Trinity Ninth Sunday Morning Prayer (1 August 2021) 2 Peter 1:9–11
We know that Peter was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. He is one of the most prominent apostles. He denied Jesus thrice before Jesus was crucified. But after he received the Holy Spirit, he stood firm for Jesus. He spread the gospel to the gentiles and the Jews. He was crucified head down on the cross. Theologians believe that Peter wrote his second epistle before his death. The main intention of this epistle was to give clarity about the second coming of Jesus. He wrote this epistle to those who had accepted Jesus as Christ and their personal saviour.
Today’s meditation is based on 2 Peter 1:9–11. “But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” We read of a caution, a promise and a blessing in these verses. Let us meditate on them.
Verse 9 mentions “these things”. It is important to know what things Peter is referring to here so we can be with Jesus in the kingdom of heaven. We have the answer or the requirements in the preceding verses 5–8. “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”. We must be careful to be diligent in our walk with our Lord. Jesus also preached along these lines in His Sermon on the Mount. We are called to be salt and light in and to this world. We will be able to bring the flavour of Jesus and the lead people to the eternal light if we follow Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 5. Apostle Paul also preached following this in Galatians chapter 5 about the fruits of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22 and 23 say, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law”. We will yield the fruits of spirit when we walk following the Holy Spirit’s guidance. When our life is led by the comforter Holy Spirit, we will be away from the works of flesh. Both Peter and Paul preached this based on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
When Jesus was ministering in this world, He preached about repentance, reconciliation with God and judgement. Jesus also spoke about His second coming in John 14:3. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also”. Jesus said this two thousand years ago. People who lived during Jesus’ time witnessed many of His miracles. The Jews who did not accept Jesus as Christ killed Him and mocked Him with a sign that said ‘King of Jews’. When Jesus hung on the Cross, even the few Jewish people who followed Him had a few questions in their heart. After Jesus’s death, those in the first century had two unanswered questions: (i) Will Jesus come again? and (ii) When will He come? Even today, this is a common question that many people ask. We have varied answers to these based on different beliefs and theologies. Some believe that Jesus’ feet will stand on Mount Olives and Jesus will deliver Israelites from Anti-Christ after Armageddon war. Others believe He come secretly to receive the church as His bride, that is rapture. Church will be raptured before tribulation and Israelites will be saved after Armageddon war.
How will Jesus come: In 2 Peter 3:10 Peter said that the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. Jesus spoke about His second coming in Matthew 24. In verse 27 Jesus said it will be “as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west”. In verse 44 He said, the Son of man will come ”in such an hour as ye think not”. Paul also wrote to the Thessalonians about Jesus’s second coming. In chapter 4 verses 16 and 17 we read, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord”. No one knows when Jesus will come but we must be prepared to meet Him.
Reason for the delay: Although Jesus spoke about His second coming, we are still waiting for Him after 2000 years. Peter says the reason for this delay in 2 Peter 3:9. “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”. We are all created in God’s image and have His breath. Jesus died for all of us on the Cross. He does not want us who are created in His image to perish. So He is delaying His second coming so more people can come to repentance.
In verse 10, Peter cautions us about our calling and standing firm on our call. “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall” (2 Peter 1:10). 1 John 3:1 says we are called because of Father’s love for us. 1 Peter 3:9 says that we are called because we are blessed. 1 Peter 2:21 says that we are separated to suffer for Jesus. Hebrews 9:15 says that we are called and separated to inherit our eternal life with Jesus in the kingdom of heaven. 1 Timothy 6:12 says we are called to fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life. Galatians 5:13 says we are called unto liberty. Revelation 19:9 says we are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. To say concisely, the purpose of our call is two-fold: to be with Jesus in the kingdom of heaven for ever and lead others to Jesus. God the Father gave His only begotten Son Jesus Christ for this only purpose to save all of us from eternal death. The Fruits of the Spirit play a vital role in enabling us to be witnesses for Jesus. If we want to be with Jesus, 1 Corinthians 7:24 says, we are to abide with God.
When we follow the caution, we will inherit the blessing in 2 Peter 1:11. “For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”. When we are cautious of our call and are diligent in our walk with our Lord, we will enter into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Let us self-examine ourselves. Peter denied Jesus thrice, but when he was anointed with the Holy Spirit, He stood firm for Jesus and died for Him. Do we have clarity about our call? Peter cautions us not to be blind or forget that we are cleansed of our old sins. Instead, we are called to be diligent of our calling and election. Peter also cautions about being careful not to fall so we have entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The aim and purpose of our Christian life is to inherit eternal life with our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said in John 15:16 that we have not chosen Him, but He has chosen and ordained us, that we should go and bring forth fruit. He also expects that our fruit should remain. Jesus is the true vine and we are branches. We cannot do anything without Him. We will bear fruit if we abide with and are in Jesus. The comforter Holy Spirit equips, enables and strengthens us to bear fruits and be with Jesus. We must be careful to be diligent in our walk with our Lord. Jesus called us to be salt and light in and to this world. We will be able to bring the flavour of Jesus and the lead people to the eternal light if we follow Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 5. Jesus said, “if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matthew 15:14). As 2 Peter 1:9 says, we are blind if we lack these things. God separated us to prepare others for the kingdom of heaven. We cannot lead others to Jesus if we are blind which is leading our life by flesh. Like Paul, can we say, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7)?
“He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen!