When was the last time you thought about the reality that Jesus could come back any day now? I recently heard a sermon on Peter’s closing words in his second letter to the saints. In this passage, he assured them that God’s promises are certain. Because of God’s promises, Peter explains why it is important to be prepared for the future. Part of being prepared for the future is looking for certain things to take place.
Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:13 (NKJV)
Peter was constantly looking for new heavens and earth where righteousness dwells. I have to admit, I long for a time when righteousness dwells. This is especially true when I look at the moral decadence that is all around us.
When I considered this verse of Scripture, I asked myself am I living my life looking for the time when all things will be made new? An even bigger question is, am I teaching my children to be looking for God’s promise for the future to become a reality?
Peter goes on to give several challenges to believers in light of the coming day of the Lord. He first tells us that we need to be diligent, blameless and spotless. But then he gives us a warning that caught my attention and I saw how it is impacting us as we educate future generations.
Starting in verse 16, Peter writes that there are things in Scripture that are hard to understand. This was true regarding some of Paul’s letters to the churches. Here is where I see a danger that is facing the church today.
…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. 2 Peter 3:16 (NKJV)(emphasis mine)
Peter is warning us that “untaught” and “unstable” people end up twisting Scripture and when this happens, destruction results. This word, “untaught”, doesn’t mean that the people didn’t know things. However, these are people who lacked learning that was imparted to them by the Spirit.
One commentary explains that humanly learned people have often been the most deficient in spiritual learning and this can lead to heresies. Another commentary went on to explain that one that is “untaught” is untutored and ignorant of the Scripture.
The word, “unstable”, refers to a person who is not established in what he/she has learned. This type of person is easily deceived and becomes shaken when facing difficulties. They end up adopting distorted views of God’s Word.
Christians who are “untaught” and “unstable” end up twisting or distorting Scripture. The word “twist” means to torture on the rack or to pervert.
How does this apply to us as we try to provide children and youth with a biblical education? As Christians, we are to give our children and youth a biblical worldview education. However, we cannot give what we, ourselves, don’t possess. Every study that has been conducted over the past couple of decades shows that today’s Christian adults are “untaught” and “unstable” when it comes to their knowledge of God’s Word.
Our current condition, as it relates to our knowledge of Scripture, is dangerous as it can lead to us adopting distorted views of what God’s Word says. This condition requires immediate action. Fortunately, we can find what we need to do by looking at Peter’s solution to the problem.
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; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:17 (NKJV)
We must be on guard so that we are not deceived and led astray. At the same time, we must grow in our knowledge of God’s Word. As Kyle Idleman puts it in his book ,gods at War, we must choose a biblical worldview and let it remake us. Warren Wiersbe commented on this passage by saying,
The stability of the Christian comes from his faith in the Word of God, his knowledge of that Word, and his ability to use that Word in the practical decisions of life.
As we grow in our knowledge of God’s Word, we must also teach the next generation to think and act from a biblical worldview. Otherwise, they will not be prepared for the future. I end with some more wisdom from Wiersbe.
One of the greatest tragedies of evangelism is bringing “spiritual babies” into the world and then failing to feed them, nurture them, and help them develop.
Let’s make sure we are prepared for the future and then do everything possible to prepare the next generation for the coming day of the Lord.