2 Peter 1:

v4: Mentions the magnificence of Jesus’ promises to us and a guarantee that, because we have escaped the corruption of this world, we will partake in the divine nature. This does not mean we will become God or a god. It just means that we will be close to Him forever and that He shares his nature with us.

v5-10: This lists the characteristics Christians must have – moral excellence (virtue), knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, Christian love. If we possess these things, God says we will be useful and will bear good fruit (results) in our lives. No time or opportunity to be aimless, bored, or sidetracked with this promise (notice it does not include a college education, high salaries, or being number one at something). If we lack these godly things, we have forgotten our purification from our former sins. If we practice these things, we will never stumble.

v14: Peter reveals that he knows that he will be dead soon because Jesus had told him so. The Bible (what God wants us to know now) does not tell the details of Peter’s death other than that he would be martyred (John 21:18-23 and in verse 22 Jesus is saying to Peter, “It’s not your business to know when John will die.” So perhaps it is not ours to know either). Tradition says Peter was crucified upside down in Rome. Upside down was supposedly his request because he did not consider himself worthy enough to be in the same position as Jesus. There is no validation of this account, although it still may be accurate. There is some historical evidence indicating he was killed by Nero’s order around 67 AD in Rome. Perhaps God in His wisdom does not want us to dwell on the Apostles’ deaths, but rather on the life He has given us now and to make the most of it. He also wants us to concentrate on Him, not the Apostles. People tend to worship the wrong things (or people).

v16: The apostles did not make up cleverly devised tales concerning Jesus, just the simple yet powerful truth from an eye-witnessed viewpoint. This underscores the notion that mere mankind could and would not make up the story of the Bible. It is indeed God-breathed. Verses 17-21 emphasize this concept further.

v17-21: Confirms the veracity of all that the apostles claimed: an audible voice from the sky and prophetic words fulfilled. Skeptics who say the Bible was made up by man have no idea what they are saying.

2 Peter 2:

v1-4: A warning about false teachers who will sneak error into the doctrines of the Christian Church. Truth will be maligned because people will follow their sensuality (do what they feel like doing). There are many groups of people that do this today. Those who love their marijuana say that God made it, therefore it is okay to use. Last I knew, God also made poison ivy, but I don’t want to smoke that. Others say that living together is okay “as long as you love each other.” This disrespects the institution of marriage which God designed for good reasons. Others say homosexuality is never condemned in the Bible, only lust for another person is. They assert that two people of the same gender can love each other with God’s blessing. I saw a report years ago about a woman who strips for God! The word says that since God did not even spare the angels who sinned, He certainly will judge these folks who will be in big trouble on Judgment Day.

That all said I must add that it is not our job in this life to go out of our way to condemn to hell other people, especially to single out a certain kind of sin (like smoking or drinking alcohol) or a lifestyle. As Scripture emphasizes we must share the Good News about eternal life in love for the people we present it to. So if a person who claims to be a Christian does not have this kind of love for others, do not evangelize because you will do more harm than good.

v5: This is a great verse for people who claim that Noah’s Flood was an allegory or just a local flood. Peter, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, makes it plain that this catastrophic event was both literal and global. Jesus, whom even skeptics and critics claim was a great teacher, spoke of it as being a literal event in Matthew 24:38-39. Great teachers do not lie or make big mistakes with their content. The trouble with some intellectuals today is they think they can take scissors and cut out parts of the Bible that do not make sense to their imperfect minds without causing trouble with other parts of the Holy Scriptures. We need to interpret the Bible using its entire context.

One last comment about the Flood: there are about 300 cultural legends throughout the world that describe this Flood. Some details get changed, but they all have 8 humans and many animals being saved in a big boat. Only Genesis has the original account. it has the most detail and accuracy. One more “last comment” – Answers in Genesis confirms that if we started with only 8 people about 4500 years ago, we would have about 4.6 billion people today (wars, plagues, and famines considered), and that is what we have (http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v1/n2/billions-of-people). To be fair, non-Christian sources easily found online, dispute this, however.

v6-9: If the Lord can rescue Lot from evil Sodom before He destroyed it along with Gomorrah, He is certainly able to rescue godly people from temptation.

v10-19: A horrifying description of evil people: Two parts have really caught my eye over the past 30 years: “Springs without water” and “promising others freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption.” I see parallels with some musicians to these Scriptures, especially in their lyrics and body gesturing during live concerts. They yearn to “be free” in many songs but were short on explaining from what. Many have yearned for freedom. They have offered “a way of freedom” to others, but fall far short because the only way a human can be free is to be forgiven of their sin and live for the Lord of Righteousness. Back to musicians – verse 14 describes some of them – “Having eyes full of adultery (lust) and never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls (“stage ministry”), having a heart trained in greed (never satisfied with fame, drugs, sex, or money), accursed children.” Verse 19 states that whatever overcomes us, this is what enslaves us. How can they “preach freedom” to others? I think their idea of freedom is to be free from “the restrictions” of God, but in truth they are enslaving themselves to sin. As a Christian, I am now free NOT to do drugs or have premarital sex. Both of these sins are often promoted via the music culture and movies.

v20-22: Describes the folly and horrible future of one who experiences true joy and freedom in Christ but then returns to former lifestyle and is overcome once again. It’s like a dog returning to his vomit in order to take pleasure in the “slimy mud” of a sinful lifestyle. Let us all stick with Jesus to our bodily end.

2 Peter 3:

v1-2: Emphasizes the value of knowing the Scriptures.

v3-6: A prediction of mockers who will come in the last days (which started with Jesus’ first coming) following their own desires. They will challenge the Christian doctrine of the Second Coming of Christ claiming that nothing has changed from the beginning (and will continue to be the same). But what they forget is how God destroyed almost every human being and animal with a sudden global flood. This is one reason why it is important for believers to know how to defend the Bible as being accurate, literal history. Sure there are a number of passages that are obviously not meant to be taken literally, but the Flood and God’s destructive judgment are not to be counted among those.

v7: A surprise….both this earth and the present “heavens” (probably universe) will be destroyed and rebuilt anew.

v8: God is not locked into our time. Two thousand of our years can be like 2 days to God. Time is weird. There is much that we do not understand about it. We now know that it is not consistent in the universe. Strange thought, eh? It moves faster farther away from the center of the earth (atomic clocks have proven this). If we had a room full of Rod Serlings and Albert Einsteins, maybe we would know a bit more.

Here’s one for ya…if all motion (including heart beats) everywhere and everything in the universe stopped at the same time, would time still exist? I have to laugh at some scientists who believe the universe has to be billions of years old because we can see light from stars that are many light-years away from earth. We now realize that the speed of light is not constant. I must wonder what other scientific assumptions we have established that are wrong or misleading. There’s more that we do not know that what we know about what God has made and set in motion. Some science has become a tad bit too arrogant for me. I’ll trust in God’s Word, not in mankind’s guesswork.

v9: So even though it has been about 2,000 years since Jesus, God is not being slow to complete His victory over all His enemies. When we cross over to His realm at death, I think human history will be like a blink of an eye to us. Why didn’t God bring an end to earth a few years after Jesus? Perhaps He wanted more people to be saved and He orchestrated the defeat of ALL of Jesus’ enemies which takes time in our realm (this, I think, refers to the present Church Age), but He has set a deadline for all things to come to an end. It is fixed and no one can change it.

v10-13: That day will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. The elements and all the works by man in the earth will be destroyed by intense heat. I wonder if “elements” refer to the elements on a chemistry chart? If so, there are some deep scientific statements in the Word of God. Bottom line, knowing that this destruction will come soon should motivate us to live rightly and tell others that nothing but God’s Kingdom and those in it will go on forever, and righteousness will dwell there.

Food for thought: Many Christians think that when Jesus returns, He will begin His earthly reign called the millennium (1,000 year period, if literal…I don’t think it is). But verses 10-12 state clearly that when He returns the whole earth will be destroyed. And if He suddenly creates a new heavens and earth, how can living flesh-and-blood humans live in that environment? And they would be FORCED to believe in Jesus and I Corinthians 13 states that love does not demand its own way.

v16: Peter admits some of Paul’s writings are difficult to understand (Peter probably just got done reading Paul’s letter to the Hebrews!). Because of this difficulty, untaught and unstable souls will twist and distort the Word of God which will lead to their destruction.

v17-18: Warning us not to allow unprincipled men to lead us astray, but rather grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ (if He is our focus and first love, I do not see how anyone would become deceived).