Second Sunday after Trinity Morning Prayer (26 June 2022) 2 Peter 3:14
Peter was one of the disciples of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He denied Jesus three times but later stood firm for Jesus and died for Him by being crucified head down. Peter wrote his letter to the Christians around 65 AD. In 2 Peter 3, he wrote about the second coming of Jesus and cautioned people about what would happen in the last days. Today, I would like to meditate on 2 Peter 3:14: “Therefore, beloved, since you wait for these, be zealous to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace”. Peter wrote this passage to those who are waiting for the second coming of Jesus.
There are different kinds of preaching and teaching about the second coming of Jesus. Some theologians deny the second coming of Jesus while some others have many questions about it. Revelation 3:11 says that Jesus is coming soon. We can read the same many times in the Bible. The book of Revelation was written in the first century but we still await the second coming of Jesus and we don’t know why. At times, this also leads to further confusion and arguments about the second coming of Jesus. For those waiting for the second coming of Jesus, Peter cautions about false prophets and their teachings. He calls us to keep away from them so at Jesus’s second coming we can be found without spot or blemish and at peace.
Caution about false prophets and their teachings
Peter wrote about the second coming of Jesus and the reason for the second coming being delayed. He cautions us about false teachings and false leaders in the church. These are in abundance during these end days.
When we read Revelation chapter 2, the angel of the church was appreciating the church in Ephesus for their stand against the false teaching. Revelation 2:6 says, “Yet this you have, you hate the works of the Nicola′itans, which I also hate”. The theologians give two different interpretations about the principles of Nicola’itans. Some say it is the principle followed by the people in the city of Nicolaus which was nearly 60 miles away from the city Ephesus in North East and some theologians believe that the people who followed the apostle Nicola were Nicola’itans. Whatever be the background, we should know the doctrine of Nicola’itans. They believed that we will not lose the grace of God even if we continue to sin against God because Jesus died for everyone and we are all redeemed by his precious blood. This is the same as the modern concept of Grace Theology. God is against this principle of Nicola’itans. When we read the letter to Pergamum, we understand that the church followed the principles of Nicola’itans.
Jesus mentioned about the false prophets and false teachings when the disciples asked about the end days’ signs. Jesus cautioned about false teachers and their teachings in Matthew 7:15: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves”. In Matthew 24:11 He said, “many false prophets will arise and lead many astray”. Matthew 24:24 says, “false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect”.
How to keep away from false teachings and teachers?
False teachings will slowly separate us from the presence of God. It is very easy to accept these teachings as they are pleasing to hear and attractive. About false teachers, 1 John 4:5 says, “They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.” The false teachers are of the world and speak about worldly qualities and blessings. Their focus is on the worldly blessings that we receive because of being a Christian. We need to be careful about what teachings we hear. All teaching should be based on the Bible and Jesus’s teachings. 1 John 4:1 says “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world”. We can try the spirits by looking at the life that the preacher leads or lives.
In his first letter to Corinthians chapter 12 verse 10, Paul concluded that discerning of spirits is the only way to identify and keep us away from false teachings. We can receive the guidance of God through prayer and verses from the Bible. If we have a proper relationship with God and spend time with Him in prayer and meditation, the Holy spirit will guide us and strengthen us to use the gift of discernment of spirit.
Jesus came into this world and dies as the Passover Lamb so we would inherit eternal life. So in a nutshell, any teaching that does not convict us and lead us to repentance and renewing our relationship with our Lord is false. Any teaching that does not direct or lead us to salvation and inherit eternal life is a false teaching. Any preacher who does not preach about these is a false preacher.
When will the second coming be?
We read in the Bible that Jesus is coming soon. This was said nearly two thousand years ago. So the question is will Jesus come or is it just to keep the people in fear? In Matthew 24:6 Jesus said what we should expect in the end days, “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet”. In verse 14 He said, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come”. We cannot predict the date and time of His second coming. Matthew 24:36 says, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only”. We are called to have our faith and trust on Jesus and not worry about the date and time of His coming. God expects us to watch and pray and be ready to meet Him any moment.
Peter explains the mystery about counting the days. “With The Lord A Day Is Like A Thousand Years, And A Thousand Years Are Like A Day”. In Psalm 90:4, King David says, “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night”. We cannot understand God’s wisdom and plan with our human knowledge. In 1 Corinthians 13:9, Paul says “Our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect”. Psalm 139:6 says, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it”. 2 Peter 3:9 says “The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” God does not want anyone to perish, so His coming is delayed so that everyone may repent and turn to Him and be saved. During this grace period, instead of spending our time in researching beyond our limits, understanding and knowledge, let us work to come to a closer relationship with Jesus and to win more souls for His kingdom.
What should we do now?
We have to be careful about what preaching we hear and should be careful not to be deceived by false prophets and their teachings. With the availability of internet and access to numerous websites and content, it is very easy to get diverted and lose our focus. Social media and various discussions and debates seem to be very useful to increase our knowledge. But are these improving our knowledge of Jesus or bringing us to a closer relationship with Jesus? Only meditating on the Bible will give us wisdom from above. If we wait upon God, the Holy spirit will guide us to grow in Him and not be deceived. If we watch and pray, we will come in to a closer relationship with God and He will strengthen us and prepare us for the white throne judgement. It is then our responsibility to bring other people to Him.
Revelation 3:20, says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me”. God is knocking at our heart’s door to have a personal relationship with us. It is our choice to invite Him in or to turn Him away. If we invite Him in, we can have a personal relationship with Him and get ready for the rapture and also bring others to Him.
We don’t know when His second coming will be. But if he comes, are we ready to face Him? Are our robes be washed by the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God. According to Revelation 22:20&21, “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen”.