In an age of uncertainty, hope is the most desirable destination. We need to know that someone is in charge and has answers.
As the government and experts flail away, hopeless as to what to do, God stands quietly competent. Man’s failures are as stark a contrast against God’s backdrop of perfection, as can be imagined.
God is the answer, the peace, the prosperity and the promise. However, it cannot be purchased. Man is helpless to obtain it by legal or clandestine means. It lies only in Christ and is found within the pages of Scripture (Romans 10:17).
Moreover, the answers we crave come to fruition in the afterlife, where negotiations, schemes, bribery, class order and position cease to exist.
The Lord will be on his throne and we will stand before him, craving his mercy (Ephesians 2:8-9). Yet, the decision will have been made in the quiet moments in our daily lives.
In 2 Peter 3, we can find an urgent plea to take the second coming seriously. Peter points the way, if we will listen.
Simon Peter is a complex man who comes to 2 Peter with the wisdom of time and experience. His epistles are reminiscent of Ecclesiastes as the aged man shares his scars and the lessons he gained from the battles in his life. Accordingly, readers, who study his life, are able to find a cornucopia of lessons.
A study of Peter’s journey allows us to see behind the Scriptures and gain insight into his words. Peter’s failings are legendary in Scripture. His impetuousness led him to a host of reprimands from the Lord.
His love for Jesus exceeded his wisdom and understanding and he unwittingly stood in the way of the Savior he passionately loved.
First, Jesus taught his disciples about the reality of his death and Peter scolded the Christ (Matthew 16:22). Jesus chastised him for doing the work of Satan by trying to intervene in his heavenly mission.
Second, Peter swore that he would die with the Lord (John 13:37). Nevertheless, Jesus prophesied that Peter would deny Him three times (John 13:38).
When the Roman soldiers came to arrest Jesus, Peter once again stood in the way (John 18:10). Jesus told Peter that his mission was to do the will of the Father (John 18:11).
After Jesus was arrested, Peter denied that he knew Jesus, just as prophesied (Luke 22:54-62). Peter undoubtedly wondered if it was all over for him. If Jesus was dead, then he might never be forgiven. Apparently he feared the death of Jesus because he might never get Jesus back again. He would be lost forever without his Savior.
Later, Jesus visited with Peter and let him know that he would still do great things in the kingdom (John 21).
The failures of Peter’s life are still on his mind as he writes his epistles. After the greeting in 1 Peter, he immediately turns to something dear to his heart.
Peter understood all too well the necessity of mercy and the resurrection of Jesus. He desperately needed the mercy and grace of Jesus after his sins. Moreover, he was one of the first ones to the empty tomb of Jesus (John 20:1-10).
Not surprisingly, Peter is keenly interested in the promise of heaven. When he writes to the persecuted saints in his epistles, he speaks with authority and experience, having spent a good bit of time incarcerated for his faith (Acts 4:3; 5:17-18; 12:3-19).
Advanced in age, he longed to find the rest of heaven (Matthew 11:28-29).