THE THREE WORLDS EVERY BELIEVER SHOULD KNOW
- Memory Verse: 2Pet 3:17
- In Peters final chapter, he ties together some of the themes we have discussed through his 2 books.
- Peter tells us that he wrote both 1Peter and 2Peter and his purpose was to stir up their minds.
- The words “pure minds” means = sincere minds.
- Peter wants believers to remember the words written by the Old Testament prophets and spoken of by the New Testament Apostles. (2)
- Thats pretty general. What specifically should the believer remember?
- Scoffers in the last days.
- Through the Bible in both the Old and the New Testaments there are warnings against false gods, false doctrine, false religion, false prophets, and false teachers.
- What are the last days?
- The last days began at the resurrection of Jesus Christ and continue until the event of the second coming of Christ. All believers from the birth of the church to this current age have anticipated the second coming of Christ.
- Who are the scoffers?
- These are the false prophets and the false teacher that Peter described in our last lesson.
- These people attack the truth of the Word of God.
- These people attack the character and reputation of God.
- God faithfully fulfills His word. Notice that these people question the fact that many years have passed and Christ has not returned. (4)
- These people attack Christs coming. (4)
- They scoff at the rapture of the church when Christ will come in the clouds to remove His church from the earth. The Old Testament prophets did not write about this event because God did not reveal to them about the church age. The church age is from the day of Pentecost until the event of the rapture of the church.
- They scoff at the event of the second coming of the Lord which the Old Testament prophets did see in prophecy. This is the event where Jesus Christ will return to this earth with all believers to rule and reign with Christ for 1000 years.
- The problem with scoffers is that they do not know history and how God judged in the past. The saying is true, if you dont know the past, you are doomed to repeat it. We can already see that the common man is repeating his ungodly behavior as it was in the days of Noah.
- The World in the Past: (5-6)
- The people in the days before the great flood of Noahs day had lost the knowledge that God created the world by the spoken Word.
- As a result of their lack of knowledge of the truth, they perished in the flood.
- The World in the Present: (7-12)
- “ which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire ”
- At the creation of the earth, God placed within this planet an internal fire, a molten core, that He will one day unleash that power to bring judgment again on an unbelieving world.
- God promised that He would never destroy the world again by flood. However, there will be a future destruction of the entire world.
- When will the judgment of this present world occur?
- It will occur at the end of the Day of the Lord
- The prophetic phrase, “day of the Lord”, refers to the 1007 year period of time between the beginning of the tribulation period of 7 years and the end of the 1000 year reign of Christ on the earth.
- This present world will continue to exist through the tribulation period and through the battle of Armageddon. At the second coming of Christ this earth will continue to exist but it will be changed somewhat from what it is today under the thousand-year reign of Christ on earth. It is at the end of Christs millennial reign that a multitude of non-believers will war against Christ.
- Read Rev 20:7-9
- Fire from heaven and fire from inside the earth will destroy this earth and everything in it, in the same way that water came from heaven and from inside the earth in Noahs flood.
- The details of this fiery event (10)
- “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night ”
- This phrase refers to the coming of the day of the Lord. In other words it refers to the tribulation period and the second coming of Christ.
- The significance of the phrase, thief in the night, simply refers to the sudden beginning of the event and the rapidity with which it occurs.
- “ the heavens shall pass away with a great noise ”
- This is the same phrase used with the event of the second coming of Christ by Jesus in Mat 24:5. However, the whole context of Mat 24 refers to the event of the second coming of Christ which is before Christs thousand year reign on earth.
- The fiery event at the end of the thousand year reign totally destroys the whole planet while the events at the second coming of Christ only change some of the physical structure of the earth.
- “ the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therin shall be burned up.”
- This is a total destruction of this planet and all that is in it.
- Heb 12:29 tells us that God is a consuming fire.
- Peter tells us that this fire of judgment on a non-believing world will melt everything. (10-12)
- The word “melt” means = to waste away.
- In light of these truths, there is one thing of which we should not be ignorant. (8)
- “ one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day
- What is the significance of this verse?
- Man lives in a world based on time, but God exists outside of time and space. Therefore, the prophets talk about “the day of the Lord” when this prophetic day lasts for 1007 years of our time. (The tribulation period of 7 years plus 1000 years of Christs reign on earth). It is at the end of this period that God will destroy this planet and time with it.
- We look at the thousands of years of human history and think that the world will be always like it is today. As humans we tend to lose the perspective that Gods timing is not our timing. Therefore, if we allow unbelief to creep into our thinking and begin to think as non-believers we could become scoffers just as they are. (9)
- The delay of time is only evidence of Gods patience and long-suffering mercy. He is waiting for all men to come to Christ that have a will to come because He desires that all men be saved.
- However, it is man that chooses his own destiny. God will not violate mans freewill choice to either spend eternity with God through the blood of Jesus Christ or to spend eternity away from God in hell by the rejection of the salvation offered through Jesus Christ.
- Why is being ignorant of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ a great danger?
- Unless the believer has an eternal perspective to understand Gods plan for the ages, he will become discouraged through the long wait.
- Unless the believer understands Gods plan for man through the ages, he will focus on this temporal world which will eventually pass away.
- Unless the believer understands Gods plan for Jesus Christ, His beloved Son, he will miss the significance of what God wants to do in his own personal life.
- Unless the believer has his focus on Jesus Christ, the blessed hope, he will waste his life on earth and have nothing of value to show at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
- In light of these truths, what kind of life should the believer have?
- Believers in Jesus Christ should mature in their walk with the Lord to live a holy life. (11)
- The World in the Future: (13)
- After this earth suffers a total destruction by fire, God will create a new heaven and a new earth. (13)
- Read Rev 21:1
- Why must there be a new earth?
- From the time of the sin of Adam and Eve, this earth has been polluted by mans continual sin. Therefore, this whole creation, corrupted by sin, is waiting for a final redemption. (Rom 8:22)
- Why must there be a new heaven?
- In the same way that the earth has been polluted by centuries of the presence of Satan and of sin, heaven has also been polluted by the presence of Satan and sin.
- From the first sin of pride by the angel Lucifer in heaven. (Eze 28:14-16)
- From the presence of Satan in heaven to accuse Job. ((Job 1:6-7)
- From the presence of Satan in heaven and on earth accusing true Christians and seeking to destroy them. (1Pet 5:8 Rev 12:10)
- The new heaven and new earth will be without sin created in righteousness. (13)
- All people that have trusted in the Messiah, Jesus Christ, will live forever with the Lord in righteousness.
- This includes all the Old Testament saints that believed in the prophecies of the coming Messiah from Adam and Eve to the crucifixion.
- This includes all New Testament saints from the crucifixion to the rapture of the church that by faith believed in the past crucifixion and received Jesus Christ as their savior.
- This includes all the tribulation saints that came to know Jesus Christ by faith during that seven-year period.
- This includes all those that are born during the millennial reign of Christ on earth and accept Christ as their savior.
- “Wherefore ”
- Now that we know all these things that lie ahead in the future, Peter tells us how we should live while we wait for the fulfillment of Gods plan.
- We are to pursue peace and holiness (14)
- We are to pursue salvation. (15)
- Both Paul and Peter agreed in their doctrine and in their admonitions to Christians. (15-16)
- They agreed that Gods mercy and patience have endured over the centuries waiting for humans to come to know Christ as their Savior.
- They agreed that this world is under sin waiting for a final redemption.
- Paul wrote some things difficult for non-believers or carnal Christians to understand. However, the spiritual Christian that spends time studying the Word will come to understand scripture by the action of the Holy Spirit. (16)
- Therefore, when we see all the evil in the world today, we must make the mental adjustment to wait as God waits.
- We are to beware of false teachers so that we remain steadfast in the faith while we wait. (17)
- We are to grow in grace.
- This means that we continue to experience Christs involvement in our lives on a daily basis, changing us from grace to grace and from faith to faith. (18)
- We are to gain knowledge. (18)
- What knowledge must the believer pursue?
- The knowledge that Peter wants us to have is not some special information, formula, ritual, or some secret order as the Gnostics taught.
- We are to constantly study the Word of God and let the Holy Spirit change us to become more like Christ so that we experience the Word in a very practical way in our lives. Head knowledge is not sufficient. It must be lived in the real world.
- Why must the believer pursue this knowledge?
- One day we must answer to Christ for what we have done with our life after the moment of our new birth.
- One day we will use the things we have learned to teach and lead others in Christs millennial kingdom.
- “ our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ ”
- Jesus is the one that purchased the believer by His blood on the cross. Therefore, He is our Lord.
- Jesus is the one that redeems the believer from sin. He will keep and sustain that believer through life and through suffering until he experiences the final resurrection. Then his salvation will be completed by his precious Savior.
- Jesus is the Christ, the anointed one, the Messiah, chosen from the foundation of the world, the eternal Son of God, worthy of all glory, honor, and praise forever.
May you continue to know this precious Lord and Savior for eternity.