II Peter

II Peter 1 

This letter is from Simon Peter – a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ.  It is written for me and everyone else who has received the same precious faith as Peter through the righteousness of my God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I have grace and peace, which are multiplied unto me, through the knowledge of God and of Jesus, my Lord. His divine power has given me everything that pertains to life and godliness through my knowledge of Him who called me by His own glory and goodness.  By these – His divine power, glory, and goodness – He has given me all of His precious and wonderful promises, so that through them, I may be a participant in His divine nature, and so that I may escape the degradation of the world caused by evil desires.

For this reason, I am to make every effort to add to my faith moral excellence; and to moral excellence knowledge, and to knowledge I should add self-control.  To my self-control I should add perseverance, and to my perseverance, godliness. And I am to add to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness I am to add love!  For if these qualities are mine in increasing measure, they will keep me from being ineffective and unproductive in my knowledge of my Lord, Jesus Christ.

But if I do not have them, I am being near-sighted and blind, as if I had already forgotten that God has cleansed me from my past sins. Therefore, I am to be all the more diligent to remain certain about His calling and choosing me; for as long as I practice these things, I will never stumble.  And God will open wide the gates of heaven for me to enter into the eternal kingdom of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

This is why Peter is reminding me of these things, even though I already know them and have been firmly established in the truth. Peter considered it to be the right thing to do by reminding me and others of these truths as long as he lived, as the Lord Jesus Christ had made him aware that he would soon be leaving his earthly body.  Therefore, he was diligent in his calling towards me so that I would remember his teachings after he was gone.

For the disciples were not following cleverly devised stories when they wrote to me about the power of our Lord Jesus Christ and His coming again.  They were eyewitnesses of His majesty.  And He received honor and glory from God the Father, when God’s voice came from heaven saying, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”  They themselves heard this voice from heaven when they were with Him on the sacred mountain.

And I also have the word of the prophets made that much more certain.  I should pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in my heart.  Above all, I must understand that no prophecy in Scripture ever came about by the prophet’s own imagination.  For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were moved by Holy Spirit.

II Peter 2

But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers in my day.  They will cleverly introduce destructive heresies, which will even deny the Sovereign Lord who bought them.  They will bring swift destruction on themselves!  Many will follow their sensuality, as they will bring the way of truth into disrepute.  In their greed, these false teachers will attempt to exploit me with made up stories.  God condemned them long ago, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

For if God did not spare even the angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and put them in gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; and 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 his family; and 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; and if He rescued righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for that righteous man lived among them day after day and was tormented in his soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard) – if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials, even while punishing the wicked right up until the day of judgment, and this is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and who despise authority.

Bold and arrogant, these (sinful) men are not afraid to slander celestial beings; yet the angels, even though they are far greater in power and strength, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord.  These false teachers blaspheme in matters they do not understand.  They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and killed, who shall utterly perish in their own corruption.

Their destruction is their reward for the harm they have done.  They love to indulge in evil pleasures in broad daylight.  They are a disgrace and a stain, as they revel in deceitfulness while feasting with me.  With eyes full of adultery they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable and are experts in greed – an accursed brood!  They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam, son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness.  But Balaam was stopped from his mad course when his donkey rebuked him with a human voice.

These sinful men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm.   Black darkness is reserved for them.  They speak arrogant words of vanity, and using lustful desire as their bait, they lure back into sin those who have just escaped from such wicked living.  They promise me freedom, but they themselves are slaves to sin and corruption.

For I am a slave to whatever controls me! After I have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, if I were to go back and get tangled up with sin and become its slave again, I would be worse off than before.  It would have been better for me not to have known the way of righteousness than to know it and then turn away from the holy commandments that were given to me.  If that were the case, this proverb would be true about me:  “A dog returns to its vomit.’ and, “A washed pig returns to wallowing in the mud.”

II Peter 3

This is the second time Peter writes to his dear friends, and he wrote both times by way of a reminder for me to stimulate my mind to wholesome thinking.  His desire is for me to remember the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the commands given by our Lord and Savior through the apostles.

First, he wants to me to understand that in the last days scoffers will come who will mock the truth while following their own evil desires. Those who mock God will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ He promised?  As far back as anyone can remember, everything continues just as it was since the beginning of creation.”  They deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water!

Then God used the water to destroy the world with a mighty flood.  But by His word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire; kept for the day of judgment and for the destruction of those who are ungodly. I must not forget this one thing – a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.  For the Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as I might understand slowness.

No, He is being patient with all of us, not wanting anyone to perish, but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief.  The heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be burnt up.

Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of person should I be?  I should live a holy and godly life while looking forward to the coming of the day of God and hastening its coming.  Yes, that day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire and the elements will melt in the heat, but I am to look forward to a new heaven and a new earth – a place where everyone is right with God! Since I am looking forward to His coming, I am to make every effort to be spotless, blameless, and at peace with Him.  And I am to bear in mind that the Lord is patient so that people have time to be saved.

This is just as my brother, Paul, wrote with the wisdom that God gave him.  He wrote regarding the same things in all of his letters and many of his comments are hard to understand.  Some ignorant and unstable people have twisted his words around to mean something quite different than what he meant resulting in their own destruction.

Because I have been warned ahead of time, I must watch out and not be carried away by the errors of the wicked and lose my secure footing.  But I am to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To Him be all glory and honor, both now and forever!  Amen!

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