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2 Peter 3; Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 12, 17, 21; Revelations 3:1-3
A reminder to be vigilant as we await Christ’s imminent return. Scripture Text: 2 Peter 3:10-14 (NIV) 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. 14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. -In the Gospel accounts, Jesus tells his disciples to watch out and be ready for His coming. As we read the rest of the NT, believers are continually reminded to watch out and be ready for Christ’s return. But until now, in our generation, we’re still waiting. “Where is this ‘coming’ He promised?” – 2 Pet. 3:4 The delay of His return has a purpose (2 Peter 3:9, 15) but that doesn’t mean that He’s not coming back for us. He promised to come back and He will (John 14:3). We must take care not to be caught unaware of His return, lest we miss it. Let us not be like the scoffers that the apostle Peter warned us about in his second epistle (2 Peter 3:4). Instead, let us be vigilant and keep watch. -1. Keep Watch. - Because the day of the Lord will come like a thief (2 Pet.3:10). - Cf: Mt. 24:27,42; Mk. 13:32-36; Lk. 12:40, 17:24, 30-36, 21:36 - In Matt.24:42, the Greek word used is gregoreuo, meaning “to watch” “give strict attention to” “be cautious” “to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one”i “to keep awake (watch); be vigilant; be watchful”ii - The origin of this Greek word gregoreuo is egeiro, which means “to arouse from sleep, to awake, to arouse from the sleep of death, to recall the dead to life”iii
Wake Up. Rev. 3:1-3 “To the angel of the churchi n Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. 3Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.” Cf: Rom.13:11 What should we do? o Strengthen, Remember, Obey, Repent o Note: More about this later in succeeding points.
Watch Out. - Of false teachers and their teachings - “Be on your guard (KJV: beware*) so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.” (2 Pet. 3:17) - *The Greek word used here is phulasso meaning “to guard, to watch, keep watch” “lest he suffer violence, be despoiled” “to keep from being snatched away, preserve safe and unimpaired” “to guard from being lost or perishing”iv - Do you really know what you believe in? How well do you know about God and His teachings? If someone comes up to you and tries to talk to you about the Bible, will you be able to recognize true teaching from false ones? - Jesus warned us about false teachers and their teachings. See Matt. 24:4-13, Mk.13:5-6, 2123, Lk. 21:8 - Go back to the basics. Read your Bible daily. Join a cellgroup. Learn about the 4 Spiritual Laws, the 4 Cardinal Doctrines, the 16 Fundamental Truths (Assemblies of God). 2. Anticipate. (2 Pet. 3:12-13). - Some of us may be undergoing hardships in life, as well as persecution and sufferings for Christ. Amidst our present struggles, ancticipate His return. Lift up our eyes to Christ and anticipate the home that He has waiting for us in heaven. (John 14:1-3) - On the other hand, some of us may be getting too comfortable in this world. Remember that once we are in Christ, we are not from this world anymore. We are God’s chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation…strangers and aliens in the world (1 Pet.2:9, 11). We are not yet home. Let us not get too comfortable here on earth. Let us not be fascinated with the things of this world. (Heb.11:10,13-16) One of the distinctive marks of God’s people is that they do not feel at home in this world and are looking forward to their heavenly home.v - This world and everything in it will not last; it will be destroyed and replaced with a new heaven and a new earth.
A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH: The final goal and expectation of the NT faith is a new, transformed and redeemed world where Christ lives with his people and righteousness dwells in holy perfection (2Pet.3:13). To erase all traces of sin, there will be a destruction of the earth, stars and galaxies. Heaven and earth will be shaken (Hag.2:6; Heb.12:26-28) and will vanish like smoke (Isa.51:6); the stars will be dissolved (Isa.34:4) and the elements destroyed (2 Pet.3:7,10,12). The renewed earth will become the dwelling place of both humans and God (Rev.21:2-3,10; 22:35). All the redeemed will possess bodies like Christ’s resurrection body, ones that are real, visible and tangible, but incorruptible and immortal (Rom.8:23; 1 Co.15:5156).vi A glimpse of the New Heaven and New Earth:Rev. 21-22:6 o 21:3-4, 22-27; 22:3-5
3. Turn Away From Sin / Turn Towards God. - “Live holy and godly lives….make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” (2 Pet. 3:11, 14) - “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’” (1 Pet. 1:15-16) - SANCTIFICATIONvii o Not optional for believers: “Without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Heb.12:14). o We achieve sanctification by faith (Acts 26:18), by union with Christ in his death and resurrection (Jn.15:4-10; Rom.6:1-11; 1 Cor.1:30), by the blood of Christ (1Jn.1:7-9), by the Word (Jn.17:17), and by the regenerating and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts (Jer 31:31-34; Rom.8:13; 1 Cor 6:11; Php.2:12-13; 2Th2:13). o Sanctification is both a work of God and a work of his people (Php2:12-13). o True sanctification requires that believers maintain intimate communion with Christ (Jn.15:4), engage in fellowship with believers (Eph.4:15-16), devote themselves to prayer (Mt6:5-13; Col.4:2), obey God’s Word (Jn.17:17), be sensitive to God’s presence and care (Mt.6:25-34), love righteousness and hate wickedness (Heb.1:9), put sin to death (Rom.6), submit to God’s discipline (Heb.12:5-11), continue to obey, and be filled with the Holy Spirit (Rom.8:14; Eph.5:18). 4. Commit to Evangelism. - “Speed its coming…” (v.12) - Jesus tells us that the once the gospel is preached to all, then the end will come (Mt.24:14). - We can help speed the return of Christ by commiting to evangelism and missionary work (v.9; Mt.24:14).viii - We can also help speed the return of Christ by eagerly desiring His return.ix Let our prayer be: “Come, O Lord (Marana tha)!” 1 Cor.16:22 o The Aramaic expression marana tha was probably used as a prayer or greeting among Christians. The early church was constantly praying that Christ might return
soon. Christians are those who long for his appearing (2Ti 4:8) and express this longing in word and deed (1Th 1:10; Rev.22:20).x 5. Hunger for God. - “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (v.18) - Growing requires eating, consuming nutrients necessary for growth and development. Consequently, consuming food requires us to have an appetite, a hunger for food. If we do not eat, we do not grow. - Cf: Mt.5:6 – “hunger and thirst for righteousness” o FLSB Notes (Mt.5:6)- The foundational requirements for all godly living is to “hunger and thirst for righteousness” … The spiritual condition of Christians all throughout their lives will depend on their hunger and thirst for (a) the presence of God (Dt.4:29), (b) the Word of God (Ps.119), (c) the communion of Christ (Php 3:8-10), (d) the fellowship of the Spirit (Jn.7:37-39; 2Co 13:14), (e) righteousness (Mt.5:6), (f) kingdom power (Mt.6:33) and (g) the return of the Lord (2Ti 4:8). -Conclusion (And also this week’s memory verse): “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36)
MySword Bible: Strong-Lite: G1127.Thayer Definition MySword Bible: Strong-Lite: G1127.Strong’s Definition iii G1453.Thayer Definition iv G5442.Thayer Definition v Full Life Study Bible: 2 Timothy 4:8 Notes vi Full Life Study Bible: Rev. 21:1 Notes vii Full Life Study Bible: Article on Sanctification (1 Peter 1:2) viii FLSB: 2 Peter 3:12 Notes ix Ibid. x FLSB: 1 Corinthians 16:22 Notes
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