2 Peter 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: 2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
The Apostle’s Urgency
Two major things are set forth by the Apostle Peter that shall have serious and long lasting effect upon believers for ages to come. The first is that as Peter comes to the end of his days upon earth, an apostolic voice shall be silenced never to be replaced! 2 Peter 1:14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.
And the other is that false and very dangerous teachers shall arise as the apostolic era ends. These shall be effectual in filling the broad way, that leads to eternal destruction, with many souls! (Matt. 7:13). 2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. So the apostolic voice shall be removed and the false teachers voices shall be added!
The Apostle Paul spoke of this same matter! Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
And the Apostle John reveals that many antichrists were already here in his day! 1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
So what is to be done? How shall this be handled? – Are you ready for the solution? – First, Peter instructs us that the Scripture has been completed. So we need no other revelation from the Apostles! And secondly he instructs us that remembrance and adherence to those scriptures is that which is needed to live faithfully and spiritually in an apostate age!
Just as he began at Pentecost with the very first public gospel message in the new Christian era, so he continues with the same song, second verse! For then he opened to us the scriptures of the prophets, and so here he continues to do so, and to instruct us to be Mindful of Their Words! Acts 2:16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
Now listen to his urgency: 2 Peter 1:12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. 13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; 14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. 15 Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
And listen to Jude on this same remedy! Jude 5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
And what did the Apostle Paul say after that warning to the Ephesians listed above in Acts, chapter twenty? Acts 20:32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
All these sacred writers point us to the exact same thing! They all instruct us to remain under the spiritual interpretation of the Holy Scriptures and to remain faithful in obedience to it! In fact, Peter’s last recorded words instruct us that growth in grace under the obedience to the revealed word is the absolutely necessary matter in order to survive in an apostate world! 2 Peter 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. 17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. 18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
And what of our Lord’s instruction and provision for the church in post apostolic days? John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. The Son shall pray the Father to send us the Holy Spirit whose function is to teach, and also, call to remembrance! And He will provide us with such ministers throughout the ages! Matt. 13:52 Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.
Once the apostles, along with their gifts have finished their tasks, then the pastors and teachers shall continue in the revelation of the Lord, from the scriptures of the prophets and apostles! Here is an example of an apostle passing the ministry on to a pastor. And listen to that which he instructs him to do! 1 Timothy 4:6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. The Apostle Paul here instructs his spiritual son, Timothy, that he will be a good pastor if he causes those to whom he ministers to be Mindful of These Words!
The sin of Noah’s and Lot’s days was the sin of being absorbed with the common routine of life! It is the sin of the thorny ground hearer! Matt. 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. And this is the danger of the days of the coming of the Son of man! It is the danger of our present day! Just as the bride slept when her beloved sought for entrance outside her door in Song 5:1-2, so all the ten virgins were asleep at the approach of the bridegroom! (Matthew 25:1ff).
The two English words, stir up listed above in 2 Peter 3:1 is the same Greek word listed twice in Luke 8:24. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. (I have underlined them for you.) Therefore Peter uses the Greek word meaning to awake and to arise out of sleep in order to convey to us our personal need in remaining Mindful of these Words!
Listen at the Apostle Paul on this matter! Romans 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
But just what is the cause of such drowsiness? Romans 11:8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. The strong delusion (2 Thess. 2:11), that God sends upon a world of those who do not receive the love of the truth, also effects the believers living in the same society! Lot vexed his righteous soul living among the citizens of Sodom! (2 Peter 2:7-8). Matt. 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
Therefore there shall needs be a radical, persistent faith to persevere in such an atmosphere! Our Lord speaks of the faithfulness of God, but questions whether there shall be such a faith among men at the end time. Luke 18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? For it shall be a time of powerful deception! Matt. 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
But our hope is in the Lord as we walk in spiritual caution and in obedience to his word! Mark 13:20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.
For while the world scoffs at the promise of God to their damnation, the church receives an encouragement from that same promise. For her vision of the things only seen by faith cause her to have victory over the encroaching apostasy. And as she does not deny the first coming of her Lord, as do they (2 Pet. 2:1, 3:4), therefore she knows that where He is there will they be also! (John 14:3). And they know that they shall be like him for they shall see him as he is! (1 John 3:2).
Therefore her practical holiness is enhanced on earth and her vision of his personal and eternal fellowship is made sure by that faith! 2 Peter 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation;
Pastor Gene Breed