Jump Start # 2490
2 Peter 3:5 “for when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water.”
I was preaching from this section recently, looking at what God has planned for planet earth. There is an opposite in this section. Some were claiming that Jesus wasn’t coming. Nothing has changed. Everything is the same. The Holy Spirit reminds the brethren that things have not always been the same. There was a flood which destroyed the world. Some how, that had “escaped” the notice of those who were denying the return of Jesus.
But soon after this, Peter says, “But do not let this one fact escape your notice.” Others failed to pay attention, but you are different. You will notice these things. The brethren were seeing and thinking differently than others.
There is a similar contrast in Timothy. There Paul said that some would not “endure” sound doctrine. A couple of verses later, Paul tells the young preacher, “be sober in all things, endure hardship.” They couldn’t endure, but you can. You are doing things differently than others.
These two contrasts remind us that the world is impressed with things that does not impress us. The world gets excited about things that does not excite us. And, we, we, see things that the world never does. We value things that the world never does. Character, hope, faithfulness, love, Christ—those are the things that the people of God rally around. Those are the things that we are interested in. These things catch our eyes and impress us.
It escapes their notice…how does that happen? Why is it that some see things and others do not?
First, they would have to be looking in the Bible. It’s the word of God that tells of the destruction of the earth by a flood. When folks are too busy to open the Bible, they are likely to believe anything. There is a whole movement today that actually believes that if we worked hard on the environment, that we could save the planet. It’s not going to be saved. It’s destined for destruction. God has promised that. The world is not going to be destroyed by aliens, nuclear fallout, environmental disasters, pollution or over crowding. The world will come to an end when Jesus comes. This is a spiritual issue not an environmental issue. There will be righteous people living on the earth when Jesus comes. How do you know that? The Bible says so. How do you know that we cannot change global warming and save the planet? The Bible says so.
So many wild ideas evaporate when one studies the word of God carefully.
Second, it escapes their notice because they weren’t looking. If you are looking for something, you might find it. But if you are not looking, you’ll move right on past it. When a person isn’t looking for salvation, he won’t find it. When a person isn’t looking for truth, he won’t find it. Remember, the seek and ye shall find passages? They found, because they were seeking.
Third, it escapes their notice because with many they have made their minds up before they even began to consider evidence or truth. They already knew, so they thought. They didn’t have to look. For Peter, those people already knew that Jesus wasn’t coming. There was no proof for that claim. They had no prophecy about that. There was no evidence pointing to that. And, when a person has their mind made up, they don’t want to be confused with facts and truth. “I already know” allows ignorance, falsehood and imagination to steer the car down the pathway of life. How many patients have stayed away from the doctor, because “they knew” nothing was wrong. When they got so ill that they had to go, they found out they were wrong.
Fourth, it escapes their notice because consequences and commitment comes with truth. As Peter would later say in this section, since these things are to be this way, what sort of people ought you to be. The coming of Jesus wasn’t something you learned in a textbook and wrote a paper on. It’s life changing. Jesus is coming. That means we will have to stand before God. That means this world will not continue on. That means all of this is coming to an end. Truth always carries consequences and commitment. It’s easier to deny these truths, than have to change our ways. If Jesus is not coming, ever, then maybe life will just continue on. Maybe we won’t be judged. Maybe this is it. Maybe the guy with the most stuff wins. But if Jesus is coming, all of this changes. It is a game changer if Jesus is coming.
It escaped their notice. It shouldn’t have. They ought to have seen what other saw. There wasn’t a secret that only a few knew. There wasn’t some truth locked away and no one had the key. The message of Jesus has been preached from the hilltops, to homes, to hearts everywhere. It escaped their notice simple because they weren’t paying attention.
This is a reminder to us, that God’s truth doesn’t escape our notice. Open your eyes. Look within the Word of God. Do not be unwise, but understand the will of God.