Sunday School Material 5-26-13: Patient Hope

(II Peter 3:3-15a, 18; 5/26/13)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is believers should live godly expectant lives. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to live godly expectant lives.

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Body:

Read II Peter 3:3-4

I. Scoffers’ Perspective. In the Sunday School material Peter warns his readers about scoffers. They will come in the last days following after their evil desires. They will speak doubtfully of the coming promises.

Applications -

- Withstanding the scoffers. Notice in vss. 3-4 that scoffers should be expected to speak doubtfully about the Lord’s return. There will be those who hang around the church but promote doctrines or teachings that are not in line with God’s word.

We should be thankful for the warning and prepare ourselves to withstand their influence. Prayerfully studying and obeying God’s word with the support of other disciples is the best way to withstand their influence. Let’s prepare to withstand the sway of scoffers.

Read II Peter 3:5-7

II. History’s Perspective. In the Sunday School material Peter says that the scoffers are willfully forgetful. They forget that the earlier world was made of water and destroyed by it. They forget that this world is destined to be destroyed by fire.

Applications -

- Remember the promises of God. Notice in vss. 5-7 that there are those who intentionally forget what God has done and has promised to do. God made, destroyed, made again, promised to destroy again, and promised to make yet again the Heavens and Earth.

God doesn’t need to explain Himself to us, doesn’t need our permission, and can move suddenly. Let’s live like we believe God is a promise keeper. Such living should be known for obeying His word.

Obedience means we have to study and understand first, instead of being willful forgetful as in the text.

Read II Peter 3:8-9

III. God’s Perspective. In today’s Sunday School material Peter tells his readers that God’s timing is different than ours. A day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day. God is not slowful. He is giving people a chance to repent.

Applications -

- God’s timing and plan. Notice in vss. 8-9 that God sees time differently than we do. God is giving people a chance to get right. We should work on trusting God more than we watch the clock. God moves according to His timing.

We should appreciate that just as God’s plan included our being saved, God is giving others the same opportunity. Let’s work on trusting God’s timing and plan. We can help things along by helping people accept Christ as their savior by faith (i.e., evangelism).

Read II Peter 3:10-15a, 18

IV. Believers’ Perspective. Peter talks about the fiery destruction to come. In our Sunday School material he then urges his readers to live godly expectant lives. He urges them to grow in grace and knowledge.

Applications -

- Godly expectant lives. Notice in vss. 11-15a that believers are to live godly expectant lives, in light of God’s plan to help people get saved. To live godly has much to do with loving God with all that we have and loving our neighbors as we love others.

To live expectantly includes having a living hope in God’s promises, instead of being discouraged by what we see or putting our hopes in what we see. Let’s work on living godly expectant lives.

- Growing in grace and knowledge. Notice in vs. 18 of our Sunday School material that believers are urged to grow in grace and knowledge. This idea includes the prayerful study and obeying of God’s word. It includes being more obedient this year than last year.

There are too many in church who are not growing. Too many are simply maintaining. Let’s work on growing in knowing and obeying God’s word.

- Glory to the Lord. Notice in vs. 18 that the Lord is to be glorified both now and forever. Included in this idea is that believers should praise God and live in ways that bring great admiration to God.

Thank God, we don’t have to worry about reading tomorrow’s newspaper or turning on the TV and hearing about God being caught up in a scandal and no longer being worthy of praise and glory. God is worthy of the glory now and forever.

Let’s praise and live in ways that make God look good. Dutiful and enthusiastic obedience is a great step in the right direction.

Conclusion: Let’s work on living godly expectant lives. God has much for those who obey His will.

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