2 Peter 3:10-13
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.
11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives
12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.
13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.
The Bible says that when the Lord comes back, everything will be destroyed. The Bible says that everything will be burned with fire. We look down, and everything on earth is gone. Our certificates, our achievements, medals, our savings, everything will be destroyed with fire. If that's where it's all going, what kind of lives should we live?
Ever go to the beach and make a sand castle? The first high tide comes in and just wipes it out. We think, "I won't work so hard next time". It's just not that much fun when we know it's all going to be destroyed in a few minutes. Maybe we've been saving up for retirement. It's all gone. Everything. Know what's the only thing that will be left? Us and God
What kind of people should we be, now that we know it's all going to be destroyed?
1. Grow as You Go
2 Peter 1:5-11
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;
6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;
7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall,
11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
This passage tells us we need to continue to grow, in increasing measure, to make it. How much are we growing spiritually? It's a funny thing in the church. People get up to preach and ask, "Are you fired up?" If your first answer isn't good enough, they ask again and again. That's man made fire. The older disciples say "Amen" to that. There are some disciples that are always fired up. We don't have to ask--it's obvious. We know who the fired-up disciples are? They're the ones who are changing. It says here that if you have these qualities in increasing measure, you'll never fall.
How is our faith? Can we say that it has increased since the time we got baptized? Are we good-hearted person? Are we inclined to do right? How about just being a good person, having a good heart about things. Are we growing in our Bible knowledge? Are we serious about growing in your knowledge? Are we moaning about getting up in the morning. Just that extra 20 minutes can change the denominational Quiet Time completely. Is our eyes fixed on television or on visions for God's Kingdom.
One of the reasons we don't change is that we discourage others from challenging us. Do we avoid challenges, or cherish them? We need to grow in our perseverance. Are we the kind of person that everybody wants to be around? Some of us are just not that encouraging to be around. This point is called "Grow as You Go." Could be called "Grow Or Go"
2 Peter 3:17-18
17 Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.
18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. We can fall from our position. The way we avoid it is to grow as we go.
2. Remember to Remember
Did you ever forget something? When we get older, either it gets worse or we notice it more. Ever go into a room for something and we can't remember what it was? It seems like the Israelites in the old testament just couldn't remember anything. 2 Peter is all about remembering. We need to remember to remember.
2 Peter 1:12-15
12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.
13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body,
14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.
15 And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.
2 Peter 3:1-2
1 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.
2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.Peter wanted to stimulate them to wholesome thinking. We've got to remember to remember. What should we remember?
a. Who we were
2 Peter 1:9
But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
When we forget who we were, it really causes problems in our life spiritually.
1 Corinthians 1:26-29
26 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.
27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are,
29 so that no one may boast before him.
One of the problems we have sometimes is we forget who we were before we came into the kingdom. We've been in the kingdom for a while, and all of a sudden we think we know everything. We're ready to vote on what should be taught, whether we should have a campaign. Paul says we need to remember who we were before we came into the kingdom.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders
10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
This is what most of us were. We're all in here. But look what's happened to us. If we can just remember where we came from, we'll stay on course. It's so sad to see someone come into the kingdom, and then forget what the world is like. They forget the shallowness, the selfishness, the loneliness, the emptiness out there.
b. Who God is
Sometimes we forget who God is.
2 Peter 3:3-7
3 First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.
4 They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation."
5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.
6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.
7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
There are a lot of people around who think we're stupid, to wait for Jesus for 2000 years The same thing happened in the first century. It's amazing. Look at what Peter says . . . They "deliberately forget." That's what anybody who leaves the Lord has to do. We have to remember to remember, or we'll deliberately forget.
c. What time it is
2 Peter 3:8-9
8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
It is like when we hit the next millennium, it's really only the third day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise. He wanted everyone to come to repentance. Being Lord's servants in this time, are we in line with the Lord's plan.
3. When We're Down, Let us not Doubt the Deliverer
2 Peter 2:4-10
4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;
5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;
6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;
7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men
8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)--
9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.
10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings;
This passage says that God even strikes the angels down when they get out of line. Let us not doubt the deliverer. Lot was troubled in his soul, just like we are today. He saw it all. God saved him and burned up the world around him. Why do we doubt the deliverer?
We can't speed God's coming if we doubt the deliverer. Maybe we're trying to help somebody become a Christian, and nothing is paying off. Let us not doubt the deliverer. We can always see God delivering people.
It's all going to go up in a blaze of fire. Let's be sure to grow, or one day we'll go. Let us remember the Day of the Lord.