Preparation Prior to the study session, participants should read the entire book.
Orientation 2 Peter is book #22 of 27 in the New Testament, and and is one of the general letters. For more information see the Bible Overview page.
Synopsis Believers have been waiting about 30 years for Jesus' return, thinking it is imminent. Meanwhile, some are circulating and making false teachings - such as it is OK for Christians for sin, since they have already been forgiven in advance!
Peter urges the readers to make sure their calling and salvation is sound (1:3-11). Peter has received some indication that he may die soon (1:14). He and the apostles have the correct teachings, as they were eyewitnesses to Jesus' life (1:16). Scripture was not a prophet's own interpretation, but was written as they were inspired by God (1:21).
Beware of false teachers who have simply made up incorrect aspects of the faith (2:1-3). God knows who is bound for punishment (2:4-9). The false teachers do not understand what they speak of (2:12). They are doomed to hell (2:17).
The last days will indeed come, even though skeptics taunt (3:3). Be patient, it will come in God's own time, to the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and vice-versa (3:8). The day will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night (3:10). Be blameless and ready (3:14) at all times. Pay attention to the wisdom in Paul's letters (3:16). Be on your guard against falsity (3:17).
Discussion points To the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like a day (3:8). How can this time comparison be used to understand other biblical events? Does this help reconcile the 6-day creation of the world recorded in Genesis 1 with the theory of evolution, which says those events took thousands of years? Does it help us understand the long lives of the early patriarchs?
We are told to be prepared for the Lord's coming, as it will come unexpectedly like a thief in the night (3:10). In what other areas of life must we be prepared at all times against an unexpected event? *
Are we as seriously prepared for the Lord's coming? What can we do to be prepared at all times?
Connections This is Peter's second letter. We are confident we didn't lose any in between, as he specifically mentions this is his second letter (3:1).
Peter endorses Paul's letters (Romans through Philemon) in 3:15, giving them the same importance as the Hebrew scriptures (Old Testament).
For source citations see the home page. Revised April 14 2014
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