“Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 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, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:14–18, NASB95)
In these final words of his final letter, Peter takes this last opportunity to encourage us because of the great hope that we have to live according to that hope in our daily lives. At this time of his life most of the New Testament had been written. Only John and possibly Jude were yet to have been written, though even Jude has so many parallels to 2 Peter that it might have been written very close in time. The apostle Paul would have already have been put to death and all of his letters would have been spread and well recognized. Here, as Peter wraps up his time as the one given by Christ to tend to His sheep, Peter takes this opportunity to endorse the writings of Paul who would make up a significant portion of our New Testament and the majority of the teaching on how we are to live as those who have been saved by Christ.
In restating our need to be on continual guard against false prophets and teachers, Peter directs us to the truth which has been given to us as he had stated earlier in his letter by men who moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God (2 Peter 1:21). It doesn’t matter that we might not fully understand all that Paul or even the prophets may have written, what matters is that we know that these men spoke from God. It is then our task to study these words diligently, to continually hide them in our hearts, and to live by all that we learn from them as we rest in the great hope that they declare.
There will always be those who try to twist and distort words, just as there will always be those who welcome those same twisted and distorted words because they play into their own desires. Peter went to great lengths warning us about these false prophets and teachers, even telling us that they would make their way into our churches which we can clearly see today. But he also told us of the future that awaits them, and it is not good. So, knowing that these people are out there and that they are going to make every effort to wiggle their way into our lives, we are to be even more diligent to run to the real source of truth given to us by God through His true prophets and those who penned His inerrant and enduring Word.
We are Christ’s bride and we are called to live accordingly as His dearly beloved being prepared for Him without spot or blemish. We are not His bride singular, but we are as His church His bride and this means that there is also a great priority in His word that we live at peace with one another as we build into one another and stand together in the face of the resistance of the world. We are to be steadfast in our waiting, and continually growing in both the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. These are Peter’s last words, and they are great words to encourage us as we together live with the great hope we have in Christ. It’s all about living for Him from now on until that great day when we step into His eternal presence awaiting that great feast when His bride is presented complete with every member present. That’s the time frame God has set, and we can be patient as we wait.
“To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”