Just as in Peter’s day, the world still scoffs at the promise of Christ’s return. In this message, Alistair Begg reviews Peter’s description of the Day of the Lord when all will be judged and the heavens and earth renewed. Scripture’s focus isn’t on calculating when these events will occur. Instead, Christians are to prepare for Christ’s return by living holy lives in light of what we know and by calling our friends and neighbors to faith in the Gospel.
1This 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, 3knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4They 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.” 5For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
8But 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. 9The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,1 not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies2 will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.3
11Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12waiting 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! 13But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
The Apostle Peter sent his second letter into an environment where false teaching was on the rise and moral carelessness was beginning to take root among the people of God. To oppose these challenges, he reminded his readers of the Gospel truths they already knew – truths that provide the necessary basis for growing to Christian maturity. These same truths are vitally important to 21st century Christians: we, too, must study to deepen our knowledge of God's Word, relying on its authority and sufficiency to guide our beliefs and behavior. We, too, must guard against false teaching and error, and we too must look forward to Christ's sure return.
We invite you to join Alistair Begg in remembering anew that by God’s divine power, He has given believers everything we need for the commencement, the continuance, and the completion of the Christian life. Such truth is, as Peter described it, truly a “great and precious promise.”
|Grace and Peace||2 Peter 1:1-4|
|The Great Escape||2 Peter 1:8-11|
|An Eyewitness Account||2 Peter 1:12-21|
|False Teachers Among You, Part One||2 Peter 2:1-10|
|False Teachers Among You, Part Two||2 Peter 2:10-22|
|The Day of the Lord||2 Peter 3:1-13|
|Grow In Grace||2 Peter 3:14-18|