"Stir Up Your Pure Minds" (II Peter 3)

"Stir Up Your Pure Minds"
(II Peter 3), Part II

We cannot fathom God's ways. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, his ways higher than ours, but we know this: "Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7). And we have long believed that Peter may have been one of the prophets who was allowed to reveal these clues concerning God's timetable. Was it only a coincidence that he spoke first of the "creation" and then proceeded with 1 day = 1,000 years? (II Peter 3:4,8) I think not.

In Hebrews 4 we are told:

  1. Hebrews 4:4,9
  2. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
  3. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

We also know that those people of God who enter into that rest will live and "reign with him (Christ) a thousand years" (Revelation 20:6). It takes very little deduction to conclude that there may well be a 7,000 year plan of God, culminating with the 7th day as a day of rest for 1,000 years. 6 days of labor, or 6,000 years for man to struggle and toil, and then a period of rest (after the pattern of the Sabbath day).

We all know this, but once again we need to stir up our pure minds. Why? Because of where we are in this plan. The creation is dated by Usher as taking place in 4004 BC. That means that (when we subtract the 1 year going from BC to AD) that 1997 will be exactly 6000 years from that date.

How accurate is that date? It is interesting that the creation date has been calculated over the centuries by many men, including Dr. Thomas (who picked 4089 BC). Septuagint ... 5586 BC; Josephus ... 5402 BC; Chinese Jews ... 4079; Origen ... 4830 BC; Martin Anstey ... 4038 BC.

The variations in dates are only an indication of the fallibility of man. The point is simply this: do not lose your faith (and your salvation in the process) if 1997 happens to go by the boards without the return of Christ.

The 7,000 year plan is not a cunningly devised fable. All things are not continuing as they were from the beginning of the creation. No man knows the day nor the hour but God is not slack concerning his promises. "For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry" (Habakkuk 2:3).

Peter Continues to Stir Us Up
  1. II Peter 3:10
  2. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Again. the implication that his coming will be when men are sleeping. We are encouraged in Luke 12:

  1. Luke 12:35-40
  2. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;
  3. And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.
  4. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.
  5. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.
  6. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.
  7. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

Yes, the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

The events of that day will be catastrophic; when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels:

  1. II Thessalonians 1:8-9
  2. In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
  3. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.
  1. I Thessalonians 5:4-9
  2. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
  3. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
  4. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
  5. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
  6. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
  7. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Yes, let us not sleep, but let us stir up our pure minds by way of remembrance. Remember the promises:

That he would bruise the serpent on the head (Genesis 3:15). That he "preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed" (Galatians 3:8).

That the seed of Abraham was also the seed of David who would be great, and be called the son of the Highest, and the Lord God would give unto him the throne of his father David (Luke 1:32). That he would reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there would be no end (Luke 1:33).

That the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven would be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and all dominions would serve and obey him (Daniel 7:27).

Remember that he confirmed the promises with an oath, for when "he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee" (Hebrews 6:13-14).

Remember that as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven and returneth not hither, but watereth the earth and maketh it to bring forth and bud that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, that so shall his word be that goeth forth out of his mouth. It shall not return to him void but it shall accomplish that which he pleases and prosper in the thing where to he has sent it (Isaiah 55:10-11).

Remember that all of those things that "were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope" (Romans 15:4).

Remember again how he has redeemed Israel, making in one day a nation from the valley of dry bones. One nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel, who will have one king over them all (Ezekiel 37:22). And remember that "the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one" (Zechariah 14:9).

None of these words are new; they are things that an householder brings forth out of his treasures. We reach back into the attics of our minds and we remember so many of God's truths; so many of those wonderful words of hope. "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" (II Peter 1:4).

Remember that we have been told:

  1. Micah 4:1-4
  2. But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
  3. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
  4. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
  5. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.

Remember all of the beautiful words written before by the holy prophets "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King" (Psalms 48:2).

We all have our favorite verses of hope. Allow them to stir up your pure minds, so that by way of remembrance you may be mindful of those things that were spoken by the holy prophets and the apostles.

Why should we arouse ourselves? Why should we stir our minds again? Peter, after reminding us of the great judgments by fire that the heavens and the earth are reserved unto proceeds to ask:

  1. II Peter 3:11
  2. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness?

Yes, there is a message – an exhortation – a purpose to our attempt to arouse ourselves in these final evil days.

  1. II Peter 3:13-14
  2. Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
  3. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

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