Here’s the notes from last night’s study:
1-2 He wants us to remember the Prophet’s predictions (OT) and Apostles commands (NT) (1:12-13)
3 Notice that the false teachers bring an intellectual argument (v.4) but in reality, they are dealing with spiritual issues (v.3).
- They are scoffers. They have a mocking, arrogant attitude towards the promises of scripture.
- They live according to their own lusts. (see 2:10) Their way of life is driven by, and shaped by, their own, selfish desires.
4 The gist of what these false teachers are saying: they mock the promise of Jesus return. (Notice 1:4 – it is these “promises” that enable our entire life of Godliness… see also 3:13). But let’s examine their argument:
Assertion: Jesus won’t come back.
- He hasn’t come back yet.
- Since the beginning of history, the world has gone on the way it always has.
Conclusion: It will continue to run on, with the natural course of events working themselves out forever. Hence, Jesus won’t/can’t come back.
This is the prevailing view of our time. God is not actually present in any meaningful way in our universe. He does not, or can not affect events in any sort of meaningful way.
5-6 There are two things they “willfully forget”. Not that everyone always knows they are forgetting these things, but that in order to maintain their position (that Jesus won’t come back), they must ignore evidence to the contrary. (See Romans 1)
The two flaws in their reasoning:
- They ignore that God started it all with His word. (Q: How did the world begin?) You can’t avoid this question.
- They ignore that God has already destroyed the earth once before.
7 This same “word” (logos) which created the world, destroyed it in the flood, and maintains it now, has decreed that it will be destroyed when God decides. The uniformity we see in nature, scientific law, is actually the word of God.
8 His delay is a matter of perspective (Ps 90:4). His perspective is eternity. (Not lateness)
9 His delay is a matter of mercy. (Not lack of power.)
10-11 But the end will come.
Summing this up:
- In light of these things, there are moral imperatives for us if we claim to believe them. (3:11)
- We should be shocked by people who think the idea of Jesus coming back is stupid.
- Our guard against these things is to let our minds be shaped by the word of God.
- We need to see that the scriptural account of reality is completely opposed to any account based on the assumption of a universe without the God described in scripture. The world is not held together by unchanging, impersonal forces, but by the decision, and the word, of God.
- Just as the world had a beginning, it will have an end. But the Gospel tells us that this does’t have to be bad news. Christ took the wrath of God so that it doesn’thave to destroy us or everything that is truly valuable for us. We can escape the wrath of God and pass into eternal life through faith in Christ.