2 Peter 3: The return of Jesus
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Monday John 14:1 (NRSV)
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.”
What kinds of things trouble your heart?
Jesus seems to suggest that believing in God and in Jesus is an alternative to letting your heart be troubled. How has it made a difference when you applied your belief in God and Jesus to something that has troubled you recently or in the past?
Tuesday John 14:2 (NRSV)
“In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.”
What are the implications of Jesus’ preparing a place in heaven for us?
How does that impact your life today?
Wednesday 2 Peter 3:3 -9 (NRSV)
First of all you must understand this, that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and indulging their own lusts and saying, "Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since our ancestors died, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation!"
They deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago and an earth was formed out of water and by means of water, through which the world of that time was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the godless.
But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.
What are some implications of the statement that all times are the same to God (one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day)?
Peter says the slowness of Jesus’ return is prompted by his mercy: Jesus wants all to come to repentance. What do you think of Jesus’ return? Does it seem too slow? Too fast if it happens tomorrow?
Thursday 2 Peter 3:10-12 (NRSV)
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed. Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire?
Peter asks, "What sort of persons ought you to be?" which prompts the comparative question: What sort of person are you?
How are you leading your life in holiness and godliness?
What are you doing as you wait for and hasten the coming of the day of God?
Friday 2 Peter 3:13 (NRSV)
But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.
Peter says when the new heavens and the new earth arrive that righteousness will be at home there. The injustice often found on this earth will have no place in the new heaven and new earth.
This statement is not meant to cause us to wait until heaven arrives. Prophets in the Bible regularly called God's people to work on behalf of justice in the here and now. (For one example, see Isaiah 58:6-10.)
Where do you see righteousness today?
How have you tried to help others experience righteousness?
What are some places where righteousness is lacking that you would like to see it before Jesus returns?
How might you act to help those places/people experience righteousness?
Saturday 2 Peter 3:14-15a (NRSV)
Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.
What have you done (or have begun to do) differently as a result of this Bible Study?
What help do you need?