Scriptures

Discussions From 2 Peter 3

Introduction

Lesson 11: ‘Not Willing That Any Should Perish’

‘Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Saviour through your apostles. Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, ‘Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.’ But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.’ 2 Peter 3:1-9

Discussion questions

What do you think about firemen, paramedics and police men and women? Do you think it’s incredible the lengths they go to save someone’s life? If men and women can feel this way about saving someone, why is it hard to believe that God, who is superior to man, is unwilling that any person perish?

1. According to 2 Peter 3:1-4, why did Peter write this epistle?

2. Why do people need to be ‘stirred up’ and ‘reminded’? 2 Peter 3:1. Why is it important for us to remember the ‘words’ spoken by the ‘prophets’ and ‘apostles’? 2 Peter 3:2-4.

3. He seems to indicate the existence of complacency? Is this dangerous? In what way(s)?

4. Is becoming accustomed to life as it appears every day a problem? What kind of problem? What then should be our fundamental approach to life?

5. Do men have a tendency to wilfully forget crucial matters? 2 Peter 3:5.

6. According to Peter, what three crucial matters were they forgetting? 2 Peter 3:5-7.

7. What makes Peter so certain that ‘judgment’ is coming? 2 Peter 3:5+7.

8. Does God compute time as man does? 2 Peter 3:8. Is this a problem for man? Why?

9. Does 2 Peter 3:9 insist that we take God at His word?

10. What does 2 Peter 3:9 indicate about the love and patience of God, and the reality of His not having returned as of yet?

1 Timothy 2:3-4 ‘This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.’

Lesson 12: ‘Grow in the Grace and Knowledge of Jesus’

‘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 done in it will be laid bare. 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. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.’ 2 Peter 3:10-18

Discussion questions

Would it make a difference with you if you were to receive a warning about some impending danger? Tornado, Bridge Out, House on Fire, etc.

1. What is the inescapable and sobering fact highlighted in 2 Peter 3:10?

2. Is there a symbolic meaning in ‘a thief in the night’ regarding ‘The Day’? 2 Peter 3:10. What challenge is intended?

Matthew 25:13 ‘Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.’

3. Considering the reality of a sudden end, how should we approach our current way of life? 2 Peter 3:11-14.

Titus 2:11-14 ‘For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.’

4. What would characterize us ‘people’ if we actually lived according to this way of thinking?

5. Has God prepared something better than the here and now for us? 2 Peter 3:13. How can we confidently know this? Should this be a positive motivation for current living? Why?

6. Some were suggesting that since the Lord had not returned already, then everything they believed was untrue. What attitude does Peter say should be in us? 2 Peter 3:15.

7. Does Peter assign credibility to Paul and his writings? 2 Peter 3:15-16. In what way? Had Paul, through inspiration, written about these same things to people who thought the same way?

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 ‘Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord, himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so, we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.’

8. Do some people ‘twist’ the Scriptures? 2 Peter 3:16. Why? How?

Galatians 1:6-9 ‘I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!’

9. Instead of being ‘led away,’ what challenge and/or alternative does Peter put forward? 2 Peter 3:17-18.

10. As he ends, what should our actions achieve regarding Jesus? 2 Peter 3:18.

Ephesians 3:21 ‘To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.’

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DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

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