2 Peter - Grace and Apostasy

2 Peter 1:1-14 tell us that the addition of Christian graces gives assurance. Christian character is built upon the full knowledge of God, and of Jesus Christ. It is through this knowledge that God conveys blessings and precious promises to us. We are to make our calling and election more sure. It's possible to believe in the objective security of the believer, but lack the subjective assurance of salvation. We must grow in grace. Otherwise, if sterility and lack of enthusiasm take over, we may even return to a place where we have forgotten that we have been saved.

In 2 Peter 1:15-21, we see that the authority of the Scriptures is attested by fulfilled prophecy. A sure word of prophecy is even more reliable that and eyewitness. However, we must always interpret prophecy in light of other similar prophecies. The prophets who authored the Bible were carried along by the Holy Spirit like a sailboat carried by the wind.

2 Peter 2 proclaims that apostasy and heresy are brought into the church by false teachers. These false teachers are knowledgeable, but they have no love of the truth. False followers will follow those false teachers, but believers cannot be permanently deceived. False teachers can be identified by their covetousness, and three types of past apostates will also appear in the future: 1) Rebellion against God (even among fallen angels); 2) Ungodly living (as in the days of Noah); and, 3) Gross immorality (as in Sodom and Gomorrah).

2 Peter 3:1-4 declares that a test for apostates is to determine their attitude toward Christ's return. Apostates will scoff at this even being a possibility, but they would even deny God's own creation. The truth is that the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, for the day of judgment of ungodly men.

Be assured that the day of the Lord is indeed coming. To the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. God is not slow in keeping his promise. He is patient, not wanting anyone to perish, and wanting everyone to come to repentance. However, the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. The heavens will disappear, and the earth will be laid bare; to be replaced by a new heaven and a new earth, as God's home of righteousness.

Since this is the case, we should live holy and godly lives today. We should make every effort to be found spotless and blameless, at peace with Christ. Christ's patience means salvation. We are to be on our guard so that we are not carried away by the error of lawless men. Again, we must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and give Him the glory.