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Be Mindful of the Word of God

2 Peter   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  42:32
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Whose version of the story are you going to believe?
Mom making up stories about you when you were little
Wife making up stories about you when you sleep
Issue- whose authority is to be believed?
This is the heart of the issue in 2 Peter
2 Peter 3:1 KJV 1900
1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
Ταύτην ἤδη, ἀγαπητοί, δευτέραν °ὑμῖν γράφω ἐπιστολὴν
This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you,
ἐν αἷς διεγείρω* ⸀ὑμῶν
in which I am stirring up (prest, act, ind- used of stirring someone from sleep, or of stirring up the sea by means of a storm-
ἐν ὑπομνήσει τὴν εἰλικρινῆ διάνοιαν*
your sincere mind by way of reminder
Repeated theme of the letter:
2 Peter 1:12–15 KJV 1900
12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. 13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; 14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. 15 Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
This is so important to Peter that these believers be put in remembrance of these things. What things?
2 Peter 3:2 KJV 1900
2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
Remember to be mindful of the WORDS spoken before by the holy prophets (OT), and the WORDS / COMMANDMENTS of the apostles, which are a record of the WORDS / COMMANDMENTS of the Lord and Savior.
In other words- Wake UP FROM SLEEPING! Remember to be mindful of the WORD OF GOD! What does Peter really want of these believers? He wants them to trust the Word of God over and above any other authority. Let the Word of God be your foremost, sole, primary, ultimate authority.
Be mindful of the words- to recall information from memory, remember, recollect, remind oneself
What does this imply about our knowledge of the Word of God? Recall information from memory, how well should we know the Word of God?
Issue at hand is authority- and the subject is nothing less than one’s entire worldview.
What is the idea of a worldview? A world view or worldview is the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing the whole of the individual's or society's knowledge and point of view.
Peter is going to argue against the worldview of these false teachers. His goal is to encourage believers to accept the authority of Scripture, to orient your worldview based off of the words spoken by the Holy Prophets and the word of Jesus Christ recorded by his apostles.
This battle of worldviews focuses on one key idea- that is the coming of the Day of the Lord.
So Peter is imploring these NT church believers to maintain a biblical worldview concerning the coming Day of the Lord.
This is so critical, so important for us as believers. We must operate every moment of our lives based on a biblical worldview of the coming Day of the Lord.
Why should we accept the biblical certainty of the coming Day of the Lord?
Peter gives us several reasons why this truth should be certain in our lives.

I. Scripture warns us that there will be mockers in the last days (v. 3a)

2 Peter 3:3 KJV 1900
3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
3 τοῦτο πρῶτον γινώσκοντες
Knowing this first of all
ὅτι ἐλεύσονται
that scoffers/mockers will come
ἐπʼ* ♦⸀ἐσχάτων τῶν ἡμερῶν
in the last days
⸂ἐν ἐμπαιγμονῇ⸃ ἐμπαῖκται
with their mocking
1 Timothy 4:1 KJV 1900
1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
Jude 3–4 KJV 1900
3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jude 17–19 KJV 1900
17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 how that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. 19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
This is one of the primary weapons employed by those who do not hold to the absolute authority of Sculpture. They will mock you, they will ridicule you, they will attempt to make you seem foolish.
You don’t really believe that do you? You don’t really believe that God spoke the world into existence in 6 literal days do you? You don’t really believe in a world wide flood, David and Goliath, Daniel in the lion’s den? These are silly fables- they will claim. They mock. This is just one more item added to the list. You don’t really believe that Jesus is coming back do you?
Illustration: Working at FedEx- employee’s argument against George W. Bush- “He doesn’t even believe in evolution.”
So- don’t deny the certainty of Jesus’ return and of the coming Day of the Lord just because there are people who will mock you. Scripture warned us ahead of time that this would happen.
John 15:18–21 KJV 1900
18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. 20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.

II. The walk of the false teachers is based on sinful desires (v. 3b)

2 Peter 3:3 KJV 1900
3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
κατὰ τὰς ⸄ἰδίας ἐπιθυμίας αὐτῶν⸅ πορευόμενοι
walking according to their own sinful desires
Whether or not they will admit it, sinful desire is the real reason that false teachers deny the second coming.
All these false teachers wanted to do was live their lives according to their own desires. They wanted to fulfill their own passions.
2 Peter 2:13–14 KJV 1900
13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; 14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
2 Peter 2:18 KJV 1900
18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.
They deny Christ’s return because they hate the thought of divine retribution.
Romans 1:18 KJV 1900
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Hold down the truth in unrighteousness, suppress the truth in unrightoueness
They fool themselves into believing a lie so that they can carry out any kind of lustful pleasure without any fear of future punishment.
We need to be really careful here as believers that we are not doing the same kind of thing in other areas of Scripture. I don’t think there is anyone in this room that would deny the second coming of Christ (sometimes we live willfully ignorant of it, but we do not deny it). But there are other areas in our lives that are not so easy.
It is easy to submit to Scripture in the areas of our life that we agree with. But, what about the areas of our lives where Scripture seems to contradict? It is the areas in our lives that we don’t want to submit that we get ourselves into the most trouble. It is in these areas that it is the easiest to become mockers of Scripture. How do we do that?
2 Peter 3:16 KJV 1900
16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
We can do the same thing we can wrest or twist the Scriptures to mean whatever we want them to mean.
We are most likely to do this in areas in our lives where we do not want to submit, we do not want to change. Often this is the areas that are “gray” areas. Standards in our lives based on Scriptural principles rather than direct commands.
What is the difference between a command and a standard? Example- smoking.
What should I allow myself to watch, listen do, wear, eat, drink? Where should I hang out, with whom should I hang out? Should I be in every church service? (Illustration of closer to God in the woods). The list could go on and on. You probably know another person in your life who professes to be a believer who has drastically different standards on issues than you do- marriage and sexuality, feminism, theistic evolution, abortion, homosexuality, etc...
I think here in 2 Peter 3 we find one VERY important test. An important test to see if we are really applying Scripture correctly to our lives or if we are wresting it or twisting it to make it possible to live the way we want to live. What is it?
2 Peter 3:3 KJV 1900
3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
Why did the false teachers deny the certainty of Jesus’ coming? So that they could walk after their own lusts. Here is where we need to check ourselves. We must ask, “Does my interpretation of Scripture enable me to walk after my own lusts?” Is my view of Scripture honest and accurate or am I interpreting Scripture in such a way because I want to be able to do what I want to do? If you are living your life according to a “principle” of Scripture and that principle enables you to walk after the flesh, that should cause us to seriously reconsider our understanding and application of Scripture.
Contrast:
2 Peter 3:11 KJV 1900
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
2 Peter 3:14 KJV 1900
14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
Does my understanding and application of Scriptural principles cause me to live a holy life? Does it cause me to become more godly? Does in cause me to become spotless and blameless?
We need to do some honest evaluation of every area of our lives to ensure that we are putting ourselves under the actual authority of Scripture rather than twisting it so that we can walk after our own lusts.
That begs the question: what do the lusts of our flesh look like?
Galatians 5:16 KJV 1900
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Galatians 5:17 KJV 1900
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Galatians 5:18–21 KJV 1900
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Adultery, fornication (sexual immorality), uncleaness, lasciviousness (sensuality), idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance (strife, discord, contention), emulations (jealousy), wrath (outbursts of anger), strife (selfish ambition), seditions (dissension), heresies (factions), envy, murder, drunkenness, revelings (carousing)- AND SUCH LIKE! What does that mean? This is not an exhaustive list. This is only a sampling of the works of the flesh. Anything that is like this list is also of the flesh! Well, how will we know if it is? Go back to the beginning of v. 19- “Now the works of the flesh are MANIFEST (EVIDENT, OBVIOUS)” It is obvious. To a believer the works of the flesh should stick out like a sore thumb.
We must ask, “Does my interpretation of Scripture enable me to walk after my own lusts?” Is my view of Scripture honest and accurate or am I interpreting Scripture in such a way because I want to be able to do what I want to do? If you are living your life according to a “principle” of Scripture and that principle enables you to walk after the flesh, that should cause us to seriously reconsider our understanding and application of Scripture.
John 8:44 KJV 1900
44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Galatians 5:24 KJV 1900
24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Ephesians 2:3 KJV 1900
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
2 Timothy 3:6 KJV 1900
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
2 Timothy 4:3 KJV 1900
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
Titus 3:3 KJV 1900
3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
1 Peter 4:2–3 KJV 1900
2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
Jude 18 KJV 1900
18 how that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.

III. The instruction of the false teachers is based on sinful desires (v.4)

2 Peter 3:4 KJV 1900
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
4 καὶ λέγοντες·*
And saying (according to their own sinful desires!)
ποῦ ἐστιν ἡ ἐπαγγελία τῆς παρουσίας αὐτοῦ;
“Where is the promise of his coming?
ἀφʼ ἧς γὰρ οἱ πατέρες ⸆ ἐκοιμήθησαν,
For ever since the Fathers fell asleep,
πάντα οὕτως διαμένει
all things are continuing
ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς κτίσεως.
as they were from the beginning of creation.”
The false teachers walk according to their own lusts and grammatically what they are saying / teaching is also according to their own lusts.
What are they saying?
Where is the promise of His coming?
They are denying the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Can you hear their mocking tone? Where is the promise of His coming. He’s not coming back, I can’t believe you would be so foolish to believe a fairy tale like that! MOCKING.
What reasons do they give to support their teaching?
Ever since the fathers fell asleep- all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.
This morning the sun rose up in the sky, and tonight the sun is going to set in the sky. And tomorrow it is going to do the same thing. And the sun has been rising and setting since the time of the Fathers and nothing has changed and nothing ever will change. It is foolish to thing that Christ will return and bring judgment when nothing like that has every happened in the history of humanity!
But again Peter says they are twisting Scripture and they are doing it to fulfill their own sinful desires, their own lusts. And, by the way, Peter says they are wrong!

IV. The instruction of the false teachers is based on willful ignorance (vv. 5a)

2 Peter 3:5 KJV 1900
5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
5 λανθάνει γὰρ αὐτοὺς τοῦτο θέλοντας
For overlooking this willfully,
Their teaching and doctrine, that which undergirds their entire worldview and thus everything that they allow themselves to do is based on an oversight.
They are ignorant- overlook, escape their notice, something that is hidden.
Not only is it based in ignorance, not only is it something that they overlooked, but they did it WILLINGLY.
They willingly overlooked some very key important truths.
Willingly- to have an opinion, maintain something that is contrary to the true state of affairs.
Romans 1:19–21 KJV 1900
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Why would anyone do this? Why would you base such a fundamentally life altering doctrine of willful ignorance? To gratify their sinful desire. Desire is now their one and true god.
How powerful is the pull of our lusts?

V. The instruction of the false teachers is a three fold denial of the very Word of God (vv. 5b-7)

Denial #1-
2 Peter 3:5 KJV 1900
5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
Remember their primary argument against the return of Christ and the judgment of God-
Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
But this statement is based on willful ignorance- how do we know that?
Because, by means of the very Word of God- the heavens were of old, that is they existed long ago, and the earth standing our of water and in the water. The idea there is that the earth was formed from water and by water.
In other words they maintain that nothing changes from day to day and that is evidence that nothing ever will change. But if they had been present during the very moments of creation, they would change their tune. They would have witnessed something truly remarkable.
Genesis 1:1–5 KJV 1900
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
Can you imagine being there and witnessing the creation event, when God spoke everything from nothing?
From without form, void, and darkness to light- out of nothing and from nothing- just spoken into existence. And then dry land, and the sea, and plants and animals and fish and birds and mankind. All spoken into existence from nothing, how? By the Word of God.
This truth the false teachers are willfully ignorant of.
Romans 1:20 KJV 1900
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
In other words, you open your eyes and look around at creation and you see a creator. You see a God with eternal power, and they are clearly seen. How did all of this get here? Well millions and billions of years of ago- a big bang. Where did the stuff in the bag come from? But yet Christians are the ones who are mocked for their faith.
If you find a watch on a beach you don’t think I wonder how long it took for this evolve, you think I wonder who made this who created this who designed this. So, when you look at the incredible world that God made why shouldn’t one also think who made this, who created this, who designed this? He must have been eternally powerful.
But these false teachers denied this, and they did it in willful ignorance, all because they wanted to walk after their own lusts. I have heard it said that evolution is mans’ best attempt to explain away God. No God no consequences. No God no judgement no accountability, that means I can do what I want.
Denial #2-
2 Peter 3:6 KJV 1900
6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
6 ⸂διʼ ὃν⸃ ὁ τότε κόσμος ὕδατι κατακλυσθεὶς ἀπώλετο·*
Through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.
Whereby, of through which- whereby what? and through which what? I think this is a referral to the Word of God.
The phrase by the Word of God in v. 5, in the original is placed last in the order in v. 5. So v. 5 literally reads.
5 λανθάνει γὰρ αὐτοὺς τοῦτο θέλοντας
For overlooking this willfully,
ὅτι οὐρανοὶ ἦσαν ἔκπαλαι
that the heavens existed long ago
καὶ ⸆ γῆ ⸂ἐξ ὕδατος καὶ διʼ ὕδατος⸃ ⸀συνεστῶσα
and the earth having been formed from water and by water
τῷ τοῦ* θεοῦ λόγῳ
by the Word of God
Then v. 6- whereby or through which. Through what? Through or according to the Word of God- the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished. This is a reference to the flood. And key to Peter’s argument is that the flood, just like creations, was a result of the Word of God.
Again what is the argument of the false teachers?
Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
Can you imagine anything more descriptive of catastrophic change to the world in which we live than the flood. This point is relevant is two ways.
One, this is a clear example of things NOT continuing was they were from the beginning of creation. And just because you weren’t around to witness it does not make it any less true. In fact, if you look around you can still see many evidences of the flood. Mt. St. Helens
Two, here is a clear evidence of God’s judgment. That is exactly what the false teachers wanted to deny. They wanted to deny judgment because they wanted to walk after their own lusts. But, what they don’t realize is that God has already judged the world for sin in the flood- the flood that was according to the Word of God.
Denial #3-
2 Peter 3:7 KJV 1900
7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
7 οἱ δὲ νῦν οὐρανοὶ καὶ °ἡ γῆ
But the present heavens and earth
τῷ ⸀αὐτῷ λόγῳ
by His word
τεθησαυρισμένοι εἰσὶν πυρὶ
are being reserved for fire
τηρούμενοι εἰς ἡμέραν κρίσεως
being kept unto the day of judgement
καὶ ἀπωλείας °1τῶν ἀσεβῶν ἀνθρώπων.*
and destruction of ungodly men.
If the world was formed by the Word of God, and the earth was already judged in the flood by the Word of God, then why do we don’t when God says by His Word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire- being kept unto the day of judgement- and this is particularly relevant for these false teacher- and perdition or destruction of ungodly men.
So we come back to the issue of authority. Who’s Word are you going to trust-
Either the word of false teachers, who are mockers, who walk after their own lusts, who teacher according to their own lusts, who are willfully ignorant, who deny the very Word of God, OR are you going to trust the very Word of God?
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