Intentional and Steadfast Living – Per 2 Peter

STEADFASTNESS and INTENTIONAL LIVING – Per 2 Peter
Or: GRACE TO BE INTENTIONAL

2 Peter presents a perfect framework for a discourse re steadfastness and intentionality, two components of our Christian walks that are critical to our success, particularly as we find ourselves, I believe, heading towards the imminent the conclusion of this age.

Peter, because of his public outspokenness and then clear denial of Christ at the crucifixion, has become the eternally-recorded bible poster-child for stumbling – and then, by God’s grace and an infusion of the Holy Spirit, at this stage of his walk models restoration, maturity and successful living.

When he wrote this letter, by virtue of decades of having walked it out, he was most qualified to write to the saints about maturing, seasoning, and making it successfully.

My old self believes (though not for personal agenda) – and also believes the scripture confirm – that Peter models the credibility of eldership requiring years and even decades of being (granted, in our imperfect human condition) “IN THE PROGRAM OF GOD”. Every “OLDER” is not an ELDER, but I feel strongly to be a biblical ELDER you ought to be OLDER. There is a testimony of years that cannot be short-circuited. TIME: you can spend it, but you really can’t buy it at a discount.

Peter frames this message within (I and many others, believe) a glorious “time-understanding” revelation regarding end-times activity and prophesy and timing.

SPEAKING OF TIME – As this writing was originally a Sunday AM message, time didn’t permit the reading of the entire three chapters that AM, but we’ll jump in and around most all of the 3 chapter letter, for our purposes.

Peter starts off assuring us that ALL THINGS pertaining to godliness are already on the table and available to us, and accessible to us – I believe – to the degree that we press into the fullness, making both room and time for God to have his way in our lives:

2 Peter 1
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And now Peter admonishes us to diligence in allowing a divine kingdom process to be revealed and accomplished in us:
5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,
6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,
7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.

We’re saved by raw faith. That leads us into a conviction and desire for truth (virtue) and subsequently into the Word, which enlightens us through knowledge that there’s things to do, as well as things to avoid. From that place, self-control (a fruit of the spirit) ought to be engaged, and for how long? Perseverance. For as long as we’re here. The target is godliness, but it doesn’t stop there, it continues to loving the imperfect ones around us, and then eventually/hopefully, we’ve learned to love completely.

Notable is Peter progressively ordering our maturing as saints with GODLINESS listed ahead of BROTHERLY KINDNESS, him understanding that it’s easier to love perfect-GOD – than it is to love and be kind, and speak kindly to – our imperfect brethren

PROMISE OF FRUITFUL LIVES
8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; (SAYS NOW-I-GET-IT PETER)
11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

SKIPPING A LITTLE – THEN PETER SPEAKS OF HIS OWN UPCOMING DEATH, AND ALSO DESCRIBES HIS EYE-WITNESS ACCOUNT OF THE TRANSFIGURATION, AND THAT HE HEARD THE AUDIBLE VOICE OF GOD THAT DAY….

THEN HE TELLS US THAT BONAFIDE PROPHETIC WORDS ARE never from the will of men, but from the will of God, and that ALL scripture is for ALL THE PEOPLE, ALL THE TIME – and anything other than that is potentially cult-like in intent. Ask the Mormons or Jehovah Witnesses, or some rabbis – or even some Protestant churches, who think you have to be a certain “LEVEL” to read or be taught certain truths (and even, in some cases, certain funky doctrines that are even truths!)

19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed (He had been an eye-witness to prophetic fulfillment and then holds US accountable to respect that affirmed truth), which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;
20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,
21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

REMEMBER – This is Peter’s final letter to the saints – so mark well what he felt was important for the church to know – EXACTLY what Paul felt was important for the church to know: there will be an INTERNAL ASSAULT against SCRIPTURAL TRUTH.

PETER SPEAKS OF DOCTRINES AND HERESIES THAT HAVE COME AND WILL CONTINUE TO COME INTO THE CHURCH – INCREASING AS THE AGE PROGRESSES:

FIRST, WHAT PAUL SAID IN EPHESUS:
Acts 20:29-30
29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.

Now PETER says the same thing:
2 Peter 2
1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even (to the point of) denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.

This is precisely what PAUL told the church in Ephesus (as well as told Timothy in his last letter to his spiritual son) – troublesome teachings will come into the church, sometimes in ignorance and sometimes even w evil intent:
Acts 20:29-30
29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.

BACK TO PETER:
VERSES 3 – 13 – PETER CLEARLY VALUATES THE OLD TESTAMENT TESTIMONY OF GOD’S JUDGMENT ON THE WICKED, AND COMPARES FALLEN AND FALSE NT TEACHERS TO THOSE DOOMED TO DESTRUCTION IN THE PAST – AND THEN STATES WHERE THEY WILL BE RESIDING IN THIS CURRENT AGE: “FEASTING WITH YOU”

2 PETER 2:13
….They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you

This is not intended to invoke a witch-hunt in any church or organization, but rather to encourage us to dig into the word of God and to weigh all teachings, to avoid UNINTENDED as well as INTENTIONAL ERROR.

PETER’S WARNING IS RE:
A. An awareness to avoid being drawn away from truth by enticing words and teachings; AND
B. The jeopardy of such fall-out even escalating to the degree of total ruin.

18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error.
19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.
20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.
21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.

CHAPTER 3 – PETER OUTLINES END-OF-AGE SITUATIONS AND OFFERS A KEY TIMING-COMPONENT TO OUR UNDERSTANDING OF EVENTS.
2 Peter 3
1 Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder),
2 that you 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 Savior,
3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts,
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 creation.”

5-6 – THEY BLOW OFF/IGNORE/DISCOUNT GOD’S DESTRUCTION OF THE WORLD BY THE FLOOD – AND MEANWHILE PETER SAYS NEXT TIME IT WILL BE JUDGMENT BY FIRE.

7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

NOW A KEY REVELATORY VERSE – clearly couched within the context of second-coming activity
8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

CONSIDER: IF the verse 8 timing-hint of Peter is correct – “a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day” – and if we then consider the season in which we find ourselves as respecters and students of biblical timing – we then can’t help but calculate where we might be in this grand equation.
REMEMBER: Peter just told us the scoffers would say: “AH – LIFE GOES ON AS IT ALWAYS DOES” – so we would do well to not blow off the things spoken of in scripture and to some early degree occurring on earth around us.

The Hebraic calendar has been assaulted, and manhandled by man, over the millenniums, we are nonetheless CLOSE if not exactly accurate re CREATION DATING. The Hebrew year right now is understood and agreed to be 5777. (AND YOU CAN SEE WHY OUR ADVERSARY would want to undermine everything-biblical in propagating contra-biblical theories of “OLD EARTH” (millions of years for creation) and “SUPER-GRACE-GOD” who would never REALLY COME back in flaming fire. Satan’s goal is to distract us from biblical truth, so that we would unarmed, unprepared, and also even OFFENDED when our Lord comes back WHEN and AS the scriptures tell us things will take place.

IF the 1000 years = 1 day formula is accurate, then certain other prophetic revelations suddenly fit into place.
Revelation 20:4-6 – speaking of those who refused to succumb to a prevailing wicked world order, some of which will be martyred (beheaded) for their refusal to go along w the crowd:
4…..And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

That extra 1,000 years would have the redeemed of God living through the SEVENTH-CREATION-DAY – the SABBATH DAY – w our Lord ruling on earth, prior to the complete conclusion of life as we know it, when we then enter the eternal state with Jesus and God.

Suddenly the context of SIX DAYS being primarily under the auspices of MAN, followed by a SEVENTH DAY under the auspices of GOD, parallels the Jewish week beginning on Sunday and ending on the Sabbath day of rest. I, along w many others, believe this is a critical component to understanding the end-times plan and timing.

BACK TO 2 PETER 3
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

And now the great rhetorical question is presented – a question intended to prompt us towards intimacy, holiness and intentionality (which, I believe, is precisely what ALL scriptural truth ought to always lead us to – and not simply present itself as more religious information-overload:
11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

A CLEAR CALL TO STEADFASTNESS AND INTENTIONAL LIVING
14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;
15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,
16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.

(THE BOOBY TRAPPED BIBLE – loaded w potential explosive power by our great and jealous God, so the proud, the willfully ignorant, the defiant, the contentious, and even the religiously obsessed, IF THEY SO CHOOSE, can dip into the VOLATILE SCRIPTURES and come up w all sorts of DANGEROUS SILLINESS).
This is why Paul told Timothy (and us):
2 Timothy 2:15
15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Peter 3
17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;
18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

All that Peter has written here, and all that is pointed to in the way of God’s timing for the Lord’s return and the destruction of everything wicked, along w the timely REBIRTH OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL (which clearly appears to us as an end-times marker) all converge to point to exciting times ahead – in which case Peter’s rhetorical question bears most-weighty consideration:
2 Peter 3 (AGAIN)
11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?

God has indeed called us to “such a time as this” – and to live our lives w an awareness of His timing, and His purposes. Being IN THE WORD and IN THE SPIRIT and IN HIS WILL becomes more critical now than ever.
THAT is our success, in the middle of an increasingly more-shaking world.
THE LIGHT WILL SHINE BRIGHTER as THE WORLD GETS DARKER.

Our call is to understand that it is GOD who is shaking things up, and that any upheaval on earth has to be allowed by Him, who is sovereign over all:
Isaiah 45:7
7 I form the light and create darkness,
I make peace and create calamity;
I, the Lord, do all these things.’

The writer of Hebrews presents us with the escalated accountability that comes along with escalated intimacy and availability of revelation:

Hebrews 12:25-29
25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven,
26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.”
27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
29 For our God is a consuming fire.

Much of this discourse is not popular church doctrine, although it is ALL taken from the NEW TESTAMENT. Any journey back into the OLD TESTAMENT, will only confirm and flesh-out these truths. In fact, the writers of the NEW TESTAMENT likely would be in wonderment that the NT saints are for the most part so ignorant of the OLD TESTAMENT roots – which in many ways is the FOUNDATION FOR THE ENTIRE STORY OF GOD.

All that has been written is written NOT to freak out the saints, but to PREPARE the saints, that we might be found in Him, as the writer of Hebrews tells us: INTENTIONALLY AND STEADFASTLY KINGDOM-LIVING:
Hebrews 10:23-25
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

There indeed is A DAY. It is APPROACHING. WE WILL BE ABLE TO DISCERN (SEE) THAT APPROACH.

ASIDE: when you get to study the book of Revelation, something that has revealed itself to me recently is that TRUMPETS, throughout all scripture, are ALWAYS INTENDED to make sufficient noise for all around to be made aware. Those SEVEN TRUMPETS of Revelation have not yet sounded. Stay tuned though. Meanwhile, what the discerning and praying and studying saints of God are currently sensing in their spirits are the early rumblings of troubling that our God, in His great mercy, told us would happen as the conclusion of this age gets closer.

SO HERE WE ARE – “revelated”, encouraged, warned, and admonished by the now-seasoned fisherman that there’s a DAY COMING and a LIFE TO LEAD – progressively and intentionally making decisions to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior – a knowledge that will lead us to great grace and sufficient peace to neither act hastily or wastefully, but instead SUCCESSFULLY, looking forward to our reward – life with God, knowing Him and we are now known by Him.

Can we commit to that? I want that. Yes, Lord.

all scripture NKJV

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About ez3728

I am a believer in Jesus – that He is the One and Only Messiah of the world. I believe the Bible is the perfect and complete Word of God, and that God is absolutely competent and capable of keeping His Word perfect, undefiled, and uncorrupted.

Jesus was born Jewish. So was I. He lived a perfect life, and is worshiped. I live an imperfect life, and I worship Him.

This entry was posted in Apocalypse, Creation, End Times Related, Everything, False Teachers, Holiness, New Testament, Understanding & Knowing God. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply