One Thing to Remember – 2 Peter 3

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We have to work at remembering. Our natural bent and default is to forget. That is why we are always writing stuff down, making ourselves notes, and setting up reminder alerts. There are many memorials in the Bible that were established to help people remember. The rainbow is a memorial that God will not destroy the earth again with water. In several places in Scripture they set up stones of remembrance as a memorial. Passover is a memorial meal. The Lord’s Supper is a memorial. Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of Me.” Just like boats drift and automobiles veer to the right or left without proper alignment, we have to work at staying on course and out of the ditches. God admonishes us to remember lest we forget. The one thing we must not forget is the Lord.

The Lord’s Word
At the beginning of 2 Peter 3, Peter says he has written his letters to the church as reminders (v. 1). He wants the church to “recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through [the] apostles” (v. 2). God has given us His word. God spoke through the prophets and apostles giving us 66 books called the Bible. Peter says the letters/writings of Paul have the same authority as the Old Testament scriptures (v. 15-16). All 66 books tell one story – God redeeming us from our sins and healing our brokenness. Scoffers read the Bible through the eyes of a skeptic. They say, “nothing has changed since creation” (v. 4) and they willfully forget God created the world and controls the universe by His Word (v. 5-7). The same word that created the world brought judgment through the flood, and one day at His word He will bring judgment again through fire. Yes, God is a God of love, but He is also a God of judgment. Deep down in your mind and heart you know that good will be rewarded and evil must be punished. In John 14, Jesus said He is coming again. He will come again! Until then, we need to spend time with Him and remember His truth by listening to and learning from His word. His promises are sure.

The Lord’s Timing
“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” (2 Pet. 3:8). God works on a different timetable. Three times in the book of Revelation Jesus said, “Behold I come quickly.” Really? Two thousand years?! God has a different definition of quickly! How long did people wait for the first coming of Christ? Genesis 3:15 is the first promise of a Redeemer. In Luke 2 the promise is fulfilled. Between Adam and the birth of Jesus is nearly 4,000 years. Two thousand years have passed since Jesus promised His second coming. Verse 9 tells us that the Lord is patient, wanting “everyone to come to repentance.” The Lord delays His coming so that more people might believe. He is saving people all over the world right now. He is rescuing, redeeming, ransoming. He is calling people to Himself. Patience marks the Lord because people matter to Him. The Lord’s coming will be sudden and unexpected. In the days of Noah, the water did not annihilate, it purged. So, the fire does not annihilate; it purifies. Most of what people think is important is going to burn up in the end. Meaning in life comes by building something that is going to outlast you. Are you building your life on wood, hay, and stubble, or silver, gold, and precious stone? Time is a gift. Every day the Lord delays His coming He is giving opportunity for people to repent and believe. We get impatient. Trust His timing. God can do more in a day than we can do in a lifetime.

The Lord’s Grace
In verse 18, Peter admonishes that we grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord. How do you know if you are growing in grace? Peter says, since we are looking forward to the Lord’s coming, “make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him” (v. 14). The goal is to be conformed to the image of Christ. We begin to think, talk, and act like Jesus. That is the fruit of the Spirit. Instead of hate, we love. Rather than despair, there is joy. In place of worry, there is peace. We can’t produce this fruit, but it comes from abiding in Christ. You know you are growing in grace when you are less judgmental and more understanding. Instead of legalistic condemnation, you are compassionate, merciful, forgiving. “To him be glory both now and forever! Amen” (v. 18). The goal of God in your life is that Jesus Christ be glorified.

We just celebrated Memorial Day weekend and remembered those who paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we enjoy. This week, look to Jesus who paid the ultimate price for your freedom. Remember His Word, His timing, and His grace.

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