Bible Study from Calvary Chapel Newberg

with Tom Fuller

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Wholesome Thinking

2Peter 3:1-18

Introduction\r
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A new business was opening and one of the owner's friends wanted to send him\r
flowers for the occasion. They arrived at the new business site and the\r
owner read the card, "Rest in Peace."\r
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The owner was angry and called the florist to complain.\r
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After he had told the florist of the obvious mistake and how angry he was,\r
the florist replied, "Sir, I'm really sorry for the mistake, but rather than\r
getting angry, you should imagine this,\r
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'Somewhere there is a funeral taking place today, and they have flowers with\r
a note saying, 'Congratulations on your new location.'"\r
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Now for us who have named the name of Jesus Christ ? the mistaken message on the funeral flowers is actually appropriate ? our ?new location? isn?t 6 feet under, but way up yonder.\r
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The trouble is ? some of us live lives down in the dirt rather than up in the sky ? and the Apostle Peter comes along to give us some last minute warnings as he heads to certain death ? then the certain presence of the Lord.\r
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Peter wants us to do three things: Have a right mind, Have a right perspective, and Live a right life ? all in preparation for our appointment with eternity.\r
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Have a Right Mind\r
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3:1 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. \r
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? Wholesome thinking ? that?s the opposite of what false prophets want.\r
? We can use our minds to judge doctrine and teaching\r
? ?wholesome? means: judged by sunlight. We need to hold all truth to God?s truth. Just because someone says its true doesn?t make it true.\r
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Have a Right Perspective\r
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3 First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. \r
8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. \r
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? (vs 3) ?Scoffers? comes from a Greek compound of ?to play to jest? and ?at?. It is the same word used when the soldiers mocked Christ on the cross and denotes a disbelief in the person or power of the Lord.\r
? (vs 4) Just because something hasn?t happened doesn?t mean its not going to\r
? (vs 5) They ?deliberately? forget. Just like others deny that there is a creator, and that there is a God-shaped hole in everyone?s heart ? they deny what they know deep down to cover their guilt and need ? but God can uncover it.\r
? God knows the things we ?cover up? so just admit them to Him and let His ?sunlight? pierce your heart.\r
? (vs 8) For you a trial might seem like a thousand years ? but to the Lord only a day has passed ? it means we need to adjust our perspective to His time frame ? and that also means that even though things seem to be happening really fast ? God?s got a thousand years to work it all out. \r
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Live a Right Life\r
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10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. \r
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? It will be unexpected\r
? Don?t be lulled into a false sense of security about your life ? be aware of your progress and aware of God?s plans revealed to you.\r
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The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. \r
11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? \r
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? Can you survive the fire ? what in your life will get burned up? We should strive so that all that we are makes it and the only way to do that is to be transformed into Christ?s image.\r
? Think permanent thoughts, do permanent actions\r
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You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. \r
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? How do we ?speed? the Lord?s coming? ? the word means ?to urge on? ? are you urging on and eagerly awaiting the coming of the Lord ? or are there things you are doing that you would rather He wait so He wouldn?t see?\r
? Picture yourself in heaven already ? is what you are doing going to be okay there?\r
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That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. \r
14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. \r
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? If you have been washed in Christ, then you need not fear the fire ? instead look forward to reward, rest, and renewal ? not judgment.\r
? Spotless means no internal sin (how you look at yourself)\r
? Blameless means no external sin (how others look at you)\r
? At peace means your relationship is sound (how the Lord looks at you)\r
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15 Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. \r
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? Peter elevates Paul?s writings to the level of Scripture\r
? He might be taking a somewhat sideways slight at Paul ? but even though some of what Paul says might be hard to understand it is true and only the ignorant and unstable seek to distort it.\r
? False teachers love to distort Paul ? but it is to their own destruction\r
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17 Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. \r
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? Peter?s conclusion ? you already know these things SO BE ON GUARD\r
? On guard not in the sense of protection from ? but observant of what?s going on around you. The trap of false teaching is one we walk into if we are not aware\r
? Grow \r
? Grow up (mature in your knowledge of God and commitment to Him)\r
? Increase (more power to overcome sin and the enemy)\r
? Enlarge (more territory ? see God work in more areas of your life and through you in more areas of your world)\r
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Conclusion\r
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1st Peter is really about growth\r
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? Chapter 1 tells us we can?t grow if the tools in our spiritual shed are rusty ? unused or tainted by the world\r
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? Chapter 2 tells us our growth will be stunted or directed wrong if we take in nourishment from the wrong sources.\r
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? Chapter 3 tells us to grow patiently, and that our growth should take place as if we are growing in a heavenly garden, with heavenly soil and characteristics taking root in our lives.

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