2 PET 3:5-7
INTRO: In the verses I have read as the text for our lesson reference is made to a particularly dangerous spiritual problem - For this they willingly are ignorant of... Think about it ... willful ignorance. I cannot help but think this may be the problem of our own age. I wonder how many people will be lost in eternity because of willful ignorance. The specific people of whom Peter wrote were apparently denying that the Lord would come in judgment. Certainly, in order to comfortable with a hedonistic lifestyle one must convince himself that there really will be no judgment.
1. Willful ignorance
a. the ignorance here is certainly not the ignorance of 1 Pet 1:14
b. the language here indicates it is not simply overlooking or forgetting facts
c. this is an act of will! a deliberate choice to ignore!
d. we talk about people who should know better - their behavior is disorderly
e. are they not willfully ignorant? such ignorance is repugnant, foolish!
f. note Rom 1:32
2. They were willfully ignorant of the immutability, power of Gods word
a. Ps 33:6,9 & Heb 11:3 - the power of His word (Gen 1:3, etc.)
b. Isa 46:11 - the immutability of His word (see also Isa 14:24-27)
c. I suggest to you that the power and immutability of His word are awesome
d. these two characteristics are preserved in scripture for all generations - and Peter (3:1,2) reminds of them
e. question: how can a world in which the Bible is so available and so widely distributed be so evil, so corrupt, so apostate?
f. is it possible that any of us are behaving out of willful ignorance of His word?
3. They were willfully ignorant of the cataclysm of the flood
a. so were the people of Noahs day willfully ignorant
b. 2 Pet 2:5 - apparently, Noah preached to the people of his day - but for all of his preaching, the object lesson of the ark, people chose to ignore
c. Lk 17:26,27 - Noahs preaching made no impact on his contemporaries
d. what happened to all of those people on this earth? perished
e. the word used here (perished) does not mean annihilated, not extinction as some these days would like us to believe - it means ruin, loss, not of being, but well being (Vine) - there is a dramatic change of status in this word
f. wilful ignorance did not change the fact that the flood came!
4. Theywere willfully ignorant of the coming judgment
a. now Peter refers to the heavens and the earth, which are now - in contrast to the world that then was
b. the same word (Gods) which created, which commanded the flood is the word which has declared the judgment day and punishment of ungodly men
c. 2 Thes 1:7-10 - they were apparently willfully ignorant of this great fact
d. kept in store, reserved tells recipients that God is absolutely in control - the fact that judgment may be delayed (Eccl 6:11) does not mean that the sentence will in Gods time be accomplished! (cf. 2 Pet 2:9)
e. the NT repeatedly speaks of the great day of judgment - the warnings are
so numerous and unmistakable - only by willful ignorance could people not know of it
f. perdition is from the same word as perished - indicative of the fact that ungodly people will not simply cease to exist ... their state of being will change to ruin
5. Times have not really changed all that much
a. there are the outright unbelievers who scoff at idea of Jesus return
b. there are the willfully ignorant whose consciences are so seared (1 Tim 4:2) that they can engage in lifestyles which are anything, everything but pure
c. but my greatest concern is for you and me - that, while we seem to be very religious and devoted, we give ourselves over to behavior/activities which do not conform to Gods will
d. read again Lk 17:26,27 - there is a great day coming
CLOSE: It is far too easy for us to lapse into the same uniformitarian thinking of the people of whom Peter wrote. Do not be deceived into believing that because things just keep going along as before that day will not come. Will you be ready?
Cecil A. Hutson
04 December 2005
You Must Hear the Gospel
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) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
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
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
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)
You Must Be Baptized
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!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
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)