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2 Peter 3

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 27

SCRIPTURE: 2 Peter 3

Today we are going to bring this short letter to a close.  I know it has been a few very busy days since we last looked at this letter.  So, as just a short reminder, in chapter 2, Peter dealt with the character and conduct of the false teachers.  In this final chapter he is going to expose their false teaching.

As the chapter opens, Peter says that he has written this second letter to remind his readers of the truth of God’s Word.  Some of the other translations say that he was writing to stir up or stimulate their memory of God’s Word.  What an interesting statement.

It is easy for us to get so accustomed to God’s Word that we get complacent about God’s Word.  It is easy for us today (particularly) to be so exposed to God’s Word that we start neglecting God’s Word.  So, Peter has taken on the task of giving us some important reminders that should stir us up or stimulate us to get back to the Word of God.

It seems that one of the things that the false teachers were teaching was that there wouldn’t be a “Day of the Lord” or that there wouldn’t be a time when God brought everything to a halt.  Of course, if there is no ultimate time of judgment and subsequent punishment, then it doesn’t matter how you live now.

The teaching of the “Day of the Lord” and its judgment/punishment is not just a human fabrication or a New Testament phenomenon.  As far back as the days of Enoch, God was warning the world of this horrific day. (Jude 14-15)  Other Old Testament prophets warned of this as well: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Amos, Zephaniah, Zechariah, etc.  Jesus Himself taught of this Day.  And the New Testament apostles wrote to broaden our understanding of the last days.

In verse 6, Peter uses the flood of Noah’s days as proof text that God has not only brought about great destruction but would be less than holy if He did not bring even greater destruction in the days ahead.

Of course the argument of the false teachers was that since it had happened after all these years it won’t happen now.  Peter’s response to that is found in verse 8.  The first thing he reminds us is time is a most relative thing.  To God one day and one thousand years is seen the same way.  In that context, as far as God is concerned the universe is just a few days old.  So, He is not late.

The fact that God has not brought this universal judgment down upon all unredeemed creation is the result of His patience not His inability or unwillingness to intervene.  God has not yet fulfilled His promise of the Day of the Lord because He is patiently waiting for even more people to come to repentance (be saved).  Think about this for a moment.  This is huge.  God is more interested in the salvation of people than He is in bringing the judgment/punishment of the Day of the Lord. 

That doesn’t mean it won’t happen.  God has said it will happen.  It will happen.  But it will happen only when He is ready.

In the meantime, Peter says at the end of this chapter, we should live a Christ like life.  We should stay focused on and passionate about God’s Word.  And we should continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

2 Peter 2

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22

 SCRIPTURE: 2 Peter 2

If I were a better pastor and a better planner, I would have made sure that our last devotion before Christmas would have been better suited for this special day.  Instead we have a chapter that goes right for the jugular as Peter bluntly and boldly deals with a major problem in the church.

This entire chapter is about false prophets or false teachers.  We shouldn’t be surprised that these folks exist or that they are bent on destroying the church and even Christendom, if that were possible.  Satan is the great deceiver.  He is the ultimate counterfeit.  In his first appearance in the Bible he is seen deceiving Adam and Eve.  He preaches a false Gospel (Galatians 1:6-9).  He presents a false righteousness. (Romans 9:30-10:4).  And eventually he will present to the world a false Christ (2 Thessalonians 2)

So these false prophets/teachers are simply tools in Satan’s heretical, destructive effort to gather all to himself.  Verse one says these false teachers secretly bring in destructive heresies.  The original word for heresy literally means to make a choice.  In other words, a heresy forces you to choose to believe the truth or the lie.

Verse one also makes an interesting statement about these false teachers.  It says they denied the “Master who bought them”.  That may sound like they are saved but as the rest of the chapter shows, that cannot be the truth.  So, then, how is it possible that they were bought by the Master?

Think about it this way.  When Jesus died on the cross, He died for the sins of the world.  His death was the atonement for all.  That means that anybody and everybody could be saved.  But it doesn’t mean that anybody and everybody will be saved.  His death is sufficient for the whole world.  But His death only atones for those who believe.  Jesus paid the price (bought) for all sins.  But that is only applied to those who receive Jesus. 

Look now at verse 3.  The verse speaks of false words or, as the NIV says, “stories they have made up”.  When you look at this in the original language, you will find the word “plastos” which is the root of our word plastic.  It means fabricated and molded.  These are words that can be twisted and shaped to mean anything you want to them to mean. 

The way Satan and his false teachers normally work is not to totally reject the Word of God.  Instead their initial teaching is often shaped and molded to be very similar to God’s Word.  And as they lay their teaching next to Scripture it is sometimes difficult to tell the original from the counterfeit.  But as you start accepting the counterfeit, it starts taking you further and further from the truth.

God will punish such teachers.  He will not overlook them.  In fact, for Him not to bring drastic judgment upon them would contradict His history and God cannot contradict Himself.  Peter uses several examples from the Old Testament (verses 4-10) as evidence and proof of God’s strong stand against willful sinfulness and against those who would pervert the truth.

As Peter finishes this chapter he has nothing good to say about these folks.  The question then is how do we recognize false teachers and avoid their false teaching.  There is only one way.  And that is to be so familiar with the truth that even the slightest error is immediately recognized.  We have to be people who know what the

Word says so that we will know what the Word doesn’t say.  And then we must, at all costs, stick to the truth even as the truth sticks to us.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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