2 Peter 3
By Dennis Huebshman
In a previous post, I presented 2 Peter 2 with numerous other references about today’s worldly culture. It’s just about impossible for anyone who is enlightened to not see the direction that “society” is taking, and it’s definitely not toward our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ.
More and more, we see evidence of 2 Thessalonians 2:11, “Therefore, God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false.” Just watching our congress in action, gives us the Isaiah 5:20 statement of “good being called evil, and evil being called good.” Anything that has a “Christian” label attached is being challenged, and in some countries, the faithful are being martyred. (emphasis mine)
The good news of all of this, even in the persecution countries, souls are still coming to Jesus to receive His free gift, and to know they will be with Him forever when they leave this sin-filled world.
We haven’t quite gotten to the point of martyrdom in America yet, but I believe it’s not too far off. Once the rapture takes place, it will become a whole new world that will see a 7-year period of Tribulation as never seen before. Seeking Jesus will be an automatic death sentence.
Signs given by Jesus, Paul, John, James and Peter are all present today, that shows we’re rapidly approaching the end of this age. As mentioned previously, every generation from Calvary to today expected the return of Jesus during their lifetime. The only problem they faced was Israel had not come back as a sovereign nation yet. That occurred May 14, 1948.
For the Ezekiel 38 war to take place, Israel has to be reestablished. For the new temple to be built, and then desecrated at mid-tribulation, Israel has to be established. For Jesus to return at the end of the Tribulation, and rule and reign for a thousand years in the temple at Jerusalem…yes, Israel has to be reestablished as a nation.
We’ve heard about the blooming of the “fig tree”, and that’s understood to refer to Israel once again existing as a sovereign nation. There are numerous verses in the Old Testament that speak of Israel returning after being scattered among all the nations. Genesis, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Micah, Zephaniah and Zechariah all had prophecies that places Israel back on their own land.
Not only to return, but to be blessed by God with all their resources. Prior to May 14, 1948, Israel was a barren land that even Samuel Clements (Mark Twain), commented that nothing could grow there. With increased knowledge, as spoken of in Daniel 12:4, the Jewish people have found ways of irrigation that has converted the “waste land” into fertile ground. They have massive vineyards to grow grapes to make and export great wines. Their fruit and vegetable production allows them to not only feed their own people, but produce is exported to many other nations.
Recently, massive oil and natural gas deposits have been discovered, and Israel has a very powerful military presence. At the present, they are about the size of New Jersey, but when all is said and done, they will occupy every inch that was promised by the Father to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (Israel) and David. No other nation has ever returned after over 2000 years as has Israel. Think what you may, but only God could make this happen.
With all this in mind, 2 Peter 3 gives warnings and advice about the end of this age, and all the way to the new heaven and earth that will ultimately be created
As believers, we are excited with the time in which we are living. We are not happy with the condition of the world’s attitude and actions, especially toward anything pertaining to our Lord and Savior. However, with the convergence of all the signs given, we know we will soon be Home with our Jesus.
In 2 Peter 3, it’s believed Peter wrote this just before he was martyred, and he even mentioned Paul as if Paul had not been martyred yet. Some sources say that Peter and Paul were martyred in the same month – June, AD-67; and some even believe they were martyred on the same day. Both were imprisoned and executed at the direction of Emperor Nero.
In verse 3, Peter tells us “scoffers” will come “in the last days”, following their own sinful desires. They are definitely here right now and in large numbers. At the present time, satan is obviously working overtime, and his servants are doing all they can to prepare the way for the ultimate antichrist. Satan believes his is the absolute power of this age, but he is only doing what God allows him to do.
We need to remember Romans 11:25 is still in effect right now. As soon as whatever causes the “fullness of the Gentiles” to take place, the Church Age will end with the Rapture. Israel is said to have a “partial hardening” which indicates they do not accept Jesus as their Messiah. The “Wrath” or Tribulation will be a way that God disciplines His chosen, and by he end of that 7-year period, all who remain will believe in Jesus. Sad part is at least 2/3 of the total Jewish population will perish during that 7-years.
As of today, it’s estimated that only 1%-2% of the total world Jewish population are Messianic – those who accept Jesus as their Messiah. All through the Old Testament, we are told of God having to discipline the Jews. They would cry out, and He would forgive them. After a while, the whole scenario would be repeated. After AD-70, they were scattered all over the world until May 14, 1948. God knew even then that the majority would not accept His Son, but those who have, will be taken in the rapture with all the other believers around the world.
Peter tells that God punished the world once by water, to eliminate the evil that existed then. Noah and his family were all that were spared. Later in 2 Peter 3, Peter says this world will be destroyed by fire, and a new Heaven and Earth will be created. All traces of this sinful world will be gone forever.
People who think the Father is slow about getting things done need to remember verse 8, “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord, one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years one day.” Going to verse 9 may explain why we’re still here, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise, as some count slowness; but is patient toward you, not willing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
I relate to this by asking myself, “What if the Lord had come back for His believers the day before I called out to Him?” I’m grateful for the time He has given me, and especially the ministry He has allowed me to have.
There is a “however”, and that’s verse 10, “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 in it will be exposed.”
Peter’s final statement in verse 18 is “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now, and to the Day of Eternity”.
In two chapters, Peter took us all the way from his day to the end of the Millennium, and has left us with the following instructions. Live each day as if it’s the one that Jesus will take all believers home to avoid the Wrath. However, if that day does not come right away, we are to continue in our service to our Lord and Savior. When He does call us Home, all that we have gone through here will be forgotten, except for our service for Him. The Father will wipe away every tear as He has promised. We will understand the Lord God Jehovah has been totally righteous and just, as only He can be. Our forever will be wonderful beyond anything we can imagine in this life on earth.
For those who do not accept the Savior, their “forever” will start at the very end of the Millennium, at the White Throne Judgment. Anyone who is in that extremely long line will not be pardoned, and they will not be able to call on Jesus to save them. Their destiny was set at their last breath on earth. The outcome will be to learn the degree of their punishment, in total darkness, and forever.
Remember the warnings about all the false prophets and their distortion of God’s Holy word. They can make it sound altogether different than He gave it to us. Study for yourself. Get a version of the bible you can understand that is a true translation from His word.
Eternity is too long of a time to not get it right. Satan and his demons are already doomed, and for them there is no forgiveness. The only sin for which there is no forgiveness for us is to not have accepted Jesus as our Savior. Tomorrow may be too late to call on Him. Take time today to seek His forgiveness, and ask Him to be your Savior forever.