Final Warning and Encouragement

2 Peter 3:14-18
14Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

I can’t say that I’m sad to be finished with 1 and 2 Peter. I found 2 Peter to be shocking, harsh, and stern. Now clearly there’s nothing wrong with that, but sometimes it’s hard to ferret out the hope and joy when that is all you get from the reading. But, here we are, at the end. Peter starts this brief closing with “Therefore…” This points us back to all of his words of warning against false prophets and recrimination toward them found in the previous chapters. I would say we have been duly warned! But is that enough, for our memories can be short?

As I ponder these words of warning, I am reminded that our attention span can be shockingly short. We do well to recall often that there are many out in the world who would have us lay down our faith. I’m not sure why that is, but we know it to be true. I suppose there is a desire in each of us to control the people around us and that means to have them think as we do. Those who want nothing to do with the faith seem to want that for me as well. This is what I don’t understand. But Peter stand up to say that this is indeed the case and those who hate God will do whatever they believe necessary to bring us around to that way of thinking. Being aware of that agenda does make us slightly less vulnerable to their ways – but not entirely and thus Peter’s warning. So we do well to take these words seriously.

Finally, we are admonished to ”grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Now that’s something I can get behind! For me, this is the reason for life itself – to grow in the knowledge of Jesus. If that means I need to be wary of those who would take me in the opposite direction, so be it, for that is the grace of God in action as well.