In this second letter, Peter describes some twisted versions of Christian truth being taught. Recalling his experience of Christ’s glory at the transfiguration (
1:17- 18), Peter explains the “more fully confirmed” truth of the gospel as an antidote to heresy. The gospel is like “a lamp shining in a dark place” (
1:19). In chapter 3 Peter focuses on those who scoff at the idea of Christ’s triumphant return and the final judgment. Just as God once destroyed the world with water, he will one day bring his fire to it. In light of this, we should live in “holiness and godliness” as we await his return and the salvation he has promised to all believers. Peter probably wrote this letter about a. d. 67–68, shortly before his death.
An Interpretative Review:
Through the verses of this pioneer Chapter, Simeon Peter achieves his already stated goal:
“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.”
– 2 Peter 1: 12
It is worthy to note that the Christian race maintains different paces at varying times. Cavett Robert summarised it all:
“While I can run, I’ll run; while I can walk, I’ll walk; when I can only crawl, I’ll crawl. But by the grace of God, I’ll always be moving forward.”
Why must we believe the verses of 2 Peter? Because Simeon Peter this day stands as a witness to all that the Bible represents, especially the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”
– 2 Peter 1:16
The most outstanding reminder this day, besides having ‘Grace and peace multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord’, amidst having ‘all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue’, and also receiving ‘exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust’, it remains:
“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.”
– 2 Peter 1:5
This first chapter of the book of 2 Peter, seeks to make us understand the progressiveness of the Christian race, and to remind us that whatsoever the Bible says is true, is true!
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man:but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
– 2 Peter 1:20-21
In continuation of his previous admonition of his listeners in the faith, Apostle Peter reminds us of the impending onslaught of false prophets in the church. He confirms that, unfortunately, “Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.” – 2 Pet 2:2 NIV. How often have we seen or heard of several actions and teachings by so-called apostolic ministers that contrast with the Word? Alas! Church has become one of the fastest growing businesses in the world today.
“These teachers in their greed will tell you anything to get hold of your money…” -2 Pet 2:3a TLB. Several teachers and Pastors have given the church a wrong identity, pushing off a lot of potential genuine converts further away from the faith. Jesus rightly asked: “However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8b NIV.
Thankfully, Peter confirms that their actions will not go unpunished. He actually makes a lot of interesting comparisons in historical context to show that Gods sees, He knows, and He judges at the appropriate time. He starts with fallen angels, who did not keep their first estate (V4; Jude 1:6). Then Peter mentions that famous story of Noah and the flood (V5). The days of Noah are strikingly similar to our days today, whereby preachers of righteousness have become the minority and iniquity has been labelled “fundamental human rights”.
Think about the ratios: out of the entire world population at the time, which some Bible scholars have estimated to be between 5 to 17 billion people, God was willing to let them all perish except for eight fellows. How possible? How could a loving and forgiving Creator allow so many lives to go down the drain? We can’t deny the history as recorded in Genesis and confirmed by many other verses of scripture including this one by Apostle Peter. The most striking and vivid description came from our Lord Jesus himself: “The time of the Son of Man will be just like the time of Noah—everyone carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ship. They suspected nothing until the flood hit and swept everything away.” – Luke 17:26-27 MSG.
Apostle Peter makes another example of Sodom and Gomorrah, an ancient and famous urban settlement that was destroyed spectacularly with atomic elements raining down from the skies. Yet God was detailed enough to exempt Lot and his family from the great inferno sent from heaven upon an ungodly people. One key revelation from Peter’s account is the description of Lot’s predicament. “But that good man Lot, driven nearly out of his mind by the sexual filth and perversity, was rescued. Surrounded by moral rot day after day after day, that righteous man was in constant torment.” – 2 Pet 2:7-8 MSG. How often have we been tormented today by suggestive and provocative adverts on TV, print media and on the internet? Secular music videos seem to be pushing the limits even further and further every day. More unfortunately, some ladies’ dress codes in churches today can comfortably compete with red-carpet music and video award parades.
Peter devotes much of the rest of this chapter to further describe the attributes of false teachers and the impending doom they can expect (V 10-22). In the concluding verses, Peter describes them as dogs that have come back to what they vomited. Many of the false teachers truly started well. They were anointed. They clearly had the hand of God upon their lives. But they turned away and switched camps, while everything else outside looked the same. This often forms the basis of the credibility of their deception. Many unsuspecting followers only know where they have been, not where they currently are.
May God give us grace to be free from their influence and dominion, and serve in God’s kingdom of power without corruption.
Simeon Peter proceeds further in the reminder department… He gives us a pointer of things that are to come and admonishes us to have our minds full of all these things:
“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”
– 2 Peter 3:3-4
This chapter solves a great mystery and gives a potent answer to clear certain doubts. Since God gave the rainbow to signify that He will no longer destroy the world with flood, what next?
“Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”
– 2 Peter 3: 6-7
God is not slow! Some people think of the ‘soon’ in ‘Jesus Christ is coming soon’ as an ironic fallacy…but know this today, you probably have only a second to rethink because:
“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us- ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
– 2 Peter 3:8-9
Simeon Peter understood that certainly no one, even Christians, may like to ponder on the day of judgment, ‘in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up’. This is why he reminds us of the goal of ‘the overcomer’, that:
“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”
– 2 Peter 3:13
The verses then go on reminding us to be diligent, to be without spot, to be blameless, to suffer long, to stand firm and on and on. Although, this Servant of our Lord Jesus Christ (Apostle Peter), doesn’t forget to remember that we must:
“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
– 2 Peter 3:18
To God be all the glory, both now and forever. Amen!