2 Peter Chapter 3

June 12, 2014

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on 2 Peter. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

You can listen to the study by clicking here

Peter tell his readers that in the last days scoffers will say that Jesus is never coming back. The last days is the time between Christ’s first and second comings. So from the beginning of the Church until now we have been living in the last days. Jesus is coming back, and until He does we need to be living for Him and doing what He called us to do.

2 Peter 3:1-18 (NIV)
1 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. 3 First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. 14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

2 Peter 3:1-18

It probably seemed like it was taking a long time for the Lord to come back, especially as they were facing increased persecution. But God is not slow. He is just not operating on our timetable. God operates on His timetable.

John 14:1-3
1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

In Jesus time, families usually lived in clusters of buildings called insulas. These clusters were built around a central courtyard. Grandparents, cousins, uncles, and aunts all lived and interacted together in the insula.

As sons married, they added to the insula. After asking a girl to marry him, the son would return to his village and build new rooms onto his father’s home. The son, anxious to be married, waited for the day when his father declared that the building was complete. Then he could finally marry his bride and bring her to their new home.

When Jesus described his second coming, he again used the picture of a young bridegroom, waiting for his father’s approval to return for his bride:

Matthew 24:36 (NIV)
36 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

It usually took about a year for the bridegroom to return. Part of the tradition was that the groom would return and try and surprise his bride. He would often come in at night, it was part of the romance. The bride and her attendants would need to be ready to go at a moment’s notice. One of the groomsmen returning with the groom would give a warning shout so the bride had a couple of minutes and then the bridegroom would blow a shofar and then he would swoop up his wife and head off for the wedding festival with the bridal attendants and groomsmen who were ready in tow.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (NIV)
16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

Jesus is the bridegroom, we are the bride, waiting for His return. We are to be waiting wisely.

Matthew 25:1-13 (NIV)
1 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ 7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ 9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11 “Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’ 12 “But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’ 13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

When the Lord comes for us we are to have oil lamps ready and waiting. Oil in the Bible is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The message of the parable is clear. The Lord is coming for his bride, believers who have been filled with the Holy Spirit and are awaiting His return. While we wait, we need to stay filled and focused, living faithfully for Him, knowing that He is coming soon, and yet making the most of the time for His glory until He returns for us. Honoring Him by doing that which He commanded us to do.

Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

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