Cecil Hutson Sermon Archive
November 20, 2005 PM
WILL THE LORD REALLY RETURN?
2 PET 3:1-4
INTRO: I wonder how many of us in our heart of hearts have wondered if the Lord really will return? We may find ourselves with much the same thinking of some people in the second half of the first century ... you told us He was coming again, but nothing has happened ... is He really going to come? And if we are having doubts about His coming, we may become very sloppy about the way we live. We may let things slip to which we once held so tenaciously. We may find ourselves letting weeds grow in our garden of faith. But if He really is not coming again, then, what difference does it make? Apostolic writers had to address just this sort of questions.
1. So, we need reminders - 3:1
a. this was the reason for both of Peters letters - language suggests this letter closely followed the first
b. beloved appears four times in this chapter - affection for recipients
c. there is here a shift from his denunciations of false teachers to the beloved
d. stir - to thoroughly arouse or awaken - see 2 Pet 1:13
e. sincere mind - wholesome thinking ... this is compared to the unwholesome thinking he has described of the false teachers in chapter 2
f. he is encouraging readers not to be corrupted by unwholesome teachings
g. Christians always need reminders ... I often overlook the fact that a subject once taught needs to be taught again, and again
h. quotation from Dr. Samuel Johnson: It is not sufficiently considered that men more frequently require to be reminded than informed
2. Remember the words and the commandments - 3:2
a. I am reminded of Heb 2:1
b. be mindful - there are things which we simply must not forget, neglect
c. words...holy prophets - these are the N.T. prophets who had no doubt spoken of the ultimate coming of the Lord
d. note Eph 3:5 and Pauls reference to the role of the apostles & prophets
e. commandment of us. the apostles... - so, Eph 2:20
f. we must remember Mt 28:20 with Acts 2:42 and Jno 14:26
g. there are those who minimize the apostolic writings - such claim that Jesus words are superior, weightier ... but the apostles words are those of the Lord!
h. and these are commandments (see 1 Cor 14:37)
3. An important fact of which to be very aware - 3:3
a. first signals something or prominence, priority - not a sequence
b. there will come the scoffers - those who belittle, who ridicule
c. it can be very discouraging to faith to be exposed to those who scoff at the truths of Gods word
d. and if these scoffers are respectable, respected people, its even worse
e. these days many preachers, teachers mock, scoff at the teachers & preachers of years ago with sarcasm in order to promote a liberal agenda
f. they are exactly the kind of people to whom Peter here refers!
g. they have to discredit scripture and those who stand firmly for it in order to satisfy their own selfish interests
h. notice 2 Cor 10:10 - there were those who did this very thing to Paul!
4. What the scoffers would be saying - 4:4
a. this verse tells us exactly how and what they would claim
b. reference to the promise? that Jesus would come again - 1 Thes 4:13-18
c. their point? but He has not come as promised
d. their emphasis? everything is going along now as it always has - He must not be coming again! (they were uniformitarians!)
e. note 2 Thes 2:1,2 - there was apparently considerable concern about this
f. but remember Mt 24:36 - the time of His return was known only to the Father - so, Mt 24:42
g. the scoffers had to espouse their beliefs in order to live they way they chose
CLOSE: Please note 1 Cor 15:51-58. Here is Gods truth. The Lord will come. There will be a great resurrection. Then comes the judgment. That is the reason for v. 58. And Peter wanted his immediate readers...and us...to have a firm grip on this truth.
Cecil A. Hutson
20 November 2005
God's Plan of Salvation
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)