can't help but pause a little bit and think, "Wow, Jesus is coming back. He promises it in His Word and He has never failed to fulfill a promise!" Not only is He coming back, but His Word is clear, EVERYONE will see Him coming. He even warns, many people will say, "He's here or there, but don't be deceived, don't believe them."
Matthew 24:23-27 Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There he is!' do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 So, if they say to you, 'Look, he is in the wilderness,' do not go out. If they say, 'Look, he is in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

It is absolutely crucial that we understand that some false prophets will be given the ability to preform great signs and wonders. We are so easily stunned, mesmerized and taken by people like Chris Angel, imagine how effective false christs and prophets that can perform wonders will be at deceiving people.
In addition to being on guard against such deception, we dare not fall in to the silly way of thinking that puts God on our timetable. People in the first century were already scoffing and mocking that Jesus has not come back, imagine how much more amplified this mockery is 2000 years later. That being said, if you take nothing away from this post, know this, the Lord is not slow as we think of slowness, but He is being patient that ALL men would come to repentance:

2Peter 3:8-9 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

Peter also warns us, just as God's Word has warned us before, nobody knows when He will return, He will return like a thief in the night. Think about that for a second. I have had my truck broken in to a couple times and I am yet to get a friendly "heads up" from whoever did it. The thieves that broke in to my truck have never given me a warning call that they were coming so I could be prepared; but Jesus warns us. Jesus warns us that He is coming and that we are to be prepared, we are to repent, we are to live holy and blameless until His return:

2Peter 3:10-18 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. 11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

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