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Stay on the Path

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This morning want to continue this short series in 2 Peter titled, "Stay On The Path" - 2 Peter 3:1-9

Someone said if the first letter of Peter was to comfort or console; the second to warn. In his first letter, Peter was trying to encourage Christians who were suffering terrible persecutions from the outside. In his second letter, he is warning them of danger that can from the inside. Now, what kind of dangers could come up within the church? Peter tells us, the danger he warns us of are simply put, lies...from false teaching. So to stay on path, means to stay rooted in truth.

Earlier Peter was talking about our walk with God; now here, he talks about the Word of God. When we say, Stay on the Path - we are saying stay on the path of making your everyday decisions that are in alignment with the Word. This is the path we are talking about.

Let's read the text (READ)

Not the main point, but a point I want us to seeIn v. 1, Peter says "in both of these letters I have written to you, I am doing so to "stir up your mind." Another translation says, I am writing to stimulate in you wholesome thinking.

Our thought life is powerful. What you think about goes a long way in determining what you do. Proverbs 23:7 says, " a man thinketh in his heart so is he." Peter knew how important right thinking, wholesome thinking was to the church and so he says, "I want to encourage this healthy thinking by the way of reminder." You know why I have to read my Bible everyday? Because I need to be reminded.

You see for some of us in this room, it's not that we don't know spiritual truths, or that we haven't been taught spiritual truths in the past, it's that resident somewhere in the hard drive of our mind, the basics of Christian faith can cease to have an active influence over us. "Remembering" spiritual truths is more than the mental act of "recalling" what I have once learned. It is the dynamic process of applying the truths to the new situations and everyday decision making.

So you have false teachers in and around the church speaking in contradiction to truth; and Peter says I am writing to stir up your mind, to right thinking. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF YOUR THOUGHT LIFE.

Think about Jesus, think about the works of Jesus, think about the teachings of Jesus, think of Jesus often and much. Is 26:3, "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is fixed on you because he trusts in you."

Here's the issue Peter was dealing with: False teachers who were living immoral lives, who were in it for the money, who were greedy for control and power; were saying this one thing: Jesus coming again? Forget about it. You ask, "Why is this a big deal?"

For just a moment, let's suppose they're right. Suppose that Jesus is not coming back, suppose that Jesus never actually rose from the dead and therefore could not come back, because He is dead. Think of what this would mean?! Wrong would never be made right. Injustice in this world would never be replaced by justice. Sickness and death would never vanish. The curse on this world would never be removed. Paradise lost but never regained.

And the hope of the human heart for a better life would be but a pipe dream. The longing for a better world would be an illusion. If this is all there is, a deteriorating wicked world growing worse and worse, and there is no change to be anticipated, no transformation, no better world, better life, no end to pain, no end to war, no end to persecution, abuse, no end to disappointment, if all of that is true, then sin rules, Satan wins and this world continues on the path to its own destruction. And for what? What kind of cruel joke is this life and this world?

See v. 4, the false teachers were going around, "Well, where is he? What happened to this promise that Jesus was coming again? Ever since the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created."

See, there is danger from outside the church related to persecution, but there can be can be danger from within the church related to false teaching. Thursday morning in my QT, I was reading in 2nd John where John said if "anyone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth about Jesus Christ, don't invite that person into your home or give any kind of encouragement." The truth about Jesus can be dividing. Last night I watched an interview on CNN between Pierce Morgan and Rick Warren (Saddleback) Good interview, actually a repeat from earlier. A good conversation about the events of the world, politics, diversity, religion, and yes Jesus. But imagine pastor Warren saying and oh yes, Jesus is coming again to the earth.

False teachers then and now are used by the enemy to try to distract the church. We want to be a focused church. Peter uses at least three facts to dispute this notion against Jesus' return and to give us hope.

1. The Creative Power of Gods Voice (verses 5-7)

A. This world was created by Gods voice. He spoke and the world



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