Introduction: Things have changed! Last night I mentioned to my class
that some things have radically changed in the last 30-40 years. One
is an attitude about smoking. I recall, decades ago, being in a
hearing with several judges and lawyers. Not only was I alone in
representing my clients, I was the only one who was not smoking. The
air was blue with smoke. Peter tells us that in the last days people
will say “everything goes on as it has since the beginning.” Surely
they cannot mean “everything.” What ill-informed person says that?
Let’s dive into our study of the Bible and learn more about what the
“no change” people are actually claiming!

  1. Your Apostles

    1. Read 2 Peter 3:1-2. Recall that Peter uses the prophecies
      of the Old Testament to prove that Jesus is God. What is
      Peter adding to this authority? (“Your apostles.” Peter
      now states that the teachings of Jesus to the apostles
      forms another line of religious authority. Peter and the
      other apostles now stand on the same level as the Old
      Testament prophets – they are conveying the words of God.)

    2. Read 2 Peter 3:3. What is Peter writing here? (This
      certainly sounds like a prophecy about the end time. Can
      you see the transition Peter is making? He now gives us
      his own prophecy about the future – for which he claims
      authority as an apostle of Jesus.)

  2. Last Day Judgment

    1. Read 2 Peter 3:4-6. Are things the same as they have been
      since creation? (No. Peter says a flood intervened and
      changed everything. Peter argues against, not in favor of,
      those who say “nothing has changed.” Peter, of course, is
      talking about large scale changes, not attitudes about

      1. What does it mean to “deliberately forget?”

        1. Is that happening today? (I recently watched a
          documentary on the Genesis account and the
          fossil records. It seems scientists want to
          create every reason for the fossil record other
          than a world-wide flood. They deliberately
          forget the flood.)

        2. Why would scientists avoid the obvious – the
          well-known ancient history of a world-wide
          flood that could well have created the fossil
          record? (Because that account says that God
          created the flood to punish humans for their
          sinfulness. They don’t want to acknowledge that
          aspect of the story.)

      2. What does the flood account teach us about sin? (That
        God has and will intervene in this world to counter

    2. Look again at 2 Peter 3:5. To what event is Peter
      referring here? (The Creation account!)

      1. Read 2 Peter 2:10-11. Do you recall that I suggested
        that slandering celestial beings included rejecting a
        literal six-day creation in place of an evolutionary
        theory covering millions of years? What is Peter
        saying about the Creation account? (He is saying that
        God spoke the earth into existance “out of water,”
        and that God destroyed the earth “by these waters.”
        Both events reflect the power and authority of God.)

    3. Do you know Christians who say that they believe the
      Bible, they just do not believe the Genesis account? Is it
      logical to claim to be a Christian and an evolutionist?

      1. Read Matthew 19:4-6 and 1 Corinthians 15:45-48. What
        do these two statements teach us about the Creation
        account? (Both Jesus and Paul not only believed and
        cited the Creation story, but they based their
        theology on it. We have Jesus, Paul and Peter who all
        believe the Creation account and they think it so
        reliable that they base theological arguments on the

    4. Read 2 Peter 3:7. What gives us confidence that Jesus is
      coming again to impose judgment on the wicked and to
      destroy the present earth and heaven? (Peter tells us that
      confidence in the Creation account and the flood (2 Peter
      3:5-6), give us confidence that by the word of God the
      wicked will be destroyed.)

  3. Delay

    1. Read 2 Peter 3:8-9. What reasons does Peter give for the
      delay in Jesus’ Second Coming? (He is patiently waiting
      for us to come to repentance. He has a different sense of

      1. Let’s consider the “waiting for repentance” reason.
        What does this say about us and our ability to
        influence the timing of the Second Coming? (It
        suggests that we can influence its timing. If God is
        waiting on us, when we act He will act.)

    2. Read 2 Peter 3:10. When do thieves come? (They come when
      they hope you are not expecting them.)

      1. Is Peter is giving us a mixed message? He says God’s
        timing is different, God will come unexpectedly, and
        we can influence the timing of the Second Coming
        since God is waiting on us. Is this just a jumble?
        Or, can you discern a clear message from it? (Assume
        that we are unpredictable about coming to repentance.
        If that is the case, then the message is not mixed.
        The message is that we do not know when Jesus will
        come again because we are unpredictable.)

  4. Readiness

    1. Read 2 Peter 3:11-12. Are you prepared for thieves at your
      home? (I am. The fact that the timing of the Second Coming
      is uncertain means we need to be prepared at all times.)

      1. How do we prepare for the Second Coming? Is Peter
        telling us that we need to “live holy and godly
        lives” in order to be saved? Is that the standard for
        judgment? (That is the method for speeding up the
        Second Coming! We are saved by grace and not by our
        works. But, we must also be smart. Obeying God brings
        a better life. Obeying God presents an example to the
        world of why choosing God is best. This witness
        speeds up the Second Coming.)

      2. What happens to the earth? (Everything burns and is

        1. What does this suggest about our preparation
          for the Second Coming? (We need to factor in
          that outside our investment in people, nothing
          we own is going to survive.)

    2. Read 2 Peter 3:13. What is the good news about our
      “stuff?” (We will have a new home. A new heaven and earth
      populated with righteous people.)

    3. Read 2 Peter 3:14-15. What is the world arguing when it
      makes its “no change” claim? (It is arguing there will
      always be no change. The “no change” means Jesus will
      never come.)

      1. What does Peter say that the delay means? (It means
        that we have a greater opportunity to be saved. Peter
        not only shows the “no change” argument is wrong, he
        says the delay is a benefit.)

    4. Peter refers to Paul as supporting him. Read Ephesians
      2:3-5. What does Paul say about God’s mercy? (Paul agrees
      that Jesus shows us mercy and wants to change us.)

      1. Look again at 2 Peter 3:14. Peter says “make every
        effort to be … at peace [with God].” How does Paul
        explain this in Ephesians 2:3-5? (We were previously
        at war with God. We were “by nature objects of
        wrath.” But, by grace Jesus saved us – so that we are
        at peace, not war with God.)

      2. Read Ephesians 2:8-10. Does this help us understand
        what Peter means by “make every effort?” (We are not
        making an effort (working) to be saved, for salvation
        is not through our works. Rather, we were “created in
        Christ Jesus to do good works.” As you walk on the
        path of righteousness, your good works should

    5. Read 2 Peter 3:16. What do you think Peter has in mind
      when he writes that some “distort” the writings of Paul?
      (I suspect this has to do with the idea that since we are
      saved by grace, our works do not matter at all. Works
      don’t earn our salvation, it is a gift from God. But, they
      have a great deal to do with our effectiveness in the
      conflict between good and evil. They have a great deal to
      do with living a more enjoyable life.)

    6. Read 2 Peter 3:17-18. What is the error of the lawless
      men? What can make us fall?(The belief that God does not
      have His hand on the affairs of humans. The idea that God
      is not the Creator and will not come again to judge. The
      idea that God is not active in the conflict between good
      and evil.)

    7. Friend, do not lose hope. Trust God in the small things of
      your life and in the big things in the world where God
      directs the future. Live a life that is important in the
      conflict between good and evil. Why not determine right
      now to trust and obey?

  5. Next week: Major Themes in 1 and 2 Peter.