MP3: Traveling Down the Rapture Road in 2 Peter, Lesson 1
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
Vic Batista: Nathan and I are excited to have you join us for a verse-by-verse study of the incredible prophetic book of 2 Peter! But, before we begin, I would like to highlight Nathan’s wonderful book that he and his co-author, Pastor Steve Howell, wrote titled 12 Faith Journeys of the Minor Prophets. Tell us a little about it.
Nathan Jones: Our book takes the reader through the twelve biblical books of the Minor Prophets. Each Minor Prophet faced a challenge to their faith, and what they learned can be very applicable to our own faith journeys today. For instance, when you have challenges to your faith due to peer pressure, or through experiencing a devastating loss, or if you just don’t feel like having faith — these were some of the same faith challenges that each of the Minor Prophets went through. What they learned can help us maintain and grow our own faith. Steve and I wanted to put a book together about Christian living, but you also learn about Bible prophecy as well. It has an important message we believe will really help people grow in their faith in Jesus Christ, and that is why we wrote the book.
Vic Batista: That’s right! We love to share the Bible. Over the years on our The Truth Will Set You Free podcast, we have been covering a number of incredible biblical prophecy books in a verse-by-verse manner. We taught through Revelation. We’ve taught through Daniel. We covered Zechariah. We just touched on Jude and 2 Peter.
Second Peter is filled with some incredible prophecies that people sometimes overlook. When it comes to the subject matter of biblical prophecy and Eschatology, sometimes people think that it is something that we made up, but Peter tells us how biblical prophecy came about. And so, it is high time we fully cover 2 Peter in the same verse-by-verse manner through all three chapters. We want to encourage people to dive into these small yet powerful books that cover a wealth of biblical prophecies. I am excited to see what God is going to do as He taught in 2 Peter.
Nathan Jones: I find Peter, and with all of the Apostles really, that prophecy was an important topic to them. They kept prophecy in mind. As the centuries went by, people began to lose interest. They began to spiritualize the interpretation of the Bible which discounts prophetic events. There really wasn’t a rebirth of interest in Bible prophecy until the Puritans in the 1600s. But, if you go back to the Apostles, they often focused on Bible prophecy.
Theologian Kenneth Gangel says that the purpose of 2 Peter is to call Christians to spiritual growth so that they can combat apostasy while they look forward to the Lord’s return. Spiritual growth is a major theme found throughout the New Testament. Christians are called to spiritual growth, to evangelism, and to holy living as we wait for Jesus Christ to come back. And, 2 Peter is all about that.
Vic Batista: Good point about holy living! We are going to be encouraged in our Christian lives as we look at 2 Peter.
Vic Batista: Nathan, talk to us a bit about 2 Peter. Give us a little of the background and what exactly is going on when Peter wrote this book.
Nathan Jones: Dr. Gangel wrote a summary that really helped me understand what 2 Peter is all about. He writes: “This apostolic writing may be titled ‘The Believers Conflict in the Latter Days.’ The apostle opened and closed 2 Peter with the theme of victory. In this epistle, Peter focused primarily on how to live when surrounded by the problems and perplexities of the end times. After painting a landscape replete with false teachers, fallen angels, flagrant immorality, and scoffers; Peter charges, ‘live holy and godly lives and to look forward to the day of God and Jesus coming.'” Which Paul wrote in chapter 3. Gangel continued, “Faithful living in difficult times — that is the lesson that Peter would have believers learn through this dynamic letter.”
Vic Batista: Consider the personality of Peter. When looking back through the Gospels, we see Peter’s life was transformed. Many of us can relate to Peter. He was always putting his foot in his mouth and being so impulsive. And yet, we see what miracles God performed through him.
Nathan Jones: Yes, the personality of Peter, although extremely loyal and faithful, represented the average man. Peter is almost the personification of the rough and tumble guy. As a fisherman, he likely used salty language. You would probably find him in the bars back in Peter’s early days. He was a man of the earth. But, then Peter runs into Jesus Christ who teaches about a new way to live and have a new life.
Once Peter starts following Jesus, he’s often seen terrified much of the time. He runs out on Jesus when Jesus needs him most, and he even denied Jesus three times. And yet, after Jesus’ resurrection, He forgave Peter and calls him to feed the Lord’s sheep. Peter becomes a brand new person. The Holy Spirit comes over him. He becomes a man of great integrity and exhibits a great passion for the Lord and a great love for the people around him. The Holy Spirit totally transformed Peter and turned him into a godly leader and one of the leading Apostles. We still read 2,000 years later the writings of the Holy Spirit through Peter. It’s an amazing transformation to look at because it’s the very same transformation that happens in people’s lives today when they accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Vic Batista: The Early Church began with an incredible sermon that Peter preached as recorded in the book of Acts. The Bible tells us that as a result thousands of people came to know Jesus as their Savior.
Nathan Jones: Yes, the Lord used Peter mightily. Jesus even assigned Peter to be in charge of the movement. He was the first leader of the Apostles before they spread out across the world and became their own leaders over the churches they planted.
By the time 2 Peter was written, it was near the very end of Peter’s life, likely around 60-70 AD. The Temple had not yet been destroyed. Peter had been arrested in Rome and was facing his death. The historical tradition tells us that Peter was crucified and that he asked to be hung upside down so that he wouldn’t be crucified the same way as Jesus had been.
The Apostle Peter demonstrated a firm belief in Jesus Christ. He was so sure of what he saw and what God had told him that he was willing to die for his belief in Jesus Christ. What an example that is to us today! What Peter was taught was then the truth of the Holy Spirit because Peter knew he would be accountable to God Himself if he preached anything incorrectly.Nathan Jones: The Apostle Peter demonstrated a firm belief in #JesusChrist. He was so sure of what he saw and what God had told him that he was willing to die for his belief in Jesus Christ. #Apologetics Click To Tweet
Vic Batista: Excellent point! We find in the Gospel of John that three times Jesus told Peter to feed His sheep. And that’s what Peter did, even feeding us today with such encouragement by writing the letters of First and Second Peter.
In the second part of our faith journey down the Rapture Road through the book of 2 Peter, we’ll dive into the first four verses and learn what being a bondservant truly means.
Dr. David Reagan considers the book 12 Faith Journeys of the Minor Prophets by Nathan Jones and his co-author, Pastor Steve Howell, to be the best book about the Minor Prophets that he has ever read.
The book runs a total of 313 pages. It sells for $20, including the cost of shipping. You can order online through our website!