2 Peter 1:10-11 ESV
The words of a person nearing the end of life seem to make a greater impression on serious minded people than the same words from a younger person.
Since the progress of the saint in grace and godliness is so important, Peter, a faithful minister, sets his hand to that task.
I. A fact we must face (1:14)
A.Each of us will die, unless the Lord comes first (Heb 9:27; 1 Th 4:13-18).
Illustration: One day you will be evicted from your house. Where will you live then?
1.Though death has been defeated like sin has, the Lord has not yet put it out of the way. It is an enemy that believers still must face.
2.None of efforts to secure our lives can overcome the power of death.
Illustration: The leader of a country can surround himself with guards and a rich man with a college of physicians, but neither can resist death.
B.Every believer should face death with a Biblical perspective.
1.Look on your present body as a tent for your pilgrimage. Your house will be your glorified body that you will receive when the Lord returns (2 Cor 5:1-5; 1 Cor 15:42ff).
Illustration: Suppose you were going on a road trip across the country. You would not buy a house in each place that you stopped for a night. You would rent a room or to use the illustration of this text, pitch a tent. This world is not our home; we are homeward bound.
2.Look on physical death as a means of departure, not as the end (2 Cor 5:6-8; Ph 1:21-23).
Illustration: Leaving this world is like moving to a better location. You’re moving from the slums to an exclusive suburb.
II. A responsibility we must consider (1:12-13).
To communicate the truth to the next generation. We all must grasp the fact that after we are saved, the focus of the church is not on us but on others still to be reached. We must see that we are not serving ourselves, but others who will become part of the church after our departure.
Illustration: The men in the first wave of the D Day invasion were not in it for themselves. They were expending their lives for those who would follow.
Passing on the truth is important for a number of reasons.
A.The subject matter involved
1.The truth proclaims God’s glory—no greater cause is possible!
2.The truth tells of salvation—without it people cannot be saved!
B.The tendency of the human heart to be carried away with false teaching (Heb 13:9; Eph 4:14; 2 Tm 4:3-4)
C.The consistent need to improve
1.To prevent forgetfulness – “Such is the (sometimes willful) forgetfulness of the human heart that one of the prime functions of a Christian minister must be to keep the basic facts of Christian truth and conduct always before the minds of his congregation.” [Green]
2.To grow in what we know
3.To understand how to practice what we know
Quote: [Brown, p. 171]
III. A legacy we must consult (1:15)
A.Consider the work Peter engaged in to make these truths available to us.
1.“These things” means the teaching provided in 1:1-11.
2.Peter said he would make every effort, and his efforts were rewarded.
B.We should strive to know what others have been taught by God.
1.Our greatest gift in this regard is always the Holy Scriptures.
a.The Word of God alone is our standard; it is the truth; it judges all other writings and is judged by none. 2 Tm 3:16-17
b.We should have close familiarity with its contents.
2.And we should learn from the faithful writings of other saints.
a.The labors of godly guides can save us many pains – “Avoid this trail; this is safe water to drink.”
b.Since there is nothing new under the sun, we can consult what they learned from the Word to know how to defeat reemerging enemies.
C.As God raised them up to labor in his harvest field, so we should not despise their labors.
Application: What can we learn from the people of God who have gone before us regarding death?
1. To fix our eyes by faith on what is unseen (2 Cor 4:16-18).
2. To have assurance of hope in Jesus Christ (Rm 8:35-39). “Assurance is a lump of sugar, indeed, in the bitter cup of death; nothing sweetens like it.” [Flavel, Works, Vol. 3, p. 11]
3. To set our minds on Christ, who is our life and hope (Col 3:1-4).
Quote: [Murray, The Forgotten Spurgeon, p. 164]