Let's Stay the Course
“Therefore, I will always remind you about these things—even though you already know them and are standing firm in the truth you have been taught. And it is only right that I should keep on reminding you as long as I live. For our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me that I must soon leave this earthly life, so I will work hard to make sure you always remember these things after I am gone. For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain. Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts. Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.” 2 Peter 1:12-21 NLT
Peter wants the believers in Jesus to stand firm in their faith. He knows his earthly life and ministry is nearing the end. Harsh persecution was being experienced by those who were followers of Christ. He knew, by revelation from Jesus Himself that death was coming soon. Peter was martyred under the Roman Emperor Nero around A.D. 68. This letter was apparently written just prior to that event. A man who knows he is facing imminent death will get very clear in his proclamation of faith. Peter wanted to affirm the certainty and authenticity of the life and ministry of Jesus. He used the experience of Jesus transfiguration as a reference to his eyewitness of Jesus divinity (see Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35). Forever etched in his mind and heart would be that grand and glorious experience. He also wanted to admonish the fellow believers, Jew and Gentile alike, to hold fast to the things they had been taught. They must stay the course and not allow false teachers and false teaching to invade their ranks. The gospel of Jesus must be defended, even to death. This was the man who had denied Jesus three times during Jesus trial. Peter would not fail HIs Lord this time. Peter was, now, a Holy Spirit filled man (see Acts 2). He was sold out to Christ. Nothing, and no one, would turn Him away from Christ. In John 21:18-19 Jesus prophesied how Peter would die. ““I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.” Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.”” John 21:18-19 NLT Peter is traditionally believed to have been crucified upside down. It is said that he would not be crucified right side up because of his earlier denial of Jesus. We aren't certain that Peter was crucified, but we do know that crucifixion was commonly practiced by the Romans and if he wasn't crucified, he was likely tortured and, definitely, martyred for His faith in Jesus. Peter tells us, in today's scripture, that God's word is given to us by inspiration from the Holy Spirit. God's Word, the Bible, is Divine and trustworthy. (see also 2 Timothy 3:16-17). Brothers and Sisters, let's stay the course and trust God and His Word more than anything, no matter what!!
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Rev. Curtis Norris