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2 Peter

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Pivotal Evidence

2 Peter 1:19

Many trials in court are decided on a balance of probabilities: there may be no single piece of evidence which alone can prove the case one way or the other. Many people think that is true about religion.  They respect revered writings, but flavour them with the interpretations of scholars, community traditions and pragmatic cultural adaptations. This has happened to Christianity too; and when it does, the gospel becomes diluted and the holiness of God is obscured.

God's Copyright

2 Peter 1:20-21

Many people assume that the Bible's writers were also its authors.  That is true for most of the books on library shelves; and those editors who compile or condense another author's work will also want to express some personal interpretation.  But the Bible is radically different.  None of its 40 writers were its original author. The authority behind everything they wrote was God's Holy Spirit.  He breathed God's truth into their minds and hearts, enabling them to write things they did not understand, and even accurately predict the future.

Enemy Agents

2 Peter 2:1-2

Ever since God has been expressing His truth to human beings, Satan has tried to undermine Divine authority by twisting truth into lies (Genesis 3:1-5).  The Old Testament prophets were appointed because God’s appointed truth-tellers (the kings) had been caught up in the lies, believed them and allowed them space to infiltrate what Israel believed.  Additionally, there were other false prophets who seduced the hearts of God's people, like Balaam (Revelation 2:14).  In the same way, Peter says, false prophets were lurking in the churches.  Appearing to be followers of Jesus, they were enemy

What Do They Want?

2 Peter 2:3

It may seem odd that people would want to bring lies into the house of truth, but they do.  They are following the pattern of God’s great enemy, the devil, in trying to destroy the church (John 8:44).  Jesus told a story about an enemy who sowed weeds among the wheat (Matthew 13:24-30).  He was instructing the disciples, including Peter, to expect enemy action even within the apparently safe fellowship of the church.  Peter was writing to warn the church about the dangers of false teachers.  

No Laughing Matter

2 Peter 2:4

The ungodly usually laugh at the thought of being judged by God.  It would have happened in Peter's day too.  The apostle now illustrates how God will certainly bring judgement on the wicked, as well as salvation to the people of faith.  2 Peter 2:4-10 is really one long sentence: it is a series of statements starting with 'if' (showing what God has already done) and ending with the conclusion - that God knows how to punish the rebellious and save the repentant (2 Peter 2:9-10).

Two Sides Of The Same Coin

2 Peter 2:5

Some people wonder how God can be both loving and wrathful at the same time.   This verse is the second of four historical reminders starting with 'if' ending with the conclusion - that God knows how to punish the rebellious and save the repentant (2 Peter 2:9-10).  Today's illustration from Peter's catalogue of examples goes back to Noah and the flood.  You can read the story in Genesis 6:9-9:19.  God saw that everybody, apart from Noah's family, had been corrupted to the point of violence, and that there was no hope for them except to be destroyed (Genesis 6:11-13).  Not only would the pe

Knowing How To Decide

2 Peter 2:6-9

"Rightly or wrongly ..." a friend was heard to say, "I made the decision".  He implied that it was better to make any decision than not to decide at all.  Alas too many businesses get trapped by decisions that they were not ready to make, and regret afterwards.  Of course, it is important to make decisions, but they need to be the right choices.  God always makes the right choice (Genesis 18:25).  He knows how to judge between what is good and evil, right and wrong; and how to distinguish between those who are His and those who are not.  And therefore, His judgements are always 'safe' (as o

Twin Routes To Disaster

2 Peter 2:9-10

Judgement may not seem an encouraging topic for a devotional.  But Peter intended it to bring courage to those who thought that evil might win – and were so downhearted that they were tempted to give up following Jesus.  Peter’s own experiences had shown him that the Lord can rescue His people from major troubles (Acts 5:17-21 and Acts 12:1-11).  That was also true for Noah and Lot (2 Peter 2:5-8); such Old Testament examples are intended to encourage and warn us to stay true to the Lord (1 Corinthians 10:1-6).

Arrogance And Slander

2 Peter 2:10-11

Slander, the false statement that maliciously ruins reputations (James 4:11), does not stalk alone.  Its associate is the heart-attitude of arrogance.  Arrogant people think that they have the right to exalt themselves by speaking ill of others.  Wherever you see one of these ugly companions, the other is lurking nearby: both are dangerous and neither can be trusted.  Today's verse shows that there is no limit to the authorities which ungodly false teachers will try to topple by their bad-speaking.  As with every evil act, there is no satisfaction in being 'a little bad', and without repent

Blasphemy And Ignorance

2 Peter 2:12

There are few more hurtful sounds than hearing a loved one being slandered.  Blasphemy is slander against God, and it ought to be highly offensive to those who love Jesus.   Peter is describing the characteristics of false teachers who were infiltrating the church.  As we saw in the previous verses (2 Peter 2:10-11), arrogance and slander walk darkly together.  In this verse, we see that blasphemy and ignorance are linked.  Anybody who has a full understanding of the awesomeness of Almighty God, with His limitless power to strengthen the church and destroy the wicked, would surely never dar