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In Peter’s second letter he speaks of the marked increase in the scoffing that will arise as we draw closer to the return of Jesus. Chapter 3 of 2nd Peter is written to stir up our hearts in sincerity to remember what Jesus and the prophets and the apostles said about the return of Jesus to this earth.

billboard-webA few months ago, we started seeing billboards and bus benches with a message declaring that today, May 21, 2011 would be the day of the rapture and beginning of the end of the world.  The news this past week has been filled with stories and interviews, even comic strips that demonstrate the scoffing that has begun to arise over the return of Jesus.  Unfortunately, it is messages like these that are feeding this mocking and scoffing.

This same scoffing spirit is also having an effect on the Church in this time.  Although the Bible (ie. Jesus, the prophets and the apostles) has over 150 chapters that speak directly to the times and the season of Jesus return, many believers refuse to apply their hearts to understand what they wrote.  When foolish messengers raise their billboards and make declarations that are clearly wrong it feeds the confusion of those who do not have a right understanding of what Jesus told us.  Those who know their Bibles already understand and today will prove them wrong. For the unbelieving, it increases their mocking as they further reject Jesus.  For the ignorant believers, it often causes them to back away from any message regarding the return of Jesus believing the lie that we can’t really understand these things.  For those who have misguided, poor interpretations or deceptive teachings of the scriptures regarding Jesus’ return, it will probably reinforce their own deceptions and convince them their way is correct. Sadly many Christians are participating with the mocking, making jokes and ridiculing these false messengers. 

Peter addresses this by making 4 statements that we need to hear:  First, he reminds us that we are to remember what was said by Jesus, the prophets and apostles. This is a clear directive that we are to study this topic and seek to understand what they all said about His return.  This leads us to the second statement that we are to eagerly wait for and hasten that day. We do this through our prayerful longing for his return and our declaring the good news that He is returning, calling everyone to repentance.  The third statement is that our longing for the return of Jesus should motivate us to live in a holiness that brings Him pleasure – “what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness” and “Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. “  And the fourth statement is an encouragement to not be swayed when you hear false teaching arise.  “You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

We must ‘take care’ by growing in our relationship with Jesus.  Let us be diligent to know Him in every way He has revealed himself through the word with the help of His Spirit.  We must seek to be rooted and grounded in Him because knowing His heart concerning the time of His return is essential to guard our hearts from being ‘carried away with error’ in the increasing fog of confusion and deception that is arising today.

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