by Richard Mansel, managing editor
Peter’s urgency is obvious as he begins the final chapter of 2 Peter with an explanation of why he is writing about something familiar to his readers. They knew the importance of the second coming but Peter still wanted to warn them.
We should never have the idea that we only need to hear something once. Some complain if the preacher preaches on something they already know. However, we need to be reminded of God’s teachings and we are not the only ones in the audience.
First principles are extremely important and the matters under discussion carry even more weight. Amidst persecutions, nothing was more important than the affirmation that Christ would be faithful until the end (Revelation 2:10).
Peter’s love for his readers is clear as he calls them “beloved,” which contrasts with Peter’s attacks on the false teachers and mockers in previous verses (2 Peter 3:1,14,17).
Peter addresses the faithful Christians whom he loves. Because of his gentleness, he feels the need to return to the subject close to his heart.
His final days are undoubtedly heavy on his heart. Peter knew that the persecution against the Lord’s Church would claim his own life, so it was his passion to remain vigilant and vocal in his encouragement to the saints (John 21:18-19).
In times of respite and calm, the intricacies of a storm are passé. However, when the wind scatters our picnic, we are suddenly alert.
Facing the persecutions of the day, Peter’s audience was undoubtedly interested in Peter’s topic at hand. He was in the same place they were – under threat by Satan and his agents.
Peter had keen insight into the Man of Darkness (1 John 1:5). Peter had seen his handy work (1 Peter 5:8). As a result, Peter must warn his brethren and encourage them to cling to the Savior.
Peter wanted them to be reminded of Satan and his agents as he continues through the chapter. Scoffers served Satan well in Peter’s day as they did to Israel when they were trying to rebuild Jerusalem (Ezra 4:1-5; Nehemiah 4:1-3).
The scoffers would claim, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:4, NKJV).
Nothing has changed today. Nearly two thousand years have passed and Christ has not returned. Accordingly, people become increasingly cynical. Jesus endured mocking and persecution and so shall we (John 15:18-19).
The Christians must ignore their mocking and return to the only undeniable thing they possessed. God’s Word will never let them down (Hebrews 13:5; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). Peter directed them back to the Scriptures and the inspired Words of the Lord.
Today, we have the completed canon and can confidently proclaim the promises of God, contained in Scripture, knowing they will come to pass (Psalm 111:7-8).
God, who cannot lie (Titus 1:2), promised that the Lord would return and Peter wanted to build the confidence of the persecuted saints, so their faith would endure to the end.