One Final Reminder
“I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things” (2 Peter 1:15).- 2 Peter 1:13–15
Yesterday we saw that one of Peter’s purposes in writing his second epistle was to remind believers that true Christians must live holy lives by adding to their faith a whole host of godly virtues (2 Peter 1:5–7, 12). As we will see in the coming weeks, this was necessary in order that we might recognize that those using the grace of God as an excuse for debauchery are not to be accepted as teachers sent by the Lord. Peter does not begin to describe the errors of his opponents until he has taken the time to remind us of authentic Christian teaching regarding the need for holiness of life.
Before we discuss today’s passage, we must mention how important it is for us to be grounded in basic biblical teaching so that we might be prepared to recognize heresy. Knowing about cults and such things is good. However, if we allow new believers to study the errors of others without making sure they are grounded in sound doctrine, we are not providing a solid foundation upon which they may stand in the face of adversity.
In today’s passage, we see that Peter’s exhortations regarding the basics of the faith take on a special urgency because he was about to die when he wrote this letter. Jesus has told him that his earthly life will not last much longer (v. 14), and Peter, knowing that his time is short, put his admonitions into writing so that we might have them after he is gone (v. 15). Peter did not become passive in the face of his impending death, but rather worked earnestly so that his last few months or years would produce lasting fruit for the kingdom.
In John 21:18–19, Jesus indicated to Peter the kind of death he would have to endure (probably crucifixion). Whether or not Peter had additional revelation about the timing of his death is not clear. What is clear, however, is that none of us knows the exact timing of his death. Our lives might go on for many years or only last a few more hours. We do know, however, that unless Jesus returns, death is coming, and therefore we do well to use this knowledge as a motivation to work diligently so that we might leave a legacy that produces fruit for the kingdom long after we are gone.
Unless Jesus returns first, we will all one day leave this present world behind. What will be your legacy? Are you working to see that your children become Christians so that they in turn will make disciples after you are gone? Are you a wise steward that you might leave resources behind to help fund the work of the Gospel ministry? Consider what you need to do to leave behind a legacy that will contribute to the advance of the kingdom after you are gone.
Passages for Further Study
1 Sam. 12
1 Kings 2:1–4
1 Cor. 15:58