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Service Archives > 60 1 & 2 Peter - Rock Solid - 2013 > Look, Jesus Is Coming!

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Look, Jesus Is Coming!
2 Peter 3:1-10
Skip Heitzig

2 Peter 3 (NKJV™)
1 Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder),
2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior,
3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts,
4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation."
5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water,
6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.
7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.

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60 1 & 2 Peter - Rock Solid - 2013

The second coming of Jesus Christ will be the greatest day in humankind’s history. The promise of His return to rule the world He created has been what believers have longed for the last 2,000 years. Jesus’ return will be the solution to every social, moral, political, and spiritual issue and problem. But what do other people (besides Christian believers) think about such a notion? And, as we wait for His return, what should we look for, and where ought we to be looking?

When Jesus asked his disciples. "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" Peter responded "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus promised Peter that upon the Rock of that confession He would build His church.

The truth of who Jesus is empowers common man to speak the message that opens the doors of heaven to sinners. Join us to learn strong principles for godly living and reach new heights in our faith as we work our way through Peter's epistles—writings which evangelize the lost and instruct the church. Pastor Skip Heitzig guides us through First and Second Peter in the series Rock Solid.

FREE - Download Entire Series (MP3) (Help) | Buy series

Outline

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  1. Look Back at the Scriptures (vv. 1-2)

    1. The Prophets’ Writings

    2. The Apostles’ Records

  2. Look Around at the Scoffers (vv. 3-7)

    1. Their Worldview

    2. Their Wrong View

  3. Look Ahead to the Savior (vv. 8-10)

    1. His Patience Is Not Shortened

    2. His Promise Is Not Slack

Study Guide

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Jesus Christ is coming back! This has been the confident expectation of Christians for the last 2,000 years. The message of Jesus’ second coming dominates the Bible; it’s mentioned 1,845 times—that’s one in every thirty verses. For every mention of His first coming, there are eight references to His second. For every mention of His atonement, His second coming is mentioned twice. Jesus personally spoke of it twenty-one times. Over fifty times we are told to be ready for it. In our passage, Peter affirmed the certainty of Jesus Christ’s return and how false prophets scoff at it. Scoffers, like most people today, mock the idea of Jesus Christ’s return. However, as Pastor Skip explained, Peter told us that we should look in three places as we wait for Jesus to return.

First, we are to look back at the Scriptures (see vv. 1-2). Peter wrote that he wanted to “stir up” (v. 1) his readers from spiritual lethargy by urging them to consider that the apostles did not invent the day of the Lord, but only affirmed what the prophets and Jesus Christ spoke of. The day of the Lord—mentioned nineteen times in the Old Testament (Isaiah 13:6, Jeremiah 46:10, Amos 5:18, Zephaniah, Daniel, Joel, and Zechariah all mention it) and four times in the New Testament—refers to a future time when God will uniquely, supernaturally, and miraculously intervene in human history through a time of unparalleled distress for the purpose of final judgment. It will culminate in Jesus’ second coming. Jesus taught about it in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21, as did Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5 and 2 Thessalonians 1 and 2. John also detailed it in Revelation 6-19. By looking back, Peter was demonstrating the unity of Scripture—that the Bible is one continuous revelation of truth from beginning to end. Pastor Skip recommended memorizing Scripture as a remedy for spiritual lethargy. As a group, come up with a list of Scriptures to commit to memory. Work on having the first memorized by your next meeting.

Next, we are to look around at the scoffers (see vv. 3-7). The same prophets who spoke of Jesus’ return wrote also of those who mocked judgment (see Isaiah 5; Jeremiah 17; Ezekiel 12; Malachi 2). A scoffer is someone who treats lightly what should be taken seriously. They ridicule the truth, often through intimidation. They scoff because they want to continue living for temporary pleasure (see v. 3). The basis for their beliefs is uniformitarianism (see v. 4), the idea that we live in a closed naturalistic system and all things simply move on steadily without any catastrophic change. However, Peter noted that God interrupted history in the creation, the flood, and in the person of Jesus Christ and that He will do it again at the second coming. The Bible teaches that there is general uniformity in the universe, evidence of God’s providential care, and the biblical view is that creation is an open system in which God regularly intervenes. Remember that Jesus said, “As the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:37). As you look around, consider that as people scoffed at Noah, they will scoff at the notion of Jesus returning. These folks willingly walk after their own lusts, willfully forget what God has done, and want no one to hold them accountable. Think of a time when you’ve done one or all of these things, and consider how God brought you—or is bringing you—out of that. If the Lord leads, share what you’ve learned.

Lastly, we are to look ahead to the Savior (see vv. 8-10). While His return has been promised for a long time, there are reasons for the delay. First, because God is merciful (see vv. 8-9). What seems like a long time to us is a very short time to God. Psalm 90:4 reads, “For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past.” God delays because He wants to see as many people as possible saved. He has enormous capacity for patience before His anger spills over into judgment. The next reason is that God is punctual (see v. 10). Scoffers may doubt, and unbelievers may ignore, but Jesus Christ is coming again—and on time, on the day of the Lord! As we look ahead, it is important that we distinguish between three different days mentioned in Scripture: The day of Christ refers to the rapture, when Jesus Christ comes for His church. The day of the Lord refers to the tribulation, when Jesus Christ comes at the end of the world. The day of God refers to the eternal state of the new heaven and the new earth. The first time Jesus came, He came to deal with sin. The second time, He will come to take over the world. What will be your fate when you die? When we believe the reality of the other side, then we will start behaving differently on this side. Maranatha means the Lord is coming soon. Are you expectant and confident of His return? Why or why not?

Adapted from Pastor Skip's teaching

The BIG Idea
Biblical prophecy is the remedy for spiritual lethargy.

Detailed Notes

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  1. Introduction
    1. Jesus Christ is coming back again
    2. That has been the hope of the church for the last 2,000 years
    3. He came once to deal with sin; He's going to come back again and fix all the injustices of this world
    4. Isaac Watts wrote "Joy to the World" about the second coming of Christ: "No more let sin and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found"
    5. The Scripture has a lot to say about the second coming
      1. Next to faith, the return of Christ is the most discussed topic in the Bible
      2. 1,845 times it is spoken about or alluded to
      3. One out of thirty verses speaks of it
      4. One-fifth of the Bible deals with the end of days and/or the second coming
      5. For every one verse about His first coming, there are eight about His second coming
      6. For every one verse about His atonement, there are two about His second coming
      7. Twenty-one times Jesus personally referred to it
      8. Fifty times we are told to be ready for it
      9. John 14:2-3
    6. "He will come again to judge the living and the dead, and of His kingdom there will be no end" —the Nicene Creed, or Apostles' Creed
    7. Peter was dealing with a group of people who were denying all of that (see 2 Peter 2)
      1. They got the past, present, and future wrong
      2. When you get Jesus wrong, you're going to get all the answers wrong
    8. There were—and are—scoffers when it comes to Jesus' second coming
    9. As we look forward to the return of Christ, we ought to look in three places
  2. Look Back at the Scriptures (vv. 1-2)
    1. The Prophets' Writings
      1. We tend to become lethargic; we start becoming drowsy in the light
        1. We need to be woken up
        2. The cure for spiritual lethargy is scriptural prophecy
      2. The day of the Lord (see v. 10)
        1. If you've read the Bible at all, you've come across this idea
        2. Nineteen times in the Old Testament: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Joel, Amos Zephaniah, Zechariah
        3. Four times in the New Testament
        4. The day of the Lord is something really bad that becomes something really good
          1. When God from heaven dramatically and miraculously intervenes in human history, bringing the greatest distress the world has ever known
          2. It will culminate in the second coming of Jesus Christ
        5. Old Testament references: Isaiah 13:6; Jeremiah 46:10; Amos 5:18
        6. New Testament references: Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; 1 Thessalonians 5; 2 Thessalonians 1-2; Revelation 6-19
    2. The Apostles' Records
      1. Peter elevated the teachings of the apostles on an equal par with the writings of the prophets
      2. There was a continuous revelation of the day of the Lord
      3. Do you stir up your mind in the mornings?
      4. "I stir up your pure minds" (v. 1); "that you may be mindful" (v. 2)
        1. Peter was trying to engage the mind
        2. Engage or stir up your mind enough to memorize Scripture
        3. Nothing will help you in your spiritual formation like memorizing verses that can be called to mind when you need them
        4. Martin Luther and Johann von Staupitz
  3. Look Around at the Scoffers (vv. 3-7)
    1. The prophets who predicted the reign of the Messiah also predicted the scoffers and recorded modern-day mockers
      1. Isaiah 5; Jeremiah 17; Ezekiel 12; Malachi 2
      2. A scoffer is someone who treats lightly what should be taken seriously
      3. Scoffers want to continue living for their temporary pleasures and want to write away anything that speaks of God's judgment or holds them accountable
    2. Their Worldview
      1. They say we live in a closed, naturalistic system, and events move along without any kind of cataclysmic event from heaven
      2. Uniformitarianism; the present philosophy in Western culture
    3. Their Wrong View
      1. This view is fallacious: a person measures all of history, which they haven't lived through, based on what they have observed
      2. Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology and Charles Darwin
      3. Wrong on two counts
        1. Creation
        2. The great flood
      4. There's a growing number of geologists who have abandoned uniformitarianism and believe in historical catastrophism: we live in a volatile universe
      5. There is general uniformity in the world, evidence of God's providential care
      6. The biblical worldview is that we live in an open system where God does what He wants when He wants to do it
      7. Verse 5: the creation account in a single verse
        1. God shaped the earth between two areas of watery mass
        2. Genesis 1:6-10
        3. Water was a huge part of the original creation and became part of the original destruction (see v. 6)
      8. Flooded (v. 6) is the Greek word katakluzó; it was a punctuated event where God interrupted the flow of history
        1. The flood helps explain otherwise inexplicable things in the natural world
        2. Inland seas, the Great Basin, coal, the fossil record
      9. "For this they willingly are ignorant of" (v. 5, KJV)
      10. "Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects" —Will Rogers
      11. Matthew 24:37
  4. Look Ahead to the Savior (vv. 8-10)
    1. What seems to us like a long time is really a short time to God
    2. Why is it taking so long? God counts things differently
    3. His Patience Is Not Shortened: He wants to see as many people saved as possible
    4. His Promise Is Not Slack: God is merciful, but He is also punctual
    5. Longsuffering is the Greek word makrothumeó
      1. Macro (big, large) + to burn, or literally, great anger
      2. It means God has an amazing capacity to store up well-deserved anger until He finally spills it out in judgment
      3. One day He will act, but until then, He's longsuffering
  5. Closing
    1. When we start believing the reality of the other side, that's when we'll start behaving differently on this side
    2. Don't look for the day of the Lord; look for the Lord of the day
    3. Maranatha
      1. A word early Christians would say to each other
      2. It means the Lord is coming soon

Figures referenced: Isaac Watts, Martin Luther, Johann von Staupitz, Charles Lyell, Charles Darwin, Will Rogers

Greek words: katakluzó, makrothumeó, maranatha

Cross references: Genesis 1:6-10; Isaiah 5; 13:6; Jeremiah 17; 46:10; Ezekiel 12; Amos 5:18; Malachi 2; Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; John 14:2-3; 1 Thessalonians 5; 2 Thessalonians 1-2; 2 Peter 2; 3:1-10; Revelation 6-19

Topic: The Second Coming

Keywords: the second coming of Jesus Christ, the day of the Lord, scoffers, doubters, Scripture, prophecy, the mind, uniformitarianism, creation, the flood, longsuffering

Transcript

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Introduction: Hello and welcome to this message from Skip Heitzig pastor of Calvary Albuquerque. As these teachings are shared worldwide, our prayer is that they lead people to know God's unending love. If this message is rejuvenating to your spiritual walk, tell us. Email us at mystory@calvaryabq.org. And if you'd like to support this ministry financially, you can give online securely at calvaryabq.org/giving. As we explore the truth of who Jesus is in this series called Rock Solid, we're empowered to live a life that brings him glory. Jesus said he would return to this world, but some are doubtful of this promise. Pastor Skip explains that we can be certain of Jesus' second coming in this message called "Look, Jesus Is Coming!" Let's turn to Second Peter, chapter 3, as he begins.

Skip Heitzig: Before we get into Second Peter, chapter 3, let's pray together. Father, I am compelled to pray for my brothers and sisters who have gathered at this service, this, our fourth weekend service. Lord, I pray for grace in hearing once again what we're about to hear. Even as the last couple of weeks have been filled with some tough material directed toward and about the false teacher, here Peter will tell us about the scoffer in the last days that would come against a very core and dear belief that we hold. I pray, Father, that we would be able to frame and understand the text we're about to read. And then, above anything else, to have it really impact the way we think, speak, and act, in Jesus' name, amen.

Jesus Christ is coming back again. That is and has been [applause] the great hope---you can go ahead and clap for that. That's worth clapping about. I don't want to hold that back. [cheers and applause] I'm looking at all the people who aren't excited about that and just wondering. [laughter] That has been a hope of the church for the last 2,000 years. We're expecting, anticipating, looking for, we can't wait for that event to happen. He came once to deal with sin. He's going to come back again and move out all the politicians out of the way, and he'll say, "Let me show you how it's really done." And he's going to fix all injustices that this world has held and committed for thousands of years. That hope has been expressed not only by applauses and amens, but it has been encapsulated in some of the great hymns of the church.

Christmastime is coming up and we always think of "Joy to the World" as being about the birth of Christ, when actually Isaac Watts wrote that about the second coming of Christ. "Joy to the world! the Lord is come; Let earth receive her King." It's his rule and his reign. And the third verse will spell it all out for us: "Let no more---let---No more let sin and sorrows grow nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make his blessings flow far as the curse is found." All of that is "second coming" stuff. So we look forward to it and the Scripture has a lot to say about it. In fact, the theme of the return of Christ dominates the Scripture. Next to faith it is the most discussed topic in the Bible. One thousand eight hundred and forty-five times it is spoken about or alluded to. One verse out of every thirty verses speaks of the second coming.

A full one-fifth of the entire Bible deals with either the end of days and/or the second coming of Christ. For every one verse that speaks about his first coming, there are eight that speak about his second. For every one verse that speaks about his atonement, there are two verses that speak about his second coming. Twenty-one times Jesus personally referred to it, and fifty times we are told to be ready for it. One of the great promises that Jesus said was in the upper room, and he said to his disciples, "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also." Some of you grew up in churches that recited the Nicene Creed or the Apostles' Creed. You're familiar with that. You used to say it a lot. I grew up with that creed.

And if you remember reciting that, you'll remember there's one place in the Nicene or the Apostles' Creed that says, "He will come again to judge the living and the dead, and of his kingdom there will be no end." Well, Peter was dealing with a group of people in his day who were denying all of that. Those were all those false prophets and teachers he writes about in chapter 2. They got it all wrong. They got the past wrong, they're getting the present wrong, they get the future wrong; and that is, because they got Jesus wrong. In chapter 2 verse 1 he says of them, "They deny Christ." When you get Jesus wrong, you're going to get all the answers wrong. You have to start with what is right; and he is the way, the truth, and the life.

So there were, and are today, scoffers when it comes to this whole idea that Jesus will come again and rule and reign and judge the earth and set up a kingdom. Somebody tried to imagine how the popular press would tell the story of the end of the world. This one source said the Wall Street Journal might have as the headlines: "Dow Jones Plummets As the World Ends." Whereas USA Today, being a little simpler in their headlines, would simply write, "WE'RE DEAD." [laughter] People magazine would have this article: "Your Favorite Movie Stars: What They Will Wear Their Last Night." [laughter] Rolling Stone magazine might have an article entitled, "Is There a Rock and Roll Heaven?" Ladies' Home Journal would include these headlines: "Lose 10 Pounds by Judgment Day with Our New 'Armageddon' Diet!" [laughter]

Golf Digest would have the article, "Make Your Last Round the Best." PC Magazine would simply state, "It's ALT+CONTROL+DELETE for Mankind." And, finally, Christian Weekly would say, "We Told You So." [laughter] As we look to the future, as we look forward to the return of Christ, what Peter will tell us in the first ten verses is we ought to look actually in three places: we ought to look back, we ought to look around, and we ought to look ahead. We ought to look back at the Scriptures, we ought to look around at the scoffers, and we ought to look ahead to the Savior. Let's read these verses together and then we'll pick them apart piece by piece. Second Peter chapter 3 verse 1---

Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle [or letter] (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by that same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; and both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

Peter begins by looking backward, back at the Scriptures written by the "holy prophets" he calls them. As opposed to the false prophets of chapter 2, the holy prophets foretold the coming rule and reign of Messiah. And you'll notice that Peter says, "I want to stir you up," "I want to stir up your mind" or "stimulate your thinking," or "wake you up," would be another term. It's interesting, I've always discovered this truth about myself, we tend to become lethargic. We hear so much truth, we have so much light in God's revelation, that we start becoming drowsy and sleeping in the light and we need to be woken up. I know nothing that will do that better than prophecy. The cure for spiritual lethargy is always Scriptural prophecy.

And Peter, in speaking about this great topic of the coming of the Lord, does it to stir them up. But he wants us to know that he and the other apostles didn't make this stuff up. They're taking their cues from what Jesus said, and before him, what the holy prophets have said. And they have predicted---and I want you to see what Peter predicts in verse 10, what he calls it: "But the day of the Lord will come"---stop there. That term or that phrase "the day of Lord" is found as a megatheme, really, in the Scriptures. If you've read the Bible at all, for any amount of time, you have at least come across the idea of "the day of the Lord." Nineteen times the Old Testament talks about it. The prophet Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Joel, Amos, Zephaniah, and Zechariah all predict "the day of the Lord."

In the New Testament it's mentioned another four times. What does it mean? What is the day of the Lord? Okay, I'm going to give you the short answer and then the more detailed answer. Here's the short answer: It's something really, really bad that becomes really, really good. It starts out really bad, but it eventuates into something very, very good. Here's a more detailed answer: The day of the Lord is when God from heaven dramatically and miraculously intervenes in human history in a future date, which will bring the greatest distress the world has ever known, the greatest tribulation the world has ever known. It will be a time when God unleashes his final judgment upon to earth, but it will culminate in the second coming of Jesus Christ to the earth. That's the day of the Lord.

The day of the Lord starts out really, really bad, at the end it's really, really good. Now, I mention that in the Old Testament there are nineteen references to it. I'll spare you them all, but do you mind if I give you three of them to just set the tone of this? Isaiah chapter 13 verse 6 declares, "Wail, for the day of the Lord is at hand! It shall come as a destruction from the Almighty." Jeremiah 46 verse 10, "For this is the day of the Lord of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge himself on his adversaries." And then there's Amos chapter 5 verse 18, "Woe unto those who desire the day of the Lord! To what end is it for you? For the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light." When you get to the New Testament, Jesus described a lot of the details of what will happen in the day of the Lord.

In Matthew, chapter 24, and Mark 13, and Luke 21, all of that discourse on the Mount of Olives to his disciples tells what's going to happen during that time. Furthermore, Paul the apostle speaks about the day of the Lord in First Thessalonians, chapter 5, and Second Thessalonians, chapters 1 and 2. And then the apostle John gives all the gory details of that horrible period in the book of Revelation, chapters 6 through 19. What I want you to see here is what Peter is doing in elevating the teachings of the apostles on an equal par with the writings of the prophets. For he says, "That you may be mindful," verse 2, "of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior."

So he's saying, "We didn't make this stuff up. We're telling you what Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior has already said, and he is simply saying what the prophets have always predicted. There's been this continuous revelation of the day of the Lord that is coming, and I want to stir up your pure minds." Do you stir your mind up in the mornings? I've made it a practice over the last many years since I've been a believer to wake up in the morning and one of the first activities, after brushing my teeth and those kind of things, just to open up the Bible and to read a section and to meditate on it and to pray about it, and work my way through the text of the whole Bible. I want to stir up my mind. Now, since the second coming is one verse in every thirty verses, make sure that you read at least thirty verses a day. How's that?

Get that thought reignited back in your brain, in your heart. So in verse 1 he says, "I want to stir up your pure minds," then notice in verse 2 he says, "Be mindful." So you get the idea that he's trying to engage our mind. Let me make a suggestion, that you engage or stir up your mind enough to actually memorize Scripture---not all of it, but some of it, key verses. Nothing will help you in your spiritual formation like memorizing verses of Scripture that can be called to mind later on when you need them. Most all of us know about Martin Luther the great Reformer and the great one who wrote about justification by faith. What most of us don't know is that he did much of his work from pure memory of the Scripture. That when he was early on in a monastery, an Augustinian monastery, he had a mentor, Johann Staupitz, who taught him to memorize whole books of the New Testament.

So that later on he could call them up from memory and write about the great doctrines of faith, justification by faith. So, look back at the Scriptures. Let your minds be stirred by what the prophets wrote and what Jesus said and what the apostles recorded. Second, look around at scoffers. Verse 3, "Knowing this first," or "preeminently," not chronologically, but as a matter of importance. "Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, 'Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.' " It's interesting that when you look at the prophets who spoke about the worldwide reign of the Messiah, they predicted it.

They also predicted the scoffers or they record the modern-day mockers in their day in responding to what they wrote or spoke. So in Isaiah, chapter 5; Jeremiah, chapter 17; Ezekiel, chapter 12; Malachi, chapter 2, it also includes the response of the unbelieving world in terms of mocking or scoffing. Now, a scoffer is someone who treats lightly what should be taken seriously. You've had it happen to you. If you've ever tried to share your faith at all, you have encountered scoffers. You tell them about the veracity of Scripture, or Jesus Christ wanting to come into your life, or "the Bible says this . . . ," and you'll get everything from [scoffs] to an intimidating line of questions like, "You're not a fundamentalist, are you? You don't believe in that book literally do you? You're not a closed-minded, nonthinking idiot, are you?"

All of that language is meant to intimidate you. That's mocking, scoffing language. That's the language of the scoffer. When I was a boy, I had a friend, and I even hesitate to use the word. But he had become a good friend, and he was the boy your mother warned you about. [laughter] My mother did, and I didn't pay any attention to her. His name was Richard Wilhite. Richard was a liar. He was a thief. He was a drug user and seller and buyer, and many, many others things. He was also the bass player in my band as a kid. And we became friends, and we did lots of bad things together, and then I became a Christian. So, one of the first things I did was try to find where he was living. And I got a hold of him, and called him on the phone, told him the gospel. And he scoffed. He mocked. He hung up the phone.

I called him back. He listened a little more carefully. I thought he was interested. He hung up the phone again. I called him back a third time. He did not even pick up the phone. Next day in the newspaper I read that he was arrested for a half a million dollars' worth of heroin, a sale that he participated in. He was in jail now. Didn't know where he was. I had just heard that he'd gotten out of jail, some years later, and as soon as he was out, was shot in the head and killed by someone from those drug deals years before. And that haunted me. That really bothered me for obvious reasons. I knew him once as a friend, and I wonder why did he and why do others scoff and mock and take lightly what should be treated seriously? And I found my answer in this verse.

Verse 3 tells you why: "Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts." In other words, they want to continue living for their temporary pleasures, and anything that would speak of the judgment of God and hold them accountable for their immoral behavior, they want to write it out of the script. That's why. That's their motive. What is the basis of these scoffers? What is the basis of their belief? Verse 4 tells us what it is. Here's their philosophy: "And saying," notice it's in quotes, " 'Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.' " What are they saying? They're saying that we live in a closed, naturalistic system, and events just move along steadily without any kind of cataclysmic event or punctuated event from heaven.

It is a belief system known as uniformitarianism. I don't care if you ever remember the word, but you ought to know what it means. It is the prevalent philosophy and has been the last hundred years in Western culture. Uniformitarianism---things are moving steadily and slowly without punctuated cataclysm; they always have been and they always will be. Now here's why this is a fallacious and wrong view of the world: because it has a person who measures all of history, which they haven't lived through. They've only lived through a tiny little slice of time. They're willing to make a judgment on all of history based on what they only have observed. "All things continue---Jesus isn't coming back, because he never really did come back." That's sort of like saying, "I'll never die, because I've never died."

Back years ago in the nineteenth century, there was a British lawyer and geologist who was very, very influential, and he was one of the first ones to articulate this uniformitarianism belief. His name was Eric Lyell. He wrote a book called The Principles of Geology. And he impacted a great number of researches---one very special one named Charles Darwin who read his book, was moved by his book, and even brought that book with him to the Galapagos Islands when he made his famous research that led to the theory of evolution. I remember my first day in integrated zoology when my professor spent an hour speaking about uniformitarianism and knocking special creation. He basically said that history maintains an uninterrupted flow of steady events over a long evolution; there are no cataclysms.

To which Peter would say, "Ennhhh! You got that wrong. You got that wrong on two counts: number one, creation; and number two, the great flood." Those are the two examples that Peter uses here: the creation of the earth, that's a pretty cataclysmic event where God interrupted the flow of things; and then the great flood in which he destroyed the world. By the way, I don't have a lot of time to get into this, but there is a growing number of geologists today who have abandoned uniformitarianism and believe now in historical catastrophism. They say the data available shows that there is great evidence of catastrophe. We live in a volatile universe. Now, I do believe that there is general uniformity in the world. There are predictable patterns that exist around us. And that's simply evidence of God's providential care.

But also the biblical worldview is that we live in an open system. And God, because he's God, can, has, and will do what he wants when he wants to do it. And just because you, in your little observable lifetime, have seen a steady flow of events, doesn't mean it's always been that way nor will it continue that way. That's his argument. And he, in verse 5, interestingly, writes about the creation account in a single verse. It's enough to look at least. "For they"---notice---"willfully forget"---remember, they want to push this stuff aside for their own immoral behavior. "For they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old." How did all this get here? God spoke it. God said it. God said, "Let there be this, and there was that."

"They willfully forget that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth"---now this is interesting---"standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water." In other words, what Peter is saying is that God shaped the earth between two areas of watery mass. It's the creation account from Genesis where on day two he separated the waters above from the waters beneath. He took the waters above and developed a water canopy, a vapor canopy around the earth. The waters below on the earth were in the seas and the rivers and underground reservoirs and lakes, etcetera. Today, post flood, the earth is still four-fifths water. And his point is that water was a huge point of the original creation.

And it became part of the original destruction in verse 6. "By which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water." By the way, the word "flooded" here, listen to what it is in Greek: katakluzó. What does that sound like? Cataclysm. That's exactly what it is. It was a punctuated event where God interrupted the flow of history with a great cataclysm, a deluge, an upheaval, a catastrophe. I've always believed that the flood helps explain a variety of things that otherwise would be inexplicable in the natural universe. For example, the presence of inland seas, the great inland seas that exist in China, in India, and in this country. We have in this country the Great Basin it's called, which encompasses almost the entire state of Nevada, part of Southern California, southern Oregon, parts of---great parts of Utah, etcetera, that Great Basin, Lake Bonneville.

Evidence says that it was once this huge, massive, inland sea and shoreline evidence is still in existence. The only thing that is left is that little thing called the Great Salt Lake. That's the remnants of it. Also, the flood explains the evidence of forests that have been compressed by water, layers of water-laid deposits that have formed coal in every place on earth, even in the North Pole and in the South Pole. Then there's the fossil record. This is important. If I were to tell you, "Hey, go throw a leaf in your backyard," and then say, "How long would it take for you to get a fossil?" You'd say, "Well, that's---are you crazy?" You don't get a fossil by throwing a leaf in your backyard. You get a fossil if the earth opened up and the leaf got sucked in and then slammed against it.

If a cataclysm happened, then over time you would have fossilization, but not just by uninterrupted nothingness. But there's the fossil record: sea life that has been found atop and between layers of coal, fossils of whales in Michigan, fossilized sharks found in Ohio, fossilized fish found in Wyoming---get this---at 7,000 feet above sea level. How'd they swim up there? [laughter] Then there are fossils that are out of order. You have trees that are found extending through several different strata layers supposedly laid down over million and millions and millions of years. So, how do you have a tree growing through all of them? Then there's the great slab of sediment near Agate Springs, Nebraska, bones of some 9,000 different animals that have been tossed and crushed violently and buried by water and dirt.

Peter said, "It happened, but there are people who are willingly"---the old King James says "ignorant"---"willingly ignorant." Will Rogers used to say, "Everyone's ignorant, just on different subjects." [laughter] It's interesting how Jesus said, "As it was in the days of Noah, so it will also be at the coming of the Son of Man." Do you think they mocked Noah building a boat? You know where he built the boat, right? In inland Iraq. So there's a guy building a big, big, big boat in Iraq and they're going, "Why?" [laughter] It would be sort of like somebody putting a yacht factory in Rio Rancho. [laughter] You'd say, "I don't get it. What are you going to do with those yachts? You're not going use them here." So we look back at the Scriptures, we look around at the scoffers, but ultimately we look ahead to the Savior.

And in verse 8 he does that. He directs our attention by saying, "But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." It's simply to say what seems to us like a long time is really a short time to God. The reason he does this is because he knows that people, like us even, would be saying, "Why is it taking so long for Jesus to return? Why the delay?" Now, they were asking that 2,000 years ago---we're asking it on steroids today. Two thousand years have passed since then and he's still not back, and we're still hoping and we're still waiting. And it almost sound like, "Yeah, maybe these uniformitarianists are right. Why is it taking so long?" First of all, God counts things differently. It seems like a long time. It's just been two days to God.

Reminds me of the story of the little boy who was praying, and he closed his eyes, he said, "Lord, somewhere in your Bible it says that a thousand years is like a day to you. And it also says in your Bible that you own is cattle on a thousand hills, which means, like, a million billion dollars is like one dollar to you." And then he prayed, "Lord, could I just have one dime?" [laughter] And the Lord spoke to him, and said, "Sure, just a minute." [laughter] Why the delay? The answer is found in verse 9. "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." That's the reason. He wants to see as many people saved as possible.

I'll just tell you, I'm glad he waited 2,000 years, because otherwise I wouldn't have been around to enjoy his salvation. So I'm glad that God is merciful. But you ought to know this---God is punctual. He hasn't come yet, but he will come. Look at verse 10. "But the day of the Lord will come." It will come. Scoffers may scoff, doubters may doubt, unbelievers will ignore, but Jesus Christ is coming again. He's coming again. I want you to just to end on one word that really has something to do with all of us here, and that's back in verse 9. That's the word "longsuffering." Look at it again: "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise"---he'll be right on time, his time---"as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us"---toward you, toward me---"not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."

I want to tell you about the word "longsuffering" as we close. It's one of the great words of the Scripture, longsuffering. Here's the word in the original language: makrothumeó. It's a compound word. It's from sticking two words together: makro, which means big, large, macro---not micro, makro; and the word thumeó, which means to burn or literally, great anger. So literally the word "longsuffering" means large, great anger. And what it means in reference to God is that God has an amazing capacity to store up well-deserved anger, and to store it up, and to store it up, and to store it up until he finally spills it out in judgment. He has an amazing capacity to wait and to wait, and to hear scoffers scoff every generation, to let bad things happen every year. One day he will act, but until then he's longsuffering.

And the fact that you and I can even have the opportunity to discuss it, shows the kind of patience God has for us. There was a young college student who had a conversation with his uncle Joe. And Uncle Joe said, "So what are you going to do when you get out of college?" He said, "Then, I'm going to get a good job." Uncle Joe says, "Good thinking. Then what?" "Well, then I'm gonna launch my career and I'm going to get married." "Ah, that's good planning," he said. "Get married, yup. Have a family; that's right. Then what?" said Uncle Joe. Then the student said, "I'm going to amass my fortune, raise my family, and eventually I'm going retire and buy a home out in the country. Live it up." "Ah, sounds very inviting," said Uncle Joe, "Then what are you going to do?"

"Huh? Well, I don't know, Uncle Joe, by that time I'm going to be pretty old and I suppose I'm gonna die." "And surely you will," said his Uncle Joe, "and then what?" You see, this young college student had only thought about the next few years. Hadn't really thought about the end of the line, and especially the end of the line, meeting the Lord himself and what he will say. And why is this important? Because until we start believing the reality of the other side, that's when we'll start behaving differently on this side. The reason we don't behave differently on this side is because we don't believe the reality of that side---when we do, then we will. "The day of the Lord will come." Now I'm not looking for the day of the Lord, I'm looking for the Lord of the day.

I, as a believer, am looking for the return of the Lord to take us away, to take us into glory by death or by rapture. It's my "blessed hope," the Bible says. And there is a word I'd like to resurrect. We used to say it in the early Jesus Movement days. It's a Bible word. It's the word maranatha. It's the word that early Christians would say to each other sort of as a code word. They would say, "Hallelujah, maranatha." "Maranatha" means the Lord is coming soon. So shall we try that to one another? Maranatha. You ought to be saying that to one another. The Lord is coming. Let's pray. Father, we thank you that you are coming for us in glory. There is a day Lord that is coming, a day of vengeance, a day of wrath, a day of judgment.

There have always been hardship and heartache and tribulation upon the earth, but nothing like what is coming down that pike. We rest in the fact that you have already spoken through holy prophets, the records of apostles, the Lord Jesus himself, repetitively and clearly announcing what that period of history is going to be like. You've told us about it. You told us to get ready for it. You told us to trust in you. And, Father, we do that. We say at the end of this message, like we depended on us to understand it at the beginning, we pray that you would help us live in dependence on you, to lean hard on the strong arms of Jesus. I pray for anyone here who hasn't made a commitment to Christ, Lord. They're treating lightly what should be taken seriously. That put them in a realm of being a scoffer.

Some others, Lord, have been trusting in their own religion or their own good personality or disposition or works or religious upbringing. Still others, Lord, remember a time when they believed all this stuff, but they've let other things get in the way and crowd their love for you and your love for them, so this isn't a daily experience. I pray, Lord, that you'd change that. I pray, Lord, just as you have invaded history in the past and will dramatically, miraculously do it in the future, that today you would invade our space by nudging different hearts and convincing them of their need to let Jesus sit on the throne of their heart. Some of you need to come to Jesus for the first time. Some of you need to come back to Jesus, because you've run away from him.

As we're closing this service, I want to give you an opportunity to change all of that. If you recognize where you're at, that you're not in a good spot spiritually, you don't know that you would go to heaven if you were to die, you're not certain that you belong to Christ, you haven't made him the Lord of your life, or you need to come back to him, I'd love to pray for you. I need to know who I'm praying for. I would like you, as our heads are bowed, to raise your hand in the air. And in raising your hand, you're saying, "Hey, Skip, pray for me today. I need to come back or give my life to Jesus." Just keep it up for a moment. God bless you and you, right up here in my front, to my left, and over here to my left, and toward the back on the side. I see you, a few of your hands. God bless you guys.

And right up here in the front, yes, ma'am. Right in the aisle, and toward the back in the middle, and a couple of you way in the back there on the floor, right up here on my right. Anyone else? Raise your hand up. Right over here to my right, on the side. Anyone else? In the back, one, two, three. Right up here in the front, I see you guys. Anyone else? Family room? Right on, God bless you. If you're in the overflow rooms, there's somebody there who will see you. Just raise your hand up, a pastor is there acknowledge your decision, your presence. Yes, sir, right here. Father, I pray for all of these men and women, all of these people that you created, that you love, that you have a plan for. I pray for every one who has that hand raised.

I pray, Lord, that as Jesus Christ comes into their lives, there would be a radical and distinct change, and that they would notice it from this day forward what the presence of God in their human life can mean. I pray, Lord, that you would unveil, reveal more truth to them as you have revealed this to them, in Jesus' name, amen. Let's stand to our feet. In a moment we are going to rejoice together as those of you who raised your hands are going to do something else besides just a raised hand. I'm going to ask you to do something that might sound scary, but it's not. It's just a family thing. Jesus called people publicly. He called them publicly, and we think it's important for people to make a public confession of their faith to Jesus Christ, especially in a crowd that will applaud that decision.

So, if you raised your hands, and I saw lots of hand go up, I'm going to ask you to get up from where you're standing, find the nearest aisle, stand right up here at the front where I'm going to lead you in a prayer. As we sing right now, you begin to come. I saw people right up here in the front, right up here on the sides, just come right up here. We'll wait for you, but please come. [worship music playing] [applause] We're going to wait just another moment and then we're going to close. We had people in the family room. We're going to give you time to walk through the doors that are in the front-right of the family room and stand up here. If you're seated way or standing way toward the back, even if you're in the middle of a row, the word "excuse me" would be all that is needed to part the Red Sea in your row and make room for you.

Maybe you didn't even raise your hand, but you're at a point in your life where you know what you have is not enough. You come. [applause] Anyone else? [applause] God bless you. Yes, so precious. [applause] I love it. Real quickly, any other takers? God says, "I'll give you life. I'll give you everlasting life. I'll forgive everything you've ever done. I'll give you a do-over from this day on." Any other takers? You come. Well, those of you who have come, and there are lots of you, congratulations for making the most important walk in your life. [cheers and applause] And this is just the beginning. This is just the beginning. I know people who are in the ministry around the world, and pastoring churches, and have done mission work, who have stood here right where you are and have made this same commitment years ago.

So, I can't wait to see what God is going to do in your lives. But allow me now to pray a prayer with you. I'm going to say that prayer out loud. I'm going to ask you to say it out loud after me, okay? Say these words out loud, say them from your heart, and say them to the Lord. Okay, let's pray. Say: Lord, I give you my life. I know that I'm a sinner. Please forgive me. I believe in Jesus Christ, that he died on a cross for me, and that he rose from the grave, and that he is alive right now, and that he is coming again. I turn from my past. I leave my sin behind me. I turn to Jesus as Savior. I want to live for him as Lord. Help me, in Jesus' name, amen. Let's rejoice together. [cheers and applause] Yeah, it's party time. This is party time right here.

Closing: How reassuring it is to know that God has extended his grace to us and he's promised that we'll be with him one day. How has this message magnified your hope and faith in the Lord? Let us know. Email mystory@calvaryabq.org. And just a reminder: you can give financially to this work at calvaryabq.org/giving. Thank you for joining us for this teaching from Skip Heitzig of Calvary Albuquerque.

Additional Messages in this Series

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9/1/2013
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A Pebble, a Boulder & a Solid Foundation
1 Peter 1:1
Skip Heitzig
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Peter is the most famous of the apostles, even though he only wrote two short epistles in the New Testament. But of all the early followers of Christ, Peter is perhaps the most relatable to us since he demonstrates all the weaknesses and failures we see in ourselves. But Peter's personal life and his writings become a composite model of "strength through trust." Any weak, wobbly, failure-ridden person can become Rock Solid through Christ.
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9/8/2013
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The Underpinnings of a Rock-Solid Life
1 Peter 1:2
Skip Heitzig
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Peter skillfully lays the foundational basis for the Christian life to his readers in a single verse. We've been picked by God, placed in His family, and promised future benefits. For anyone who has ever struggled with a weak faith, these truths can be transforming. In this introduction to Peter's letter, let's unpack the meaning of these encouraging realities.
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9/15/2013
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Stepping Stones of the New Birth
1 Peter 1:3-5
Skip Heitzig
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"Born again" wasn't a term invented by the popular press or religious fundamentalists. It was something Jesus told Nicodemus must happen for anyone to enter heaven (see John 3:3). Peter certainly heard that term from Jesus and speaks of it here (as well as in 1 Peter 1:23). It's a term synonymous with being saved and having eternal life. What does this new birth provide? In a word—solidity! Coming to Christ brings hope, inheritance, and power.
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9/22/2013
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Why We Hate Trials (And Why We Love Them)
1 Peter 1:6-7
Skip Heitzig
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If the trials of life could only exist by popular demand, we would have voted them away long ago. People, by and large, hate suffering of any kind. Here in the Western world, we have made it our aim to mitigate against any form of it by a multitude of distractions and experiences. There is even a theology that seeks to say God never wants us to suffer—ever. Let's look at five reasons why we hate (and love) trials, and consider how they can be used to make us better people.
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9/29/2013
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Rock Solid Relationship or Relationship on the Rocks?
1 Peter 1:8-9
Skip Heitzig
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Why do we insist that having a relationship with God is not the same as being a religious person? How is a relationship with Him even possible, since He is GOD and thus is unique from all other creatures? Today, the answer to that will be made simple as we consider the simplest components of any relationship, including a relationship with God.
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10/6/2013
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Our Bedrock Salvation
1 Peter 1:10-12
Skip Heitzig
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God has always planned on saving you. You were never an afterthought or a last-minute consideration. Not only have you been chosen before time began (1 Peter 1:2), but throughout the ages your salvation has been expected and planned for. The spokesmen of the Old Testament wrote about Jesus’ coming and the new covenant of grace, which you are now a part of. All this makes our salvation more secure than ever, built on the bedrock of His promises.
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10/20/2013
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How to Walk in the Dark
1 Peter 1:13-18
Skip Heitzig
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Holiness is an uncomfortable subject for most believers. We have no problem assigning holiness to God as we sing, “You Are Holy, Oh Lord!” But our minds get muddled when we think of our own holiness because we don’t want to appear holier than thou. So what does it mean to be holy? And how can we live holy lives around unholy people? In short, how can we be “children of light” (Ephesians 5:8) while walking in a dark world?
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11/3/2013
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Where You Fit in God's Plan
1 Peter 1:18-21
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God's plan always involves people, and you are one of those people. God's plan includes you. Just think of it. God had you in mind when He put His plan together for the whole world. So where do you fit in that plan? When did this plan have its beginning? How much did this plan cost, and what is your part in it? Today we make that discovery by noting five vital truths:
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11/10/2013
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Rock Solid Love
1 Peter 1:22-2:3
Skip Heitzig
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Peter's love for his Friend and Lord, Jesus Christ, was at one time on shaky ground when he denied that he even knew Jesus. His love would even get questioned by Christ later on (John 21:15-17). But now Peter knows that love for Christ and love for His people is all part of the same package. A relationship with God includes an affection for God's people. Four components of a rock-solid love are given by the very man who learned what true love is.
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11/17/2013
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Got Milk?
1 Peter 2:1-3
Skip Heitzig
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Babies need milk to survive and to thrive. And newborn babies need and crave it a lot. So too, those who have been spiritually born-again need spiritual milk so that they can grow and be mature. As believers grow, they will begin to enjoy more solid spiritual food. But here Peter is addressing our appetites?those things we desire and crave. He gives us a three-part instruction that will curb and train our appetites in such a way that maximum growth will be achieved.
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11/24/2013
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This Old House
1 Peter 2:4-10
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God has been building His "house" since He first made the world. This is not a physical home nor a temple of worship as much as an assembly of peoples whom He has gathered to Himself. The stones He chooses are human beings in relationship to Christ, the cornerstone foundation. Let's consider God's site-plan for this construction project today.
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12/8/2013
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Maximum Impact
1 Peter 2:11-12
Skip Heitzig
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How can Christ-followers make the most meaningful impact on the unbelieving world? That was in Peter's mind when he wrote this letter to scattered believers facing hostility from their neighbors. Four principles that transcend time stand out here; these will encourage us and empower us as we seek to influence our world for Christ and leave a lasting impression.
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1/12/2014
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The World's Hardest Activity
1 Peter 2:13-17
Skip Heitzig
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Some people are just gifted at music or naturally talented with their hands. Others find that sports come easy, while others can perform math functions with total ease. But there is something that practically everyone finds difficult and that is submission. To abdicate our will to that of another, even for the sake of order and peace, is extremely tough. But there are higher goals and loftier purposes for believers to live submissive lives.
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1/19/2014
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Take This Job and Love It
1 Peter 2:18-21
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I want to make you a promise today: If you can learn and master the four principles in our text, your job will never be the same. The tedium, tension, and labor will give way to a higher motive that will bring authentic joy and deep satisfaction. As Peter addresses slaves in the ancient Roman world, let?s apply it to a much more modern and humane situation?your place of employment.
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1/26/2014
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You Remind Me of Someone!
1 Peter 2:21-25
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Whom do you remind people of? At work or in society at large, is it evident that you are a Christ-follower? Jesus is always our supreme example for how to live a godly life in an ungodly world. Peter told us that we should submit to government as well as to management, and now he tells us why we should—because Jesus did and He's the one we follow.
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2/2/2014
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The Irresistible Beauty of a Tender Heart
1 Peter 3:1-6
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The most attractive people in the world are those who display depth of character and pleasant personalities. Solomon insisted that “[outward] beauty is passing” (Proverbs 31:30). As Peter speaks to a common issue in the early church (Christian wives married to unbelieving husbands), he also gives us three marks of a tenderhearted woman: in her actions, attitudes, and admiration.
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2/9/2014
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The Four-Sided Fortress of a Husband's Love
1 Peter 3:7
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If life is to be rock solid, then family relationships—especially marriage—must be rock solid. No wonder Peter speaks to husbands after addressing wives. In his directive toward submission, he addresses citizens (and not government officials); he addresses servants (and not their masters). But when it comes to the home, he addresses both wives and husbands. Let's consider how a husband's love can make a woman feel firmly secure.
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2/16/2014
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How to Attract Flies
1 Peter 3:8-12
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The old saying "You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar" fits perfectly with Peter's letter. He's been telling Christians how to live in plain view of the unbelieving world. Now he goes into the church and tells us how to treat each other. It's his hope that an exhibition of real, Christian love will provide a base of satisfying fellowship for us and attract unbelievers. But how?
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2/23/2014
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When Holiness Meets Hostility
1 Peter 3:13-17
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Faith is not neutral. It’s a powerful and dynamic force that changes behavior (if it is genuine faith). Unbelief is also a powerful force, and when believers try to live out their faith in an unbelieving environment, there are some predictable and unavoidable results. Let’s consider four truths from Peter’s pen that will be helpful when God’s holy people meet up with a hostile world.
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3/2/2014
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A Reason for Every "Ouch!"
1 Peter 3:18-22
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Perhaps the most common word in our language is the tiny word, "Ouch!" Every day, it's repeatedly expressed in variant forms around the world. It's a word that conveys pain and suffering. Peter’s audience knew all about suffering, but they didn't always know how it could actually be used for anything good. Christ's own sufferings provide the best example of both the power and usefulness of suffering.
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3/9/2014
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The Invisible War
1 Peter 3:18-22
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In every war, strategy plays a role. Each side plans and makes movements in accordance to what it learns about the other side’s tactics. If information is leaked, a counteroffensive can be launched. This can be seen in the grand and most profound war of the universe: The Invisible War. In this battle, Satan and his minions wage war against God, His angels, and His people. We’ll consider it by looking again at one of the most enigmatic texts in the New Testament. Let’s unravel it.
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3/16/2014
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Should I Get Soaking Wet?
1 Peter 3:20-21
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So what's the deal with baptism? Why do Christians practice it? What does it have to do with my relationship to God? Peter raised the issue of baptism in this letter, but he tied it into what happened during the time of Noah and the great flood. What on earth could one have to do with the other? Let's unravel these verses and then relate them to our current understanding of Christian baptism. Does this really save a person?
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3/23/2014
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Just Counting Time or Making Time Count?
1 Peter 4:1-6
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There is a certain amount of time allotted to us all, and we all decide how we are going to spend it. But none of us knows exactly how much of it we have left. So a huge question for all of us is: What will you do with the time you have left? Some never face that issue honestly, thinking that they'll always have plenty of time. Today, let's consider four solid principles that will make the time you have left really count.
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5/4/2014
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Living Like There's No Tomorrow
1 Peter 4:7-11
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People have been predicting the end of the world since the beginning of the world. But Scripture declares there will be an end. For some, their world could end this week or this year when death pays them a visit. But with whatever time we have left, we should live with a sense of imminence and anticipation that God's kingdom is around the corner. What elements can make our lives stronger as we await the end of the age?
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5/11/2014
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The Dos and Don'ts of Suffering
1 Peter 4:12-19
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Pain and suffering dominate our world. To some, that poses an insurmountable roadblock to faith in a good and loving God. How can a loving God let such unlovely things happen all around the globe every day for millennia? Not only is this a deal breaker for unbelievers, but it presents a quandary for believers who want to make sense out of everything in life. The apostle Peter weighed in on these issues in a very personal way to his fellow Christians.
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5/18/2014
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Profile of a Good Shepherd
1 Peter 5:1-4
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"The church needs leaders who serve and servants who lead." So said one notable pastor. Peter doesn't address just the suffering flock of believers in this letter; he also has encouragement for the leaders of the flock—the pastors. What are the characteristics of a shepherd who serves among God's flock? What are his responsibilities, and how can a church flourish under such leadership? Here, Peter places himself and fellow shepherds under the microscope.
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5/25/2014
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The Upright Walk of a Bowed-Down Man
1 Peter 5:5-7
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One website I came across recently stated that "the more in control you are of your life, the more assured and confident you'll become." The same website warned readers to not trust others. That is, unfortunately, the by-product of our proud world. But walking among others means we sometimes need to bend low in humility for the sake of solidarity and unity. Peter's words on this are timeless.
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6/1/2014
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Lion Alert!
1 Peter 5:8-9
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Just think what would happen if a lion from our local zoo escaped and was wandering around the park, looking for a fresh kill. Can you imagine the pandemonium that would erupt if such a misfortune occurred? Imagine no more! Our Enemy is far more dangerous and formidable and is on the prowl to destroy the spiritual lives of the residents of planet Earth, especially those who belong to Christ. Let's consider the battle and the potential outcome.
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6/29/2014
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A Rock-Solid Finish
1 Peter 5:10-14
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Peter ended his letter with a few nuggets of distilled truth. In just a couple of verses, he concentrated everything he had already said. To his suffering audience, Peter offered assurance of God’s perfect plan that began when they trusted in Christ and wouldn’t end until they were firmly secure in the glories of heaven. Though pain is part of the process of perfection, the finish line is worth it!
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10/12/2014
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Building a Forever Faith
2 Peter 1:1-11
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To build a home or a commercial building requires having the right people and the right materials in place. There is a critical path for the work to follow. And there are blueprints and building codes for the builders to follow. It's the same when it comes to building a spiritual life. As Peter began his second letter, he spoke to the need of spiritual growth. To build a "forever faith," Peter shared four important principles to build successfully.
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10/19/2014
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How to Live and Die Well
2 Peter 1:12-15
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Peter lived his life knowing the brevity of it. Here, he wrote as an older man in his seventies. Realizing there was more road behind him than ahead of him, he gave a model for us. Essentially we have here an excellent example of how to live well and how to die well. Let's answer the question How can I live and die well? by considering four keys passed along by Peter himself.
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10/26/2014
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Is It True? How Can I Know?
2 Peter 1:16-21
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Truth is a slippery word. Definitions get assigned to it that are contradictory, purely individual, and without any validation. Peter wanted his readers to know things. He was giving them truth that was both personally familiar and prophetically verifiable. How can we today know that what we believe in and hope for is actually true?
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11/2/2014
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Watch Out for Fakes!
2 Peter 2:1-14
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Counterfeiting has become a multibillion-dollar industry that extends all around the world. Fake jewelry, fake purses, fake paintings, and, yes, even fake medicines are sold as if they’re the genuine articles, when they are cheap (though amazingly real-looking) imitations. It’s the same when it comes to truth. What makes a false teacher of false teaching? Peter gave three recommendations in dealing with such counterfeits.
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11/9/2014
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Caution: Ruts Ahead!
2 Peter 2:15-22
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The quality, comfort, and success of a journey depend largely on the conditions of the road, the company you keep, and the destination you’re heading for. False teachers and their devotees guarantee a perilous voyage and a bad finish! Today we are challenged to live cautiously as we make progress in our journey of faith and to watch out for ruts.
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11/23/2014
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Breaking Up Camp and Moving On
2 Peter 3:10-18
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We have studied both letters of Peter and have seen how anyone whose life would otherwise be weak, wobbly, and failure ridden can become Rock Solid through Christ. This is vital since life in this world is dynamic, shifting, and transitory. This world is passing; its glory is fading. Thus, anyone who places all their energy and hope in this life alone will be disappointed. Today, as we end our series, we consider where we are eventually headed and how to arrive safely.
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There are 35 additional messages in this series.