:) Finally had some time! Next week should be fun... we're heading into some messianic prophecies... :)

Happy studying!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

II Peter Chapter 3

vs. 1-2

- Peter has now written two letters to the church. In both letters, his goal has been to “stimulate your wholesome thinking and refresh your memory”.

- Peter has gone back to the beginning with us. Remember when you first believed? Remember how Christ died for you? Do you know that this was the plan from the beginning?

- Don't forget the foundational concepts of this faith. Don't forget how much God loves you.

- In remembering and dwelling on these things, be careful of being drawn away by fleshly desires and the world's urgings.

- Remember to stay faithful and remember to avoid things that would cause you to be otherwise.

- Remember all the teachings of the prophets and all the things Christ commanded us to do.

- They all go hand in hand. Christ is a fulfilling of the prophets. His coming is the proof of their truthfulness and their divine appointments. Christ's teachings are a continuation and expansion of those of the prophets.

- Ephesians 4:17-32, 5:1-20
- Romans 6, 8, 10, 11, 12

vs. 3-7

- In the last days scoffers will come. They will come mocking your faith.

- “Where is your Jesus? Wasn't He supposed to come back already? Everything is still the same! The world hasn't changed! If anything it's gotten worse! Where is your God? Why are you following the nonexistent? We're living life any way we want and no God is striking us down... Why don't you give up on your invisible God and join us?”

- Jude 1:17-25

- Heard any of that before? Man I have...

- About a month ago we had a youth night at the house. We've been doing these things since I was in like sixth grade or so... We have a bunch of people come to the house and mom cooks massive amounts of dinner, we do some praise songs, and then we do a little bible study. Well... I am no respecter of persons when it comes to who to invite... a lot of seemingly random people have walked through our door for this thing. And sometimes it makes for quite an interesting combination.

- These people don't know each other most of the time. They know me, or my brother, or the family... but they don't necessarily know each other. They are from all walks of life. Some are older, some are younger... our age range is from somewhere in high school to 40's and 50's now...

- So I invited my friends as usual. Anybody and everybody... : ) Well, my friend came. This man is a very angry man. He's bitter about a lot of things and he's just hard to get along with sometimes because of it. I met him in my graduate classes. He was in both of the classes I was taking last year and he ended up in both of my study groups as well... coincidence? I think not...

- When I first met this man, he'd cuss me out at the drop of a hat. I couldn't even say something like “Thank God it's Friday” or “By the grace of God we've survived the week” without getting cussed out or yelled at for bringing God into the mix... At first... it kinda scared me. I wasn't sure what to make of him. Wasn't sure how to approach him or deal with him.

- Long story short, his car broke down and I drove him the hour and something to the airport to go home a couple of times and picked him up a couple of times... and it blew his mind that I would do something like that and not expect payment... actually did it because I felt like it... not any ulterior motives...

- So the next time I asked him to come to a youth night... he did. Which shocked me. He was on his best behavior... and I have NEVER seen him be so congenial... EVER...

- So this last time, he came again... but he's still very angry with God. He opened a can of worms and got into a discussion with my dad that lasted a good couple of hours...

- I've heard it all from this man... and that night... so did dad. (which after the fact was kind of funny...) This man doesn't believe that God loves anything. In his mind, He has created this world, just to let us play around in it and laugh when we get ourselves into a mix of some sort. IF there's a God that is.

- He believes that all faiths lead to the same place... comfort in believing in something while you're alive, and absolutely nothing after you die.

- So why not live it up? There's nothing after we die anyway! We've had dinner or whatever together a couple of times after our trip to the airport and he'll sit there the whole time and try to convince me to cuss. Just say ONE word. Or try to convince me that alcohol is fine and I don't HAVE to drive home tonight... just stay in Morgantown somewhere... And so on and so forth...

- Why? All because he can't understand my faith. And it makes him angry that I defend something I can in no way (in his mind) have any sure knowledge about! I can't KNOW that there's a God because I can't see Him. Has God ever talked to me? Has God come down and walked beside me on the street? Has God looked me in the eye and told me He exists?

- Well... not in so many words or ways... but I would like to say yes to all of the above. I have sure knowledge because I know there has been a change in myself. There has been a perceptible change in my heart and in my actions... if only known to myself. God has shown Himself to be real to me. He has protected me on the roads, He has stopped my car or other cars when I thought for sure I was a goner. He has spoken to me through His word, and through other people... especially through my students... I can feel Him beside me most of the time. When I walk in the streets of unfamiliar cities and find my way around unfamiliar streets and come home again with no problems. I see God in my mountains and in my skies and in my trees... Evidence of a creator with a passion for beauty. Evidence that this God knows I love fluffy white clouds and pink sunsets... and knows just when I've had enough of a bad day to need to see something like that as to put it right in my line of vision... all the way on the drive home.

- scoffers and mockers will come in droves. But don't forget in Whom you have believed. When doubts are thrown in your face that seem like there's no way to argue against them... Remember what God has done for you. Even the little things.

- Science can try all they want to prove the nonexistence of God... They can throw a thousand sources at you that say there is no way that this is a created world and we, created beings. They can say we're alien life forms that landed here on a comet, they can say we started up from pond scum, they can say all they want... but the fact is, we KNOW that our God is greater than that.

- How intricate are our bodies? How intricate the cells and molecules that make up the universe? Could all these intricacies be by chance? How can you even think such a thing!?

- These scoffers and mockers “deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of His command, and He brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then He used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.”

- They have deliberately forgotten... wow. Romans 1:18-20 says “But God shows His anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because He has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”

- I Timothy 4:1-16
- Romans 1:18-32, 2:1-16

- They look at creation and turn and say, “there can be no God.” Adult Sunday School the last couple of months went through Focus on the Family's “Truth Project”. One of the lessons had all the standards and rules for the New Age idea of why there couldn't be a God... The guy doing the project used all of their standards to prove that there was indeed a God. Used their OWN stuff against them... and they turned and said “we know what this means... and we know what this appears to prove... but we still choose not to believe it.”

- Hebrews 11:1-40, 12:1-13

- I know people who will believe just about anything. They will believe in Buddha, they will believe in themselves, they will believe that we came from pond scum that one day decided to crawl up onto land... but they won't believe that there's a God who loves them...

- Why? Because then they have a responsibility to Him. Then they have to do something about it. They have to change their path. They have to look at God and say “because You gave Your life for me, I will give mine to You.” They have to do something with the knowledge they then have. And people don't like to do that.

- They will believe that all the religions in the world have foundation for truth except Christianity. They will lump them all together and call it a religion unto itself (no lie... new religion starting that literally combines EVERY religion...) but they refuse to give God the Name of Jesus.

- Because of this, God is storing up judgment. The heavens are being stored with fire... just as Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by fire, so will the people of the whole earth be destroyed by fire in the end. When Christ comes back, judgment will be swift and terrible... and without bias...

- Isaiah 5:1-30
- Matthew 10:14-42

vs. 8-16

- So if God is storing up judgment and is seeing all the evil in the world, why doesn't He go ahead and let fire fall down on them and save us from their persecution?

- II Thessalonians 1:3-12, 2:1-17

- “A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.”

- God's on His own timetable.

- Psalm 90

- Time is irrelevant. God's not planning on a given day for His plans to be put in motion. He's waiting on people with a certain kind of heart and an unmatchable passion to be in place to fulfill their plan.

- God's not slow in His promise of judgment.

- Picture this. This is written about thirty years after the death of Christ. And believers were already experiencing persecution enough to be expectant of the 2nd coming and the judgment they wanted to rain down on the evil people of the world.

- Here we are 2000 years or so later... still waiting... Easy to think Christ has forgotten? Changed His mind maybe?

- No. He hasn't forgotten and He's not being slow. He is patiently waiting on the lost to turn and accept Him with open arms. He doesn't want anyone to be destroyed. While there is still a heart close to a decision, He'll hold back His judgment.

- But eventually we're going to come to a place like Sodom and Gomorrah. Not even 10 righteous men will be found.

- And when it gets to that point, God will no longer hold back His judgment. The righteous will be saved and the unrighteous will be condemned to fire and brimstone.

- Revelation 2:18-29, 3:1-6, 15:5-8, 16, 17, 18, 19:11-21, 20:11-15

- The day of the Lord's coming back will be unexpected. Nobody's going to know He's coming until we're right in the middle of it all.

- Habakkuk 2:2-20
- Matthew 24:4-51, 25:1-46

- Everything is going to be destroyed... when, we don't know... so we should all live holy and godly lives to the utmost in order to be ready when Jesus comes back. Like the parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25.

- Five were wise and had their lamps full of oil and a bottle of extra oil on the side. Never knowing when the bridegroom was coming, they had to be ready at all times for the wedding...

- Five were foolish and only filled their lamps. They brought no extra oil with them... they weren't prepared for a long term wait. They were only ready until their lamps ran out of oil...

- Oil is almost always representative of the Holy Spirit. Five of the brides got ready and were full and overflowing with the Spirit. Five... only took what they needed and let themselves run dry.

- Instant in season and Out. Ready at a moment's notice.

- If we aren't careful, we can get dried out pretty quick. Life gets busy, we start to become apathetic, we lose sight of the Kingdom and start focusing on the problems of today...

- I was watching it snow yesterday for the first time this year. It wasn't laying or anything, it was just a little sampling of what's to come...

- You know... there's a couple ways to look at snow... on one hand, each little flake is a little miracle in and of itself. Each snowflake is different, unique, special. Who would have thought up such a wonderful thing as little pattered pieces of ice floating silently to the ground to lay in little mounds of white in the cold chill of a winter afternoon with the sun making each little flake glitter as it floats through the open expanse of sky... except our Amazing, Wonderful, Creator, Who has such a passion for beauty and elegance and the sparkle of little things that just blow our little human minds...

- On the other hand... snow means icy roads and cold weather. I hate it when the cinders and salt mix with the snow and it all turns a ghastly gray or black color on the side of the road... Slush everywhere. My uncle works for the state road in our county... He sees snow, he starts thinking of long nights, people yelling at him for not getting the roads cleared by a certain time, and the fact that they never have enough supplies to do their jobs well, and invariably, somebody's gonna wreck on the ice and blame it all on the state road.

- If we forget that we're supposed to be Kingdom focused, our lives become like a state road worker's in winter. We don't see God moving even in the little things. Even when things look bleak, God's right there with a plan and purpose... we just have to see the big picture rather than just how everything relates to ourselves.

- We are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth. We're not going to be here for forever. As we're waiting on these things to happen, make every effort possible to be found living a life worthy of our God, blameless in His sight.

- II Thessalonians 3:6-15
- I Corinthians 10:1-33, 11:1

- And don't run out of oil. Be prepared for a long wait, and be happy that God is waiting as He is on your family to get saved, or your neighbors, or strangers you don't even know... but He's giving them the same chance that you've been given... What are you going to do about their chance? Who are you going to share your oil with today? Maybe somebody just needs encouragement...

- I Timothy 2:1-6
- Psalm 50
- Colossians 1:24-29
- Romans 11:25-36

vs. 16-18

- Peter says that Paul has written these same things to the church before. He says that some of his comments are hard to understand and have been twisted by people who are unstable and ignorant. They have made them to mean something quite different than what they were intended to mean. They have done this also with other parts of scripture as well and because of their actions, they will be destroyed.

- Be warned of these people. Be on your guard so that you will not be carried away by the errors of these people and lose your own footing.

- You must grow in Christ. Be strengthened. Hold fast. Don't let anything move you from your foundation.

- Jeremiah 17:15-18
- I Corinthians 1:6-9
- Ephesians 3:6-13

- footnote- “Peter concludes this brief letter as he began, urging his readers to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; that is, they were to get to know Him better and better. This is the best way to discern false teaching. No matter where we are in our spiritual journey, no matter how mature we are in our faith, the sinful world will always challenge our faith. We still have much room for growth. Every day we need to draw closer to Christ so that we will be prepared to stand for truth in any and all circumstances.”

- I Thessalonians 5:1-11
- Isaiah 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66
- Revelation 21, 22
- I Peter 1:3-25, 2:1-12

No comments:

Post a Comment