Monday after the Last Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 2 Peter 3:1-18 (NKJV)
1 Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), 2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, 3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.
7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 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?
13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
Our reading for today is as applicable to the saints of the dispersion as it is for God’s saints today. We are all at the mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Living with our sinful human nature, we struggle with being the saints that God has made us to be through the water bath and His Holy precious Word. We struggle to be His faithful people and follow His Word as a guide for daily living. We struggle when we hear so many scoffers claim how our intellect and experience is what grasps God’s salvation verses relying by faith on the person and work of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.
This is why Peter’s words at the end of our reading for today are so important in our daily struggle: “Beloved…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” that is, diligently be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.
That happens in reading, learning, and inwardly digesting God’s Holy Word; joining the faithful in Divine Service, confessing sin and receiving absolution; and receiving the Lord’s Supper and the forgiveness of sins which strengthens us to put down that old sinful nature each day, and come forth and live the new man in Christ that God has called us to be.
Being the saint/sinner we are, we are strengthened to remember these means of grace are the only way to remain faithful until our Lord returns as a thief in the night.
We pray: By grace I’m saved, grace free and boundless; My soul, believe and doubt it not. Why stagger at this word of promise? Hath Scripture ever falsehood taught? Nay; then this word must true remain; by grace thou, too, shalt heav’n obtain. Amen.