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Gatherings of Hope

Stir Up Your Pure Minds

A Biblical Reflection on 2 Peter

By Gloria Curry

Pastors, have you given serious thought to the most important words of encouragement, wisdom, and warning you would pass on to beloved family and flock before leaving this earth? The apostle Peter is a good example of the old adage, “it’s how you finish that counts.” He left us his last will and testament, if you will, in the two books bearing his name in Holy Scripture, giving his readers both grave warnings and great encouragement. 

“I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you…. Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease” (2 Pet. 1:12-15, NKJV).  

He used the same phrase later in his letter, but got more specific:

“Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior” (2 Pet. 3:1-2, NKJV).

To “stir up” here means to wake from sleep, to arouse, and activate the mind and understanding. The word for “pure” here is very interesting, because it is mentioned only twice in Scripture. The other instance is found in Philippians 1:10. In both occurrences, the word means to test and judge by sunlight the purity and sincerity of something. Pure is used in the ethical and moral sense in the New Testament, to encourage us to be free from impure and hidden motives, and to avoid falsehoods.

So what are these things Peter will not stop reminding us of?

He wants to awaken us to the fact that “mockers will come in the last days” (2 Pet. 3:3). Mockers walk “according to their own lusts,” and they question “the promise of His coming.” The latter is a direct attack against Jesus’ promise to return. The excuse they give is that, “nothing has changed since the beginning of creation” (3:4). I don’t think it’s controversial to say that we live in a generation of mockers right now, who willingly suppress the truth of God’s Word, choosing to live as a god to themselves by indulging in evil desires. 

These mockers forgot, as a deliberate act of will, that God created everything by His word in the beginning, that He destroyed the world by flooding it with water, and that He is now, by His word, preserving this world (3:5-7).

Peter tells the beloved ones not to forget that God does not measure time as we do. He created time on earth, but is not bound in it, or by it. He keeps His promises, and is longsuffering with humanity, desiring all to repent (3:8-9). He reminds us that the Day of Lord will come like a thief in the night: when you least expect it, He will come with great noise and purifying fire, dissolving the heavens and melting the elements (3:10). 

So, knowing that these events will happen, the question is, how shall we live, walk, and speak? Like deceived mockers? God forbid!           

Thankfully, Peter gives us direction about how to live in the midst of mockers and deceivers: with holy and godly conduct, unblemished by this world. We are to be “diligent to be found by Him in peace.” We are to seek to fulfill His will and desires. We are to steadfastly grow in “the grace and knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” (3:11-18). And we are to look with great expectation for the soon-coming Savior.

Pastors, if you heed the words of Peter, your life will be an example for those you shepherd. Allow the Holy Spirit to shine a light into your heart to reveal the places where you may have gotten off track and allowed the weariness of ministry and persecution by the culture to affect your perseverance. Continue to preach the Word of God with power. Stay on course—the Holy Spirit is your helper and will keep you strong to the end. God has a crown of glory waiting for you! (1 Pet. 5:4)

Minister Gloria Curry is an instructor at the Urban Church Leadership Center. She also serves as a volunteer teacher for the Forgotten Man Ministries at the Kent County Correctional Facility, in the Women’s Biblical Life Principles Pod. Curry graduated from the Grand Rapids Theological Seminary in 2016 with a Master of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.

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