Outlook of an Elderly Man
2 Peter 1:12-15
Last week on our text, one of the main point on the lesson is to urge believers to make sure that they are truly saved. We have to “give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall”. We must press on in all obedience to have the seven characteristics of Godly person. This morning we will talk about Peter’s outlook or perspective as an ageing man who is nearing his death.
I. His outlook on reminding
A. He does not want to be negligent in his ministry in reminding. 2 Pet. 1:12a
B. Peter is telling here his readers to put them into remembrance those things they already know. 2 Pet. 1:12 b
C. He wants them to remember of the “truths” which they already accept as the “truth”. 2 Pet. 1:12c
D. He reminds them of the things he has written from verses 1 to 11.
E. He is committed to “put you always in remembrance”. He wants to continue and insist of reminding them as long as he lives.
F. Peter is steadfast to remind his readers even after his death.
G. He knows that his end is near and he is aware that he is being used by God to write some of the book in the Scriptures. His words will be used by God to prolong his ministry of reminding.
H. He is still reminding us at present with his Epistles through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
I. The Pastor’s duty therefore is to remind:
2. “Of these things”
3. “Though they knew them”
4. “And were established in them”
J. The urgency of the matter
2. We remember a single fault or injury and forget a multitude of gracious benefits
3. Material things are easier to remember than spiritual things.
4. The Bible tells us about Israel: “they forgat the Lord their God”. (1 Sam. 12:9).
Illustration: Importance of Reminders
It was important for Peter to bring known truths to remembrance. Believers are apt to forget them, and then they do not exert the influence that they ought. Amid the cares, the business, the amusements, and the temptations of the world, the ministers of the gospel render us an essential service, even if they do nothing more than remind us of truths which are well understood, and which we have known before.
A pastor need not always aim at originality; he renders an essential service to mankind when he reminds them of what they know but are prone to forget. He endeavors to impress plain and familiar truths on the heart and conscience, for these truths are most important for mankind. Though we may be very firm in our belief of the truth, yet it is appropriate that the grounds of our faith should be stated to us frequently, that they may be always in our remembrance. (Albert Barnes)
II. His outlook about his body and death
A. Peter calls his body as a “tabernacle”. 2 Pet. 2:13
1. Thayer writes that the “tabernacle” is the metaphor of the human body as the dwelling of the soul.
2. Strong says that the “tabernacle” is an encampment, a tenement for the soul.
3. Paul’s concept of the body is the same as Peter’s. 2 Cor. 5:1 – 6.
4. The N.T. also teaches that death is a departure of the spirit from the body to another conscious realm of existence.
B. Death is “putting off the tent”. 2 Pet. 1:14. This means physical death or termination of life and is described in the Scriptures as:
1. “The dust shall return to the earth as it was” (Eccl. 12:7).
2. “Thou takest away their breath, they die” (Ps 104:29).
3. It is the dissolution of “our earthly house of this tabernacle” (2 Cor. 5:1); the “putting off this tabernacle” (2 Pet. 1:13-14).
4. “Falling on sleep” (Ps. 76:5; Jer. 51:39; Act. 13:36; 2 Pet. 3:9.). This is not soul sleep as the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach.
5. “I go whence I shall not return” (Job 10:21); “Make me to know mine end” (Ps. 39:4); “to depart” (Ph. 1:23).
6. Death is the effect of sin (Heb. 2:14), and not a “debt of nature.” It is but once (Heb. 9:27), universal (Gen. 3:19), necessary (Lk. 2:28-30). Jesus has by his own death taken away its sting for all his followers (1 Cor. 15:55-57). (Easton’s Bible Dictionary).
Illustration 1: Death is Universal
When you have had a loved one go to be with the Lord, do not feel like you’re the only person who has had this experience.
There is an Eastern legend about a Hindu woman whose only child had died. She went to a prophet to ask for her child back. The prophet told her to go and obtain a handful of rice from a house into which death had not come. If she could obtain the rice in this way, he promised to give her the child back. From door to door she asked the question, “Are you all here around the table—father, mother, children—none missing?” But always the answer came back that there were empty chairs in each house. As she continued on, her grief and sorrow softened as she found that death had visited all families. Yes, death is universal; our painful experience is not the only one of its kind. Because God is faithful, because Jesus Christ is alive, so is your loved one and mine.
Illustration 2: Nobody Is Afraid of a Shadow
Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, “Death in its substance has been removed, and only the shadow of it remains.… Nobody is afraid of a shadow, for a shadow cannot block a man’s pathway for even a moment. The shadow of a dog can’t bite; the shadow of a sword can’t kill.”
Christ Himself took the full force of death’s destroying power by dying and paying for our sin, then rising from the grave. Trusting Jesus may not remove death’s shadow, but remember, shadows can’t hurt us.
III. His outlook about on things always to remember. 2 Pet. 1:15
A. There are things that we should always remember:
1. The Past mercies of the Lord. Deut. 32:7
2. The wonderful works of God. Ps. 77:11
3. The Lord as a deliverer. Jonah. 2:7
4. The words of Christ concerning benevolence. Acts. 20:35
5. The death of Christ. 1 Cor. 11:25, 26.
6. All the teachings of the gospel. 2 Pet. 3:2
Illustration: Christians Need to Look Back
Sometimes we as Christians need to stop along life’s road and look back. Although it might have been winding and steep, we can see how God directed us by His faithfulness. Here’s how F. E. Marsh described what the Christian can see when he looks back:
The deliverances the Lord has wrought (Deut. 5:15).
The way He has led (Deut. 8:2)
The blessings He has bestowed (Deut. 32:7-12).
The victories He has won (Deut. 11: 2-7).
The encouragements He has given (Josh. 23:14).
When we face difficulties, we sometimes forget God’s past faithfulness. We see only the detours and the dangerous path. But look back and you will also see the joy of victory, the challenge of the climb, and the presence of your traveling Companion who has promised never to leave you nor forsake you.
We must always be reminded of spiritual truths though we already know them. People tend to forget spiritual things easier than material things. We read the Bible, and we go to church to be always reminded of the truths. As children of the Lord we must do our duty also to remind other believers because time is short and we may live long enough to do it.