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May 15, 2005 PM


2 PET 1:12-15

INTRO: I remember having taken algebra, geometry, physics and such in high school. And at the University of Houston I took courses like music theory, form and analysis, orchestration and biology. Could I pass a test in any of these courses today? I seriously doubt it. But I also took English grammar, typing, speech and various histories. And I can still remember much of what I learned. What is the difference here? It is really very simple. I have reviewed, remembered and used some things I learned as a high school and university student. Others I have not used ... and will not. We learn ... and must be reminded if we are to keep what we learned.


A. Wherefore - this word points back to...

1. our becoming partakers of the divine nature

2. our being fruitful

3. our making our calling and election sure

B. Peter felt personally the responsibility to remind - I

1. yes, I suppose others could have done it

2. but Lk 22:32 - ...strengthen thy brethren - was there a time limit to this?

3. get someone else to do it is an oft heard refrain

C. With responsibility there was commitment - not...neglect

1. good intentions alone, knowing responsibility alone, simply will not get the job done

2. the issue here is too great for half way, half hearted measures

3. souls were depending on Peter ... and on you and me

D. Yes, they knew the things of which Peter would remind them

1. they were established in the present truth (cf. Col 1:5,6)

2. the truth would not be new, would not change

3. but Peter knew this could be like a course once learned

E. But reminders were going to be needed

1. passing of time, without reminders, dulls memory

2. could Rev 2:2-4 reflect such dulling of memory?

3. or Gal 1:;6,7 and 4:19 - yes, there among them false teachers ... early affection for truth and early conviction gave way

F. So, Peters work was far from finished

1. note to stir you up ... to arouse, to awaken

2. so many things come along after we obey the gospel ... and have an effect on early zeal

3. personal problems; choices; distractions; situations; working out priorities

4. oh, truth has not been abandoned

5. but the heat has been reduced to a simmer!


A. He felt he was nearing the end of his life

1. at this point he is a man of considerable age

2. Jesus has foretold of Peters martyrdom (Jno 21:18,19)

3. his time is running out

4. but there was so much to do - so many reminders to offer

5. as we arrive at advanced years, do we selflessly consider the spiritual needs around us?

6. or do we tend to say, Ive done my work, my part - its time for me to be seeing to myself and my pleasures?

B. Peter even sets out to remind after his death!

1. is this the purpose of the book of 2 Peter?

2. what will we leave that will stir others up to faithfulness?

3. a book? a letter? a conviction? a warning? a life?

4. fact: we will leave something behind - the question is will it be helpful or hurtful to the faith of others?

CLOSE: These verses are so full of feeling! Peter was a man who felt deeply ... now, his feelings are for the faithfulness of others. Still, he will say some hard things in this little letter.

Cecil A. Hutson

May 15, 2005

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)