Faithlife Sermons

8. Wrap Up

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What a week of camp this has been.
It was great to hear the testimonies you shared at the bonfire last night. I’ve enjoyed interacting with you this week.
The music has been great all week as well. Thank you to both of our praise bands.
It’s also been neat to walk with you through an entire book of the Bible.
What I’d like to do this morning is do a bit of a recap of where we’ve been as we’ve walked through this book. We’ve move rather quickly, so I want us just to reflect on some of the main themes we’ve seen and then we will close with the last three verses of the book that haven’t covered yet.

Chapter 1

Back is chapter one we saw all the incredible blessings that God has given to his children. He gives his children grace and peace, everything you need for life and godliness, exceedingly great and precious promises, made us partakers of the divine nature, and granted a way of escape from the corruption of the world.
What a blessing it is to know that we have all of these things in Christ. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ all these things are yours! But how do these things come about?
Through knowing Jesus Christ. If we don’t know Jesus, then we do not get to claim these blessings. They are only for those who have come to know Jesus by believing in what He did on the cross and His resurrection from the dead get these benefits.
Peter then says to us, okay, now that you know what blessings you have received, I want you to be growing in your character. Since knowledge is What? The blessings that you have should lead us to pursue godly character with confidence.
I didn’t reference this text when we were going through it, but Phil 2:12-13
Philippians 2:12–13 ESV
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Because he have the confidence that God is at work, because we know everything that he has given us, because we are sure that we know Jesus Christ, we can pursue all these character traits and we know that He will work these thing out in our lives.
This doesn’t mean it will be easy, and it doesn’t mean it happens all at once. But we begin to add to it slowly but surely as we continue to grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Peter told us why we should pursue this.
We don’t want to be out wandering around the in the world like a gun with misaligned sights. We don’t want to be fruitless and useless. We want to be effective. We want to be fruitful. We want to be stable in our faith. Growing in our knowledge of Christ, and growing in our character helps provide for us our stability.
And Peter wants you stable in your faith, because as he was writing this, he knew that his time was short. He knew that he would be at the end of his life very soon.
You know you campers here are all really young. You think you have your whole lives ahead of you, and I hope you do. But the reality is that life is short. And none of us knows that day that we will die. If something happenes even on the way home today, are you ready for that?
Peter was anticipating his death, and so he not only was reflecting on his own readiness, but he was seeking to help make others ready as well by seeking to help them be stable in their faith.
So we reminds us of this information knowing that the Christian faith is based on truth, and not on fables or mythology. Peter didn’t make stuff up, the other apostles didn’t make stuff up.
All Scripture has come to us by the work of the Holy Spirit as he oversaw and guided the process. Remember I used the word superintending work of the Spirit. Pastor Dan reminded me of this the other night, but if you have a school superintendent, his job is to oversee the school, and ensure that things are as they are supposed to be. The Holy Spirit superintended over the writing of the Scripture so that every word that was written was what God wanted to communicate to his people.
So we can have confidence in the word of God.

Chapter 2

Sadly, we also learned that there are some individuals out there who are less interested in the word of God, and more interested in taking advantage of others in order to benefit themselves.
They do not teach truthfully from the Word of God. They bring in teachings that aren’t just wrong they are harmful. They are motivated by greed or perhaps the their own sensual gratification. They lead others to mock the truth of God’s word.
They take advantage of others and exploit them. They use their positions of power and influence to ruin others and to lead them away from Jesus Christ.
Sometimes we can get in our minds pictures of false teachers and we think of bad pastors or guys on TV. And those may be false teachers.
But it’s not just people up on a stage. It’s not just people teaching in an environment like this. It certain can be that, but its not limited to that.
It might be friends, who are just bad influences. We may not like to think of it this way, but if they lead people away from Jesus, that’s a false teacher.
Someone asked, what if that is something I’ve done. Am I a false teacher?
The answer is I don’t know. It’s possible. But I do know that even a false teacher can receive the mercy of God is they repent of their ways, trust in Jesus Christ, and seek to know him through his word.
The judgment that comes is for those who persist in their rebellion.
And that’s where Peter goes next. He assures us that individual who are leading people away from Jesus Christ either by their words or their actions will have their day in court. They will have to stand before the King of king, the righteous judge, and face the penalty for their actions.
He gives us the examples from other stories like the flood of Noah’s day, and Sodom and Gomorrah, in order to illustrate for us that God knows how to issue forth judgment, but also how to rescue the righteous.
But lest we be led astray, he continue to describe these individuals as arrogant, as those who delight in their wickedness. He take pleasure in deceiving people, and they target unstable souls.
This is why Peter wanted us to be stable in chapter one, it is to guard ourselves against the false teachers.
These teachers have no real substance to offer, they cannot deliver on their promises, they themselves are slaves, and yet they try to offer to others.
I used the illustration of a catching a monkey. Mr. Kyle told me that you can catch a raccoon in a similar way. Raccoons like shiny things. If you pur something shiny in a hole, they will stick their hand in there to get and won’t let go of their prize and would rather be stuck than not have their thing.
False teachers offer things that might sound good, but it only leads to slavery.

Chapter 3

Yesterday we worked through the majority of chapter 3.
Peter wants to remind of things that the Bible says about the future. This big topic of the Day of the Lord. He warns us that there will be people who make fun of Christians for believing in the return of Christ. They say the cycle of the world just keeps going round and nothing will change that.
In reply Peter offers several rebuttals.
He says the world has not just kept going round. God has intervened in the past and he will do so again. At one time he sent a flood over all the earth, and at some point in the future we will send a judgment of fire.
He says that God doesn’t experience time like we do. Again, this breaks our brains, but to God, whether a thousand years go by or just a day or two, its all the same to him. He created time and he is not bound by it. So when we think he is taking a long time, to Him it isn’t.
And not only is he independent of time but he is a patient God. He isn’t dilly dallying, he isn’t being a slow poke, he isn’t hesitating as if not sure when the right moment is.
He is patient. He is longsuffering. He desires that more will be saved, and so he waits to return.
But even though he is patience, Because he is a God who cares deeply about justice, there will come a day when Jesus Christ will return. The Day of the Lord will come and everyone on the earth will be burned up. The prophets talked about this day, and the apostles talked about this day, and Peter talks about it here as a surely coming event.
And then as we looked at things last night, we saw how Peter wants us to apply this truth. Since we know these things, and since we know what is coming, knowledge is __________, so what are we responsible to do?
Pursue the lives of character that we talked about from chapter one. Everything else is going to be destroyed. Holiness lasts. Godliness endures. Pursue being at peace with God.
Look forward to the Day! After God judges the earth he will restore everything to its proper place, and righteousness will dwell there. God will be with his people, we will see Him face to face. No more tears, no more pain, no more sorrow, everything will be made right. So if you know Jesus Christ look forward to that day.
And finally, since we know these things are coming, but since we also know the exact reason why these things haven’t happened yet, and since that reason is that God is being patient with us so that more will be saved, consider this time as an opportunity for salvation, that more people might hear the good news of Jesus Christ and that turn in faith to him.
That’s the book of 2 Peter. Except for three more verses.

Conclusion: full circle.

Peter is going to give some final instructions for us as he closes the letter, and these final instructions mirror what he has taught us the whole way through.
Look with me at chapter three verse 15-18
2 Peter 3:15–18 ESV
15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
Peter recognizes that sometimes there are difficult passages of Scripture to understand. But he warns us: the false teachers like to use difficult passages to confuse us. He says the ignorant and the unstable trust the Scriptures to their own destruction.
The idea of twisting it. They try to turn it into play dough. They don’t like what it looks like, so they twist it. They distort it. They try to change it into something else. And in the process, the only add judgment upon themselves.
Look at verse 17 though.
Knowing this beforehand. Knowldge it what? ________
Because you know that people will twist the Scriptures, take care! Be alert, be on gaurd so that you won’t get carried away. In chapter one Peter wanted us to be stable in our faith, and here he says watch out so that you won’t lose your stability.
How? How can I be sure that I won’t get carried away? How can I be sure that I won’t lose my stability?
And he tells us how to do that in the last verse.
2 Peter 3:18 ESV
18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
We’ve come full circle. In the open words of the book Peter wants us to grow in grace and knowledge. Here at the end he reminds us that this is the only antidote to the false teaching.
Grow in grace. Grow in your ability to follow Jesus. Learn how to walk with him better. Grow in your ability to let go of sin and walk in holiness and obedience.
And this comes through growing in our knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We study the Bible because it teaches us about Jesus. We study the Bible because in here he tells us what he is like. He tells us his character. He tells us his nature. He tells us how to live. He tells us how to grow in grace. Everything you need is found in here.
Pursue that. Wherever life takes you. Whatever it takes. Pursue that.
Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
And to him be the glory both now to the day of eternity.
Let’s pray
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