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“The Secret of Joy” (2 Cor. 8:1-4)

Don’t Be Swept Away with the Scoffers Around You (2 Peter 3:3-18)

Don’t Be Swept Away with the Scoffers Around You (2 Peter 3:3-18)

WONDERFUL THING IN THIS PASSAGE – Whenever the Scripture says “Above all…”, my spiritual ears perk up and my physical eyes focus in on the words that follow. As Peter prepares us to live in these “last days … as you wait for the day of God,” he introduces his final teaching with that phrase:

“Above all, be aware of this: Scoffers will come in the last days scoffing and following their own evil desires, saying, ‘Where is his coming that he promised? Ever since our ancestors fell asleep, all things continue as they have been since the beginning of creation.’” (2 Pet 3:3-4).

WONDERFUL THING IN OUR LIVES – There may never have been a time when Peter’s warning was more crucial than it is today. We must be aware that most of what we hear and see – most of the input we receive from the world around us – is written, directed, acted, spoken, and sung by people who scoff at what the Bible says.

Almost none of them actually know what the Bible says, but they disagree with its basic teachings about reality. If you watch TV or movies, read newspapers or news sites, go to concerts, or attend school, you are dealing mostly with people who scoff (knowingly or not) at what the Bible teaches.

Unless we realize this and keep reminding ourselves of it, we will inevitably drift into seeing the world as they do and behaving accordingly. Both you and I have probably already drifted farther than we realize. So, Peter’s first warning is “Above all, be aware of this.” Here are several other precautions and remedies:

Don’t overlook what they overlook – That God created this world and only his judgment of anything in it matters. “They deliberately overlook this: By the word of God the heavens came into being … the world of that [Noah’s] time perished when it was flooded … the present heavens and earth are stored up … for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly” (2 Pet 3:5-7).

Don’t assume what they assume – Since God has not destroyed the world for its historical wickedness or worldly people for their personal wickedness, their assumption is that God either doesn’t exist or doesn’t care. They don’t realize they’re living on borrowed time: His judgment is delayed only by his compassionate desire to give more people time to turn to him: He “is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance” (2 Pet 3:9).

Focus on the obvious conclusions“Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, it is clear what sort of people you should be in holy conduct and godliness” (2 Pet 3:11). The scoffers focus on what they can get, who they can have love them, and how they can enjoy more in this life. Holiness and godliness are not high on their wish list. They should be on yours and mine.

Live for the world God promises, not this one“Based on his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. Therefore, dear friends, while you wait for these things, make every effort to be found without spot or blemish in his sight, at peace” (2 Pet 3:13-14).

Keep alert and keep growing“Since you know this in advance, be on your guard, so that you are not led away by the error of lawless people and fall from your own stable position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet 3:17-18).

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