Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bible Study 2 Peter 3 Living in End-Times

The 8.9 Rated earth quake, the subsequent tsunami and the nuclear reactors incidences in Japan make the study of end-time and living in the end-time a pressing and a very real topic.

There are two key things that Peter wanted to remind us of (2Pet 3:2):
  1. The Prophecies of the prophets and
  2. The Commandments of the Lord by the apostles (telling us how shall we live).
The End-Time Prophecies - The Scoffers - Day of the Lord - New Heaven & Earth
In the last days, there will be many scoffers (3:3). The scoffers are the same as the False teachers in the previous chapter. Peter wanted to highlight their erroneous thinking of there is no God or that God is asleep. God is just being patient can kind to have as many people saved as possible (3:9). There will surely be a day of judgment, known as the Day of the Lord, where the heaven and earth will be burnt up, dissolved and the ungodly exposed and destroyed (3:7,10, 12).

The Scoffers are characterized by:
  1. Following their own sinful lusts (3:3)
  2. Claimed that there is no 2nd coming of Jesus Christ the Lord (3:4).
  3. Claimed that there is no God or if there is, He is asleep or does not care. (implied from Peter argument in 3:6-10)
  4. This is the life there is and hence just enjoy, be merry, indulge in your lusts and that there will be no accountability. 
  5. They twisted the truth to their own destruction due to their ignorance v16. 
Peter's Worldview:
  1. God created everything a long time ago by His word (3:5-7).
  2. The earth was formed out of water (major elements of the earth).
  3. God judges right and wrong and hold man accountable. 
  4. He destroyed the ancient world once by flood. v6.
  5. He will do it again, this time by fire, to destroy the ungodly v7.
  6. That day of judgment is known as 'the day of the Lord' v10,12.
  7. A new heaven and earth will be created where righteousness dwells v13.
The Day of the Lord:
  1. It will come like a thief - i.e. surprise many (but not the believers).
  2. The heaven and the bodies there in will be burnt up and dissolved.
  3. The work of man are to be exposed. v10,12.
  4. The ungodly will be destroyed v7.
  5. Then a new heaven and earth created for the righteous.v13.
How Shall We Live in the Meantime?
  1. With Expectation of the Coming of the Day of the Lord and the New Heaven and Earth. v12
  2. Wait with Patience - be ready for the Lord to come anytime and yet be ready to wait for a long time. Counting on the Lord's patience to give us time to share the gospel so that as many people as possible could be saved before the Day. v8,9,15
  3. Be Diligent in living lives of holiness and godliness v11,14.
  4. Be careful not to commit the error of the lawless scoffers v17.
  5. Grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ v18.
Questions for Discussion and Application:
  1. What is the correct worldview  that one should have?
  2. What is the worldview of the scoffers? What are their errors?
  3. How shall we live in this end-time?
  4. What do you understand by growing in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ v8? How do we live such life?
See also Preparing for Christ 2nd Coming

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