July 1st, 2016

Mark_circleSummer has arrived!  As I write this here in Ontario we are experiencing some extreme heat and humidity.  Heat and humidity is one true sign of summer but so is the arrival of our 2nd Summer Study Challenge.  This year we are studying 2 Peter and we have titled this study “Stand Firm – True Knowledge in the Face of Opposition.”

I am excited to dig in to 2 Peter as well as lead one of the online classes with you.  Our prayer as a staff is that you will find great joy in studying this letter over the next few weeks.

What does it mean to stand firm?  Let’s define it this way, “the outright refusal to be moved by anything other what you believe”. The Webster’s dictionary defines stand firm this way, “to be or remain steadfast in conviction despite attack, efforts to persuade etc.  Do you see in our culture where Christians are being attacked for what they stand firm on?  Do you see where people are being persuaded to believe something that goes against God’s Word?  I hope you answered yes to both of these questions because these are the times we are currently experiencing.  The truth of God’s Word is being exchanged for what man believes to be truth.  Truth is being redefined when it comes to marriage, gender, morality, and in many other places.  We are bombarded with a perceived truth and many are abandoning the only truth (John 14:6) for lies.  My heart is broken for those who have exchanged the truth for lies, for those who choose tolerance over truth and yet God warned us this would happen in His Word.

Why 2 Peter?

2 Peter is filled with truth. One of the keywords in this letter is “knowledge” and Peter wants us to know something, he wants us to be reminded of the truth, he wants us to be rooted in truth and be ready for the Lord’s return.  Peter’s 2nd letter most likely was written between 64-67 A.D., but not confirmed, is as applicable today as the day he wrote it.  Tradition states that Peter was crucified in 76 A.D. under Nero’s leadership but that he was crucified upside down as he felt he was not worthy to be crucified in the same way as Jesus.  This eyewitness to Jesus death, burial, resurrection and ascension wants us to know that “[Jesus] divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”  What do you believe?  What will you believe when the persecution comes?  Will you be able to stand firm?  These are the questions we hope will be answered as we learn about this True Knowledge and how to be steadfast and immovable in this knowledge.  Let’s get started…have a great study this week.

-Mark

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