Sundays | 9am & 10:30am

Eyes Wide Open: 2 Peter 3:10-18

Getting it Back
John Witte

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. 11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You, therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.—2 Peter 3:10–18 (ESV)

This lesson concludes our study of 2 Peter. Although many years have passed since it was written, the words ring with the relevancy of our morning newsfeed. Peter’s letter and our study conclude with a call for an honest accounting of our lives. How should we live in expectation of Jesus’ return?

WATCH—This clip from today’s message:

ICE BREAKER— Describe a time when you waited too late and regretted it. What
would you do differently if you could go back?

READ— Revelation 6:15-17

QUESTION— 2 Peter 3:10 says Jesus will come unexpectedly “like a thief,” ushering in a day of cataclysmic judgment. How should this knowledge affect our daily lives?

Does it? Why or why not?

READ— 2 Peter 3:11-12

Peter says our lives should be characterized by “holiness and godliness.” Both these terms are plural, which means Peter wasn’t thinking of just one thing we can do, but of a lifestyle that prepares us for that day.

QUESTION— Describe a lifestyle of holiness and godliness. Is that possible in the real world? Do you know anyone who lives that way consistently?

QUESTION— The term ‘waiting for’ (προσδοκάω) is a compound term προσ + δοκάω = forward + to think. So, to “think forward.” Are you the kind of person who expects the best or the worst? How does that anticipation shape your daily choices?

QUESTION— If you knew Jesus was returning today would you be happy or sad? Why?

READ— Revelation 21:1-5

These verses describe Peter’s reference in 2 Peter 2:13, where creation is made new, without brokenness, sin, and death.

QUESTION— 2 Peter 3:14 tells us to “be diligent” while waiting for Jesus’ return.

What does diligence mean to you?

READ— 2 Peter 1:5 The word translated as ‘diligent’ in 2 Peter 3:14 (σπουδάζω) is here translated as “make every effort” toward developing spiritual maturity. Diligence requires intentionality.

QUESTION— If you knew that Jesus was returning at 8:00 am tomorrow, what would you do between now and then?

DIG DEEPER: End Times
According to Pew Research, about four in ten U.S. adults believe humanity is ‘living in the end times.’ In the United States, 39% of adults say they believe “we are living in the end times” – the destruction of the world as we know it. But 58% say they do not believe this. Christians are divided on this question, with 47% saying we are living in the end times and 49% saying the opposite. Majorities in the historically Black (76%) and evangelical (63%) Protestant traditions believe humanity is living in the end times.

See here for more details about the survey: https://pewrsr.ch/3FDXtH0

The Day of the Lord
The expression the day for the judgment and perdition of ungodly men is probably Peter’s equivalent for the term the ‘Day of the Lord’ in v 10. Thus, it refers to the whole range of divine judgments, including the Tribulation judgments, the Lord’s judging of people during the Millennium (cf. Matt 5:22), His crushing of man’s final rebellion at the end of the Millennium (Rev 20:7–10), and finally the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev 20:11–15). The terminology Peter uses here is especially appropriate to the culmination of those judgments, the final appearance of the unrighteous before their Maker. Peter’s view of the cosmos as transient and temporary contrasts with the perspective of the scoffers. Sadly most of humanity remains utterly unprepared for the Day of the Lord even while events involving Israel and the Middle East suggest that that Day may be imminent.
—Zane Hodges, from “The Second Epistle of Peter.” In The Grace New Testament Commentary

MEMORY VERSE:
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.—2 Peter 3:10
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