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Living for the End of Days- 2 Peter 3:14–18

2 Peter  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Scripture Reading: Psalm 119:1–8

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Living for the End of Days- 2 Peter 3:14–18

INTRODUCTION
We looked at the surety of the end of days last week. We noted an increase of sacrilegious scoffing, as well as the persistent patience of God, and finally discussed the difference that the dissolving (end days) should make in our lives.
We briefly mentioned a few examples, such as husbands loving their wives, wives submitting to their leadership, training children in the truths of God, etc.
This morning, as we close out our study of this second letter of Peter, we will see four points we can follow that will aid us in our God-given purpose to glorify God and become like Jesus Christ.
How do we live for the end of days? How do we prepare for this time?
I. We passionately live a Christ-centered Life- 3:14
II. We lovingly remember the patience of the Lord- 3:15
III. We actively ignore false teachings- 3:16–17
IV. We consistently practice good habits- 3:18
What are the results of our practicing these points? We have condensed these into two results: glorifying God and becoming like Christ (see WSC Q1). To give a little more detail, we enjoy holiness, peace (remember the setting), are protected from false teaching, enjoy stability (things do not knock us down).
Let us, then, live for the end of days.

I. We passionately live a Christ-centered Life- 3:14

Peter is aiming at moral and doctrinal purity. That is to say, Peter wants us to live lives as Christ did (thoughts, speech, and actions) and to hold the truths Christ did (right doctrine).
Peter commands us to make every effort, or be diligent, or strive; the idea is intensity.
Have you ever scene videos of when the men in the military come home from deployment? The wife and kids do not casually stroll up to their husband/dad; they run with joy to him. That is the idea here.
“Since we are awaiting the new heavens and new earth,” Peter tells us, we should make every effort live a Christ-centered life, but we see it is passionate because of the idea of making every effort.
To many people, the words “without spot or blemish,” summarized by the word holiness, do not conjure up pleasant images. They may think of a stoic man in clerical apparel, avoiding any niceties of life. They may think of a lady with apparel covering her literally from head to toe, with every single hair in place, a noticeable absence of a smile upon her face, and instead lines of judgement wrinkle her eyes and nose.
This is not a biblical view of holiness. No, we passionately live a Christ-centered life because we are so overwhelmed with the goodness and grace of God we want nothing else. We become like Asaph in Psalm 73:25! We could lose everything and still be passionately in love with the Lord Jesus!
The result of passionately living a Christ-centered life is peace, by the way. Nothing in society, nor the false teachings, nor the accompanying dangers, have changed. The mindset and lifestyle has, and that has changed their state from confusion and instability to complete peace.
We passionately live a Christ-centered life while we...

II. We lovingly remember the patience of the Lord- 3:15

Remember the beginning sermon we spent time discussing the grace-immersed author, Peter. This bruised reed and faintly burning wick had an intimate knowledge of the patience of God, including his reading the Scriptures the many accounts of God’s patience to both saint and sinner.
Now Peter commands us to think or count the patience of the Lord as salvation. When we lovingly remember the patience of the Lord, we grow in grace.
We remember God’s patience first with ourselves. So many times prior to our salvation God could have justly wiped us off the face of the earth. And so many times since our salvation God could have disciplined us off the face of the earth.
We move on to others, those whom will be saved. We consider God’s patience to them as well, marvelling at His kindness in allowing sinners time to repent.
We then consider the mass of the unsaved, those for whom eternal damnation waits. We consider God’s patience to them, allowing them time to enjoy his common grace of marriage, children, enjoyable work, creating art, and so forth.
Paul is brought up at this point, Peter apparently wanting to bolster his point with an appeal to another apostle.
We passionately live a Christ-centered life while we lovingly remember the patience of the Lord, and in so doing we also

III. We actively ignore false teachings- 3:16–17

God used Paul in incredible ways, and Peter was quite aware of it, including the Scripture he wrote (“as they do the other Scriptures”).
Peter acknowledges something we all experience: Paul can be difficult to understand at times. Because of his complex writing, false teachers use this to their advantage. We are not given the exact details of what they were twisting to their own destruction, so we can only speculate. Whatever it was, it was sin, and only increased the deceptiveness of their teaching.
Peter commands us to “take care,” or to “be on guard.” We are to watch out for their deceptive teaching like a guard dog. We do not get distracted, we do become entangled in other pursuits: we are prepared for the false teaching. Peter has revealed this to us before hand, we know it is coming, so we anticipate it.
Like a weather alert, we know something is coming, we just do not know when it will strike, therefore we need to be on guard, actively, not passively. We cannot simply come to church and listen to good preaching without action. Let me illustrate.
If you simply come to church and sit and sing and hear the sermon but it makes no difference in your life, that is passive. If you come, sing, and listen to good preaching, and take notes or attempt to implement change in your life (with the Holy Spirit, of course), that is active.
You can also passively read your Bible. You can read it every morning, but unless you begin to use it in your daily life, you are passively reading and not active.
You may be asking yourself, “Why are we talking about active learning and growing? Aren’t we dealing with ignoring false teaching? To which I would answer, yes! But one part of this process is to ignore false teaching actively. We fight against those pulls (“carried away”) to lawless people.
In the Bible we are frequently compared to objects that are passively carried. Like a ship in Heb. 2, or here in Peter. We can, without even realizing it, be carried away by false teaching.
How do we actively ignore false teaching? We know about it beforehand (through God’s Word given to us for life and godliness), so we need to learn what to look for in doctrine and practice. Here is where 2 Peter comes into view. He has been warning us against the depraved lifestyles and wicked doctrine of these false teachers. Therefore, learn this and avoid it actively.
Even Christian books, pastors, and popular people need to be examined carefully.
As we passionately live a Christ-centered lives, lovingly remember the patience of God, actively ignore false teachers,

IV. We consistently practice good habits- 3:18

When we do these things we consistently practice good habits.
The word “but” contrasts with the ignoring the false teaching. Rather than being carried away with false teaching we grow in grace (in other words).
This is the pattern of sanctification (becoming like Jesus Christ). We see this in Ephesians 4:22–24. Put off, renew your mind, and put on.
Eph. 4:28 provides an excellent example. Let the thief who steals no longer steal, renewing his mind to the needs of others, let him work.
Peter is similar to Paul here. Don’t be carried away by false teaching, actively ignore it! Grow in grace and the knowledge of the Lord (renewing one’s mind), and be diligent to be without spot or blemish.
Are you living for the end of days? Do you realize that, either you will die and stand before the Lord, or the Lord will return and you will stand before Him?
Will you receive a reward at His coming? Or, will you be like the one in 1 Corinthians 3:15 “If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.”
Perhaps you are not at all prepared to live for the end of days because you have never been saved by the grace of God.
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