2 PETER

PETER’S SECOND EPISTLE

Peter was evidently intended for the same Christians as 1 Peter, since in 3:1 Peter says “this is now my second letter to you.” We can only guess that 2 Peter was also written from Rome toward the end of Peter’s life. 2 Pet. 1:13-15 indicates that Peter knows his death is near. 67 A.D. may be a reasonable guess for the date of writing, a time of persecution under Nero. When 2 Peter was written, the Christians addressed were in danger of losing their Christian hope because of false doctrine being taught among them. The false teachers were even denying that Christ is Lord; they were scoffing at the promise of Christ’s return and his judgment. At the same time that they were spreading their deadly doctrine, they were living rotten lives of greed, adultery, arrogance and blasphemy. Peter wrote, therefore, to encourage these Christians to seek sound Scriptural knowledge; he wrote also to uncover the lies of the false teachers. 2 Peter stresses the idea of Christian knowledge, particularly true knowledge of Christ. Where there is a true knowledge of Christ and his word, false teachers have a difficult job. 2 Peter also stresses the inspiration of Scripture (1:19-21; 3:16), and the doctrine of the certain return of Christ and the earth’s destruction (chap. 3). THEME: “PETER ENCOURAGES GROWTH IN CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE TO ESCAPE THE LIES OF FALSE PROPHETS”

SOME KEY PASSAGES FROM 2 PETER

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (1:3) “For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (1:21) “The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment.” (2:9) “They (false teachers) promise them freedom while they themselves are slaves of depravity – for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.” (2:19) “First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.” (3:3) “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (3:9) “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” (3:10) “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.” (3:11-12) “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (3:18)

PETER’S EPISTLES FULFILL JESUS’ COMMAND

Jesus knew that Peter would deny him at the time of Jesus’ passion. He also knew that Peter would repent and return to him. Therefore Jesus commanded Peter: “When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32). Peter certainly carried out Jesus’ command by writing his two epistles. Through his messages, suffering Christians and Christians plagued by false teachers have been strengthened in their Christian hope.

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