- Peter sent this letter to the same congregations he had previously written (3:1)
- He wrote this letter shortly before his death, 66-67A.D., most likely from Rome (1:14-15)
- The focus of his first letter had been standing firm in the midst of persecution, but this second letter deals with the need to stay true to the faith in the wake of false teaching.
- Not only will the church face external dangers, but internal threats as well: evil men will introduce destructive heresy. The church must cling to the truth of God’s Word.
- There are some similarities between 2 Peter and Jude, one may have been influenced by the other.
- Peter mentions Paul’s letters, placing them on par with the rest of sacred Scripture (3:16)
- One of the major themes is the Lord’s return, to rescue His people and judge the wicked
Eyewitnesses of Majesty: (1:16-21)
- False teachers could make all sorts of wild claims, but Peter wanted his readers to know that the message he proclaimed was true. How did he know? On what was his knowledge based? What are some of the ways he had personally witnessed the power of Christ?
- While He walked this earth, Jesus looked like an ordinary person, from all outward appearance. But the Lord allowed His closest disciples a unique opportunity to catch a brief glimpse of His true nature. What did they see, and what did they hear? (see Matthew 17:1-9)
- The word “transfigure” means “to change in form.” The three disciples momentary saw:
- the g______________ that belonged to Jesus from eternity, before He took on flesh and blood
- the m_____________ that the universe will behold one day when Christ comes again as King
- The OT prophets predicted the coming of the Messiah in power, to establish a kingdom of peace over all the earth. In a sense, the transfiguration was a preview of this, confirming the certainty of these promises. Do you think God’s people, in the OT, ever grew impatient waiting for these prophecies to be fulfilled? Do God’s people today ever become impatient, or begin to doubt? What should we do?
- In what way is the Word of God like “a lamp shining in a dark place?”
- Where does prophecy, and every portion of Scripture, originate? What are the implications of this, as we read God’s Word? Is there any portion we can dismiss or reinterpret as we desire?
Destructive Heresy: (2:1-9)
- What is “heresy?” Why should we be careful not to throw this word around too glibly? What are some of the core doctrines that are essential to the Christian faith?
- False teachers usually have false motives. Rather than bringing glory to God or magnifying the name of Jesus, what does Peter say about the real motivation of these teachers (v.2)?
- While false teachers may become popular and win a following, what will be their ultimate fate? The passage gives three examples of how God has judged the wick and delivered the righteous:
a.) fallen a_____________, b.) those swept away by the f___________ in the days of Noah,
c.) the cities of S____________ and G______________.
Day of the Lord: (3:3-13)
- What will scoffers laugh at, in the last days? What will they say? Do we see this in our world today?
- Has God ever judged the earth, in the past? Did the people then believe judgment was coming?
- Does God see time the same way we do? Why has the Lord delayed His coming so long?
- What sort of people should we be, knowing the world as we know it will one day end?