Wiersbe, in his New Testament commentary helps us with a reminder of what Peter terms as the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets:
'As far back as the days of Enoch, God warned that judgment was coming (Jude 14-15). Many of the Hebrew prophets announced the day of the Lord and warned that the world would be judged (Isa. 2:10-22; 13:6-16; Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Joel; Amos 5:18-20; Zeph.; Zech. 12:1-14:3). This period of judgment is also known as “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7) and the tribulation. Our Lord taught about this day of judgment in His sermon on the Mount of Olives (Matt. 24-25). Paul discussed it in 1 Thessalonians 5 and 2 Thessalonians 1-2. The apostle John described this terrible day in Revelation 6-19. It will be a time when God’s wrath will be poured out on the nations, and when Satan will be free to give vent to his anger and malice. It will culminate with the return of Jesus Christ in glory and victory'.
What Wiersbe also explained is that these 'apostates', whom Peter is writing against, denied the certainty of Christ's returning. 'In fact', Wiersbe writes, 'they were scoffing at the very idea of the return of the Lord, the judgment of the world, and the establishment of a glorious kingdom'. You can see why Peter was so urgent with his words because he saw how damaging this teaching was.
What about us? We read these words of reminder by Peter, and we might just simply skim over them because they aren't all that important (a temptation I had was to include beyond verse 2 in this devotion for today because there wasn't enough to write about). But these words are important! If we miss the reminder that Peter is sharing with his readers here, we just might miss the whole point, not only of Peter's book, but of our lives!
Peter writes, This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder...(vs. 1). I had mentioned this in a previous devotional, but I believe it warrants repeating. This verse is almost exactly the same as II Peter 1:13 which says, I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder. I wrote in my previous devotional, 'We actually see this same word in John's Gospel, sited above. Peter and the other disciples were in a boat and the waters clearly became stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. But as I read this, I believe the LORD was teaching me a lesson on the point of 'stirring'. Sometimes (ok, most of the time) I need stirring in my life - I need the storm to wake me up to the reality that I have decided to leave behind. Just as these disciples in a boat are reminded of what their lives would be like without Jesus, we need to be stirred up in the same way'. I go on to explain that Peter's motive to his readers is more than just to remind them - he wants to stir them up for action.
His words become all the more real now because we have been given reason for his concern. He is simply concerned that his readers will be tempted to turn away from the Truth - God's Truth. Yet I also find it very encouraging what Peter counsels his readers to do in their remembering.
I can remember to walk the dog or not. I can remember to take my pills in the morning. I can remember to read my Bible, but to remember what has been...this gives a whole new meaning to remember. It has a connotation and weight to remember what is true. I can remember to read my Bible because it is important, but to remember that I have a cloud of witnesses (as the author of Hebrews puts it) is a whole new depth. This is what Peter is wanting to stir up his readers to know. They are not alone. They have had a message passed on to them that has with it an entire history of faithfulness. In one word Peter helps them to recall so they may renew within them their faith in a faithful God.
The next time we question God's authority or faithfulness or kindness, may we pick up a Bible, feel the weight of its promises and believe that we too need to be stirred up in order to press on within the battle we find ourselves in. May the LORD be honoured in our remembering today!