What kind of people ought you to be?
I. STIMULATED toward wholesome THINKING. (v.1-7)
A. THINKING that flows out of SCRIPTURE. (v.1-2)
B. DESPITE those who think OTHERWISE. (v.3-4)
C. A RELEVANT EXAMPLE. (v.4-7)
Peter wraps up his second letter to these churches with a desire to stimulate wholesome (or unified) thinking. He’s hoping that the things he has shared with them with take root in their lives and begin to shape their actions on a day to day basis.
1. What is an area where you wrestle with trusting the truth of the Scripture? What might God be saying to you through that wrestling?
II. The REASONS for the WAITING. (v.8-10)
A. Reflecting on GOD and TIME. (v.8)
B. God’s PATIENCE is a sign of LOVE. (v.9)
C. But the END will COME. (v.10; I Pet. 4:7)
Just like us, the people to whom Peter is writing are struggling with what appears to be God’s slowness to act. This is a constant theme in the Bible, especially in the Psalms (How long O Lord) and in the prophets (O that you would tear open the heavens and come down). Peter addresses our desire for God to just do something to make things better here.
2. Kid’s Question: When have you had to wait for something that it seemed like would never happen?
3. When have you asked God, “How much longer”? What has that been like for you?
4. How does God’s patience impact your own relationships with difficult people?
III. Living in LIGHT of what’s COMING. (v.11-16)
A. A new HEAVEN and EARTH. (v.11-13)
B. Make every EFFORT to work WITH God. (v.14)
C. Time to WORK out your SALVATION. (v.15-16; Phil. 2:12-13)
If the people grasp the big picture of what Peter is saying, it will shape their lives. The truth he is sharing is the kind of truth that transforms our heart and then our actions. He even reminds them that God’s patience is good for everyone, even those who already believe.
5. Spend some time imagining a new heaven and new earth. What ideas stand out to you? What questions do you have?
6. Jeff spoke of salvation as a process. Is this is new idea to you? What do you like about? What concerns you?
IV. Peter’s FINAL WORDS. (v.17-18)
A. BE on your GUARD. (v.17; I Pet. 5:8-9; I Tim. 6:20)
B. GROW in GRACE. (v.18; I Pet. 1:13; Heb 12:15)
C. GROW in KNOWLEDGE. (v.18; 2 Pet. 1:3; Col. 2:2-3)
Peter gives three simple pieces of advice for his readers, and we can take them to heart as well.
7. Which of the three final phrases stand out to you most as an area where God might be asking you to respond?
8. How do the three interact with each other? How does growing in grace and knowledge shape the “way” or the manner in which you are “on your guard”?