10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.
16 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”[b]18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.
19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
Intro. As of late, I have been interested in getting to know a little more about my family, especially those who came before me. I really don’t know too much about my ancestry and so I’ve started to do a little research and I hope to make up some kind of family tree recording not only names but if possible I would also like to record a little about each of my former relatives as well.
Thus far I have not made much progress only going back to my great grandparents. For example I know that my great grandfather on my mother’s side was an engineer that was hired by the Freihofer bakery of Philadelphia, PA to design and set up a bakery in Troy, NY. His wife Sophie was a talented musician who went to the Troy Conservatory of Music. She was a talented pianist and Organist, and even played the awesome organ in the Round Lake Auditorium, in NY
The more I investigated these different individuals the more I became aware of the legacy, or lack ofwhich they left behind. Some made a meaningful contributions and impressions while others made very little or none at all.
And I could not help but think about my own life. In 100 or 200 years from now will what I have done, or who I am be completely forgotten?Will I just be forgotten like so many others who have come and gone before me. Will all my work, my efforts, things that I have learned and taught be just washed away by the sand of time?
As I read the next section of 2 Peter, I realized that Peter recognized that what he was sharing with them was very important and he hoped to somehow preserve this wisdom. As a matter of fact he goes on to say, “I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.”
He was concerned about what he would leave behind, and here we are reading and studying his words today. I guess some things, important things, such as words inspired by God stand the test of time better than others.
So what did he have to say that was so important?
In our last lesson we read how Peter encouraged the early Christians to make every effort to grow and mature as individuals by growing in certain virtues. “to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.”He said it would help them survive this in evil world, it would enable them to participate in God’s own divine nature, and here in vs 10 he said that it would help keep them from falling away and make their calling and election sure.
Verse 11 says that there would also be a heavenly reward. He said that they would receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom. His message was indeed important worth remembering!
As Peter continues in verse 12-15, he said that he wanted to remind them of these things even though he knew that they already heard and knew what he was saying.
●Just as a side note, that’s the job of a good preacher, and a father like leader; not only to teach new stuff but also to keep reminding those in their care and encouraging them even though they may have heard it all before.
Concerning certain important matters we need to refresh one another’s memory over and over. And Peter said that he planned to do this right up to his death (which he knew was right around the corner.)
In verse 15, he said that he would make every effort to see to it that we would remember his advice, his words, even after his death….. and like I already said before, here we are reading and studying his words today.
And then Peter seems to change gears a bit and talks about something every generation seems to struggle with… and that is the validity, the accuracy of scripture; their Bible and ours. If it is not accurate or real why bother following it?
In verses16-18, Peter mentions the fact that he and others were eyewitnesses to some of those recorded events (just like Peter, James and John saw, heard and experienced the event that took place on the Mt. of Transfiguration. So when we read about that account, it was based on eye witness testimonies.
In 19-21, he also talks about the Prophecy written in scripture; he said that the origin of those prophecies in scripture were from God, not man, not the prophets who recorded them.
Someone once said, “Today when people think about prophecy they think about it as predictions about the future; but Biblical prophecy refers to God revealing things that we could not figure out on our own, future things could be included in that, but the focus of prophecy is God revealing Himself.”
So what Peter is saying here is that the origin of the Bible is God not human authors. Although human authors did write the words, they spoke from God.
“Verse 21 Makes reference to these prophets being carried along – in the original Greek it is a sailing term used to describe the wind blowing into a sail which ‘carries the sail boat along.’ In this context it refers to….the human authors were consciously involved in the writing process but behind the process God “carried them along” to ensure that the end result would be what God wanted.” (Timothy Peck)
So what are some other reasons we should trust the Bible? There are many. Scholars break the evidence down into two areas; internal and external. For example its make up: 1. The Bible is a collection 66 books written by 40 different authors over a period of 1,600 years on three different continents. 2. The Bible was written in three languages: Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic. 3. It is most definitely a most unique book because it was not composed by one man but by many over a long period of time yet all are amazingly linked. 4.The Bible addresses some of man’s deepest questions, about the purpose of life, death and eternity. 5. It has been proven to be archaeologically accurate over & over. 6. All 318 prophecies in regard to the Messiah were fulfilled by Jesus. The odds of any one person fulfilling just eight of the prophesies is one in one hundred billion. The odds of any one person to fulfill fortyeight of these prophesies would be one chance in a trillions.
The Bible is also Historical accurate. 1. The serious challenges to the accuracy of the Bible is being answered by the work of archaeologists everyday, for example…The Old Testament mentions a group of people called the Hittites, scholars doubted their existence until 1906 when the Hittite capital was discovered about 90 miles east of Ankara, the capital of Turkey.
There are other more recent discoveries like: – Noah Ark in 1959 sighted by those flying over Mt. Ararat in Turkey – Mounting evidence of a worldwide flood – Evidence in Egypt of some of the Biblical Patriarchs. – Discover of Joseph’s tomb – Discovery of Jericho having it wall fallen outward which seem unnatural – Discover of Sodom and Gomorrah – Discovery of Dead Sea Scrolls which demonstrate the accuracy of our present day Bible – Discover of the Elba Tablets in 1975 which go back to 2500BC. Many scholars did not believe that humans were writing yet but these tablets prove otherwise. They also contained mention of different Biblical facts and people like the creation event, Abraham, David, and more. Just go to the internet and Google Archeology and the Bible or Scientific discoveries and the Bible, there is a lot of information out there proving the Bible. Here’s one example: http://www.biblestudy.org/basicart/scientific-proofs-of-the-bible.html
2. Nelson Glueck, a Jewish archaeologist states that there has never beenan archaeological discovery that has ever disproved a Biblical reference.
Even though the Bible is not a book of science, it mentions many scientific facts that have not been substantiated, proven, or discovered until more recently. For example: -That the earth is round not flat, and is freely suspended in space, –That the number of stars cannot be numbered and each star is unique – The Bible describes the precision of movement in the universe. – The Bible describes the circulation of the atmosphere and some principles of fluid dynamics. – The Bible talks about phases of the hydrologic cycle—the worldwide processes of evaporation, translation aloft by atmospheric circulation, condensation with electrical discharges, and precipitation and the recirculation of water. –The Bible also talks about the ocean bottom and its terrain as well as the paths in the sea or ocean currents.
The amazing unity of the Bible, it’s indestructible nature, its historical and scientific evidence therefore, merits our trust. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible tells a single story: the rescue of mankind from sin through the death of Jesus Christ.
The Old Testament presents Jesus as the hope of mankind; the New Testament shows Him to be the fulfillment of that hope. Now, if the Bible had been written by one person at one time, one could understand how it would be unified in general thoughts and specific details, but it wasn’t Rather it was God who authored this great book using a variety of men over a period of 1600 years
Want even more evidence…
No book has changed the heart and life of so many men and women like the Bible. Why? Because they are the words of God. Down through the ages men like Saul of Tarsus, the brilliant scholar, Augustine, The vicious slave trader John Newton those who were former drunkards, thieves and killers eventually changed their lives, did a 180 degree turnabout and became great servants of God because of what is in this book.
There is a good possibility that you and I, and what we have done, said, and accomplished here in this life will not be remembered much beyond 100 years or just a few short generations, but the word of God will stand forever! I can’t help but believe that what we do in this life count for something and every bit of it will be remembered by God, the good and the bad. If we accepted His Son as our Savior those sins we committed have been pardoned or put aside. And those things we have done for Him will be remembered.
Of all the things that a person could do with their life, I can’t think of one more important than sharing their faith, sharing the message of the Bible, God’s word; first of all with their family and children and then with others.
You may never paint a picture like Leonardo Di Vinci or sculpt a statue like Michelangelo, or design a building like Frank Lloyd Wright, or compose a song like Mozart or build an empire like Napoleon, or do anything that will put you in the history books. If you are not remembered for doing anything special this in this world sharing God’s word can have eternal result in the lives of those you share it with. Many earthly things are just that, wood, hay and stubble. They are here today and gone tomorrow.
I can’t help but believe that those who have died and are in that Heavenly Paradise now, are and will be ETERNALLY grateful to those who were willing to share the Good News about Jesus with them. The Spiritual things we share with others can have Eternal results in the lives of those you share them with.
Close: It was my 5 year old granddaughter Emma’s first day of school last week, her first day of Kindergarten and the first time to ride on a school bus. As she sat at the breakfast table alone before leaving do you know what my daughter found her doing? She heard her talking and when she asked who she was talking to she said she was a little bit afraid about riding on the bus so she decided to pray to God. Proud and a little choked up, my daughter sat down with her and they prayed together that she would have a good day, and she did. Sharing our faith makes our life meaningful and worthwhile, like nothing else. These are the kind of things we want to live on in our family, that is a knowledge of Jesus and the peace He can give us.
Challenge: Do the best you can in the here and now but don’t be overly concerned about how long you will be remembered here on earth. Do those things which you will be remembered for all eternity in the lives of others. These are the treasures which we store up in Heaven.