Saturday, January 30, 2010

#Christ Returning As #Judge: How To Prepare (2 Peter 3)

Theme: Grow in knowledge of Christ

3) By looking for Christ's appearing

For the lost, Christ's appearing means judgment. For you, the righteous, it means salvation. This passage shows you several reasons and ways you should look for Christ's appearing. 

Reasons:

Because God keeps His word (3-7)

God both created and judged the present heavens and earth according to His word. He will therefore, also, return as Judge and Savior as He promised. You should look for Christ's appearing because God keeps His word.

Because patience means salvation (8-9; 15)

As God gave the inhabitants of the world 120 years to repent before the flood (Gen. 6:1ff.), so today, his delay in coming gives the lost time to repent (cf. Rom. 9-11). You should look for Christ's appearing because patience means salvation.

Because creation will be destroyed (10-13)

Don't set your hope on material things, they will be destroyed. Fix your hope on the salvation and eternal blessings Christ will bring you at His appearing. You should look for Christ's appearing because creation will be destroyed.

Ways:

By expecting mockery (3-4)

In the days of Noah, people mocked at the idea that God would send a judgment which would destroy the world. So in this age, there will arise false teachers who mock Christ's promise to return to judge the earth. You should look for Christ's appearing by expecting mockery.

By regarding patience as salvation (5-9)

Romans 9 - 11 say the present age of grace will last until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. Only when the last person enters the ark of Christ for salvation, will God judge the earth. You should look for Christ's appearing by regarding any apparent delay as a chance for the lost to become saved.

By leading a holy life (10-18)

Since God will return to destroy the present heavens and earth, and rescue the righteous, "what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?..." (11 NAS). "Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless..." (14 NAS). You should look for Christ's appearing by leading a holy life.

By understanding your Bible (15-16)

Some parts of Scripture are "hard to understand". False teachers distort these kinds of passages to their own destruction (cf. 2:1 - 3:4). To guard against false teachers (17), you need to understand difficult Bible teaching. You should look for Christ's appearing by understanding your Bible.

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The Gospel


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