Taking the Epistle

A biblical journey through the epistles

Category Archives: 2 Peter

In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions – Jude 1:17-19

Jude

In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions – Jude 1:17-19 – 01/22/2016

Thank you for reading this Bible study on the book of Jude. This bible study is part of a series on the book of Jude, in order to see the full series please check out our “epistle” page or alternatively please check out our page dedicated to the book of Jude for other studies in this book.

Jude 1:17 (ESV) But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.

Jude continues this short but dynamic epistle by stating a remembrance of the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. The apostles were literally speaking words that were inspired by God and they had good prophetic significance. Jude alludes to this and shows that word of God is always true, always timeless and can always be trusted. Let’s look at the words of the apostle Paul in his 2nd epistle to Timothy…

2nd Timothy 4:1 (ESV) 1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

We learn the following dynamic points that Paul was exhorting Timothy…

• Preach the Word
• Be ready in and out of season
• Reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching

These are musts for moving the needle for Jesus in your neighborhood, whether you are called to teach the word in your living room, a small group, in a church or simply to your family we are called to be consistent when it is convenient and when it is not. We are called to be ambassadors for Jesus Christ and we have to make sure that doctrinally the “ducks are in a row” but we have to lastly do it in love because there is a time coming (and some argue that it is here already) where we will see the following…

• People will not endure sound teaching
• Accumulate teachers to suit their own passions (or ones that will allow them to justify questionable things in their lives)
• Will have itching ears
• Will turn away from truth and start listening to myths

Jude concurs with this teaching in verses 17-18 and I see it today that conservative bible believing churches are being replaced with a more “experience driven” model and that to me is worrying. (Further scriptures you may want to look at are in Acts 20:28-30; 1st Timothy 4:1-2; 2nd Timothy 3:1-5; 2nd Peter 2:1-13; 2nd John 1:7-11.) I am not divisive and will not tear down movements because they do things different to the way I choose to and different people will have different deal breakers when it comes to churches they wish to attend. For me I believe the teaching of God’s word has to be front and center that to me is the major deal breaker and I want to be challenged, encouraged and exhorted by those who wish to mentor or pastor me, for me worship styles, communion methods or other silly arguments we get involved in are just that, silly! Jude talks of such divisiveness in verse 19…

V19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.

We are told it is these who cause divisions, so these people who are open in their sinful lifestyles are in the church and are unrepentant in their ways. If someone was freshly saved or did not know better than that is one thing and a different circumstance to what we refer to here, that comes down to good shepherding and decent pastoral counselling. Jude is speaking of those who are playing both sides of the fence, being a saint on a Sunday and a sinner the rest of the week.

I know all about this as I have done this before I committed my life to Jesus and these people are not all-in believers if believers at all. Obviously I cannot speak for their heart but the lack of spiritual fruit is cause for concern. Because of their lack of spiritual discernment they clash with those who are attempting to do God’s will, they are trying to guide God’s will by the standards of the world and being devoid of the Spirit they are causing tensions because their ideas may sound good to some but they cause dissention and a split in the church.

These are the people who are mockers, following in their own carnal paths and passions. They tend to ask the question first “How does this benefit me? Or “What can I get out of this? Before having an attitude of service and these might be the very people who are being served the most but you will find that because they are not on the same mission as the ones who are following Gods will then this will cause unnecessary hurt and division.

You would have thought the Christian would have learned the lesson of the Pharisee and how the very Messiah that they claim to serve would often times call these people out, calling them such terms as “whitewashed tombs”, “dead inside” and stating that they looked good when they wanted to look religious however they and their hearts were far from God. They are missing one vital component to be truly effective for Jesus Christ, they have no Holy Spirit and I am sure you will agree that we need men and women who are Spirit filled.

Jude will discuss in the next article (Lord willing of course) how to deal with these divisive people in the next article in Jude when we look at verses twenty through twenty three.

God bless and I pray this was a blessing and please feel free to like, share or comment on here or whatever social media platforms you use as the Lord leads you to, as always I love questions about this or any other article so please feel free to fill in the form below, all comments are moderated to avoid profanity.
TTE
TGBTG
SDG

BIAY – Bible in a year – December 22nd 2015

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This article is part of a series called Bible in a year, for the full year please check out our BIAY home page, or for December check out our December page.

Thank you for checking out “bible in a year” post for December twenty second.

Today’s scripture is as follows:

1st Peter 1-5
2nd Peter 1-3.

Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads
TGBTG
TTE

The millennium day

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The millennium day

2 Peter 3:8 (ESV) But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

I know I say this a lot, but I love the letters of Peter, Peter is the one disciple that I identify with most for a few reasons:

1) His foot was never out of his mouth
2) He was also known with two names
3) He took forever to grow, but when he grew, HE GREW
4) He overthought things and his speech was often inappropriate
5) When someone he cared about was in danger, he came out swinging first (admittedly a sword of a soldier’s ear)

What this passage does NOT mean

I love this passage but it has been pulled in ways it never was meant to in order to suit certain agenda’s. The Gap theory people and old earth people have this claim as a banner flag to show that the creation account may well have been 6,000 years as opposed to 6 literal days.

This is not the case as the word for “day” in Genesis is “yom” which means “literal day” and not “a millennia”

What it does mean

God is beyond space and time, he can be literally everywhere at the same time and can be in all periods of history at the same time. When we read that “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” we get a glimpse of the expanse of God. (we serve a BIG GOD!) It also gives me a glimpse of what heaven is like. Reminds me of the great words of that hymn “Amazing Grace”

“When we have been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun
We have no less days, to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun”

This verse to me talks about our patience (or lack of) in dealing with issues that God is working out “in his time”. I am the worst at this, in my time I have tried to hurry God, Counsel God, coax God into giving me my way when God was working all things to the good in his time. This verse also uses similar phraseology as Psalm 90:4.

I liken this to telling my daughter that we are going somewhere, at the time of writing she is a beautiful 5 year old girl, but when this blog posts I will be on a family vacation to San Diego. But from the moment I told her we were going on vacation then she has asked when it would happen. Like the child’s expectation that time would elapse quicker, such is the same between us and God.

Likewise, we got a monetary gift as a blessing recently, it came through the mail, but God taught us all about his timing in that he made us wait until it was in his time. Something that would normally take a week took nearly three and my faith that God would provide was at an all-time low. Amazing what lessons you learn when you are tested huh?

Which leads us to what Peter says next “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness” This is where faith and patience come in. We read that he will fulfill his promise, if he has said he will, then he will that is a cast iron guarantee from the one who cannot lie. Remember how long Abram waited for his son.

God is longsuffering, he loves to give man more than enough time to repent, to get right with him, and he waited nearly 10 years for me to get my head on straight. God is compassionate, he is faithful and will do things in the correct time for God, I choose to trust the one who can see all time, can see how things pan out and has a reason for doing what is done. We get a glimpse of this when we look in retrospect and see how things clicked into place, God sees this going backwards and forwards.

And here is the reason “but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” this speaks for itself and kind of flies in the face of a doctrine that states that God has “pre-destined” or “pre-elected” his chosen amount of people. God is compassionate and desires that none may perish but join his in eternal glory. Trust me, God has made plenty room for everyone.

My prayer is that if you have not made a commitment that you could join us in heaven, there is plenty room for you and I would love to stand next to you as I praise my saviour in his glorious majesty. Please get in contact should you wish to know more about securing your eternal destiny in heaven.

God bless and I pray this was a blessing, please share, comment and like as the LORD leads
TGBTG
TTE

Purim and its relevance to Christians

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On Sundown Saturday 15th March, the Jewish calendar celebrates the feast day of “Purim”. The jist of the festival is the commemoration of the deliverance of the Jewish people from the Persian Empire, biblically this is found in the book of Esther.

In Esther 9 we read (KJV Version)

17. On the thirteenth day of the month Adar; and on the fourteenth day of the same rested they, and made it a day of feasting and gladness. 18. But the Jews that were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day thereof, and on the fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth day of the same they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness. 19. Therefore the Jews of the villages, that dwelt in the unwalled towns, made the fourteenth day of the month Adar a day of gladness and feasting, and a good day, and of sending portions one to another. 20. And Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews that were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far, 21. To stablish this among them, that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, yearly, 22. As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor. 23. And the Jews undertook to do as they had begun, and as Mordecai had written unto them; 24. Because Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had devised against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is, the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them;

As you can read above, Purim is celebrated on the 14th day of the Jewish month of Adar. (Which falls on Saturday 15th March this year) the relevance to Christians is that it is simply in the Bible. The holiday is more of a National holiday rather than a Jewish religious one. Apart from the Torah readings it is a celebration, with costumes, games, noise and food often times the children will act out the passage from Esther. It is a fun holiday.

I love the definition of Purim in this vers “Pur” means lot, or a lot and “Im” is plural so it is literally the feast of lots, Haman cast lots to decide when he was to destroy Israel, serious stuff huh?

According to Wikipedia the four main mitzvot (obligations) of the day are:

1.Listening to the public reading, usually in synagogue, of the Book of Esther in the evening and again in the following morning (k’riat megillah)
2.Sending food gifts to friends (mishloach manot)
3.Giving charity to the poor (matanot la’evyonim)
4.Eating a festive meal (se`udat mitzvah)

Personally I find the whole thing fascinating as it is a part of Biblical history. I am no Jewish scholar or expert in Jewish history, I know what I have read and weighed the perspectives it has been written from in the balance, to balance out any bias.

From a Christian perspective

On a personal note, I equate celebrations of delivery from a past evil much like I view my personal delivery from my sinful ways when I began a relationship with Jesus Christ. Prior to my “BC” (Before Christ) life, I was under a slavery of my own, slavery to sin, slavery to my own will and an ever decreasing circle of being unfulfilled.

I am in favor of the feast of Purim as it is good to remember the times that God has delivered us from the trials that we have been in, whether those trials have been great or small. How many times have you prayed to God for deliverance but not actually thanked him when he got you out of what was troubling you?

I am not a “replacement theology” person and don’t believe that we inherit all the blessings (minus the curses) of the Children of Israel, I believe in a New Covenant where the Christians are grafted in to the original branch, but not at the expense of the root. Jesus came to be the Messiah first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles (or Nations) thereafter.

Much like Haman wishing to destroy Israel, we have a destroyer also. Our sin, should we not accept Christ as our Saviour will keep us out of heaven. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) God is a merciful and gracious God that does not desire that any should perish. (2 Peter 3:9)

Jesus came and died on the cross (John 3:16-17) for us all to deliver us from our state of being without (or separation) from God. We have a new identity, we are a new creation, and we have a new destination when we become post humus in this life. We were born into sin and now have a new life in Christ Jesus. That is cause for celebration indeed.

I have a great love for all peoples, Jews, Greek, Arab, whoever and wish to see you all come to faith in Christ Jesus. As you celebrate one temporary deliverance I pray that you contemplate a far reaching deliverance.

To my Jewish friends and friends of Israel I wish you a happy Purim

God bless you one and all and TGBTG
TTE