As a parent of 2 young girls, I have a strict rule that if one of my girls happens to grab my drink and drink some for themselves, it becomes theirs. I have seen the aftermath of my 1-year old’s backwash floating in my once-pure water, and I’m just not that into it. I like being able to see through my water.
In a similar way, spiritually, the pure water of God’s Word has has been polluted by many people today who add their own opinions, doctrines, and extra-Biblical beliefs to it. Biblical backwash is even more disgusting (and far more dangerous) than my daughter’s bad habit.
2 Peter is, of course, the sequel to 1 Peter. Whereas the purpose of 1 Peter was to encourage suffering believers and remind them to look ahead to their coming salvation, 2 Peter warns the same group of the dangerous influences of false doctrine. It’s a warning that many Christians need to pay closer attention to today.
After all, as Peter states…
“His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.” – 2 Peter 1:3
Since the Bible says God has given us all we need, if we add to Scripture, we contradict Scripture. It’s a dangerous practice indeed.
In order to qualify that statement in verse 3, Peter closes out chapter 1 by telling how Scripture was inspired (since he walked with Jesus and wrote 2 Bible books, he’s a good source for this info)…
“…no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” – 2 Peter 1:20-21
Each Bible book is unique and you can often hear and see the personality and background of the author through the words they wrote. However, although the Holy Spirit allowed their personality to shine through the text, the words are ultimately His. Like Paul told Timothy, “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) or literally, it is God-breathed. So, after backing up the value of Scripture and the validity of Scripture, Peter dedicates a large portion of his letter to denouncing and destroying the false doctrine of many false teachers.
Peter describes the punishment of demons, sinful men in the days of Noah, and the cities of Sodom & Gomorrah in the same paragraph as false teachers! Obviously God doesn’t take false doctrine lightly! Peter even takes it as far as to describe false teachers as “natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed” (2 Peter 2:12). Yikes! He gives no room for messing around with false doctrine and false teachers. They need to be exposed and expelled because the consequences of their lies are devastating.
As in his first letter, Peter again points these believers to their coming redemption and final salvation. He reminds them that Christ will soon return and “the elements will burn with fervent heat.” Everything around us will one day be destroyed. So, the necessary question is…
“Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?” – 2 Peter 3:11-12
If everything we cling to so dearly in this life will one day be burned up, how should we be living? It’s a powerful and life-changing question to ponder!
It reminds us that we should cling to eternal things, not earthly things. Cling to the truth of God’s Word and its relevance for our lives, not the false teachings of modern-day liars and their destructive practices. God’s Word is eternal and relevant. LIVE LIKE IT!