2 Peter 1-3, Psalm 35
Last year, mobs of women came to protest in many major cities starting in January 2017. Among the big ticket items on their agenda were abortion and homosexual rights. Prior to that we saw many large violent protests in the Black Lives Matter campaign. College campuses with the violent antifa protests plagued our nation for a period of time. One must ask how many of those joining these marches really knew what they were marching for or against. How many loudly scoffed at others without understanding the issues or considering the ramifications of their actions. I look at all of this and remember the 1984 movie, Indiana Jones: Temple of Doom with the throngs of people blindly almost in a trance following the murderous priest of Kali. I also remember a similar group following the Mummy in the 1999 movie featuring Brendan Fraser. Without knowledge we can be led to not only follow wrongly, but do so loudly. When many crowds began to follow Jesus in Jerusalem, Jesus said in John 2:24-25, "But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men,..., for He knew what was in man." How many joined the mob to praise Jesus, years later, as He was announced King on the Palm Sunday road, only days later to join the mob shouting for His crucifixion.
In 2 Peter, as he was coming to the end of his life on earth, Peter addressed the apostasy and heresy that was growing in the church and that would only increase in the future. He stressed the only way to combat false teachings and false teachers is to know the truth from God's inspired Word. He also knew that people are lulled over time and warned the people to remain vigilant because things could change at any moment. Paul explains the importance of knowledge in his description of growth from faith to love in 2 Peter 1:5-6, "But also for this reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control...". Our world is Biblically illiterate. Peter warned that without this knowledge there was no way to grow in faith. He then contrasts the false teachers with the apostles in 2 Peter 1:16,19, "For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty...And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;". Peter knew and predicted the dangers in the future in 2 Peter 2:1-2, "But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed."
Fast forward almost 2000 years later and we see the ramifications of not heeding these warnings. Peter said in 2 Peter 3:3, "knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts,". This perfectly describes our world that we live in. We have people puffed up with pride but not knowledge. A recent survey declared that in our nation, the students scored very high in self-esteem but poorly in the scholastic areas. This is the dangerous world we find ourselves in. Without a true knowledge which can only be found in God's Word, the Bible, people have no hope. People will move between apathy and following nothing to violently following errant causes. So when things seem out of control, let us remember 2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." The world is out of control, but each of us knows when we accepted Jesus and were assured eternity with Him. Imagine if the world had ended one day earlier what would have become of us. So, since we do not know when the Lord will return, but we know that He will, "let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus," (Hebrews 12:1). There is a world to reach, let us all do our part to reach it, while there is still time.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: