For the second letter Peter sent to the churches, Peter confronted the false teaching of corrupt leaders. Through them, Satan was raising doubt about the likelihood of a judgement day. At first glance, it seems unimportant, but a close look reveals the reason why this was targeted. If Satan could get the church to believe there was no judgement of wrong-doing, then he could erase their fear of punishment. Without anything being weighed in Heaven’s scales, there was no reason to do right toward others and no reason to let go of sin. Clinging to sin, however, indicated a return to the old man, the old way of life separated from God by lifestyles in sync with the world. Furthermore, having no hope of eternal reward nullified the joy of the Christian walk. Believing Judgement Day didn’t exist challenged other truths about eternity. The result was skepticism toward the spiritual instead of faith. And this was a problem.
To combat this, Peter admonished the church to remember the words of the prophets, to remember the teaching of the apostles, to remember the way God dealt with others in history, and to remember God’s faithfulness to His word in the past. Hadn’t they witnessed prophetic words coming to pass regarding things they DID know? Then those same prophets could be trusted when they spoke about the coming judgement of God. Hadn’t the apostles told the truth about Jesus in regard to salvation? Then their words about judgement could be trusted as well. Wasn’t God’s judgement upon sinful angels and sinful nations recorded? Then His unchanging character would always ensure judgement on sin. Wasn’t God faithful to His word in matters of creation and majesty? Then His word about returning for and rescuing His church was a promise to believe in, and His word concerning judgement sin was one to fear even if what He said did not unfold according to humanity’s assumed timetable.
Peter pointed the church to God’s Word. Whether written, relayed, retold, or recorded, God’s words were faithful utterances to call to mind. They could be believed because they were unified with His reliable character. God could, and would, back up what He said. Remembering this cleared the clutter, enabling a pure mind—void of doubts created by deception.
When Satan challenges the Word that our faith grips, he hopes we will lose our grasp and plummet into doubt and unbelief. But we can rely on God’s Word even when it doesn’t mesh with what we see or what we understand. God’s Word is steadfast. It is an extension of Himself. It is a sure word, validated by His flawless reputation. God’s Word can always be trusted because when He speaks, He means what He says and He says what He means.
Tip/Tidbit: If God said it, you can believe that He is keeping His end of the bargain. Hold fast to your faith without wavering or becoming doubtful in your mind.