Recently I’ve been studying Peter’s second epistle. It’s a small letter, but one packed with spiritual nutrients.
Peter’s first epistle was addressed to “God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces” (1 Peter 1:1), and we can assume the second letter was sent to the same demographic group.
They were people who had suffered greatly. They likely left their homes in a hurry, perhaps lost loved ones in their flight, and were now living scattered across the provinces under the suspicious and malevolent gaze of the notorious Roman emperor, Nero.
To this crestfallen group Peter wrote, “His divine power has given to us everything we need for a godly life” (2 Peter 1:3).
Despite their difficult circumstances, these believers were incredibly enriched spiritually with everything needed for a godly life—yet they still needed reminding of those important spiritual truths in order to stay grounded in their faith amidst a culture of ever-changing beliefs.
So Peter, knowing full well that his days on earth were nearing their end, wrote to “refresh their memory.” But this was no mere history lesson. Indeed, the Greek word translated refresh in 2 Peter 1:13 is also used to describe the angel shaking Peter awake when he was asleep in prison in Acts 12 and elsewhere when winds stirred up waves in a violent storm.
Accordingly, this little epistle was a wake-up call to keep believers alert and rooted in truth.
I believe we need just such a wake-up call today. With this in mind, I’m eager to share with you a series of messages I taught based on 2 Peter titled Six Things We Must Never Forget.
“We’re born again to live anew.” In the same way that living is proof we were born, it is the new Life of Christ revealed in us that proves we’ve been born again.
“The Scriptures are about facts not fantasy.” Today’s culture is awash in unproven theories of “doomsday” conspiracies, apocalyptic disasters, and world’s end scenarios. But Scripture speaks with authority about the facts of God’s visit to earth in the person of Jesus and the results of such a visitation.
“If there’s a heaven, there’s a hell.” For obvious reasons we are short on eyewitness observations of life after death. The crucified and risen Jesus, however, is the one who knows and who instructed disciples like Peter about these hidden mysteries. He teaches us how to shun hell and embrace heaven.
“Liberty has its limits.” Americans thrive on themes of freedom, and we all benefit greatly from the blessings and privileges that living in America afford. But freedom is not absolute; it has its limits that we are called to observe and respect.
“God is still God and firmly in control.” The fundamental difference between a deist and a theist is the former believes in a God who created the universe and then bowed out of the picture, while the latter believes He is still intimately involved in the affairs of His creation. We are unabashedly theistic and so grateful that God is still on the throne for time and eternity.
“Living today in the light of tomorrow.” Benjamin Franklin—no doubt facetiously—said there are only two certainties in life: death and taxes. Scripture offers its own list of certainties that should shape how we live, including death, judgment, the Great White Throne, new heavens, and a new earth, to name a few.
Dr. Samuel Johnson, the author of the first English dictionary, once said, “People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.” And in this series, I hope to remind you of time-tested truths from God’s Word to help you stand firm in your beliefs in today’s shifting culture.
Six Things We Must Never Forget is my special thanks for your generous partnership to help reach a lost and confused world with the powerful truth of God’s Word. So please do request your copy today.
I’m so thankful for your vital support to help lead others to Him who is “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6), and I’m deeply grateful for your commitment to our Lord’s work through the global outreach of this ministry we both love.