Sunday School 11/29/2009 "A Hopeful People"
Covenant Communities Unit 3: The New Covenant Community
Remember the Message
- Verse 1 -The motivation for the message
- Beloved- In the Old Testament this term is used to convey the idea of an only child. As one would cherish and value an only child, Peter here endears his readers to himself as a valuable prize.
We, as Christians, need to evangelize, instruct, and disciple with this same love. We must value each soul as Jesus did. He gave His life for them. If we don't care for them, then we are mere "hirelings" (John 10:11-13).
- Stir up- Peter wants to evoke and provoke his readers to action. If a people are comfortable, then we are sometimes lulled to inactivity. The zeal that once bubbled at the surface tends to settle deep within us. We then must be "stirred up" in order to keep that enthusiasm saturated in every part of our lives. (See 2 Peter 1:12-15)
- Pure minds- This speaks of sincere motives. There are not any hidden agendas. If their minds could be openly exposed for all to see in the light of day, there still would be no other information gained. Peter is addressing those who are true to what they have believed.
- The Holy Prophets. This signifies the Old Testament. He here connects this message to the message of old. We sometimes want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. If we can't understand difficult passages in the Old Testament, we tend to ignore or devalue them; but Peter's use of the Old Testament confirms it's relevancy for the New Testament Church.
- Us (The apostles of the Lord and Savior). Peter includes himself in this group. Peter also implies the words of the apostles have authority.
God's word is mocked
- Verse 3- Scoffers
- Scoffers explained- Scoffers were those who want to make a mockery of the word of God. Nehemiah dealt with scoffers. He was leading the work to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, and there were those who ridiculed the workers and the workmanship. (Nehemiah 4:1-2).
- Scoffers expected- Peter is reminding his readers that it is not such a strange thing that scoffers would arise. Paul also stated that the cross is foolishness to all those who do not believe. (1 Corinthians 1:18) We should not get discouraged if we face mockery or even opposition, but we should expect it if we are truly doing the will of God.
- Scoffers examined- Scoffers don't let anything drive them except their own desires. There is no respect for the things of God, or for anything else, if it is not pleasing to their own lust. We sometimes take it personal when what we have come to cherish becomes a punch-line for someone else's joke. Don't worry about it. It's foolishness for those who are perishing, but for us who believe it is the power of God.
- Nothing has changed- These scoffers are looking for signs and dates. They mock, "All things are the same as they were since the world began". The scoffer is actually questioning God's ability follow through with all these threats.
Their logic is along these lines: either God wants to act, and He is not able to do so. Or...
God makes these threats, but will not really follow through with them.
The conclusion that they jump to is there is no need to fear God's threats.
- Willfully forget- The premise that the world has been the same is flawed, because there has been changes since the creation of the world. This is typical of those who refuse to follow God. The facts and evidence are ignored and sometimes falsified so that these scoffers can live in a delusional world. They prefer a world with out the God of the Bible. (See Romans 1:18-23)
- God's word is powerful- The scoffer mentions the creation but fails to acknowledge that the world was formed by the very word of God that they mock!. It was God who said "Let there be light"... and there was light.
God did follow through with his promise before. In the face of 120 years (Gen 6:3) of mocking Noah built an ark, because God told him to do so (Gen 6:13ff). Because God had finally grown weary with the world of old, he destroyed it with a flood.
It's by the word of God that the present world that we know is preserved, but it's days are numbered just as the world of old. God's word is powerful, and it should be respected.
Time tables and dates are foolish
- Verse 8 -God's time is not our time
- A day with the Lord- God transcends time and space. He is not limited to the Chronological passing of time. He sees from everlasting to everlasting. He is not surprised by the stock market or the storm. Jeremiah tells us that before he was even formed in his mother's womb, God knew him (Jer 1:5). If even a thousand years were to pass, and kingdoms rise and fall; it's just another day's journey for the God of the universe. In light of that, what are 10, 20, or 100 years to God?
In light of our inability to comprehend God's view of time it would be foolish to try to determine what day or year that he is coming back.
- God is not slack...- God has not been delayed or distracted concerning his promise. He loves us so much that he is giving ample time to repent. There will be no excuses on the Day of the Lord.
"If I were to perish, and not make it in
Then it would be nobodies' fault but mine.
I had my chance and I made my choice
So it's nobodies' fault but mine."
Don't get comfortable with this world and the things that are in it, because it will soon pass away.
- The day of the Lord- The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. A thief never calls to make an appointment to rob your house. If he did you would know when to watch for him, but since he comes when you least expects him, then you are successfully burglarized. Jesus' coming will be with the same surprise of the thief that comes in the night. There will not be time to get ready. Your only hope is to be ready now. Many increase their security after they have been robed, but that's too late. Once the Day of the Lord arrives there is no getting ready. (see Matthew 24:42-44)
- The end of this world- The world as we know it will be destroyed. Jobs, bills, possessions, and worldly treasures will all be gone. We should conduct ourselves with this realization. Prepare for the future... both futures. There is a chance we may grow old and die, but there is also the possibility that the Lord may come back at any time.
- Looking forward to that day- We look forward to the day of the Lord. We do not look forward to the destruction, but rather we look past the event it self to the new world to come. We look forward to a world without pain and death. We look forward to finally looking upon His face. This world pales in comparison to the world to come, so we are not mesmerized by this world. We look forward to the world to come.