Friday, April 20, 2012

2 Peter 3 - Scoffers

Hello Project Ezra!  I pray that you are having a wonderful week in the Lord.  Mine has been busy, but good.  I have been working a bit on collecting some of the pictures and testimonies from Mission Good Friday so I can put up an event report post.  God willing, I will have it up by the end of the weekend.  Even a couple weeks after the event, we still have testimonies and posts on other member blogs which are popping up.  If you have not posted video, pictures, or your testimonies from this year’s Mission Good Friday, it’s not too late.  And, of course, we love to hear from you whenever you have a chance, special event or not.  So please, let us know how you are doing and how you have been blessed and encouraged by Project Ezra.

This week we will be reading 2 Peter, chapter 2.  This book has a lot of good material, and we have already used chapters 1 and 2 in previous readings.  Chapter 3 deal with those who scoff at the Christian faith, among other things.  And if you have participated in Project Ezra before, you have likely had people walking by who have shaken their heads in disgust, or told you to stop being hateful, or intolerant, or judgmental, or who have just yelled curses at you.  You may even have had someone threaten or try to intimidate you.  That happens less often, but can happen.  But don’t let those things discourage you.  God’s word tells us to expect such things, and no matter how faithful you are in your preaching, there will always be those who will mock it and refuse to hear the truth.  Even many who followed Christ left Him when His teachings became difficult to understand, or to accept.  And we KNOW He was being faithful to the word of God in His teaching.

So lets use this week’s chapter to turn to tables on the scoffers, both those who scoff outwardly and those who merely think such thoughts.  This chapter can be used as a challenge, and by God’s grace He will use it to break through their hardened hearts and open their eyes to the truth of who He is, and the show them the depths of their own sin.  Please be sure to pray fervently, both for your own reading and for those around the world who will also be reading.  Pray that God will be glorified through the saving of souls.  Thanks again for joining Project Ezra, and see you on the streets!

All for His glory,


God’s word says that is appointed for a man to die once, and then face judgment

You may disagree.  You may believe there is no judgment, and no God

You may think that when you are dead, you are dead, and it’s just part of the natural order

You may believe that if there is an afterlife, there is plenty of time to worry about it

Or you may believe that if there is a heaven, you are good enough to get in as you are

But none of these points of view is true

There was a beginning, and there will be an end

Even if the judgment is far off, yours may not be.

None of us is promised tomorrow.

God’s word says the heavens and earth that now exist are being kept until the Day of Judgment and destruction of the ungodly

You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  (James 4:14 ESV)

We are also told that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief.  Are you prepared?

Think this is ridiculous?  God’s word predicts that too.

It says scoffers will come in the last days, following their own sinful desires

They will ask “where is the promise of His coming?”

The Bible says they deliberately overlook the fact that the heavens existed long ago, the earth formed out of water and through water by the word of God

By means of this the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.

By the same word the heavens and earth stored up for fire

The heavens will pass away with a roar, heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved.

This is not meant as a scare tactic.  It’s just reality

We are hoping that reality will give you a sense of urgency

So take a moment to consider.  When will your end come?

None of us promised tomorrow

2 Peter 3 talks about lives of holiness and Godliness

None of us can live such lives outside of God’s grace

God’s word also says be perfect as our heavenly father is perfect (Matthew 5:48)

None of us come close

Look at God’s law, and see the true depth of your sin

The law was put in charge, or made our schoolmaster, to lead us to Christ that we may be justified by faith

So take a moment to listen to the schoolmaster, and consider the truth he teaches

The Ten Commandments give us the essence of God’s moral law

They were given to Moses by God Himself, and written with His own finger

Have you told a lie?  All of us have.  And though many treat lying lightly God does not.

His word says all liars will have their part in the lake of fire

Have you stolen?  Even something small?  The value doesn’t matter.

Then you are a thief, and God says no thief will enter His kingdom.

Are you an idolater?  Have you created a god in your own mind, one who will turn a blind eye to your sin?

Have you used God’s name in vain?  If you have treated His name lightly or disrespectfully, and not given it the honor due to the creator of all things, then you have, as I have

These are only a few of God’s moral laws.

But even if you were only to break one, you would be accountable for all in the eyes of God. (James 2:10)

Like hitting a mirror with a hammer, it is impossible to break only a small piece.

We are all guilty in light of God’s law

And God is holy.  His eyes are too pure to look on evil, and He is angry with the wicked every day. (Habakkuk 1:13, Psalm 7:11)

And because even the smallest sin is infinitely sinful against an infinitely holy and perfect God, the punishment we deserve is also infinite.

The Bible calls that punishment, the justice we deserve for our moral crimes, hell

Hell is a place of fire and agony and darkness.  It is very terrifying and very real.  And many will go there.

But God is not only a just and holy God.  His word says he takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that they turn and live. (Ezekiel 18:23)

We need to be made right with God.  And God, in His mercy, has provided one way, and only one way, to be made right with Him

You can only be made right through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ

2000 years ago, Jesus chose to die on a Roman cross.

On that cross He bore the wrath due to us for our sin

Then three days later, as He had prophesied He would, He rose from the dead

And now, if we repent, or turn, from our sins, and trust in Him alone, we can be forgiven

Only Christ was God in human flesh, and more valuable that the rest of the world combined

Only He can pay for your sin

So only through Him can you be saved.

Will still not be perfect, but you will be seen as holy through the holiness of Christ

Will be given a new heart and new desires

Will never be perfect, but will never be the same

Take your eyes off the word, fix your eyes on Christ

Put your whole trust in Him

Turn from your sin and trust in Him today, while He has given you time.

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