MP3: Traveling Down the Rapture Road in 2 Peter, Lesson 3
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
Continue traveling down the Rapture Road with Nathan Jones and Vic Batista in this verse-by-verse study of the incredibly prophetic book of 2 Peter! You can start at the beginning with Part 1 or listen in to The Truth Will Set You Free podcast (above).
Vic Batista: Before we dive into 2 Peter 1:16-21, let’s recap a little bit before forging ahead.
Nathan Jones: Second Peter is Peter’s last message to his flock. He’s been pastoring churches that he helped establish, but now Peter has come to the end of his life and so he’s talking about casting off his body as if it were a tent (verse 13). He is ready to leave it and upon death receive his new body.
If we go by Early Church tradition, Peter was killed by being crucified upside-down. This epistle makes it clear that Peter knew his death was imminent, and maybe even how he was about to die. And so, Peter knew that his time was short and that it was time to give his last and final message to his followers whom he had raised up during his missionary efforts.
Second Peter is an intimate letter. He connects to his people by leaving them a message about godly Christian living. Verses 5-7 advise, “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.” This isn’t the list of spiritual fruits, so let’s instead call them “spiritual vegetables,” because these virtues remain parallel to the spiritual fruit that as Christians we hope to develop in our lives for the purpose of becoming more Christlike.
Vic Batista: Yes, Christians are called to grow and our lives are to bear spiritual fruit, or in this case — vegetables! Peter lays these virtues down like steps, or levels, to the Christian walk that we should be following.
Nathan Jones: To be a Christian means we are to be a Christ-follower. And, as a Christ-follower, we are meant to become more Christlike. The spiritual fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, self-control, and so forth is added to by Peter here, and they’re just as important. We see some parallels, such as self-control for instance, and godly living, and showing brotherly love, and being diligent, and being virtuous. These are essential characteristics of being a Christian. And, when we live out those characteristics, not only do we become more Christlike, but we become a better living example of Christ to other people. People will look at you and say, “Oh, there is certainly something different about that person.” People should want to come to know Christ through your godly living.
Vic Batista: When you add virtue and knowledge to all of these behaviors you also are going to gain a better understanding of the Word of God. God is going to reveal some incredible things from His Word.
I like how verse 10 talks about, “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble.” We gain a sense of security about our salvation when we follow the Word of God because we know we are continuing down the right path the Lord wishes us to follow.
Nathan Jones: Exactly! Just imagine if the whole world followed God, what a different planet this would be. Instead, almost everybody is stumbling about like lost sheep because they are not following the Author of Creation. The Author of Creation knows how things work. He knows the right way things work and the wrong way that things don’t work. When we stumble, it is because we are following the wrong way. But, if we follow what the Lord says in the Greatest Commandment — to love God and love your neighbors — life would be amazing. The whole world would be such a different place!
Vic Batista: Doesn’t it seem like the people in American have gotten so out of focus. We watch these political elections where people are focusing on all of these wrong things. And yet, the Bible tells us what we really need to be focusing on — the Word of God. If only our leaders truly followed the Word of God, we would not stumble so much. So many hindrances cause us to stumble in these last days.
Nathan Jones: Yes, there’s a lot of distractions. People are just so distracted much of the time and so we often neglect spending time meditating on God’s Word. Distraction creates shallow Christians. Therefore, it is very important that we get into the Word, like we are doing now, and study it to see what God has to say. That will develop us into deeper Christians, and doing so will make us richer in our relationship with the Lord and each other.
In the eighth part of our faith journey down the Rapture Road through the book of 2 Peter, we’ll move into verses 16 and following!