Scripture Reading: II Peter 3:10-18.
Memory Verse: “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” (II Peter 3:13)
We are bringing to a close our study of Peter’s concern for his labor of love. Just as a good lawyer often combines all his thoughts in the closing argument, so does Peter in this epistle.
He brings us back to reality with the fact that Jesus will return, and that judgment will come. For some it will be the end of them and their works. To others, it is a springboard to the future.
This reward is something to long for – a kingdom where righteousness is commonplace, not the exception. He then repeats an earlier appeal for them (and us) to be diligent in our Christian living. He culminates his thinking by presenting that Paul and he desire the same things.
His closing doxology contains both positive and negative appeal. “One who grows in grace without knowledge of the Word becomes a ‘hothouse’ Christian. To grow in knowledge without accompanying grace is to be equally ineffective. We must have the Word as food for the soul, study it regularly and systematically, and always be fully yielded to the Spirit’s control” (Edgar C. James).
I would be ready, Lord,
My house in order set,
None of the work thou gavest me
To do unfinished yet.
I would be watching, Lord,
With lamp well-trimmed and clear,
Quick to throw open wide the door,
What time thou drawest near.
I would be waiting, Lord,
Because I cannot know
If in the night or morning watch
I may be called to go.
I would be waking, Lord each day,
each hour for thee;
Assured that thus I wait thee well,
Whene’er thy coming be.
I would be living, Lord,
As ever in thine eye;
For whoso lives the nearest thee
The fittest is to die.
-Margaret J. Preston
- How will the day of the Lord come? II Peter 3:10; Matthew 24:43 I Thessalonians 5:2.
- What judgment is brought upon the earth? II Peter 3:10; Micah 1:4, 7. Could there be a period of 1, 000 years in II Peter 3:10? Revelation 20:4.
- Why must we be careful what we spend our life building? II Peter 3:10; I Corinthians 3:12-13.
- Knowing the outcome of man’s accomplishments, what question is posed to both the believer and the unbeliever? II Peter 3:11-12.
- What superlative reward awaits those who accept Peter’s challenge? II Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1-7.
- Is this reward automatic, or do we have a grave responsibility? Explain. II Peter 3:14; Philippians 1:10.
- Does Peter stand alone in his great exhortation? II Peter 3:15-16. What do you think his purpose was in making this reference?
- Describe Peter’s final warning and the effect it should have on us. II Peter 3:17.
- What would be the best response we could make to Peter’s warnings? II Peter 3:18a. Compare with Ephesians 4:14-15.
- How does his final doxology challenge you? II Peter 3:18b.
EXTRA-MILE QUESTION: Peter’s and Paul’s approaches were quite different, even leading to times of personal conflict; but in the end, what can we say? II Peter 3:18b; Romans 11:36.