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WHEN THE ELEMENTS MELT!

2nd Peter 3:9-14

 

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

 

"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, 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 the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless."   2nd Peter 3:9-14

 

LESSON 1, INTRODUCTION:

This Text is astounding!

It's so "different!"

This is not Paul, but Peter.

And their individuality is striking!

Paul would have had trumpets blowing and voices ringing out across the universe!

Peter just sees everything on fire!

And, beauty of beauties, both are inspired of the Holy Spirit, just giving different perspectives of identical events!

Basically, I think, Peter is contrasting the horror of coming judgment with the holiness of Christian living!

These things are going to happen!

So, live right!

As up to date as any nuclear scientist could imagine, yet as ancient as the New Testament documents themselves, out Text should be quite captivating!

Let's get started.

 

 

LESSON 2, VERSE 9:

Now we just might not get all of our first verse studied, not today. It's easy to see why. Both its length and its importance demand care and precision.

"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 2nd Peter 3:9

Some enemies of our Lord had just asked a question, back in the early part of 2nd Peter chapter three. The Scripture tells us: "There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming?" 2nd Peter 3:3-4

Their question: "Where is the promise of His Coming?" By that they mean "His Second Coming."

In other words, "Is He really coming again?"

"Where is He?"

"No sign yet of His Arrival!"

They continue: "All things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."

"There's been no change since Adam!"

"And you Christians think something dramatic is about to happen? Something even catastrophic?"

So, in the face of this criticism, Peter writes our Text, under the "touch" of the Holy Spirit of course.

Here's what he says, partly: "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward ...."

Now we know that their devious question was really a slur on the Lord Jesus, "Where is the promise of His coming?"

They were accusing Christ of being "slack" in returning to earth!

That word, "slack," just means "delayed, very slow," or even "tardy." It's spelled "braduno." In fact "bradus" in Greek, the foundation of "braduno," means "dull, inactive" and occasionally even "stupid."

The noun promise is "epaggelia." Look carefully and see the word "angel" in it. And, by Greek definition, an "angel" is a "messenger" of the Lord. The prefix "epi" means "upon," making the word more personal. It's "a message given to me!" God's promises are His divine "announcements!"

"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward ...."

"Some men," expressed by a pronoun here, "tis," refers to the "scoffers" mentioned earlier. These skeptics "count" God's so-called slackness, but what does that verb mean? "Count" is spelled "hegoamai" in Greek, built on the "ago" stem. And "ago" means "to lead, to rule, to go before." But "ago" also often means "to think, to esteem, to deem," probably in the sense of "one of the leading thinkers" scenario.

These doubters are the the "wise" of this world, the eminent educators and philosophers and politicians and media types, no doubt.

This crowd, way too often, breeds hatred toward God.

But Peter defends our Lord.

How about that, he has gone from being a "denier" to being a "defender!"

God is not being slow, Peter asserts, but is very "longsuffering!"

The more time He allows before "judgment" falls, the more time folks have to get saved! To get right with God! To be busy serving Jesus!

And God's seemingly infinite "patience" through all these years, centuries now, Peter calls His "longsuffering."

This is "makrothumeo." And "makros" means something that is "lengthy, far away or a long time," plus "remote or distant" too. "Thumos" clearly is anything filled with "anger, passion, fierceness, indignation, wrath!"

So, "longsuffering" is "putting up with a bunch of spiritual junk!" Tolerating anger and passion and dozens of other like-minded sins, at least for a while! Now a two-thousand year "while!"

Do not misunderstand. God has not missed seeing these sins. It's like they are just "building up" piles of sin in the lives of humanity, their nations particularly, waiting for God's Hand to fall!

But, for the time being, God has been "putting up with a lot of sinfulness," maybe "counting the days" until that final reckoning comes!

God has been "tolerant" of us all!

"To us-ward" translates "eis hemas," or "toward us all," Peter including himself in the mix.

We had better thank God for the fact that He is so "longsuffering!"

Otherwise, ultimate Judgment from Him would have "hit" a long time ago.

And the earth would no longer be "standing!"

Thank you Lord, for your Patience.

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, STILL VERSE 9:

We are about to study one of the most powerful statements Peter ever made! It is thrilling in its implications!

"The Lord is ... not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 2nd Peter 3:9

Well, really this is the last half of 2nd Peter 3:9. We studied the beginning of the verse yesterday.

We've all heard about God's Will, nearly all our lives probably.

Peter is about to declare one of the most vital aspects of that Will. He starts by telling us something that God is "not willing" to allow!

The participle "willing," which is simply a verbal adjective, is spelled "boulomai." It means "to intend, to purpose, to desire, to have an affection for" something.

God does not want souls to die and go to Hell!

Of course, many already have.

And others will, no doubt.

But that is not God's desire, not His Plan!

The verb "should perish" is "apollumi," meaning "to be destroyed!" It blends "apo" and "olethros," that is, "ruin, death, uselessness," speaking of eternal misery and pain in Hell forever! The "apo" prefix, most often meaning "from or away from," might be a "hint" that in Hell a person is eternally separated "from" Almighty God, His Love and His Grace!

This verb does not mean that a person, once cast into Hell, will disintegrate or be abolished after a short time! Jesus said otherwise! In Matthew 25:46 our Lord clearly spoke of "everlasting punishment."

"The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 2nd Peter 3:9

The little pronoun "any" is represented by "tis," not "one" single soul! I personally believe Jesus died for everybody! "He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." 1st John 2:2, quite plain isn't it?

The Lord just does not delight in people going to Hell!

Instead, He longs for them to be saved!

"To repent!"

To "come to repentance" is an interesting clause. The verb "come" really means "to make room" for something. "To have a place" for it!

To "receive" repentance!

"Come," in Greek, this particular verb, is spelled "choreo." It's from "chora," a "space of land between two markers!" That's where the "making room" idea originates. The "space" between those two limits.

Then the actual noun "repentance" involves "metanoia." It means "to change one's mind." To set one's "mind" exactly "against" what one formerly believed!

To make a u-turn mentally and spiritually!

"Nous" means "mind." And "meta" means "against." An exact reversal of one's thoughts! 

I once ignored Jesus! Now I love Him!

I once discounted the Bible! I now study it!

I once loved self! I now question him a good bit!

And in dozens of others ways too, change has come!

Repentance!

That's what God wants for people!

"The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 2nd Peter 3:9 

How many to repent?

"All!"

Spelled "pas," it means "each" person!

"Every" single one!

No exceptions!

What a loving God we serve!

There's just one problem.

Many today will not come to Jesus to be saved!

And if a person rejects God's Son, salvation is just not possible!

Peter said this about Jesus. "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12

And our Lord Himself agreed. "Jesus saith, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6

God's Will!

Man's stubbornness!

Eternal destinies!

For me, I will not question today's Verse! I will accept and believe it! It reveals the heart of God in a mighty powerful way!

One more time I share it. As I do so, thank God for His kindness and love and mercy!

"The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 2nd Peter 3:9 

Wow!

Let's all, this very moment, thank God for saving our lost souls!

Amen!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, VERSE 10:

The verse is "loaded" with astounding truth!

One dramatic fact after another!

"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." 2nd Peter 3:10

The term "day of the Lord" is almost always associated with the coming Tribulation period, the most terrible time the world has ever known. I found this expression 25 different times in the Bible, Old Testament and New. The "day of the Lord" is a particularly popular saying among the Prophets. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Zephaniah, Zechariah and Malachi being among them. To that list add Peter and Paul, the evangelists.

The metaphor or word-picture "a thief in the night" is repetitive too. Paul, Peter and John all use it. It speaks of the "unexpectedness" of Jesus' Second Coming. How very unprepared the world will be!

Here's the Christian's proper perspective concerning this "thief in the night" scenario. "But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober." 1st Thessalonians 5:1-6

We Christians are to be expecting Jesus' Return!

Not caught off guard!

Now, look at what Peter says will happen when Jesus comes again!

Part of God's judgment on this old sin-cursed earth.

"In the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." 2nd Peter 3:10

The noun for "heavens" is "ouranos," derived from "oros," the mountains. And that's from "oro" which means "to rise up." We think they are saying that Heaven us "way up yonder," higher than the mountains, out of sight, and is the very Home of God Himself!

"Pass away," that verb is picturesque too. "Parerchomai," meaning "to go" right "beside" you, retreating into the background! "There it goes," so to speak!

A "great noise" translates "roizedon," related to "roizos," defined as a "whir!" So, a whirring sound, but very very loud! An explosion!

Now here's a word that is interesting. "Elements" is spelled "stoicheion." It means "the first thing in a series of other things much like it." For example, the "A" in the "ABCDE" and so forth, all the letters of the alphabet.

The implication is that when the Lord sets one "element" on fire, "hydrogen" for example, they all will follow! All 118 of them! If that happens, "matter" as we know it will no longer exist! 

This is a nuclear event, like none other imaginable! "The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat." And this "fervent heat," spelled "kausoo," is because of a raging fire. In fact, in Greek "kaio" means "to burn, to be consumed with fire."

The verb "shall melt" is "luo," just "to come apart, to be loosed!" As if Peter knew that all the atomic elements are really "bound" together by the positive and negative qualities of their protons and electrons, all circling around their neutrons! Be sure of this, God knew! He is the Creator!

A short science lesson, right in the middle of 2nd Peter 3:10.

And the result of such an inferno? "The earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."

"Earth" is "ge," usually represented as the "geo" in words like geography, the study of the earth's contours.

"Works" implies the business enterprises of this planet. "Ergon" gives us the word "energy." Just think about it. All human endeavors, gone!

"Burned up," spelled "katakaio," is the word for raging fire again. Intense fire! Literally burning "down," that's the "kata," everything!

Now Peter does not take the time to tell us exactly when this catastrophic even will occur. Just during the Day of the Lord. As part of His awesome judgment on earth, the result of its many years of rebellion and sin.

There was a day, before nuclear energy was discovered, that such predictions would have been mocked and belittled!

But, no more!

Think of the devastation that's just been described!

Boom!

Everything is gone!

"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." 2nd Peter 3:10

The point of today's Verse?

These things being true, God being on the Throne, how then should we live? Carelessly? Wickedly?

Or reverently?

With God thrown into the background?

Or with Him as the Center of our attention day and night?

Well, Peter answers that question tomorrow.

But I can't wait to at least show you his words.

"Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God?"

Or, like Paul said: "Denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." Titus 2:12-13

In awareness of impending judgment, world-wide ... live right in the sight of God!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Of course ...

We Believers in Jesus have an even higher motive to live for our Lord! Just because we love Him and do not want to disappoint Him! He has done so very much for each of us!

 

 

LESSON 5, VERSE 11:

Today's Scripture Verse is so very "logical."

One dictionary defines that word as "the art of reasoning."

God Himself once says: "Come now, and let us reason together." See Isaiah 1:18.

See if you don't agree.

Peter has just told us that the whole creation is some day going to "melt!" A giant explosion, "a great noise" to be specific, will be followed by a world-wide fire of awesome proportions! "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." Yesterday's Verse, 2nd Peter 3:10

These things being so ... "what manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness?"

That's clear thinking!

The whole verse: "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness." 2nd Peter 3:11

Let's examine it carefully.

"All these things," that entire phrase, is written "pas touton" in Greek. "Pas" is an adjective meaning "the whole group, collectively." And "touton" is a pronoun, a "demonstrative" pronoun, meaning that it "points" to a specific group of things!

All what "things" will be dissolved?

The "heavens," the "earth," and the very "elements" out of which all matter is created!

These things!

The verb "shall be destroyed" translates "luo," if you remember. And "luo" means "to be loosed!" In other words, all nature is going "to come apart!" That's a very precise description of what happens when an atom is "split!" Things start disintegrating! "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved."

What awesome power it will take to accomplish the results these nine words convey.

God is "house-cleaning!"

Renovating!

Preparing for the New Heavens and New Earth!

Our verse continues, logically. "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness."

The noun "manner" is interesting. "Potapos" is a strange combination of "pote" meaning "when" and "pou" meaning "somewhere." This is sort of a "where" and when" kind of word, suggesting to many Greek experts, and I quote, "from what country?" Or, "what sort of quality?" Then, as we have it here, "what manner?"

We ought to live in a manner that is, literally, "out of this world!" That's in view of the impending judgment that hangs like a sword over planet earth! Yes, some define "potapos" that way, "from another place!"

Living like Heaven, already!

The verb "ought to be" is "dei" in Greek. It means "is necessary!" Little choice is given! We "must" live godly lives, in view of the coming conflagration!

God promised that the world would never again be destroyed by water, by a flood! Remember the rainbow and Noah and God's Grace.

But He never said it would not be destroyed by fire!

And that possible fact, now a promised fact, should absolutely "force" us to live right!

To make holy living a "necessity!"

Then Peter, following the Holy Spirit, employs two words to describe the lifestyle we are to pursue.

"Conversation" is first. "What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness."

Spelled "anastrophe," it means "conduct, deportment, or way of life." Grammatically, literally, it blends "ana" meaning "among or between" and "strepho," a verb meaning "to turn" back and forth.

So, "behavior" here is "how we turn and direct our lives day by day," how we act, how we do everything, really!

Our "ins" and "outs!"

Our "comings" and "goings!"

See it?

The way we live.

And notice, Peter adds an adjective to "conversation," behavior. He calls it "holy" conversation. This is "hagios," meaning "set apart, different, sanctified" really! Living lives "touched" by the Holy Spirit of God! And "Holy" in "Holy Spirit" just happens to be spelled "hagios" also! The same word!

"In all holy conversation and godliness," don't forget "godliness." It is "eusebeia," meaning "reverence, deep respect, piety." It's built from the prefix "eu" which means "well off, good, faring well," and "sebomai," meaning "to worship." To adore! To be religious, in a good sense.

Living constantly in an attitude of adoring God, magnifying Him and uplifting Him!

Always aware that He is there, watching and weighing what we do.

And such behavior, such "conversation" in the old English sense, along with such reverent living, such "godliness," is absolutely ... what shall I say?

Is absolutely "fire-proof!"

It is immune to the wrath of God!

We who are born-again, it's a promise, have already been "saved from the wrath to come!"

Here is what Paul wrote the Thessalonians, repeating their testimony really: "How ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come." 1st Thessalonians 1:9-10

That last clause, note it carefully! "Even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come."

When the world is on fire, we shall be with Jesus!

For sure!

Now today's whole verse, one more time. "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness."

Yes, that's logic!

If I ever saw it.

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6, VERSE 12:

Simon Peter has told us that the future this earth faces is grim.

His exact words: "The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." 2nd Peter 3:10

Such descriptions are catastrophic!

Were these words, one of the Bible's many prophecies, not divinely inspired, their pessimism would have long ago rendered them moot. That is, absolutely irrelevant, of no practical importance at all.

What a bleak future!

Explosions, fire and destruction!

Worldwide!

Politicians try to avoid such scenarios.

Philosophers argue against these judgments.

Social scientists want to "engineer" a better society.

Even many Preachers explain these words away, not being "literal" they say.

But Peter took them seriously.

Two verses later, in today's verse, he repeats his prediction! "The heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat." 2nd Peter 3:12

Again, that verb "shall be dissolved" is a future passive form of "luo," anything that has become "untied, loosed, broken up, set free!"

The "heavens" here could include the very atmosphere! Plus the sun, moon, and stars! And who knows what else? The noun for "heavens" is "ouranos," meaning something supremely "exalted!" The heavens are represented in Scripture as directionally being "up," in the air, the very Home of Almighty God.

We saw a couple of days ago that word "elements," anything "in a series," like the "1" in the numbers set "1, 2, 3, 4 and 5." The first in line! Or the "a" in our "abc" letters.

In other words, one exploding "element" seems to automatically lead to another element's disintegration!

A chain reaction!

A "domino" effect!

A "once-started, it can't-be-stopped" kind of thing!

And most everyone is saying, "How horrible!

This must be avoided!

Let's reverse God's prediction here.

The Bible must be wrong!

BUT, FOLKS, GOD'S WORD IS NEVER WRONG!

Anyone can understand the "shock" at such words, Peter's startling sermon of destruction, world-wide!

Better make that universe-wide!

But then, Peter, some would say in very "poor taste," suggests that there may be some folks who do not dread this coming judgment!

People who just might be prepared for such eventualities!

Expecting them in advance!

Here's how Peter describes this motley crowd. "Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God." 2nd Peter 3:12, the other half of today's verse!

Looking forward to judgment?

Eagerly anticipating such upheaval?

No.

That's not exactly what the Preacher said.

They are awaiting, eagerly, "the day of God."

Used only twice in all the Bible this expression "day of God" clearly pictures the Return of Jesus Christ!

His Second Coming!

It's not the "fire" these Christian covet, but the bodily return of their Lord!

And somehow these two events are intertwined!

Paul will teach us. "The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe in that day." 2nd Thessalonians 1:7-10, both vengeance and joy!

Judgment for a rebellious world!

But Glory for His faithful saints!

"Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God." 2nd Peter 3:12

The verb "looking for" translates "prosdakao," meaning "to watch" for something, usually with pleasure! "Dokeuo" means just that, "to watch." Expecting things in advance! Ahead of time, "pros," before they occur.

The old earth must pass away, heavens too ... before the new earth and the new heavens and the New Jerusalem can be fashioned and revealed!

"For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." God Himself, in Isaiah 65:11.

No wonder we are supposed to be "hasting unto" Jesus' Return!

"Speudo" means "to earnestly desire, to want something to happen quite speedily!" 

With "haste!"

This is a militant word, more than likely!

Being derived from "pous," meaning a "foot," specifically one placed on the neck or head of one's conquered foe! "And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them." Joshua 10:24

Even so come, Lord Jesus!

Conquer the devil, once for all!

Reconstruct all nature, heaven and earth!

Retool the laws of chemistry!

Be God, in all your awesome Glory, be Who You really are!

Make right all the wrongs of history!

Awesome!

Why, what Believer can help it?

"Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God."

I certainly can't!

Mixed feelings?

I guess.

Environmental disaster.

But then too, we shall see our Lord!

Put that way, the choice is easy!

John assuredly says: "When He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see him as He is." 1st John 3:2

Just like Him!

For all eternity!

John again: "Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!" Revelation 22:20

Yes, Lord please do!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, VERSE 13:

Sin, that's what caused it.

All the heartache and sorrow that this world has ever known, results of sin!

Sins brings judgment as well, the judgment of Almighty God.

This kind of judgment, ultimately: "The elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." 2nd Peter 3:10

Now when many people hear about this kind of judgment, anything this severe, they accuse God of being too "harsh."

Of not being "fair."

Of being "unrighteous."

Therefore, the Lord points out to us all, in 2nd Peter 3:13, this truth. "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."

These seekers of righteousness, whoever they might be, include Peter himself! He said "we."

And he opened his statement here, our verse for today, with a contrasting conjunction, "nevertheless."

He has been talking about turmoil and upheaval and retribution and previously unknown chaos, world-wide destruction really, then suddenly, he changes course!

This abrupt adjustment requires some "hint" of an opposing thought!

"Nevertheless," that's the hint!

So far, all we've heard is "sin and its results," massive death.

But now, for some anyway, "righteousness and its fruit," the new heavens and the new earth!

That's why we must have a "but."

Or a "nevertheless."

Or a "however."

Each of these words is a contrasting conjunction.

So, Peter today is going to introduce us to a new line of thought.

"Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."

But where did we ever get the idea of a "new earth?" Or of any such thing as a "new heaven?" Or a "New Jerusalem?"

From God!

It is given us "according to promise" Peter just said!

"Kata to epaggelma autos," that is translated word for word, "corresponding to the promise of Him!" That capital letter on "Him" says God is the Speaker!

God promised a new heaven and a new earth and a new City of Jerusalem!

Peter is going, no doubt, not to John's Book of Revelation, not yet written from the little Island of Patmos! "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea." Revelation 21:1

But he's going back in time, seven hundred years or so, to the writings of the great Prophet Isaiah! "For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." Isaiah 65:17, quoting Almighty God.

Or Isaiah 66:22. "For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain."

Yes, God promised!

Back to our verse for today, although we have never really left it yet: "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." 2nd Peter 3:13

The verb "look for" is "prosdakao," same as yesterday. "To watch" and "stay alert," especially for anything that is "soon coming." That lies just "ahead!"

We, then, "hope" for these new things!

Paul even once calls this a "blessed hope!" See Titus 2:13 for proof.

Now, the word "new," used twice here, "new" heavens and "new" earth, is spelled "kainos." It does not generally mean "new in time" as much as it means "fresh, unused, recent," or even "of a new kind!"

Clothes still "unworn" are said to be "kainos," still "unused." Although you might have owned them for some time!

These new heavens and this new earth may be constructed out of things previously used! God often does that!

But they will be "fresh" and "unused!"

That's for certain.

But, and here is the main point to today's Lesson, in the new heavens and new earth "dwelleth" righteousness!

No Satan in the new earth!

No rebellion either!

God will be Ruler!

Wrong will be a thing of the past!

"Right-ness," which is the obvious definition of "righteousness," will be the norm!

The standard for all conduct!

Right-ness in God's Eyes!

That verb "dwelleth" is "katoikeo," meaning "to be at home, to really be at home" in a place! God has "settled down" there! He "inhabits" this new environment. God and His Righteousness!

And, unlike earth and space as we know it, polluted by the devil and his countless demons, this new earth and these new heavens will not tolerate any kind of sin!

We'll see more about that tomorrow, Lord willing.

When Peter says something like this: "If you are going to a Heaven that's sinless, untainted by wickedness, governed by God and His Right-ness, you might ought to get started 'practicing' such a lifestyle now!"

Think about that!

Two different worlds!

One slated for destruction!

The other, perhaps not totally completed yet, geared for eternity!

In the first, anything goes!

The more ungodly, the better it seems!

In the second, in the "fresh and new," only purity and love and kindness and Jesus and God the Father and the Holy Spirit and all the born-again folks of all the ages!

One world ... headed for fire!

The other ... created for Glory!

And the deciding factor, "righteousness!"

The whole word "righteousness," in Greek "dikaiosune," is built upon this little root, "dike." Say it like "dee'-kay."

It means "that which is customary, usual, proper," especially in reference to a judge's sentence upon wrongdoing!

Are you living according to God's "righteousness?"

In other words, "Are you saved?"

Have you been made "righteous" by the Blood of Jesus?

If not, He is still willing and able to do these things!

Remember how this Text started. "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

Amen!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8, VERSE 14:

Bible doctrine, almost always, tends to be practical more than merely aesthetic or abstract.

God teaches us things so that we might then live accordingly!

In 2nd Peter 3:9-14, for example, we have been learning about elements melting and the heavens burning and the Lord returning, but all this has been told us for a reason!

And today we see that reason.

"Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless." 2nd Peter 3:14

The verb "be diligent" is not only a command, a requirement to Simon Peter, but employs "spoudazo," an interesting little word. This is the verb that the King James Bible translates "study" in 2nd Timothy 2:15. "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

It means "to hasten." Also "to do one's very best." To give a project "great care!" It's root verb is "speudo," likely the foundation for our word "speed!"

As we learn about the future cataclysmic events God has determined upon this sinful earth, 2nd Peter 3:9-14 style, we are to determine and resolve and commit ourselves to live right in God's Eyes!

"Spoudazo!"

Then the infinitive "to be found" uses "heurisko," meaning "to locate someone after searching for him or her." In other words, God is looking for us to do right! He is searching for Christians who love Him and want to obey Him, even in dark times like ours!

"Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless." 

Yes, when the Lord returns, He wants to find us "in peace."

Not fussing and fighting!

The noun "eirene" suggests two opposing parties, once at war, having now come together as one, laying aside all animosity!" The root verb here, "eiro," means "to join."

Prophetically, things may get "bad!" But spiritually, we Followers of Christ are to live in harmony and respect and unity, one with another! That's part of what Peter is saying.

But he is saying more, too. "Be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless."

The expression "without spot" is "aspilos," that is, "with no stains, apart from any spiritual blemishes, unsullied," just plain "clean" in God's Eyes! Thayer's Lexicon says, "irreproachable."

It's the same word James uses in this verse: "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." James 1:27, underlined.

Then Peter adds "blameless." It's "amometos," a negated form of the verb  "momaomai," meaning "to find fault with." Live so as to be "above accusation!" Where no one can "mock" you Christian life, or "belittle" your walk with the Lord.

Wow!

Three pretty lofty goals!

"In peace, without spot, and blameless."

These three levels of life can only be reached with the Help of the Holy Spirit of God!

And maybe, by realizing how abruptly and tragically the end of this age, according to 2nd Peter 3:9-14 again, is going to develop!

Jesus is coming again!

Be found of Him living in a godly manner!

That's the right way to respond to these descriptions of coming judgment on sin and rebellion and a world gone mad!

"In peace, without spot, and blameless."

Now, that is practical!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9, CONCLUSION:

In our Text this week, 2nd Peter 3:9-14, the Apostle has made some startling statements! But his words are without error, being directly inspired of the Holy Spirit.

Peter, especially early in his relationship with the Lord, occasionally said some ill-advised things. He talked too much at times.

But no more!

As he grew in the faith, obviously his tongue was increasingly under the control of Almighty God.

Finally he wrote: "For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile." 1st Peter 3:10, giving instructions about the "tongue!"

Yes, Peter, now much advanced in his walk with the Lord, is teaching us how to use our tongues!

That's grace!

Today, in our last lesson from this great paragraph of Scripture, let's notice some of Peter's more daring statements.

They are not to be questioned, mind you.

Just believed.

God is here talking, through Simon Peter.

Here's the first one. "The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 2nd Peter 3:9

And since the verb "is willing," in Greek "boulomai," means "to be disposed, to have a purpose in mind, to desire, to intend," one can only believe that God is more interested in "saving" lost souls than "damning" lost souls!

He is!

"Whosoever will may come!"

May come to Jesus as the Holy Spirit draws him or her!

Every child of God should appreciate Peter's bold pen here. Especially if you have lost loved ones! "Not willing that any should perish!"

Now Peter's second statement of note. "The elements shall melt with fervent heat." Just that, 2nd Peter 3:10

We've now been given a chemistry lesson! That verb "shall melt" is "luo" or "be loosed!" Peter has the building blocks of all matter "coming apart" here! That's the equivalent of a mighty world-wide atomic explosion of epic proportions! I know of no statement exactly like this, not in all of literature! Except maybe science fiction! And Peter's prediction here is not fiction, for sure!

Let us not doubt whether atomic energy is to be used in the future!

Mankind now has it, in ever increasing numbers, and he will use it!

Then, quickly, two things, both associated with fire. "The earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Then, "The heavens being on fire shall be dissolved." 2nd Peter 3:10 and 12

The earth and all that it contains!

The heavens, the very atmosphere and maybe well beyond!

"Burned, on fire!"

Both words, "katakaio" and "puroo," respectively meaning "to burn down" and "to blaze," depict the immeasurably hot side-effect of such atomic explosions, the fire storms!

Wow!

"Fervent heat," he calls it!

And then maybe the most optimistic statement in all the Bible! "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." 2nd Peter 3:13

In the very middle of all this coming horror, prophesied so clearly by the man of God, we who love the Lord are looking for "Heaven!"

A new Heaven!

And a new earth!

And a New Jerusalem!

And a new lifestyle, one based, world-wide, on godliness and holiness and righteousness!

Mercy!

That's good news!

Then, lastly, what Peter asks of us Believers in view of all this coming destruction, this coming holocaust! "Be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless." This, 2nd Peter 3:14, is living nigh unto perfection! And you folks know it, too.

"In peace," no animosity! No unkind words!

"Spotless," no sinful blemishes!

"Blameless," not only innocent of any wrongdoing, but no accusations of evil are there either!

All these Verses, all six of them, 2nd Peter 3:9-14, probably reveal God's hatred of sin as much as any other passage in the Bible. With the possible exception of the Crucifixion accounts.

God hates sin!

So much that this wicked world will burn!

God hates sin!

So His people are to live, as much as possible, without it!

God hates sin!

So much that He finally makes a world without any!

Just like its Saviour!

Wow!

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Peter's most amazing statements!

Awesome indeed!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

                                                           What a Text!

                                                                         

 

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