top of page

Blessed Assurance [4-28-24]




April 28, 2024

2 Peter 3:1-9

“Blessed Assurance”


Let’s start with a solid affirmation. Someday, Jesus is going to return in all his glory to establish his kingdom on earth. I’m not going to pretend to fully understand how that’s going to play out or what it’s going to look like. We could do a lengthy class or sermon series on that subject alone. All I know is, it’s going to happen. That’s the promise of Scripture. We look forward to the day of Christ’s return. That is our blessed assurance.


We look forward to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. That is our hope. It is our desire. We long to behold his glory. That promise is a wellspring of joy in our lives. It’s why we embrace love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. It’s why we love each other. It’s why we love our community. It’s why we help our neighbors. The promise of Christ’s return motivates our holiness. As chapter 1           reminded us, “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.”


Here's something you might want to write down:

WE LIVE IN ANTICIPATION OF THE RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST.


As I said, we could spends countless hours dissecting and examining what that means. For me, the most important thing to remember is that, one way or another, we are going to see Jesus. It will either happen the moment after you die…as Jesus promised one of the thieves crucified with him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” That is blessed assurance. It will either happen that way or you will still be alive when Jesus returns. You will fall down at his feet and worship him. That, too, is blessed assurance.


None of that was embraced by the false teachers. They were horrible 

people. And they were all too willing to spread their horribleness in the 

church.


Remember where we stand as devoted followers of Jesus Christ. Looking forward to the return of Jesus does what? It fills our hearts with joy. And joy-filled hearts do what? They reject the evil of this wicked world. Instead of falling for the dangers and toils and snares of this fallen world, what do we do? Exactly…all those things Galatians 5 and 2 Peter 1 talk about. We pursue joy.


Someone recently said that, “Today, it seems, the loudest voices speak the language of destruction. It’s destroy, deconstruct, dismantle, tear down, whereas previous generations spoke the language of building.” I’ve got just enough grumpy old man in me to somewhat agree. We do live in a time when the loudest voices gain the most traction. And that’s exactly what was happening in the early church. Loud and libertine voices were subverting the truth of God’s Word.


Let’s now look at today’s passage:

This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In 

both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

What’s the first thing we notice about the false teachers? What’s the first 

thing we’re told they do? They mock. They scoff. Have you ever tried to have a reasoned, rational conversation about your faith with someone and all they do is throw back scoffing denial? Sometimes it takes a passive/ aggressive guise. Other people are just plain old aggressive. Frustrating, right?


Peter says the false teachers take two approaches in attempting to undermine the One, True faith. 


The first is the mocking. This is an emotional strategy. As used here, scoffing is a way to bring shame on someone. Someone’s position or belief is made fun of. One of the ways to do this is by ad hominem attacks. Simply put, instead of addressing someone's argument or position, you irrelevantly attack the person or some aspect of the person who is making the argument. “You’re just saying that because you’re ugly…or you’re family is stupid…or you aren’t as successful as I am…or you’ve always been wrong.” However it plays out, all you want is a reasonable, rational conversation. Instead, you get dysfunction.

The second thing they do is appeal to sinful desires. Since Jesus isn’t returning, nothing should stop you from enjoying life to its fullest. These heretics give in to their lusts. That’s an appeal as old as time itself. If there is no coming judgment, then eat, drink, and make merry, because nothing bad is going to happen to you.


Cool offer, bro.


Hardly a virtuous way to talk about something. Sinful desires without consequences. False teachers say you can have it all.


I love how someone summed things up:

When worldly people say, “Jesus didn’t preach hate,” what they mean is, “Jesus would approve of my sex stuff.”

But as we know, and heretics deny, Jesus did preach against sexual perversion. As we read in Matthew 15:19, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person.”


False teachers practice the false beliefs they preach. And Peter says, just as there’s an orderliness to creation, so there will be an orderliness to judgment. It’s going to happen. In fact, judgment will come down hard on them. One way or another, the hammer will fall.


But what of us? That’s the beauty of these verses. The sureness…the glory…the absolute predictability of God’s creation tells the story of His patience and promise. In Jesus Christ, God saves us. And in our walk with Jesus Christ, God grows us into people who live joyfully for Him. Are you with me on that?


Here’s something else you might want to write down:

THE SUSTAINER OF EARTH IS ALSO JUDGE OF EARTH.

In His sovereign grace, God has saved you. Because of that, either when you die or when Jesus returns, God will not find you wanting.


So, what are we to do? Peter has shown us what not to do. Stay as far away from heretics and false teachers as we can. Some of them are what I like to call, willful idiots. They know that what they are doing is wrong, but the pleasure and power are too enticing. We know that from verse five, “For they deliberately overlook the fact…” Willful idiots. They are shameless. Money, power, and sex are their gods.


And then there are the gullible. For whatever reason, these people fall in with the wickedness. Some might be called useful idiots. They gladly fall in line with the false teachers. Sometimes it’s as simple as “if it feels good, do it.” Pagans gonna pagan. For others, it’s an expression of what has been called the hive mind. Here’s a good definition:

A hive mentality happens when a person bases their personal decisions on whatever a group generally thinks or believes. Someone with a hive mentality typically considers loyalty to the group a top priority. To them, following the group opinion is much more important than making independent choices.


Those are, I believe, the two predominant mindsets opposed to the truth of God’s word. And there is no excuse for willful disobedience to that truth. Peter says wicked unbelievers better get their acts together before it’s too late. As verse ten warns, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.”


So, what are you going to do? The song of the gospel is about beauty and elegance. It is about the pursuit of godly desires. It is letting our lives reflect God’s grace and mercy to a broken and hurting world. Without apology, we will live joyfully in this life. The promised return of Jesus Christ keeps us free from the evil of this preset age. How could we ever fall prey to false teachings? Jesus is here. He is with us now. And we will be with him forever.


Charles Spurgeon puts this promise by way of a warning:

“You have no life before the Lord, except as you are in Christ Jesus. Apart from him, you are as the branch that is severed from the vine…dead, withered, useless, obnoxious, rotten. These branches are gathered and cast into the fire, and they are burned.”

That’s the warning of 2 Peter 3.

We’ll end with a promise. There’s always a promise after a warning. And this promise comes by way of a hymn. It was a hymn playing as I was working on this message. It struck me as a quite proper summation of today’s passage:

This is my Father's world,And to my listening earsAll nature sings, and round me ringsThe music of the spheres.This is my Father's world:I rest me in the thoughtOf rocks and trees, of skies and seas;His hand the wonders wrought.This is my Father's world,The birds their carols raise,The morning light, the lily white,Declare their maker's praise.This is my Father's world,He shines in all that's fair;In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;He speaks to me everywhere.This is my Father's world.O let me ne'er forgetThat though the wrong seems oft so strong,God is the ruler yet.This is my Father's world:why should my heart be sad?The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!God reigns; let the earth be glad!


God’s judgment of the world brings great joy to our hearts. And together, the people of God said:

SOLI DEO GLORIA…

To the Glory of God Alone

 


11 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page