Reading: 2 Peter 3
Dear friends, don't forget that for the Lord one day is the same as a thousand years, and a thousand years is the same as one day. The Lord isn't slow about keeping his promises, as some people think he is. In fact, God is patient, because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost. The day of the Lord's return will surprise us like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a loud noise, and the heat will melt the whole universe. Then the earth and everything on it will be seen for what they are. Everything will be destroyed. So you should serve and honor God by the way you live. You should look forward to the day when God judges everyone, and you should try to make it come soon. On that day the heavens will be destroyed by fire, and everything else will melt in the heat. But God has promised us a new heaven and a new earth, where justice will rule. We are really looking forward to that! My friends, while you are waiting, you should make certain that the Lord finds you pure, spotless, and living at peace. Don't forget that the Lord is patient because he wants people to be saved. This is also what our dear friend Paul said when he wrote you with the wisdom that God had given him. Paul talks about these same things in all his letters, but part of what he says is hard to understand. Some ignorant and unsteady people even destroy themselves by twisting what he said. They do the same thing with other Scriptures too. My dear friends, you have been warned ahead of time! So don't let the errors of evil people lead you down the wrong path and make you lose your balance. Let the wonderful kindness and the understanding that come from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ help you to keep on growing. Praise Jesus now and forever! Amen. (2 Peter 3:8-18 CEV)
Reflecting and Thinking
Knowing Jesus is the antidote to false teachers who twist the Jesus message. Knowing Jesus is also the key to understanding God's patience and the certainty of his promise. The certainty of God's promise motivates pure, peaceful living. Some would twist the truth about what will happen in the future, scoffing at the delay and questioning God's promise. They use the delay as an excuse to continue in evil. They refuse to recognize that God's patient delay means salvation. Failing to understand who Jesus is brings error and lawlessness, so Christians must be on guard and grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Based on the concept of "knowing Jesus" in 2 Peter, how do you understand the admonition to "grow in knowledge" (3:18)?
This chapter speaks of one result of failing to know Jesus (failing to understand God's patient nature). What are other results of failing to know Jesus, as outlined in the text or in this chapter?
How could Christians be more certain of Jesus' return by knowing Jesus (understanding Jesus' nature and identity) more clearly?
Dear God, thank you for revealing yourself in your holy written word. Thank you for revealing yourself in Jesus, the living word. Help us to know him better, so we can avoid the snares of misunderstanding. Keep us firmly planted in wholesome thinking, the words of the prophets, and the apostolic commands and teachings. Keep us in your care and give us wisdom and insight to identity false concepts about Jesus. In Jesus' name, Amen.