10/12/14

From Gary... Bible Reading October 12





Bible Reading   

October 12

The World English Bible




Oct. 12
Proverbs 9-11
Pro 9:1 Wisdom has built her house. She has carved out her seven pillars.
Pro 9:2 She has prepared her meat. She has mixed her wine. She has also set her table.
Pro 9:3 She has sent out her maidens. She cries from the highest places of the city:
Pro 9:4 "Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!" As for him who is void of understanding, she says to him,
Pro 9:5 "Come, eat some of my bread, Drink some of the wine which I have mixed!
Pro 9:6 Leave your simple ways, and live. Walk in the way of understanding."
Pro 9:7 He who corrects a mocker invites insult. He who reproves a wicked man invites abuse.
Pro 9:8 Don't reprove a scoffer, lest he hate you. Reprove a wise man, and he will love you.
Pro 9:9 Instruct a wise man, and he will be still wiser. Teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.
Pro 9:10 The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom. The knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Pro 9:11 For by me your days will be multiplied. The years of your life will be increased.
Pro 9:12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself. If you mock, you alone will bear it.
Pro 9:13 The foolish woman is loud, Undisciplined, and knows nothing.
Pro 9:14 She sits at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city,
Pro 9:15 To call to those who pass by, who go straight on their ways,
Pro 9:16 "Whoever is simple, let him turn in here." as for him who is void of understanding, she says to him,
Pro 9:17 "Stolen water is sweet. Food eaten in secret is pleasant."
Pro 9:18 But he doesn't know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.
Pro 10:1 The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son makes a glad father; but a foolish son brings grief to his mother.
Pro 10:2 Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, but righteousness delivers from death.
Pro 10:3 Yahweh will not allow the soul of the righteous to go hungry, but he thrusts away the desire of the wicked.
Pro 10:4 He becomes poor who works with a lazy hand, but the hand of the diligent brings wealth.
Pro 10:5 He who gathers in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during the harvest is a son who causes shame.
Pro 10:6 Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked.
Pro 10:7 The memory of the righteous is blessed, but the name of the wicked will rot.
Pro 10:8 The wise in heart accept commandments, but a chattering fool will fall.
Pro 10:9 He who walks blamelessly walks surely, but he who perverts his ways will be found out.
Pro 10:10 One winking with the eye causes sorrow, but a chattering fool will fall.
Pro 10:11 The mouth of the righteous is a spring of life, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked.
Pro 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all wrongs.
Pro 10:13 Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has discernment, but a rod is for the back of him who is void of understanding.
Pro 10:14 Wise men lay up knowledge, but the mouth of the foolish is near ruin.
Pro 10:15 The rich man's wealth is his strong city. The destruction of the poor is their poverty.
Pro 10:16 The labor of the righteous leads to life. The increase of the wicked leads to sin.
Pro 10:17 He is in the way of life who heeds correction, but he who forsakes reproof leads others astray.
Pro 10:18 He who hides hatred has lying lips. He who utters a slander is a fool.
Pro 10:19 In the multitude of words there is no lack of disobedience, but he who restrains his lips does wisely.
Pro 10:20 The tongue of the righteous is like choice silver. The heart of the wicked is of little worth.
Pro 10:21 The lips of the righteous feed many, but the foolish die for lack of understanding.
Pro 10:22 Yahweh's blessing brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it.
Pro 10:23 It is a fool's pleasure to do wickedness, but wisdom is a man of understanding's pleasure.
Pro 10:24 What the wicked fear, will overtake them, but the desire of the righteous will be granted.
Pro 10:25 When the whirlwind passes, the wicked is no more; but the righteous stand firm forever.
Pro 10:26 As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to those who send him.
Pro 10:27 The fear of Yahweh prolongs days, but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.
Pro 10:28 The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hope of the wicked will perish.
Pro 10:29 The way of Yahweh is a stronghold to the upright, but it is a destruction to the workers of iniquity.
Pro 10:30 The righteous will never be removed, but the wicked will not dwell in the land.
Pro 10:31 The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but the perverse tongue will be cut off.
Pro 10:32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked is perverse.
Pro 11:1 A false balance is an abomination to Yahweh, but accurate weights are his delight.
Pro 11:2 When pride comes, then comes shame, but with humility comes wisdom.
Pro 11:3 The integrity of the upright shall guide them, but the perverseness of the treacherous shall destroy them.
Pro 11:4 Riches don't profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.
Pro 11:5 The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way, but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.
Pro 11:6 The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them, but the unfaithful will be trapped by evil desires.
Pro 11:7 When a wicked man dies, hope perishes, and expectation of power comes to nothing.
Pro 11:8 A righteous person is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked takes his place.
Pro 11:9 With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor, but the righteous will be delivered through knowledge.
Pro 11:10 When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices. When the wicked perish, there is shouting.
Pro 11:11 By the blessing of the upright, the city is exalted, but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
Pro 11:12 One who despises his neighbor is void of wisdom, but a man of understanding holds his peace.
Pro 11:13 One who brings gossip betrays a confidence, but one who is of a trustworthy spirit is one who keeps a secret.
Pro 11:14 Where there is no wise guidance, the nation falls, but in the multitude of counselors there is victory.
Pro 11:15 He who is collateral for a stranger will suffer for it, but he who refuses pledges of collateral is secure.
Pro 11:16 A gracious woman obtains honor, but violent men obtain riches.
Pro 11:17 The merciful man does good to his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.
Pro 11:18 Wicked people earn deceitful wages, but one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.
Pro 11:19 He who is truly righteous gets life. He who pursues evil gets death.
Pro 11:20 Those who are perverse in heart are an abomination to Yahweh, but those whose ways are blameless are his delight.
Pro 11:21 Most certainly, the evil man will not be unpunished, but the seed of the righteous will be delivered.
Pro 11:22 Like a gold ring in a pig's snout, is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.
Pro 11:23 The desire of the righteous is only good. The expectation of the wicked is wrath.
Pro 11:24 There is one who scatters, and increases yet more. There is one who withholds more than is appropriate, but gains poverty.
Pro 11:25 The liberal soul shall be made fat. He who waters shall be watered also himself.
Pro 11:26 People curse someone who withholds grain, but blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.
Pro 11:27 He who diligently seeks good seeks favor, but he who searches after evil, it shall come to him.
Pro 11:28 He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous shall flourish as the green leaf.
Pro 11:29 He who troubles his own house shall inherit the wind. The foolish shall be servant to the wise of heart.
Pro 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life. He who is wise wins souls.
Pro 11:31 Behold, the righteous shall be repaid in the earth; how much more the wicked and the sinner!
 
Oct. 12
Ephesians 3

Eph 3:1 For this cause I, Paul, am the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles,
Eph 3:2 if it is so that you have heard of the administration of that grace of God which was given me toward you;
Eph 3:3 how that by revelation the mystery was made known to me, as I wrote before in few words,
Eph 3:4 by which, when you read, you can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ;
Eph 3:5 which in other generations was not made known to the children of men, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;
Eph 3:6 that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of his promise in Christ Jesus through the Good News,
Eph 3:7 of which I was made a servant, according to the gift of that grace of God which was given me according to the working of his power.
Eph 3:8 To me, the very least of all saints, was this grace given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
Eph 3:9 and to make all men see what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things through Jesus Christ;
Eph 3:10 to the intent that now through the assembly the manifold wisdom of God might be made known to the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places,
Eph 3:11 according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord;
Eph 3:12 in whom we have boldness and access in confidence through our faith in him.
Eph 3:13 Therefore I ask that you may not lose heart at my troubles for you, which are your glory.
Eph 3:14 For this cause, I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Eph 3:15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
Eph 3:16 that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that you may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man;
Eph 3:17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Eph 3:18 may be strengthened to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
Eph 3:19 and to know Christ's love which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Eph 3:20 Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
Eph 3:21 to him be the glory in the assembly and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

From Jim McGuiggan... Law and Narrative


Law and Narrative

A writer recently protested against using narrative as law. He sees a clear distinction between "law" and "narrative" and in many respects he can hardly be faulted, for everyone should know that the simple record of what happened is no proof that it should have happened or that if it should have happened that it should always happen.

[A rich young man came to Jesus and wanted to know how he should continue his life under God. Christ finally told him to sell all he had and give the money to the poor and come and follow him. That happened and it should have happened but in its historical reality not many of us would believe it should always happen. Not every rich person should be told that Jesus wants him to sell all he/she has and give it away and become an itinerant something.]
If the protester came across something (even imbedded in a narrative section) that had a universal, enduring and binding nature he would see that as "what should always happen" (apart from truly exceptional circumstances—which is another discussion). He is rightly opposed to making narrative into a "code of laws"; that's legalistic. But legalism is sneaky and shoved out the front door in public it can dress itself in a different suit and get invited in at the back door by the very people that kicked it out.

This much is clear, the idea that narrative doesn't carry permanent binding authority can easily be overstated. Narrative can reflect and mean to reflect what is normative and required from all of us (should we then call it "law"?). It can show how the church of God (OT and NT) expressed its faithfulness to its Master's will. It can show the author's intention, what he means to teach his addressees and not just what they can "draw from it."

Certainly working with narrative in this area is a more difficult task than isolating some command but that doesn't exempt us from the responsibility of discovering what it means to teach. And if indeed it's an author's intention to show what is normative (as well as what happened) then the distinction between "law" and "narrative" is fluid, not at all fixed. So while it is true that we shouldn't simply gather up stories and pretend they are commands, much less permanent commands, we're not to dismiss narrative as though we know the author did not intend to teach us what is permanently required of us.

We can call people to obedience in more ways than one. We tell stories and mean to call to obedience, mean to make it "law" (only so to speak). That we teach "law" (so the speak) in the form of stories doesn't alter the fact that we mean to call someone to obedience.

To divide the Bible up into various genre and forms and dispensational categories is the right thing to do but it's another thing to know what to do after we've done that and it's equally perplexing, at times, to know why we're doing it. We can be like people gathering thousands of bricks but who have no idea what they're meaning to build.

We find people who warn us against turning narrative into law while they ceaselessly go to narrative to find "principles" that are binding. They seem to think that "laws" and "principles" are really distinct—and they're not. When you dig down a little, principles are big laws that lesser laws are built on. "Here's Barnabas, he was extremely generous and encouraging and we should be." We should be generous because Barnabas was. Narrative becomes "law".

While that "exemplary" move should not be discouraged it should keep us from being smug in our delicate slicing of scripture. If we confine the call to permanent obedience to a "law" category and setting we are being legalistic. "The only thing I recognise as permanently binding is what is written in a 'law' segment." This is legalism.

That I should be like Barnabas is not based on a law that says I should be like Barnabas. I should be like Barnabas because he is like his Master. I should be like his Master not because his Master is a "law code" or teaches "laws" but because he is like his Holy Father who in a very profound sense is "lawless". That is, God doesn't obey some moral law outside himself—he is moral law (and even that phrase needs to be nuanced carefully). The final aim is not to find his laws and principles and line our lives up with them—the aim is to become like him.

We're too good, sometimes, at slicing up scripture; something like a careful butcher, delicately separating this part of the animal from that. I'm happy that butchers are able to do that but butchering an animal on the basis of established cultural norms is easier than work in scripture. 

(Even the way to butcher is affected by where we live and our customs.)

Everyone knows (don't they?) that the OT was only for the Jews (well, also so that Christian preachers can get "biblical illustrations"—not those bad ole secular ones). Isn't that true? Well, hardly! Anyone reading the NT knows that it's saturated with OT teaching that is meant to shape Christians (just look at Romans 13:8-10 and ask yourself what the Torah has to do with us).
If a Christian can read Ruth's stunning response to Naomi when the bereaved older woman tries to get her to leave—if Christians can read that and not know that the OT is "binding" on us, God help us.

Ruth said, "Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me." 

"Ah, yes, bits of the OT are binding on us." Hmmm. True and false; but that's another discussion for another time perhaps. Approaching the Bible with, "Now, let's see what is 'law' for me" has something of legitimacy in it but all in all it's legalistic. Among other things it reduces the valuable and relevant stuff of the Bible to legal categories—the rest is padding and upholstery. This is a great error of approach.

So, maybe, in the end, it isn't wise to rebuke people for being legalistic in a crass way if we're legalistic in a more subtle and therefore perhaps a more dangerous way.


Shaving Faith with Ockham’s Razor by Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1342

Shaving Faith with Ockham’s Razor

by  Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.

The cosmological argument for the existence of God concludes that there is an uncaused First Cause Who exists beyond nature (see last month’s feature article). The alternatives are entirely naturalistic: either the Universe is eternal and uncaused, or it is finite and had a natural cause. To invoke a supernatural cause, the critics charge, is to add something quite extraordinary to the explanation; it is to ask us to believe that something wholly outside our normal experience is responsible for the Universe. A natural first cause is an improvement, they may admit, but still it requires too many exceptions and special arguments. The simplest argument, and therefore the most preferred explanation, is that some “stuff ” (whatever that may be) always has existed.
The presumed justification for this conclusion is the principle of parsimony made famous by William of Ockham (c. 1285-1349). Ockham’s razor, as it is known, attempts to “shave” away all unnecessary parts of an argument. “Plurality is not to be assumed without necessity,” he said, and “What can be done with fewer [assumptions] is done in vain with more” (Moody, 1967, 8:307). This became an important guiding principle in modern science because, statistically speaking, more mistakes are possible as a theory grows in complexity and assumptions.
Ockham’s razor became a popular excuse for removing God from any description of reality. Often this is illustrated by the legendary encounter between Laplace and Napoleon. The French scientist presented his new book on celestial mechanics to the emperor who, having scanned through the work, inquired as to why it contained no reference to God. Laplace replied, “Sire, I have no need of that hypothesis.”
However, while Ockham’s razor may be a fine guiding principle, some explanations are more complicated than they may seem at first. Many science students find this out when they have to unlearn the simplistic ideas of the previous year before they can go on to learn the more complicated and realistic version of the story. And the new study of “chaos” is an example of a science designed to work with highly complex phenomena that confound conventional thinking. As Rem Edwards observes:
No scientific or metaphysical hypothesis is preferable to a competitive hypothesis merely because it is simpler. It is not the simplest hypothesis per se, but rather the hypothesis that is the simplest and at the same time does full justice to its subject matter, that men of reason must prefer (1972, p. 150).
Ockham’s razor does not work in every instance, and there seem to be no firm criteria that determine when an assumption is an unnecessary complication. Hence, the theistic position is not wrong merely because it includes God in the sum of reality.
Moreover, eliminating God is as much a claim beyond experience as adding God. Neither claim is self-evident; that is, each is not immediately, obviously true. Naturalism assumes that the material Universe of space and time is all that exists, that it depends on nothing else for its existence, and that some part of it has always existed. Supernaturalism holds the equivalent but opposite views: that something does exist beyond the material world, that the Universe is dependent for its existence on this entity, and that the material world is finite. These assumptions represent competing world views that are subject, not to an arbitrary swipe of Ockham’s razor, but to philosophical debate.
Finally, we have to wonder whether naturalists have abandoned the standard of simplicity when it comes to their own descriptions of origins. The Big Bang, for example, seems impervious to disproof. Exceptions and special arguments are plastered over theoretical and observational holes. Some scientists are desperate enough to invoke the cosmological constant—a “fudge factor” pulled out of thin air to rescue the equations from the evidence (Flamsteed, 1995, 16[3]:77). Such flagrant violations of Ockham’s razor are possible, it seems, as long as the added assumptions are naturalistic. That God cannot be the best explanation for the Universe is yet another incredible assumption.

REFERENCES

Edwards, Rem B. (1972), Reason and Religion (New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich).
Flamsteed, Sam (1995), “Crisis in the Cosmos,” Discover, 16[3]:66-77, March.
Moody, Earnest A. (1967), “William of Ockham,” The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Paul Edwards (New York: Macmillan), 8:306-317.

From Mark Copeland.... Peter's Final Exhortations (2 Peter 3:14-18)

                     "THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PETER"

                  Peter's Final Exhortations (3:14-18)

INTRODUCTION

1. We come to the final section of this second epistle of Peter, a 
   letter in which...
   a. Peter has endeavored to "stir you up by way of reminder" - 2Pe 1:13-15; 3:1-2
   b. Peter has exhorted those "who have obtained like precious faith":
      1) To be diligent in abounding in spiritual growth - 2Pe 1:5-11
      2) To heed the prophetic word made more sure - 2Pe 1:16-21
      2) To beware of false teachers that will lead many astray - 2 Pe 2:1-22
      3) To not be deterred by scoffers of the Lord's coming - 2Pe 3:
         3-9
      4) To live holy lives in view of the coming Day of the Lord - 
         2Pe 3:10-13

2. As Peter draws his epistle to a close, it is evident that he is 
   filled with love toward his brethren...
   a. He calls them "beloved" in 2Pe 3:1,8
   b. And now in our text, he uses this "term of endearment" twice - 
      2Pe 3:14,17

3. With such love in his heart, Peter pens his final words...
   a. He knows that he will soon die - 2Pe 1:14
   b. As far as we know, he wrote no other epistle

4. This ought to give special significance to "Peter's Final 
   Exhortations" that we find in our text...
   a. Just as the final words of any dying man are significant, in that
      they reveal what is of greatest concern to that person
   b. What are the concerns of this aged apostle, who dearly loves his 
      brethren?

[In verse 14, we find first of all his exhortation to...]

I. BE DILIGENT TO BE FOUND IN PEACE, WITHOUT SPOT AND BLAMELESS (14)

   A. THIS IS YET ANOTHER CALL TO "DILIGENCE"...
      1. Found twice before - cf. 2Pe 1:5,10
      2. The word means "earnestness, zeal, sometimes with haste"
      3. There it was applied to growing spiritually

   B. DILIGENCE IN THIS TEXT PERTAINS TO LORD'S COMING...
      1. How will the Lord find us when He comes?
      2. Will he find us to be people of faith? -cf. Lk 18:8

   C. PETER DESIRES THAT THE LORD FIND US "IN PEACE, WITHOUT SPOT AND 
      BLAMELESS"
      1. "in peace" can refer to both...
         a. Our relationship with God - Ro 5:1
         b. Our relationship with man - 1Pe 3:11-12
         -- Focusing on our peace with God will help us have peace with
            man - Pr 16:7
      2. To be found by Jesus as "without spot and blameless"?  How can
         that be?
         a. Only through the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ - Ep 5:
            25-27
         b. Who redeems us from sin through His precious blood, as "of 
            a lamb without blemish and without spot" - 1Pe 1:18-19
         c. If we continue to walk in the light, we continue to enjoy 
            that precious blood - 1Jn 1:7

   D. DILIGENCE IN SUCH THINGS WILL BE DETERMINED BY WHERE WE SET OUR 
      AIM...
      1. "...looking forward to these things, be diligent...'
      2. It is only as we "look forward" can we hope to prepare for 
         what is to come - cf. 1Pe 1:13
      3. As we look for the grace that is to come, especially in 
         reference to the new heavens and a new earth (2Pe 3:13), we
         will find the motivation to "be diligent"

[Are you looking forward to the new heavens and a new earth in which 
righteousness dwells?  If not, you will not be diligent to be found 
ready when the Lord comes.

If you have allowed the lure of this world to distract your aim you 
because of the delay of our Lord's coming, then Peter's exhortation in
verse 15 speaks to you...]

II. REMEMBER, THE LONG-SUFFERING OF THE LORD IS SALVATION (15)
    
   A. DELAY OF THE LORD'S COMING IS NOT SLACKNESS...
      1. For time is irrelevant to God - 2Pe 3:8
      2. Rather, the Lord is willing to suffer long so that people 
         might repent - 2Pe 3:9

   B. GOD'S LONG-SUFFERING SHOULD BE SEEN AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO REPENT
      1. Every day, year, or century that our Lord does not return, 
         should be thought of as "the day of salvation" -  2Co 6:1-2
         a. The day for souls to obey Christ
         b. The day for erring Christians to return to their Lord
      2. Like Peter, Paul wrote of God's longsuffering and its 
         motivation to salvation - Ro 2:4

[Peter himself certainly took advantage of God's longsuffering to 
repent, not only when he denied Jesus, but also when he played the 
hypocrite and had to be rebuked by Paul (Ga 2:11-21).

Peter's repentance in the latter incident is evident by his description
of Paul ("our beloved brother Paul").  He clearly held no animosity 
toward Paul for what may have occurred at Antioch.

Shall we not likewise take advantage of God's longsuffering to "work 
out our salvation with fear and trembling"?  As we do so, let's be 
careful to heed the exhortation implied in verse 16...]

III. DON'T TWIST THE SCRIPTURES TO YOUR OWN DESTRUCTION (16)

   A. THE SCRIPTURES CAN BE A SOURCE OF MUCH GOOD...
      1. They can "save your souls" - Jm 1:21
      2. For they are given by inspiration of God - 2Ti 3:16-17
      2. Because of this, they are "living and powerful, and sharper
         than any two-edged sword" - He 4:12

   B. BUT THEY CAN ALSO BE ABUSED TO MUCH HARM...
      1. Just as a sword can be misused to the harm of the one wielding
         it
      2. Twisted, the Scriptures can even lead one "to their own
         destruction"!
      3. Those most susceptible to misusing the Word of God are...
         a. The "untaught"
            1) Armed with a little knowledge, they believe they are
               ready to "do battle"
            2) But "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing"
            3) Unless one has studied the context (both immediate and 
               remote) of a passage, it is so easy to misapply it
         b. The "unstable"
            1) This would be the "babe" in Christ, the immature
            2) Who seeks to "run" with the Scriptures before they have 
               even learned to "walk", often "stumbling" as a result
      4. Thus the need to heed not only Peter's warning, but Paul's
         admonition in 2Ti 2:14-18, where he gives the example of
         Hymenaeus and Philetus

[With such warnings, perhaps we may better appreciate James' 
admonition:  "...receive with meekness the implanted word." (Jm 1:21)

In passing, it is interesting to note that Peter places Paul's writings
on par with "the rest of the Scriptures", implying that Paul's writings
are to be considered as much a part of the canon as the Old Testament 
scriptures.

Finally, Peter concludes his epistle with two exhortations that 
summarize the content of his entire epistle...]

IV. SUMMARY EXHORTATIONS (17-18)

   A. BEWARE LEST YOU FALL, BEING LED AWAY BY ERROR...
      1. This verse (17) summarizes all that Peter was doing in 
         chapters two and three
      2. Peter's concern is in view of the very real danger of apostasy
         a. He has already described those:
            1) Who were guilty of "denying the Lord who bought them" 
               - 2Pe 2:1
            2) Who "have forsaken the right way and gone astray" - 2 Pe 2:15
            3) Who having "escaped the pollutions of the world" are 
               "again entangled in them and overcome" - 2Pe 2:20
         b. He has just described those:
            1) Being "untaught and unstable..."
            2) "...twist the scriptures to their own destruction" - 
                2Pe 3:16
      3. Brethren, the danger of apostasy is very real, and so Peter 
         says "beware lest you also fall..."!

   B. GROW IN THE GRACE AND KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS CHRIST...
      1. This verse (18) summarizes the main points of chapter one
      2. In which Peter had described:
         a. Blessings which come by the grace and knowledge of Jesus 
            Christ - 2Pe 1:1-4
         b. How one grows in the knowledge of Jesus Christ - 2Pe 1:
            5-11
         c. The need for frequent reminder, and to heed the testimony 
            of apostolic testimony and the prophetic word - 2Pe 1:
            12-21
      3. In this verse, then, is the key to avoiding apostasy:  "Grow!"
         a. Grow in the grace of Jesus Christ, by appreciating and 
            appropriating all of God's unmerited favor
         b. Grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ as defined by Peter 
            in chapter one, developing those Christ-like qualities he 
            listed

CONCLUSION

1. Peter closes his second epistle with a simple yet heartfelt 
   expression of praise:

   "To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen"

2. It was not long after Peter penned these words that he "put off his 
   tent" (2Pe 1:14), and joined that great multitude described by 
   his fellow apostle John...

   "{9} After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude
   which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and
   tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed
   with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, {10} and crying
   out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who
   sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" - Re 7:9-10

3. Brethren, don't we desire to join that throng one day?  If so, then 
   let us heed these final words of Peter to his beloved brethren...
   a. Be diligent to be found in peace, without spot and blameless
   b. Remember, the longsuffering of the Lord is salvation
   c. Don't twist the Scriptures to your own destruction
   d. Beware lest you fall, being led away by error
   e. Grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ

Are you using the longsuffering of the Lord to apply all diligence in 
growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord?  Have you even begun?  

If not, then heed the words of Peter in his first gospel sermon... 
- cf. Ac 2:36-39

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Mark Copeland... The Day Of The Lord (2 Peter 3:10-13)

                     "THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PETER"

                     The Day Of The Lord (3:10-13)

INTRODUCTION

1. In our previous study, we saw where Peter encouraged us not to be 
   troubled by those who scoff at the promise of the Lord's return:
   a. Remember that scoffers are to be expected - 2Pe 3:1-4
   b. Remember that God's Word is consistent - 2Pe 3:5-7
   c. Remember that God is not affected by time - 2Pe 3:8
   d. Remember that God is longsuffering, not slack - 2Pe 3:9

2. In verse 7, he briefly alluded to what will happen when the Lord 
   returns:

   "But the heavens and the earth which now exist are kept in store by
   the same word, reserved for fire until the day of judgment and 
   perdition of ungodly men."

3. It is now in verses 10-13 that Peter describes our Lord's coming in
   greater detail...
   a. An event that is called "the day of the Lord" - 2Pe 3:10
   b. Now, there are some who believe that "the coming of Christ" and 
      "the day of the Lord" are actually two separate events...
      1) That "the coming of Christ" is a secret coming in which He 
         will "rapture" His saints
      2) And "the day of the Lord" is the final day of judgment which 
         occurs much later
   c. But Paul, like Peter, uses these expressions interchangeably...
      1) Having described "the coming of the Lord" and its implications
         for the righteous (1Th 4:13-18), Paul calls it "the day of 
         the Lord" as he discusses the timing of these events (1Th 5:
         1-4)
      2) A similar use of these terms is found in 2Th 2:1-2
   d. So as we turn to our text in 2Pe 3:10-13, we are considering 
      what is true about the coming our Lord Jesus, as promised in Ac 1:9-11

[What does the apostle Peter, who was among those who heard the promise
of the Lord's return as Jesus ascended into heaven, have to say about 
our Lord's coming?]

I. IT WILL BE "UNEXPECTED" (10a)

   A. LIKE "A THIEF IN THE NIGHT"...
      1. Paul used the same expression in 1Th 5:1-3
      2. And so did Jesus, in His Mt. Olivet discourse - Mt 24:42-44
      3. So the Lord's coming at the Last Day will be unexpected, with
         no warning

   B. BUT NOT FOR FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS!
      1. The day of the Lord should not "overtake you as a thief"
         - 1Th 5:4-6
         a. Not because they know the "day or hour" of His coming, nor 
            because of any revelation that pinpoints the time of His 
            coming
         b. But because they heed the command to "watch!" - 1Th 5:6; 
            cf. Mk 13:32-37
      2. However, notice what Jesus said to those Christians who do NOT
         "watch" - Re 3:1-3
         a. They must "remember", "hold fast" and "repent"
         b. Otherwise, the Lord will come upon them as a thief as well!

[So the first thing Peter tells us about the day of the Lord is that it
will come unannounced, like "a thief in the night."  He also tells 
us...]

II. IT WILL BE "CATASTROPHIC" (10b, 11a, 12b)

   A. "THE HEAVENS WILL PASS AWAY WITH A GREAT NOISE" (10b)
      1. While "the heavens" could refer to the atmosphere, I believe 
         it more likely refers to the universe, including the stars 
         (see below)
      2. The heavens will "pass away", or "disappear" (NIV, NEB), 
         "vanish" (MOFFAT)
         a. Consider Mt 24:35; Re 20:11; 21:1
         b. This certainly suggests that Peter is describing an 
            "annihilation" of the universe, and not simply a fiery 
            purification of it

   B. "THE ELEMENTS WILL MELT WITH FERVENT HEAT" (10b, 11a, 12b)
      1. The "elements" likely signifies the celestial bodies (sun, 
         moon, stars)
      2. According to Jewish belief, in the last day even the stars 
         will be destroyed - cf. Isa 34:4 (The New Testament 
         Commentary, Peter and Jude, Kistemaker, p. 336)
      3. The term "melt" {luo}, in verse 10...
         a. Means "(lit. or fig.):--break (up), destroy, dissolve,
            (un-)loose, melt, put off"
         b. It is translated "dissolved" in verses 11 and 12
            1) "all these things will be dissolved"
            2) "the heavens will be dissolved being on fire"
      4. The term "melt" {teko}, in verse 12...
         a. Means "to liquefy"
         b. As translated in The Emphasized New Testament (J. B. 
            Rotherham):  "...the elements becoming intensely hot are to
            be melted"

   C. "THE EARTH AND THE WORKS THAT ARE IN IT WILL BE BURNED UP" (10b)
      1. Having described the destruction of the universe, attention is
         now given to the earth in particular
      2. Some manuscripts have the phrase "laid bare" for "burned up"
      3. This has led some to suppose that Peter is describing only a 
         purification of the universe, not an annihilation of the 
         present order
      4. But as we have seen, both the immediate context ("pass away",
         "melt", "dissolve", in 2Pe 3) and the remote context ("pass
         away", "no place found for them", Re 20:11; 21:1) speaks 
         strongly for annihilation - cf. also He 12:25-29

[The "day of the Lord" will truly be a cataclysmic end to the earth and
universe as we know it!

Should this be cause for despair?  Not at all, for Peter also tells us 
that...]

III. IT WILL "USHER IN A NEW ORDER" (13)

   A. "A NEW HEAVENS AND A NEW EARTH IN WHICH RIGHTEOUSNESS DWELLS"
      1. This "new order" is described more fully by John in Re 21:1-5
      2. It includes "the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of 
         heaven" for which...
         a. Old Testament saints looked forward - He 11:10,13-16
         b. New Testament saints were said to seek - He 13:14
      3. Indeed, this "new heavens and new earth" with its "heavenly 
         city" is the ultimate destiny of the redeemed!

   B. "ACCORDING TO HIS PROMISE"
      1. We look forward to this "new heavens and new earth" because of
         God's promise
      2. Which promise?  The only promise made concerning such things 
         prior to Peter and John's is that found in Isa 65:17-25; 
         66:22-24
         a. In which the same themes are discussed as those found in 
            Re 21-22
         b. But in language and figures that would have provided 
            special comfort to the Israelites of Isaiah's day
      3. If Peter is indeed alluding to the promises of God through
         Isaiah, there is an important implication...
         a. Isaiah not only foretold events pertaining to the
            "inauguration" (the first coming) of the Messianic age
            - e.g., Isa 2:2-4; 7:14; 9:6-7
         b. Isaiah also foretold events pertaining to the "culmination"
            (the second coming) of the Messianic age - e.g., Isa 65:
            17-25; 66:22-24
         c. And some passages in Isaiah - e.g., Isa 11:6-9...
            1) Which the premillenialist applies to a 1000 year reign
               on earth
            2) And some amillenialists apply to the current "Christian
               age"
            ...may in fact have reference to the "new heavens and new 
            earth" of which Peter and John speak!

[In any case, we certainly have the promise of Peter and John of the 
"new heavens and new earth" as found in the New Testament.

And without question an important implication of this promise which 
will be fulfilled in the day of the Lord is that...]

IV. IT SHOULD INSPIRE HOLY LIVING (11b, 12a)

   A. WE OUGHT TO BE PEOPLE OF "HOLY CONDUCT AND GODLINESS" (11b)
      1. Everything we may acquire in this life will be "dissolved" 
         (our wealth, our fame, our physical relationships)
      2. The only thing that has "promise of the life to come" is 
         GODLINESS - 1Ti 4:8
      3. HOLY CONDUCT is able to "store up...a good foundation for the 
         time to come" - 1Ti 6:17-19

   B. WE OUGHT TO BE "LOOKING FOR AND HASTENING THE COMING OF THE DAY 
      OF GOD" (12a)
      1. If we "look for new heavens and a new earth" (v.13), we 
         should certainly "look for...the coming of the day of God"!
      2. Indeed, we should "hasten" the coming of that great day!
         a. It may be that "hastening" means "earnestly desiring" the 
            day of the Lord
         b. But it can also mean in this passage "to speed its coming"
            1) Is it possible to shorten the time set for the coming of
               the Lord?
            2) If the delay is due to God's longsuffering so that men 
               can repent, what if they repent?  Would there be reason 
               to delay any longer?
         c. Not only can we pray for the Lord to come (1Co 16:22), 
            but Peter says elsewhere that we may do something to speed 
            His coming! - cf. Ac 3:19-21
            1) "Repent therefore and be converted..."
            2) "...that He may send Jesus Christ..."

CONCLUSION

1. According to Peter, then, "The Day Of The Lord" will be...
   a. A day that is unexpected
   b. A day that will be cataclysmic
   c. A day that will usher in a new order
   d. A day for which we ought to look and hasten

2. Peter does not describe all the events that will occur on that 
   day...
   a. He says nothing about the resurrection, though that is clearly 
      implied
   b. He says little about the judgment per se, though it too is an 
      important feature
   ...but what he says is adequate to encourage us to consider how we 
   shall respond

3. How shall we respond to the words of Peter?  I know of three 
   possible ways...
   a. We can mock them
   b. We can ignore them, delaying obedience, and likely be found 
      unprepared
   c. We can humbly heed them, responding to God's longsuffering 
      through obedience to the gospel
   -- Just as there were three different reactions to the preaching of
      Paul - cf. Ac 17:30-31

Dear friend, how will YOU respond...?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Mark Copeland... When People Scoff About The Lord's Return (2 Peter 3:1-9)

                     "THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PETER"

           When People Scoff About The Lord's Return (3:1-9)

INTRODUCTION

1. A wonderful promise that serves to motivate Christians toward godly
   living is that concerning our Lord's return...
   a. A promise made first by Jesus Himself - Jn 14:1-3
   b. A promise made at His ascension into heaven - Ac 1:9-11
   c. A promise not far from the lips of devoted disciples...
      1) "O Lord, come!" - 1Co 16:22
      2) "Even so, come, Lord Jesus!" - Re 22:20

2. But it is also a promise that some delight to scoff  (i.e., to mock,
   deride, reproach, ridicule) - cf. 2Pe 3:3-4

3. As we patiently await the coming of the Lord, what can we do when 
   faced by those who ridicule the hope that we have?

4. Peter addresses this concern in 2Pe 3:1-9, and will serve as the 
   basis for this lesson entitled:

              "When People Scoff About The Lord's Return"

[The key element to dealing with such scoffers can be summarized in one
word:  "remember"

This becomes evident as we find Peter stressing that we should 
first...]

I. REMEMBER THAT SCOFFERS ARE TO BE EXPECTED (1-4)

   A. ONCE AGAIN, WE SEE THE VALUE OF BEING REMINDED...
      1. Earlier in this epistle, Peter stressed his desire to remind
         them - 2Pe 1:12-15
      2. Now, he does it again - 2Pe 3:1-2
      3. In both passages, his desire is to "stir up" their pure minds 
         - 2Pe 1:13; 3:1

   B. WE ARE TO BE ESPECIALLY MINDFUL OF...
      1. The words spoken before by the holy prophets
         a. Peter may have reference to New Testament prophets
         b. But he might also be referring to Old Testament prophets, 
            to whom we were told to give heed earlier in this epistle 
            - 2Pe 1:19
      2. The commandment of the apostles of the Lord and Savior
         a. As the Lord's "ambassadors" (cf. 2Co 5:20), the apostles
            speak for the Lord Himself - cf. 1Co 14:37
         b. Therefore, we need to "continue steadfastly in the 
            apostles' doctrine" - Ac 2:42

   C. IF WE ARE MINDFUL OF THEIR WORDS, SCOFFERS WILL NOT BE 
      UNEXPECTED...
      1. We will know that they will come "in the last days" - 2Pe 3:3a
         a. A reference to the age of the Messiah
         b. Which began with His first coming, and will be culminated 
            at His second coming - cf. Ac 2:16-17; 1Co 10:11; He 1:1-2
         c. Thus we can expect scoffers at any time during the 
            "Christian dispensation"
      2. We will know the motivation behind their scoffing... - 2Pe 3:3b
         a. For they will be "walking according to their own lusts"
         b. Knowing that coming of the Lord is designed to judge the 
            ungodly, they "scoff" as a way to soothe their guilty 
            conscience
      3. We will know the major argument they are likely to use - 2 Pe 3:4
         a. Their argument will be:  "all things continue as they 
            were..."
         b. An argument akin to the doctrine of "uniformitarianism"

[Knowing that scoffers will come, and what their charges will be, we 
can prepare for it.  But again, only if we will be sure to remember 
what the holy prophets and apostles have said.

For example, the apostle Peter would have us...]

II. REMEMBER THAT GOD'S WORD IS CONSISTENT (5-7)

   A. THE SCOFFERS FORGET ABOUT THE FLOOD...
      1. In arguing that "all things continue as they were from the 
         beginning", they overlook the fact such was not the case with 
         the flood - 2Pe 3:5-6
      2. Peter says they "willfully" forget...
         a. They purposefully choose not to remember an event that 
            proves their argument wrong
         b. Of course, their desire is not to determine truth, but to 
            justify their lifestyle
         c. Many people today resort to the same tactics...
            1) Conveniently ignore evidence that would weaken their 
               case
            2) Ridicule the opposition rather than dealing with it 
               fairly and seriously

   B. BUT THE FLOOD IS EVIDENCE OF THE CERTAINTY OF GOD'S WORD...
      1. By God's word, the world was once destroyed by "water" - 2 Pe 2:5-6
      2. By the same word (God's word), the universe is "kept in store"
         (treasured up, reserved) for "fire" - 2Pe 2:7
      3. The same word that promised and carried through with the 
         promise about the flood, is the word that promises and will 
         carry through about the Lord's coming and the conflagration to
         accompany it
      4. Since God kept His first promise to destroy the world, we can 
         expect Him to keep His present promise as well!
            
["But," the scoffer might say, "it has been so long since the promise 
was made!"  Indeed, for us today it has been nearly two thousand years 
since the promise of the Lord's return and the world's destruction was 
made.

But as Peter continues, we should...]

III. REMEMBER THAT GOD IS NOT AFFECTED BY TIME (8)

   A. UNLIKE MAN, GOD IS NOT A CREATURE OF TIME...
      1. "with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand 
         years as one day."
      2. This is not a passage revealing some sort of key to 
         interpreting prophecy...
         a. Such as, "a day in prophecy equals a thousand years in 
            fulfillment"
         b. For if so, then why could not one just as easily say "a
            thousand years in prophecy equals a day in fulfillment"?
         c. Indeed, such efforts are a clear "twisting" (cf. 2Pe 3:16)
            of this passage
      3. The point is simply that time is irrelevant to God

   B. SO WHILE IT MAY HAVE BEEN TWO THOUSAND YEARS...
      1. To God that is no different than two days! - cf. Ps 90:4
      2. Another two thousand years could pass, and God's Word would 
         not be weakened at all...
         a. It was two thousands years before God fulfilled His promise
            to Abraham ("in you all the families of the earth shall be 
            blessed" - Gen 12:3)
         b. It was at least four thousand years before He fulfilled His
            promise to the serpent ("And I will put enmity...between 
            your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you 
            shall bruise His heel." - Gen 3:15)
      3. Since God kept His promise about the first coming of Christ, 
         we can expect Him to fulfill the promise of His Son's return!
      4. As for the "times and seasons", that should not be our concern
         - cf. Ac 1:7

[Finally, we will not be moved by the scoffers' arguments about the 
delay of the Lord's return if we...]

IV. REMEMBER THAT GOD IS LONGSUFFERING, NOT SLACK (9)

   A. SOME MIGHT THINK THE LORD IS SLACK CONCERNING HIS PROMISE...
      1. It _has_ been nearly two thousand years since the promise was 
         made
      2. And while _man_ might consider that slackness, there is
         another reason for the delay

   B. THE LORD IS LONGSUFFERING, NOT WILLING THAT ANY PERISH...
      1. While God is a just God, He is also a merciful and loving God
      2. While His justice requires "judgment and perdition of ungodly 
         men", His love and mercy is willing to give them time to 
         repent
      3. This explains the Lord delay in returning:  He has given every
         generation that has lived during the last two thousand years 
         time to repent!
      4. Thus He has "suffered long", hoping that people will repent...
         a. Such goodness is designed to encourage people to repent - 
            cf. Ro 2:4
         b. But for those who despise His longsuffering...
            1) They are "treasuring up...wrath in the day of wrath" - 
               cf. Ro 2:5-6
            2) Just as the Lord has "treasured up" the heavens and 
               earth for fire at the day of judgment - cf. 2Pe 2:7

CONCLUSION

1. Peter will have more to say about "the day of the Lord" and what 
   will occur when He comes again, in the next section (2Pe 3:10-13)

2. But that we might not lose heart, nor be discouraged by the scoffers
   who will ridicule the idea of the Lord's return, Peter has left 
   these words by which we can "stir up your pure minds by way of 
   reminder" - 2Pe 3:1

3. Has the thought of the Lord's return and the day of judgment stirred
   you up?
   a. Remember that the Lord wants you to be saved...
      1) He sent His Son to die for your sins
      2) He has delayed the sending of His Son a second time, to give 
         you time to repent
   b. Remember, though, that in His justice things are being "treasured
      up"
      1) The heavens and earth are "kept in store" (treasured up) for 
         the day of judgment
      2) Those who despise God's longsuffering are "treasuring up" for 
         themselves "wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the
         righteous judgment of God" - cf. Ro 2:5
   c. How much better, then...
      1) To receive the "riches of His grace" in obedience to the
         gospel of His grace
      2) Instead of receiving the "treasures of His wrath" to be given
         at the day of judgment!

As Peter said on the Day of Pentecost, "Be saved from this perverse
generation." (Ac 2:40)  The context reveals how one might be saved
- cf. Ac 2:36-41

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011