Welcome to our study of 2 Peter!  This book has been referred to by many (and I will name names here lest you think I’m making a grandiose statement with no backing) like Dr. R. C. Sproul, Dr. Steven J. Lawson, and Dr. John MacArthur, among others, along with the letter of Jude, a “dark corner of the New Testament.”  What is meant by that is not that it is a dangerous place, but one that is not visited often and is therefore not taught or well understood by many in Christendom today.  It is not widely read, it is not well studied, it is rarely discussed.  This even applies to schools of biblical scholarship, where critics make the claim it wasn’t actually written by Peter at all, but by some follower of his in honour to Peter.  That makes less sense than you might think too, when you hold up the light of logic to it.  The writer is claiming to be something he is not to try to shine a bright light on people who are not who they pretend to be.  Hopefully the supreme irony and hypocrisy of such a person is not lost on you.

There seems to have been a supreme effort to exclude this letter from the New Testament canon.  Why is that?  Perhaps it has something to do with the subject matter of the letter, which is largely a warning that false teachers were coming to attempt to ravage the Church and testimony to Jesus.  It seems to me a point of logic that if one were planning to “invade” the church like this, one would want it kept secret.  However, because that one is fighting against God, that is impossible; He knows everything, probably before you think it.  It would then follow that if one could not keep it secret that the best way to deal with leaked information is with disinformation and attacking and discrediting the true source of information as much as possible.  Beloved, truth will always come out.  It may take time, effort, and painful sacrifice, but it will always come out.  I don’t care what you apply that to, either, with our current media situation in mind, but our topic is the second general letter of Peter to the churches.

There are a number of unsuccessful attempts by so-called “higher critics” to attack Peter’s authorship, and to be honest it isn’t anything earthshattering or new in the realm of nonsense they have tried to proclaim in order to attack the sufficiency and infallibility of Scripture.  However, the same old Pinnochios have been used against this letter more than any other book in the New Testament.  In fact, this letter is opened just like the preceding letter is, but somehow because of “differences in word usage,” they claim that this letter is NOT written by Peter , all the while NOT contesting the authorship of the first. 

Now to be fair, all of the church fathers in the second century and at the canon conference in I want to say 375ish, hesitated the longest on the authorship of this letter.  However, every single one of them accepted this into the canon of Scripture, including Origen, who for some reason seemed to be a critic [or he was being polemical, I don’t know].  Jude, we think, references 2 Peter in at least 18 verses of his letter, and for that reason, and another one I’ll detail in a moment, we think 2 Peter was written first.  That other reason is that while Peter said that these false teachers were a mostly future event, Jude wrote of them already being there, which logically argues for 2 Peter being written first.

I could literally take a whole hour of time with all the arguments for 2 Peter not being written by Peter and not belonging in the New Testament if I went through all of the reasons and answers, but a reasonable expose and defense occurs in dr. John MacArthur’s New Testament Commentary on 2 Peter and Jude (yes, the same volume).  I encourage the curious to read it our search it up on his website, gty.org.  We are here to study the text of the book, and that’s what I want to get to.

I broke up the text of the letter as follows for easier understanding and summarization:

KV1:19:  Be set free by the Truth, not taken captive by lies

1:1-1:11 – Partakers of the divine nature, having escaped…

1:12-1:21 – The utter importance of the Scriptures

2:1-2:22 – The nature, character, and end of false teachers

3:1-3:9 – The Lord is not slow about fulfilling His promise

3:10-3:18 – Be awake and on guard:  the end is coming

For those of you that have questions about methodology, this is inductive method study, but instead of just a chapter or a portion of a chapter, we do it with a whole book.  This is a good book to try this out on, because it is only 3 chapters long.  Even if you came without a study tonight, you should try it out.  If you want a deeper understanding of the scriptures, it all starts with what it says, and this is how you find out. 

With that said, I believe this is an appropriate time to address something that was said recently in a semi-public setting to me by a particular individual.  Don’t worry, I won’t name you just now.  Sir, you might think that this is “my interpretation,” but this letter has an answer for that in 1:20-21:  “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”  Surprisingly, the main message of what I come up with when I do this doesn’t really vary in great detail from what someone like Dr. John MacArthur comes up with, just in the way I lay it out, and that doesn’t alter what the book says, or the meanings that can be derived, only how much I understand, and that is admittedly less than I would like to understand.  So for the fellow that is constantly saying, “that’s your interpretation” to me, stop saying that.  At least without giving your own interpretation for scrutiny, because that isn’t fair, I’m putting mine out there for public critique.  Also, I should tell you that my so-called “interpretation” is researched through multiple sources, and also aligns with historical Christianity’s interpretation, because that is important.  Moreover, your “that’s your interpretation” statement is faulty in that you seem to think there are multiple ways to interpret Scripture, and Peter here indicates that is not true.  On top of that, your statement “That’s your interpretation” also shows that you think my interpretation is wrong.  If that’s what you believe, and that is what you are indicating, you better come with an open Bible, a lexicon, and the Greek text, because you better believe I can defend what I’m saying, and I will not apologize for speaking the truth…ever.  Keep it up, and I’ll tell everyone how you said, in front of witnesses, whom I can also name, that Roman Catholics and Baptists believe and teach the same thing.  Worse, I’ll name your name publicly, like John said he was going to do with Diotrophes in 3 John 10a, which reads, “For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words…”  That isn’t a threat, sir, it’s a promise to God.  Repent and believe the gospel.

So, on with the Book of 2 Peter!

KV1:19:  Be set free by the Truth, not taken captive by lies

So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.

There are a lot of people today that claim to have the truth, but have nothing to really defend their truth claim that isn’t made up or history that has actual evidence to back it up.  We have a term for this in the biz, we call those things LIES.  If it is made up, it is a LIE.  If you cannot prove something historically, it is a myth at a minimum.  You need to have historical evidence to back such a claim up.  So when an atheist say to me, You cannot prove God exists, he or she is wrong.  I don’t go busting that about, that isn’t Christian either.  I think very carefully whether their assertion needs a response, and if it does, I approach it like this.

One of the first things that has to be addressed is worldview, because it is worldview that actually reveals your axioms, those things that you hold absolutely true (whether they are or not).  I know we live in a post-modern era where it is claimed that all truth is relative and there are no absolutes, but I can only answer that with a question:  Is that absolutely true?  Because when you say “there are no absolutes,” you are making an absolute statement, whether you like it or not.  Then I will try to relate the concept of the absolute to truth that is based in facts, as opposed to fantasy or fiction.  I will usually say something in the course of that conversation like, “The facts don’t really care how you feel on a matter.”  Example:  You may think you’re all scientific and therefore believe in evolution.  Did you know that evolution is not a scientific theory?  It cannot be tested by evidence that is based in the scientific process or method.  No, it requires evidence like what you would use in a court of law, or to prove Abraham Lincoln exists.  Evidence to explain evolution does in fact exist, too…but there are other and easier theories to explain those kinds of evidence and observation.  Also, Science itself depends on observable and repeatable results of a well-designed experiment.  There cannot be an experiment designed to test evolution in a lab.  What kind of methodology could you possibly use?  And insistence that it is the absolute truth apart from any other possible explanation is unscientific in the extreme.  I pointed this out to my thesis advisor after he tried to keep me out of graduate school.  His wife, a paleo-entomologist (studies insect fossils) agreed with me when he started to get snarky, and I snuck out while she was chewing him out, too.  But it was in his senior-level class and lab that I learned at least some of the “evidence” that scientists use to explain evolution.  Too bad for them that all of that evidence violates the second law of thermodynamics.  I also found it funny (like funny haha, AND funny strange) that they continually involuntarily use words like “designed morphology.”   Really?  Who designed it?  And why?  Listen, if there is a design, there is a designer.  To say otherwise is to look at an apartment building and say, “Isn’t it wonderful how the forces of nature through evolution caused this building to design itself from nothing?”  Beloved, these kinds of statements at their base are lies.  To believe them is to be taken captive by lies.  Instead, we need to be set free from that world of lies by TRUTH.  What is truth?  Well, it is more than just facts, but it has to have observable facts that are based in reality and not made up off the top of someone’s head, like our often-used euphemism, car thieves for Christ.

1 Samuel 12:23-24 declares the importance of truth to us when it says, “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way. Only fear the Lord and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.”  The Hebrew word for “truth” is emeth, and it means “stability” in a literal sense, while in a more figurative and metaphorical sense it means “certainty, that which is trustworthy, established, right, sure, verifiable.”  Interesting that word Verifiable is Latin in origin, and it means that which can be shown or demonstrated to be true, that is what is accurate to the facts.”  The Greek word that is equated with this in the New Testament is alethia, which Vine defines in his dictionary as “…used (a) objectively, signifying “the reality lying at the basis of an appearance; the manifested, veritable essence of a matter” (Cremer), e.g., Rom. 9:1; 2 Cor. 11:10; especially of Christian doctrine, e.g., Gal. 2:5, where “the truth of the Gospel” denotes the “true” teaching of the Gospel, in contrast to perversions of it; Rom. 1:25, where “the truth of God” may be “the truth concerning God” or “God whose existence is a verity”; but in Rom. 15:8 “the truth of God” is indicative of His faithfulness in the fulfillment of His promises as exhibited in Christ; the word has an absolute force in John 14:6; 17:17; 18:37, 38; in Eph. 4:21, where the rv, “even as truth is in Jesus,” gives the correct rendering, the meaning is not merely ethical “truth,” but “truth” in all its fullness and scope, as embodied in Him; He was the perfect expression of the truth; this is virtually equivalent to His statement in John 14:6; (b) subjectively, “truthfulness,” “truth,” not merely verbal, but sincerity and integrity of character, John 8:44; 3 John 3, rv; (C) in phrases, e.g., “in truth” (epi, “on the basis of”), Mark 12:14; Luke 20:21; with en, “in,” 2 Cor. 6:7; Col. 1:6; 1 Tim. 2:7, rv (kjv, “in… verity”), 1 John 3:18; 2 John 1, 3, 4.

Truth is ultimately embodied in God the Son, the person of our Lord Jesus Christ.  John 1: 17 says, “For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”  He makes this claim for Himself in John 14:6, which reads, “I am THE way, THE truth, and THE life, and no one comes to the Father except through Me.”  That’s an EXCLUSIVE truth claim.  Truth here is preceded by the definite article, which in Greek signifies that He uniquely is the truth, and everything else is a lie by comparison.  As if that didn’t make the point, He goes on to say that He is the only way to God the Father!  When he prayed for us in that great high priestly prayer in John 17:17, He says, “Sanctify them in your truth; Your Word is truth.”  Truth, in its full expression came by Christ, and Christ is (in John 1:1-3) called the Word of God.  Beloved, the entire Bible is about Him, and if you don’t see that, you may not be seeing the truth, because He is the Truth.  And in John 8:32 he promises to His brethren, “You shall know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 

It is our responsibility to at least pursue that truth that will make us free.  If we are not pursuing Christ with everything in us, then are we really pursuing truth?  I’ll leave you to ponder that as we move on.

1:1-1:11 – Partakers of the divine nature, having escaped…

Yes, Beloved, you heard that title correctly.  Let’s look at the verse where it say this!  1:4 says, “For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”  My temptation that I must actively resist here is to spill all the content of the next study into this section.  I know I won’t, but I also don’t want to be here all night and into tomorrow, because I have to work, and I’d like a couple hours of sleep anyway.  But that is what Peter said:  that by God’s divine Power, we have become participants in the divine nature!  Now this doesn’t mean people can become God, it means that our dead and sinful nature has been swapped out with Christs, as Paul states in Galatians 2:20, but it HAS HAPPENED.  When?  When we escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust, that is, when we believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  In fact, lets take a look at that verse in Galatians.  “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”  And what does Paul tell us is the reason for this great exchange?  It is seen in the previous chapter in Galatians, in 1:4–“who [Christ from 1:3] gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father…”  Beloved, if you are really His today, you are able to participate in His divine nature thanks to this great exchange!  You now have the authority to live a righteous life, and leave sin, no matter what that might be, in your rearview mirror as you move off toward Christ.  Notice though that it says we are partakers of the divine nature, not the divine abilities.  The thought that we can name and claim, or “speak into being” something that we don’t deserve or that we are “littles gods” is not even associated with this, so for you Charismatics that will try to make it so, you can’t, it isn’t even implied.  Nature does not equate with ability.

Clearly, what this section of text is referencing is the gospel of Jesus Christ, whereby (as Paul says) we are crucified to the world and have died with Christ when He died, and rose with Him when He rose, and are seated with Him in the heavenlies all because of what Christ has done for us.  Verses 8 and 9 of this section talk about how if certain spiritual characteristics are present and increasing in us, that it is the proof that He has imparted to us that righteousness that can only come from him, and it is something to which we should want to see grow and be increasingly on display.  “Make your calling and election sure,” Peter says (KJV) in v. 10.  I think this is like my high school basketball coach to our point guards that had the ball crossing center court.  “Show a side,” we would here as we drove forward.   Demonstrate to your teammates what you’re planning to do.  If you encounter resistance, the plan can be altered in no time at all with a flick of the wrist or a bounce pass, he used to drill into the team.  It was apparently good spiritual advice as well!  Show your intentions by the way you advance toward the goal! 

Our comprehension of the gospel is the first principle that Peter talks about, mixed with advice we will look at next time.

1:12-1:21 – The utter importance of the Scriptures

This section of text is replete with references to walking in truth, and walking in the things that Christ has showed you.  Peter recounts the fact that Jesus made clear these things to him personally in 1:14.  Peter also may be indicating that his own death is near and he knows in in v.15, for all those that have questions about dates.  Sometimes it is  argued that the date of the authorship of this letter after the death of Peter, but this verse removes that argument.  It may have been the last thing Peter wrote to the churches that God placed in his care.  This actually raises a point.  Although Scripture is not entirely written as a history book, it is nonetheless an accurate source of historical information.  University religion departments hate that, by the way, I know Carleton’s did, and did everything they could to dispel that idea.  However, the word of God needs no defense, it defends itself to all those that will simply read it–but be careful, you might become a believer!

Peter goes on to talk about how all the stories about Jesus that the writers of the New Testament tell in detail in the gospels are not “cleverly devised fables,” and the Apostles (capital A) were eyewitnesses that were present for those events.  They were there for God the Father speaking audibly from Heaven and announcing His own Son.  Peter was there when He raised the Jairus’ daughter from the dead.  He was part of that inner circle of close friends (with James and John, those sons of thunder).  And he has something to say as that individual:

We wrote it all down for you!  We carefully explained it all, and you need to pay attention to it and follow the Lord’s instructions!  This stuff isn’t all just opinion and choice, this is the very will of God for you, and you ignore that at your peril, because it isn’t us that wrote it really, we were inspired by the Holy Spirit, Himself God, and you cannot ignore that.

I add this:  If you aren’t at least trying to live like this matters, and Beloved, I understand that no one gets it perfect, then don’t call yourself a Christian, because you aren’t.  I know that sounds harsh, but it should.  Peter died, tradition tells us, crucified upside down because he did not consider himself to be worthy of the same death as our Lord died; He died just after this letter was sent, according to 1:15.

All this to say that everything the Scriptures say is the very word of God.  If you aren’t making a few minutes every day to read a short portion for your own benefit, you should be.  It is everything we need for life and godliness (1:3).  Read them.  Learn them.  Follow them.  I know, harder than it is to say.  Here’s partly why.

2:1-2:22 – The nature, character, and end of false teachers

Peter explains in chapter two of his second letter everything you need to know about false teachers but were afraid to (or maybe just didn’t want to) ask.  Again, I have to resist the temptation to give you all of that study at once, or we will be here for an extra hour or more.  A couple of things are worth mentioning, however.  Note what it says in verse 1.

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.”  Peter is writing in the future tense here, indicating that even if some of these guys were already active, it was going to be a lot worse, and that very shortly.  He also indicated that this wasn’t a new thing happening, it happened in the days of ancient Israel as well. 

We shouldn’t be surprised that this happens, either.  God has individuals in the cosmos that do not like Him, and do not agree with His ways that have a lot more power than we do.  Lucifer and all of the fallen ones that fell in with him are those that oppose everything God wants and stands for, and they actively work against what the Lord has ordained.  I know, it sounds dumb, because they cannot win, but nevertheless they do it, and they make things a real mess for those of us who are trying to follow the One True King as it were.  They seem to delight in it.  It is simply what they do, and they must until the King finally puts a stop to it.  It’s hard to watch, and it’s harder to go through, and it is particularly hard when some of US get involved actively. 

Allow me to explain.  When a man stands in the “pulpit” that God gave him and then shouts loudly that “I am God Almighty,” you are dealing in that individual with a false teacher, not by my standards, by God’s.  Exodus 20:3 says, “You shall have no other gods before me.”  If you are claiming to be god instead of Him, or even rank yourself as equal with Him, you are placing yourself as a god in front of God Himself.  Folks, that’s Commandment Number One, and blown to bits by Steven Furtick on May 4, 2021.  And the audience CHEERED!!!!

It isn’t always that obvious, either, and it is literally everywhere.  I once heard a man who has sometimes preached HERE, and I believe brother Alex was there and heard it as well, that Roman Catholics teach exactly the same thing as Baptists.  Now if you’ve hung around here for any length of time at all, you know that’s not true.  But this man, who is supposed to be a pastor and teacher like me,  seems to be far more ecumenical than is good for anyone.  Beloved, Roman Catholics teach that grace is communicated to us by the sacraments and it is only in keeping them that we can “store up” enough grace for ourselves to go to heaven.  I know this for a fact, and every actual Catholic Priest (and some good Catholics I know) all say that.  The Bible teaches something else.  Ephesians 2:8-10 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”  Beloved, there is nothing unclear about this.  Nowhere does it say we have to do any form of “works” to be saved.  Salvation, Paul tells us, come through grace alone, by faith alone, in Christ alone!  In fact, he says that it DOES NOT come by works so that no one has the ability to boast and say they did it on their own!  Works are involved for those who HAVE ALREADY been saved, but serve as proof of that salvation, and have no salvific value in and of themselves! 

Let’s let that serve for the moment, we will definitely want to unpack this chapter carefully.  I haven’t yet decided how I will handle this in terms of number of studies just yet, and that is because there was no really good way to break up the chapter into subunits.  We will do that and then decide in this case, because this isn’t the only teaching we do.  I have a pulpit supply July 24th, yes, I’ll try to stream that, and I am putting on a discipleship conference in September, and although I have all the initial material ready to go, I want to think my way through it and pray.  I’ll try to stream that too.  Actually, I solicit your prayers for that as well.  And if you’d like to attend, drop me an email or get in touch with me through the BereanNation.com website.

3:1-3:9 – The Lord is not slow about fulfilling His promise

This section deals with a lot with the mocking that in this day and age is becoming much more commonplace than it was even 100 years ago.  It isn’t a surprise, Peter tells us what is happening right in the text, right in verse 3.  “Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts…”  I’m not going to say that we are in the last days for sure, but this is becoming far more prevalent today than in times past.  As we get closer to earth’s final days, I’m sure it will get worse, too.  Peter is saying here that even though these things will happen, it isn’t because the Lord is being slow.  No, instead, He’s being merciful and patient–3:9 states that He is doesn’t want any to perish, although some will insist on that.  NO!  Christ wants everyone to repent and turn to Him in faith!  The reality, and I think this is why He wept outside Jerusalem, is that not everyone wants to call Him their Lord.  Tainted by the depths of their own depravity, they will not turn to Christ in faith and be saved.

What am I talking about?  I’m talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Whether you realize it or not, and whether you agree with it or not, God loves you so much, that God the Son became a living human.  We celebrate His birth every year at Christmas, which is  named for Him.  We love that time of year as a society, and because we are all sinful humans, we do everything we can to not let it go beyond the meaning of family in the world, and we fill it with all kinds of unbiblical things, but We cannot hide the fact that God became a man.

And that bouncing baby boy grew up!  He lived a sinless life under the law of Moses (which is really His law anyway), and at the right time in history, willing and knowingly gave up his life as a sinless sacrifice as the Lamb of God for the sins of all those who would ever turn to Him!  Did you catch that?  He lived the life you couldn’t even if you wanted to, and then died the death that belongs to you even if you won’t acknowledge that.  But if you will repent, that is change your mind about your sin, which is what that Greek word means, even just admit that it is a sin against a holy God, and then believe that His death on the cross was to pay the penalty for those exact sins, then it says in Romans 10 that you will be saved from the coming wrath of God, which is a really good segue into the next section of text!

3:10-3:18 – Be awake and on guard:  the end is coming

This is something that Peter is repeating from his last letter!  He is drawing the same application this time, though with different words, it is the same theme.  He is saying something like, “Hey, look, this world is going to end, and the only thing we know about this is that it will be soon.  So live like Christ matters!”  He actually goes into some detail, and although I know this isn’t a science text, it sounds like this will be the heat death of the universe, doesn’t it?  Maybe we’ll try to say something about that when we get there.

However, with the coming end being almost upon us, and remember, this was written 2000 years ago, give or take a couple of decades, we need to take it seriously.  Peter’s admonition to us here is to be awake.  See 3:17–“You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness…”  Be on guard!  Don’t be carried away by the error of the men that Peter discusses in chapter 2.  Instead (3:18), “…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Peter’s point in this section of text is this:  Because we know the world is ending, we need to be prepared for it properly.  First, we need to have believed the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the only way of reconciliation with God for your sins.  Once you have believed, you have to live by the laws and principles of His coming kingdom in the here and now.  If you cannot do that, or if you don’t want to, perhaps you need to go back to the “believe the gospel of Jesus Christ” step, because that is really the answer.

Looking around at the state of the world today, it seems like we are accelerating toward the end of history as we know it.  For some, this will mean the end of their world at least, especially the crowd that is already “living their best life now.”  For the rest of us regular suffering saints, that is in the future.  There is very little difference between living your best life now and the philosophy of “he who dies with the most toys wins.”  You go and accumulate what the bible calls “stuff” in the KJV, or “baggage” in the NASB (1 Sam 30:24), and the largest pile wins at the end.  But what are you really winning?  You are winning wrath.  It is no prize at all.  Think about it.  You succeeding in life is not a guarantee you will succeed after that.  And he who dies with the most “stuff” is still dead!  No ability to enjoy the stuff you’ve gathered.  Ah, the dangers of materialism, yes?

Peter is clear in all of his writings that there will be something after the end of this present world (3:13).  Paul talked about it too.  John most definitely talks about it!  And getting there requires that you believe that Jesus became a man so as to die in your place, and that after accepting that reality, you live like He really did that, because He did! 

I can think of no better way to leave this point than a consideration of what that will look like, and there is no better description that John’s in Revelation 21, where John catches a glimpse of the eternal state.  I’ll start in verse 1 and read for a few verses:  “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”  And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He *said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “ It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.” (Rev. 21:1-7)

Beloved, if we were to read on through the end of that letter from John, we would read the great invitation from The Son of God and His Bride:  “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.” (Rev. 22:17)

Maybe you’re sitting there, and your heart like mine, is saying, “I want that.”  Our Lord is very generous in that He has already paid your fare for passage on this trip.  He has died in your place to pay the penalty for every sin you have ever committed.  You do not have to wait to clean up your act for Him, He has already paid the worst price imaginable, and set you free to choose Him.  You too can come.  What you need to do is respond, and you don’t even have to do it out loud.  You don’t have to leave your chair.  You don’t have to walk to the front.  You don’t have to DO anything!  He has already done it.  What you need to do is respond by repenting of your sins, that is acknowledge that they are sin and turn away from them to God!  Believe in your heart that He not only paid the price, but that God accepted that payment and was in fact so pleased with it that Christ rose from the grave to SHOW that the price had been paid, and that the power of sin in your life has been broken, and someday he will take the presence of sin away from your life. 

That’s how you get that.  Want it.  Respond to it.  Live it. 

That’s what I saw in the book overall.

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