Peter gave his own eyewitness account of having seen Jesus’ transfiguration, resurrection, and ascension, and of actually having heard the voice of Almighty God, rolling down as thunder from heaven, approving God’s Son at Jesus’ baptism, and at Jesus’ transfiguration.
John’s message is particularly relevant today, as we also try to navigate increasingly treacherous times for Christians, seeking to embrace each other in love while also protecting those whom God has placed in our care from being deceived.
His was a rich and fruitful life, filled with miracles, powerful teaching, robust theology, and ground-breaking work as an apostle.
Peter took it in stride that all human beings are enslaved—either to God in Christ, or to Satan and darkness. The apostles taught there was no middle ground. Our question today, however, particularly in the west, and even more particularly in such places as the United States, is, “How much free will do humans actually have?”
Maybe the catch word for us, as it surely was for Peter’s readers, who knew this story very well, is Have No Fear. Even despite mistakes, wrong choices, sin, and anything else, nothing can derail God’s plans for God’s people.
These were newish Christians, still in the early stages of having their faith anchored in truth. What a precarious time it was for the first century church.
It complicates things, does it not? When scripture specifically describes Lot and Noah as righteous, then carefully records their drunkenness and sexual deviance.
Now, Peter would present his second and third examples, God’s cleansing the whole earth of abject wickedness, yet rescuing the tiny remnant of righteous ones.
There would be a time of corruption and villainy, but then would come God’s decisive judgment in ways that would summarily dispense with the wicked and would rescue the innocent.
Prophets—and notably Peter—did not write their private opinions, they wrote what they were given by the Spirit of God.