Looking For the Return of Christ

Looking For the Coming of Jesus

Book of 2 Peter 3:1-18

There are some doctrines of the Bible that are disputed by Bible scholars, but the return of Jesus Christ is not one of them.

The return of Jesus Christ is mentioned more than 300 times in the Scriptures.

There are even whole chapters devoted to the Second Coming of our Lord.

Jesus Christ Himself that He would return, and He will return the exact same way He left this world!

Act 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
Act 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Act 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Act 1:10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Act 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

You see this is what the Second Coming is all about, restoring again the kingdom of Israel.

The Church will already be in Heaven before this takes place!

So how does Peter describe these things?

*2Pe 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
2Pe 3:2 That ye 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 Saviour:
2Pe 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
2Pe 3:4 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 the creation.

The return of Jesus Christ will be an actual physical event that takes place after the Holy Spirit has taken the Church to Heaven.

Remember the Holy Ghost could not come until Jesus returned to Heaven!

Joh_16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

This thing works in reverse, the Lord will not return until the Comforter takes the Church home!

2Th_2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

Before the Lord touches down upon this earth, He will meet His church in the clouds!

1Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

We of the Church can say that this will be the greatest day we have to look forward to, of course besides the day we invited the Lord into our hearts!

Peter says we need to remember these things!

We are called to be rememberers!

The Second Coming of Christ to this earth, is all about the Jews!

Isa 62:6 I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence,
Isa 62:7 And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

There are a lot of great things going on in Israel, but Jerusalem is not yet become the praise of this earth!

We must stir up our minds to the truth of God.

As I have gotten older it seems that my memory suffers in day to day things and this bothers me more than I ever realized.

We must stir up our minds to remember those things that are just too important to forget!

Our minds are so complicated that doctors have not yet been able to understand the workings of them.

The power of memory maybe the most amazing part of our mental equipment!

Our memory uses the power of recollection to recall things as far back as when we were toddlers and these things are precious.

Most everyone of us can recall that day we got saved and if not the exact day then the month. Something we will never forget.

Well there is something else that we need to implant in our memories.

The Lord Jesus is coming back first to get His Church and then to make a Second Appearance upon this earth!

We must be mindful of all the prophecies of the Old Testament because they are the voice of God!

When we see those words “thus saith the Lord” then our minds need to perk up and the doors of memory need to remain open because to read the prophets is to see the words of truth!

A man once asked, “what is truth”? Truth is the things that conform to reality. Things that have already been and things that will be.

The absolute truths are in the Words of God!

Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

We cannot grow in the grace of God, if we do not grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ and then keep these things in active memory!

Why are these things so important?

Because we are in the last days!

Scoffers are all those who mock the truth of God!

These are people who speak the loudest. They are so full of malice and pride, they have reached a point where they will not be silenced, and they will not even listen to anything described as the truth!

Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Rom 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Rom 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Rom 1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Rom 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

God knows those who will never turn from their wicked ways, but we do not!

We must understand the Christ Jesus demands our total dedication, the total commitment of our mind, and our life to His teachings.

We are to have no room in our minds to listen to scoffers or anyone else who denies the truth of our being!

Scoffers walk like they want to and do what they want to and will attempt to deny you your way of life.

They want the right to things they have not earned.
They want to right to live in any way they choose.
They want the right to dictate all these things to the world.

They say, “where is the promise of His coming”?

It has been about 1975 years since Jesus first walked upon this earth but without being date setters, it has not yet been 2000 years.

We will not know the day nor the time, but we should know that we are in the last days!

What did Jesus teach?

Mat 16:2 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.
Mat 16:3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

This is what the Holy Spirit is teaching us. It does not matter how much time goes by, we must keep our minds wrapped around the truth of the Bible.

We are certainly in the last days because the scoffers are making their voice heard all around this world!

They are willingly ignorant of prophesies that have already been fulfilled, and the promises of God that have been completed!

*2Pe 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
2Pe 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

For instance all this talk about climate change. We as Christians do not doubt that the climate is changing. We do disagree that man has a great influence on those changes.

Every day we see where cities and islands will soon be underwater when there are lands and cities and pyramids and roads and many great things that are under water now, that happened when there were no great power plants and no automobiles everywhere.

It is God who is in control of our climate and one of the best proofs is the fact that God flooded this whole earth in the days of Noah.

The proof exists yet all those clamoring about climate change ignore these truths because it does not fit into their agenda.

We should ask ourselves, just what do they want the world to do? Just what power over the climate can we use to stop what they say is in our future?

I have not seen much honest things that we can do as human beings to stop anything that is in the hands of God!

For sure we need to do a better job in taking care of our environment and in my opinion, it should start with cleaning up the trash that is everywhere!

God destroyed all humans and land animals in the time of Noah for the same things that are going on right now in our world!

Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
Mat 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for the exact same things that are going on in America today!

Luk 17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
Luk 17:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
Luk 17:30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

These are all signs of the Second Coming of the Lord, and we need to wrap our minds around the truth and reject these things going on in our world!

God is still in control of our world and maybe all these changes we see are just God preparing to send His Son one more time back to this planet!

*2Pe 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

We need to wrap our minds around the fact that it is the Lord who sits at the right hand of God, the hand of power, and he has reserved the things necessary to burn this planet into non-existence.

Yes this earth will be restored as in the days of Adam because God made certain promises to the Jews and He will keep those promises but in the end there will be a totally new Earth and a totally New Heaven because those old places were places of sin and sin will not be allowed in God’s new Creations.

Rev 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Now we can accept the truth of God or we can reject the Word of God, but we cannot in any way change the plan of God.

God will rid this earth of ungodly men!

Ungodly meaning, wicked men who reject the truth of God!

Thank God for His patience because He really wants everyone to accept His truths and be saved from His coming wrath.

*2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

The truth is God does not depend on some clock to tell Him it is time to do something.

In fact God’s plan is in place and nothing and no one can alter the time frame the Lord chooses to abide by!

We must consider that the Lord has allowed a time frame that everyone who will receive Him will get that opportunity.

The Lord knows those who will never receive Him.

What did God say to Abraham before the destruction of Sodom?

Gen 18:23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
Gen 18:24 Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?
Gen 18:25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?
Gen 18:26 And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.
Gen 18:27 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes:
Gen 18:28 Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.
Gen 18:29 And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty’s sake.
Gen 18:30 And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there.
Gen 18:31 And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake.
Gen 18:32 And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.
Gen 18:33 And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.

We can be sure when the Lord returns to this earth, the church will have been taken to Heaven and all those left behind have rejected the truth of God!

This day may not be too far into the future.

Praise the Lord for His patience!

We need to ignore the mockers and realize the truth of what God says!

*2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Jesus made a promise that He will return in His person and He will keep that promise!

It does not matter how much time has passed God will do what God said He will do!

Time means nothing to God He dwells in eternity!

We must not be discouraged because of the time that has passed.

God does not want anyone to perish. God wants everyone to get the opportunity to meet our Savior!

The truth is, God is slow to give into the punishment He has also promised.

God’s love will not allow Him to feel good about judgment, but judgment is a necessary thing or God would not be God.

He could not explain His actions to those of the day of Noah when they come before Him at the White Throne Judgment.

He could not explain His actions to those of the day of Sodom when they face Him at the White Throne Judgment.

Judgment must come because this is also a promise that cannot be broken.

God does not want any of His created beings cut off from Him, but this will be something they have chosen.

When you choose judgment rather than salvation, then it is judgment that you will receive.

God has promised to allow us to choose!

God wants us all to walk away from sin and walk in righteousness!

So the Lord will return.

The Lord will stop in the clouds and call out His Church:

1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

1Co 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1Co 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1Co 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

It is only after this event will the Lord return to plant His feet on Gethsemane.

He has already announced His return so He will return unannounced just as that thief who comes to rob you comes without your knowledge!

The evil world that remains after the Church is in Heaven, will continue to go about its evil and immoral business until all of a sudden, they will realize the what God said was true and destruction and mayhem will be going on all around them!

1Th 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
1Th 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 1Th 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

Rev 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

You see it is because we know all these things, that we need to be busy reaching out to our family and friends and the lost!

*2Pe 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
2Pe 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

It is a fact that these words have more meaning today than they ever have. The world is hunting an excuse to all the catastrophes that are going on but are rejecting the true answer.

The lost world still believes that the stability of our world can be solved with science and technology yet there are no answers to what is going on now called climate change, except to blame man for bad practices.

There have been bad practices pushed by the lusts of wealth and that same lusts for wealth is the driving force behind what is called climate change.

In the end the guilty nations will be expected to pay for the damage they are accused of. My question is to whom will they pay? Surely not the UN.

The truth is our world is changing around us just like it always has, and we need to take notice because the Lord could return in the next moment.

What will those who are alive see then and who will they blame it on?

The heavens will be on fire!
The heavens will be dissolved!
All the elements that we see every day will melt in the extreme heat!

Who would want to be here to witness these things before their eternal death?

They will leave this inferno to go to and even hotter place called Hell, to even leave that place to go to an even hotter place called the Burning Lake of Fire.

Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Why do those who see the beginnings of these things think they can stop what God has said is going to happen.

The Lord is going to return to this earth!

What does that “Born Again child of God expect in his or her future?

*2Pe 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Why will the Church miss out on these things? Because God promised we would not see His wrath!

1Th_5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

1Th_1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

It is only those who reject the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” who will witness the wrath of God!

This is also a promise! Do not let those false teachers deceive you!

Eph_5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

There will be and entirely New Heaven and an entirely New Earth and the most precious city will be an entirely New Jerusalem!

Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Rev 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

These are the reasons we are foolish not to believe the absolute truth of God!

*2Pe 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

Who are the beloved of God? All those who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God!

1Jn_2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

We must diligently prepare for the coming of the Lord by being busy in the work the Lord has given us to do and this work will not prosper until we live a life of righteousness ourselves!

We are to be at peace with the promises of God!
We are to be without spot, which means we need to live cleans lives according to the Word of God.
We are to be blameless, which means we are to innocent of any wrongdoing, according to the Word of God! Also obeying the laws of man that do not conflict with the Word of God!

Eph 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Php 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Php 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

We may suffer in this world because we have given our life to the Lord, but that suffering has an ending when the promises of God reach perfection!

*2Pe 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
2Pe 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

You see those that see the wrath of God and face Him at the White Throne of Judgment, will have reach that point because of their own actions.

The Lord came to save but it requires our faith in Him and the work He has done for our salvation!

Peter the Apostle to the Jews and Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles had the same exact message!

Heb_10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

And our faith must show in the things the Lord has ask us all to do!

Jas_2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

These are all things that we should know if we have left the “milk” of the Word and are feasting on the “meat” of the Word of God!

*2Pe 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
2Pe 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Again who are the beloved?

We see another warning of the false teachers that are filling the pulpits of today because we have no excuse not to know the truth of all these things today!

What is another part of our job until the Lord takes us home? We are to offer to all others the same “GRACE” the Lord has given to us and then we are all to grow in that grace!

We are to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior! We do this in personal Bible Study with the Holy Spirit and then truthful Preaching and truthful Sunday Schools and in any other way we can gain the knowledge of the truth, remembering we are to ask God Himself when we need that little bit more of understanding!

Amen!

Let’s pray!

Grace Grace God’s Grace

Growing In Grace

2 Peter Chapter 1:1-11

As we have just spent several weeks in the study of the first Book of the Apostle Peter, we saw that the Book of 1 Peter was devoted to the remedy for suffering Christian Persecution. That remedy being we must have the “mind of Christ”!

Today as we begin our lessons in the Book of 2 Peter, we will see how Peter looks at the subject of God’s “Grace”.

Peter will teach us, by the Holy Spirit, that above all, we can know the Word of God and we can rely on what God says as the truth!

*2Pe 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

Simon Peter the chosen Apostle of Jesus Christ, still realized in his older days that he was nothing more than a servant of the Lord.

All that truly love the Lord will still come to Him on bended knees!

To be a servant of the Lord is to realize that we are no more than slaves who have been purchased from the slave market of sin and we have a new Master.

We that know the Lord on a personal level, are all bondservants by law to the God of all “GRACE”!

In fact I am a willing slave to the Lord Jesus Christ, He is my new Owner and the only Owner I will ever have!

Who is Peter writing to? To all those who are willing slaves to the Lord Jesus Christ, but slaves because we have “FAITH” in the price that Jesus Christ paid for our freedom.

Jesus Christ paid for us to be free and it cost Him His own life!

Not only was Peter a slave such as you and I and all believers, he was also a chosen Apostle of Jesus Christ.

Those Apostles chosen by the Lord were His messengers of the New Covenant of God! Which is the New Covenant of “GRACE”.

We know that “GRACE” is the unmerited favor of God shown to sinful people.

In reality, God’s Grace is the richness of God’s “GOODNESS”!

It is this “goodness”, this “grace”, that we as Christians are to share with this lost world just as did the Apostle Peter, the servant of God.

Psa 145:7 They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.
Psa 145:8 The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.
Psa 145:9 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.

It is these same ones who have that like precious faith, filled with the Holy Spirit, who are to take part in restricting sin in this world!

2Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

Every lost soul that returns to the Lord, has removed the sin he once had and walks in a New Life.

There is a little less sin in this world every time someone accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior!

These things come by the knowledge of the truth of God!

*2Pe 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

How do we show God’s grace to others? We accept every “born again” child of God into our Church family, no matter the history of their old life!

This is the difference in living under God’s grace than being in God’s grace.

If they are a child of God, then they are our brother or sister in Christ!

As Christians we have all received the undeserved favor of God. We cannot earn God’s favor. We absolutely do not deserve any of the things God so freely gives us, but through His Son He will give us all a little part of Heaven!

The only thing we deserve from our God is “judgment”!

These are the exact same things we are to do for all our Christian family, except to “judge”. All judgment will come from the Lord.

God has made it possible for us to experience His “grace” rather than His “judgment”!

What is so great about being in the grace of God?

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

It is in our body where we can feel the loving grace of God by the things that He does for us.

Php 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

It is in our mind that we can have that peace that cannot be understood by this world!

Rom_15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Php_4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

The Lord Jesus Christ not only gives us these things upon our faith, but He actually multiplies them!

He gives us an abundance and then gives is us even more!

Jesus does this so we can share that grace and that peace of God with everyone we come in contact with!

We cannot receive these things until we know the Lord as our Savior and these things are added as we learn more about Him!

If Jesus Christ is your Lord, then He is your God!

Jesus Christ is life and the giver of life!

Jesus Christ is God and the giver of godliness.

Jesus Christ is righteous and the giver of righteousness.

If you have any gift, then it came from God.

All things necessary for life are given by the Lord Jesus Christ!

*2Pe 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

We should have no fear in this world because the Lord has already given to us all things that are necessary for our salvation.

There is nothing related to our eternal life with Him that He will hold back!

God has given to us all things necessary for our “spiritual life” and He will never take any of those things away from us!

We cannot lose our salvation once we have truly accepted that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and our Savior!!!!!!!!!!!!

We must not be deceived by those who teach something different from this truth.

The gifts of God are eternal!!!!!!!

He has called us to glory:

God has revealed Himself in a glorious blessing to those who love Him!

Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Rom 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

God has revealed His entire program to the Church!

Gal 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
Gal 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Gal 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

God has called us to virtue:

Virtue can best be understood as living under the powerful influence of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Virtue is the good life that comes from being Christians in the complete will of God.

Gal_6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

Php_4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

We cannot know what living for Christ is all about, unless we study the Scriptures!

It is only in the Scriptures that we can learn of the great and precious promises given to us as gifts from God!

*2Pe 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

These are powerful Scriptures and we need to take heed to what they say!

God’s promises are His assurance that we will receive His blessings!

God’s promises are divine: Which means they come from God our divine Creator, who by the way was the Lord Jesus Christ.

God’s promises are suitable for all our situations as believers.

God’s promises are clear!

God’s promises are certain!

When we understand the promises of God and live accordingly, we will be partakers of His divine nature!

Eph 4:21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
Eph 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
Eph 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
Eph 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

This is the only means of escaping the corruption of this world and this corruption comes by our own lust and our foolish pride!

1Jn_2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

These are the things that we as Christians must flee from, to escape the corruption of this world!

The seed of corruption is caused from sin and by the Lord Jesus Christ we are made free from sin!

The Grace of God comes by His divine power, His resources are infinite, and His promises are sure and since He can never die His promises cannot expire!

When we have that peace of God because of our faith and the multiplied grace of God because of our faith, then and only then can we grow in the Lord!

*2Pe 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

In short virtue is the effect that knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior has had on our lives. So if we add to this virtue Peter is saying that we are to have that same effect on all others.

We should be so much like Jesus Christ that others want to be like Him to!

Virtue is the very best part of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is His eternal being!

The three virtues of each Christian are bound up in faith, hope and charity.

1Co 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Our own virtue must be based on all the things of Jesus Christ!

Being diligent means to must guard ourselves against any defilement!

Heb 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

Being diligent means we must search our heart to be sure of our confession of faith.

Psa 77:6 I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.

Every Saint of God must have diligence!

2Co 8:7 Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.
2Co 8:8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.

The one most important thing is that we know without a doubt that we are saved and are “Born Again”!

Then and only then can we add to our virtue, knowledge!

Knowledge is a gift of God by the Holy Spirit as are all gifts. Knowledge is closely related to wisdom and refers to our ability to properly understand the truths revealed in the Scriptures.

The knowledge of God is possible because He has revealed Himself to us and it requires our faith, the grace of God, the peace we have in knowing God and then our own virtue in being like Christ Jesus.

The sanctification process of each saint of God is a step by step process and is processed and led by the Holy Spirit who dwells within each of us.

It is after this knowledge that we are able to temperance.

*2Pe 1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

**Temperance means we have the power within ourselves to defend our faith and virtue in the Lord. We have self-control over the acts of our body!

Temperance means we have mastered our passions that would lead us to sin! Temperance means we have realized that the “grace” of self-control comes because of the presence of the Holy Spirit who lives within us and who is our strength.

By the Holy Spirit we can have control of our rebellious desires!

I used to drink and smoke and commit other sin, but I just do not want to anymore, because I have temperance.

These things also work for me, because I also have patience!

**Patience. There is what we call inactive patience and active patience. We must have active patience!

We cannot just sit back and put up with the trials of life, taking them one by one as they come!

We must stand up and face the trials of life head-on! We must conquer the trials of life and make them useful for us and not be against us!

We must understand that God allows the trials of our life so we can grow and be strong in the defense of the “Gospel”.

Heb 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
Heb 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Heb 10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
Heb 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
Heb 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

Jas 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Jas 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Jas 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

We must remember that all our trials borne with patience, will end in triumph!

Rom 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

to continue our Christian growth having added temperance and patience we must then add godliness.

The Lord would not have put these things in a specific order if it were not the best for us!

**Godliness includes all things necessary for our Christian life!

1Ti 4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
1Ti 4:9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.

Whatsoever is needed for life is given to us by Jesus Christ and the Lord longs for us to have an abundant life.

This life that is given to us is to be lived the way God intended and God intended for us to live godly lives!

Godliness means we are to live in awe of our Creator and our Lord!

Godliness means that we are so aware of God’s presence in our lives, that we live as He would live in our circumstances.

Even after this God says we still need to add some things.

*2Pe 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

We must possess that brotherly kindness. The very special love that exists between brothers and sisters in a loving family.

These are brothers and sisters who truly cherish one another.

This is to be what family is all about.

It is to be the same for all our Christian brothers and sisters in Christ!

Those who have brotherly love have been “Born Again” by the Holy Spirit, and therefore we all have the same Father.

The great example of this is when Mary the mother of the Lord, when the Holy Spirit came upon her and she was overshadowed and she was with child, the baby Jesus.

Each of us, the children of God have a new Spirit that binds us to one another in a love greater than all families because we have become the family of God!

We may not even know all our brothers and sisters in Christ, but these are the ones we will spend eternity with!

We have a new Spirit, we have a new Family, because we are bound together by the Holy Spirit into “Brotherly Love” for one another!

1Jn 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

But there is even more we cannot stop here we must add Charity!

In our English language we do not have a definition of love that comes close to the love of God. That word “Charity” is the closest word that even comes close to what the love of God really means.

Charity is the greatest of the three Christian graces.

Faith, hope, and charity!

How can we describe charity?

1Co 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
1Co 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
1Co 13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
1Co 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
1Co 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

Charity is as close as we will get to perfection upon this earth and then only if we include all these other things that Peter has mentioned in these Scriptures.

Col 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Col 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
Col 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

If we cannot do our best to show the love of God, then we are failing in our walk with the Lord!

If we have that true love of God in our hearts, but for some reason this does not show in the way we live and the way we give, then we need to try harder!

The Agape love of God loves regardless of feelings, (whether we feel like loving or not).
The Agape love of God loves even if that person does not deserve our love.
The Agape love of God loves even that person who is utterly unworthy of our love.
The Agape love of God, gives and gives and gives and does not stop giving love!

What did Jesus say?

Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

All the Word of God is about the love of God, and we are to be God’s example of His love for one another!

These are all the things that are to be in us if we are God’s children.

*2Pe 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

When it is all said and done, all these things are the “fruit” of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Php_1:19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

These things must be added to our lives and not only that, but these things must “abound” in our lives!

This is the answer to the question, “what does it mean to grow in Christ Jesus”?

We have to grow and grow and grow, reaching out for the perfection of Jesus Christ!

Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Psa 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
Psa 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

As we continue in this Psalm, we see these words:

Psa 1:4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
Psa 1:5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
Psa 1:6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

*2Pe 1:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

What is the bleak picture of all those who do not grow in Jesus Christ?

Remember Peter is writing to the Church.

When we do not grow in Christ, we become Spiritually blind!

Short sighted in all the things of God!

Where is the modern-day church? Short sighted in the truth of God!

We will lack in the true purpose of why God leaves us here after He has saved us!

It is possible for us to be forgiven of our sins and not be in the will of God and not growing in Christ!

In fact this describes many a house of God today!

When we were first saved, we had a clear vision of seeking the things of God, but because we have not grown, we have lost that vision and in reality, are of very little use to the plan of God! Many will even hinder the plan of God!

When we forget that we have already been purged from our old sins, we are just one step away from returning to those sins!

It is impossible that we have not seen good Christians who have neglected to grow in Christ and have lost their understanding of the truth of God!

Walk the streets of America and you will see they are everywhere!

Heb 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
Heb 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
Heb 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

It is in our best interest to make sure that we have been called by the conviction of Holy Spirit, and have answered that call with true repentance and true faith!

*2Pe 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
2Pe 1:11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

What is diligence?

The Apostle Paul said it like this:

Php 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
Php 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Php 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

You see, if we do all these things just as the Holy Spirit has revealed them to the Apostle Peter, we cannot fail in our walk with the Lord and we will be in the perfect will of God the Father.

If we have truly elected to be in the family of God, we will not have a problem in seeking all these things for ourselves.

Most all of us have stumbled in our Christian walk, and if we want to stop stumbling then here is God’s answer!

If we have been coming up short in our walk with the Lord, then here is God’s answer!

If we have been falling when we should have been running the race of God, then here is God’s answer!

If we live a life of sorrows, then we can make this life we have to be a joyful life if we take these things just as they have been written to us and act on them with diligence!

God makes these things easy for us, because this is the reason the Holy Spirit is living inside us!

We must need to be diligent in seeking these things!

Our walk with the Lord requires our personal effort!

Our salvation is the gift of God, after we have shown faith and this first bit of faith, He will even provide.

After accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, it is then we begin that race that the Apostle Paul so speaks of.

Abundance means riches. We will live a rich Christian life, not in monetary gains, but Spiritual gains here on earth and then enjoy the riches of Heaven that cannot even be described!

The reality of these things is that they are eternal!

The Kingdom of God is real!

Mat 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Mat 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Mat 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Mat 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

Our life in Christ can be the best life we have while we are still living and then we will go to live in the actual home of God!

Amen

Let’s us pray!