Category2 Peter

Does God Care?

If God cares, why (fill in the blank)? Perhaps a reader has found himself/herself asking that question. Often a Christian undergoing trial will look for God’s purpose in the trial. One must remember to never question God’s authority however. Christians are the servants of God. While God is our authority, He takes care of His own through ways that perhaps the human mind cannot ever understand. In II Peter, Peter gives example of the care and protection that God gives His true servants.

II Peter 2:5 – And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

There was one righteous family in the entire known world in the eyes of God during the years leading up to the flood: the family of Noah. The author would wonder how the family felt boarding the ship, knowing everyone they knew, outside their family, was about to die over the next period of forty days and nights. But God saw the world, and in His righteousness saw evil and wicked ways and decided to start over. But God cared about Noah, and his family, just as Noah had cared about the things of God.

II Peter 2:6-7 – And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:

This situation is very similar to Noah’s. There was only one righteous family in Sodom and Gomorrah. God decided to destroy the city, again, in His divine unquestioned authority. But God saved Lot, again showing his care for the righteous.

People will take examples such as this, and say that God is a hateful and vengeful being and could not possibly care about people. What they struggle to understand is that God has both the qualities of love and of judgment (among others). Love cannot supersede judgment, and judgment cannot supersede love. God’s love for His creation is shown in Christ’s dying on the cross for the sins of the world; all someone has to do is accept the gift. God is Holy, and cannot allow sin in Heaven, so He must judge the world based on that standard. One cannot live up to God’s standards, but one can accept the free gift of salvation that will get them to Heaven.

II Peter 2:9 – The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: 

What a statement for a Christian to live by. All one as a Christian must do is follow the just ways of God, and God’s protection is upon that Christian. If God’s protection is on someone, the world cannot harm him.

 

Beware of False Teachers

How do you determine who to follow, as a Christian? There are many different “religious” people from different sectors of Christianity with different ideas on how to live life on this earth. Since one has so many different paths that he/she could follow, it would be wise to learn which paths are good, and which paths are not so good. Peter gives a description in II Peter of the false teachers.

II Peter 2:1a – But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you,

In the first part of this verse, Peter essentially states that we, as Christians will deal with false teachers. It is not an issue for debate and as we will deal with them, we must know how to deal with them. Keep this in mind when dealing with strangers, and obviously do not believe man’s doctrine without studying it out for yourself in the Bible.

II Peter 2:1b – who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

Take note of the word “privily”. False teachers, when they come, will not teach heresy boldly. Instead, they will slowly change the group through quiet methods so that they are not discovered. One must be careful and see these “changes”, and not be influenced by them.

II Peter 2:2 – And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

Peter states that many will follow the ways of these teachers, and from that Christianity will be evil spoken of. Perhaps this is why the world sees Christians as hypocrites? While the previous statement is just an opinion, it is interesting to note that many unsaved people are turned away from Christianity because of hypocritical testimony that some Christians have. Instead of having a testimony showing Christ, some Christians have a testimony of the world. Why would the world want to change if they see us as Christians exactly like them?

The author would like to put forth a few questions for today in closing. One: What leaders are influencing you; are their views biblical? Two: How are you influencing others; are your views Biblical?

 

Being a Fruitful Christian

What do Christians have, through salvation, that the world needs? The answer, from the author’s study, is twofold. The more commonly stated reason is to avoid going to Hell for eternity. Two, salvation gives the Christian the power over sin. Peter in his second epistle begins the book with the description of such power as well as a call to be a fruitful Christian.

II Peter 1:3 – According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

This verse is referring to what a person gains upon salvation. Once a person is saved, he receives all of “things that pertain unto life and godliness.” That sounds great, but a question to this statement might be: Why? Peter uses the final phrase of the verse to answer that question: “through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” The purpose of the unsaved man in this world is to glorify himself or gain temporal rewards. The purpose of the Christian in this world is to glorify God and gain Heavenly rewards. There must be a mindset change in the heart of the Christian who follows after the ways of the unsaved man. Peter goes on to discuss the world’s corruption in the next verse.

II Peter 1:4 – Whereby are given unto us 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.

Peter is effectually saying that because the Christian is saved, he is to take part in serving God instead of serving lust. Once a person is saved, they ought not to be doing activities that the Bible states as wrong and the world finds to be acceptable. For example, Christians ought not to listen to music that does not honor God, as it is self-serving to the flesh. Our flesh is not to be served; it is to be kept under control.

II Peter 1:5-8 – 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. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Peter then lists a group of characteristics that are needed to be fruitful for God. Rather than chasing worldly desires, the Christian should chase godly qualities. The result at the end of verse 8 should be the desire of every Christian, “.”

II Peter 1:9 – But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

This verse describes the Christian who does not have these characteristics and is not pursuing them. Perhaps the pleasures of this present world and the snare of the devil turned his eyes off of God, and he is no longer following after righteousness. Based on the author’s study of the bema seat of Christ where Christian’s lives are examined by God, when this Christian is called before God to give account of his life, it will be a very solemn time. Imagine the scene, if you will. A person became a Christian and went away from God; how would he face the God he turned away from?

If a person claims to be a Christian, let that person live their life so that there is no doubt in anyone’s mind.

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