2 Peter 3:14-18
Be Diligent to Be Found in Him
Coming to the close of his letter, the Apostle uses the Second Coming of our Lord and Savior to compel us to righteous living—just as he has done the entire time. How many times must he say this? As many times as it takes! We are dull and dimwitted creatures who need to hear things over and again. And since repetition is the mother of learning, God does us the favor of giving us His word that we may read again and again and faithful preachers who will say it again and again. But that the word is repeated does not mean that it becomes boring or a matter of rote; not at all, but the Christian instead grows more in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior. In other words, God’s word is plowed deeper and deeper into the heart and the believer finds new meaning in the same old words. This is called maturing. The same parables of Jesus, the same psalms, the same laws, the same proverbs, the same apostolic teaching which we understood at our rebirth becomes more real and meaningful as we grow in the Lord. Even a child can understand John 3:16, but (one would hope) not at the same level a man of woman would who has been a faithful believer for years and years. There is nothing so beautiful as a seasoned Christian.
One last matter. Peter mentions false teachers again. But this time, he doesn’t tell us the specific falsehoods they teach as what they do with the Scriptures, which is to “twist [them] to their own destruction.” And here I am going to say something that might take many aback, and it is simply this: You can’t just know the Bible; you must rightly understand it. And here is where a good church must come to the rescue with good teachers. And there are many churches out there that are not good, who have already compromised on matters such as the role of women in the church or sexuality. These are the churches which think that the church must change with the times and that Scripture must be “reinterpreted” to fit the culture. God’s word does not change, nor are we licensed to change it. We grow deeper in the truth, not around it. And we certainly never arrive above or beyond it. If what you are hearing does not coincide with what you are reading, you need to question what you’re hearing. Be sure to seek a church with a clear confession of faith or creed. Be sure their teachers teach Scripture. And if they say something you have never heard, be sure to inquire about it. Buy a good study Bible from a reputable evangelical publisher. If you are already in a good church, ask your pastor what good theology book you might purchase. Be alert! They’re out there. And by all means, question me as well.