Wholesome Thinking

2 Peter 3:1-4

1Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

3Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”

Forget No More

            What do you normally do to remember things? Young or old alike can easily forget important things. You go to grocery stores or hardware supplies and forget what to buy. We forget name, address, phone number or password. What’s worst thing you may forget? How worst is it to forget the birthday of your wife?

            If you were rushing to go to work, you may forget to close the garage door. If that happens, you may invite undesirable elements to steal things in the garage.

            Many times, I have driven a distance then ask myself: Did I close the garage door or not? Then, I would turn back just to check the garage. To remember it, I verbally recite several times: Garage closed! Garage closed! Garage closed!

            Have you heard of someone who verbalizes what is needed to be done? It helps to remember things you may do next. To verbalize and remind yourselves is also practical prudence. Did you know that such practice is biblically implied?

Personally, how do practically interpret what it declared in Revelation 1:3?

3Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.

            We also read aloud the Scripture during worship service. We may realize or not yet, God blesses us when we read his words aloud. We can also practise our enunciation and pronunciation of words more articulately. Isn’t that a blessing?

There are words that I wish to say but I’m not very sure how I may say it properly; that is one reason I’m hesitant or even scared speaking before a group of strangers. But, for anyone who may hesitate to testify about Christ, we remind ourselves of the warning that Christ Jesus had declared in Luke 9:26, 26Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

By the grace of God, we can stand before many people to preach the word of God. Each time I preach, may God be praised for giving me courage. See here? I always write my sermons and print hard copies because when I stand before you, I can be easily confused; I can be disorderly, and I may forget what to say.

There are unexpected events and urgent situations that may cause us to forget our priorities. Most often, we also forget our mission purposes. Right?

We are mandated to testify of the transformational work of Christ in our life. We should always be aware that wherever we are situated, whatever we do, our behavior should manifest the grace of God in our life. How is that?

What should we do to experience the grace of God? Where can we start?

We’ve got to have wholesome thinking to start with. And the second letter of Apostle Peter is a reminder that should stimulate us to wholesome thinking.

1.  Stimulate

1Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

            It stimulates wholesome thinking to meditate on the command of Christ Jesus through his apostles and the words spoken in the past by his holy prophets. We accept that our mindset can be contaminated by our human sinful nature. But when we are conscious of the will of the Lord, his mission purposes for us, our lifestyle and behavior should be adjusted with the help of our Lord Jesus Christ.

             Reading the Scripture helps us know and remember the command of the Lord and the words of the prophets and the Apostles. It is very beneficial to read the Scripture regularly and frequently. Someone observed that it takes several times to read and hear the word of God before it would sink into heart and mind.

            It is advisable; it stimulates wholesome thinking to have a great knowledge of the Scripture. It is favorably beneficial both practical and spiritual aspects of life to read the Scripture. So, how does the word of God becomes beneficial to us?

            To have knowledge of the Scripture and to benefit from it, we need the Holy Spirit to teach us and guide us on how we may apply practically his godly instructions. Christ Jesus our Lord declares in John 16:13, 13When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.


            How would the Holy Spirit help us about what is yet to come in practicality?

When you give your best effort at work, but your employer decided to take different course. And, your talent is no longer relevant in their vision, they have to terminate you. It could be confusing to you, if you’re not prepared for alternative or you are not prepared to start in a different environment, what would you do?

            There’s a young believer who worked in the same corporation for several years. New management came into power and suggested that the work of that young believer is no longer relevant to their vision. So he was given a notice of his termination. Out of his reflection, he was reminded of the Scripture in Job 1:21: 21 Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.

Indeed, the young believer trusted that God has great plan for him. He is now enjoying actually, his career in an environment far better than his previous place of work. So, if you are terminated, it could be divine intervention of the Lord to divert you or redirect you to the best career path he had designed for you.

Someone said, “Your test will become your testimony.” The Lord tests our faith in him so that when we pass the test of faith, it serves as proof of testimony.

            Have you heard of believers who had similar experience, and they still keep on trusting the Lord despite the difficulties that challenged their faith in Christ?

            You have heard it said, “God will use our mess for us to have a message of his transformational work in our life!” Certainly, believers are encouraged to hear testimonies about faith. Of course, others may not be impressed or even scoff it.

2.  Scoff

3Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 

            The English term “scoffers” particularly describes the false teachers of the gospel. They mock; they make fun of the gospel and the promises of Jesus Christ. Why would they do that? They can simply ignore the gospel of Christ and move on their personal concerns and interest. What can they profit from mocking or scoffing the Lord? They don’t know that blackest darkness is reserved for them.

            Who were these scoffers? Scoffers had been mentioned also in Jude 18-21?

18In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires. 19These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. 20But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

            It takes godly wisdom to realize that to instigate division among believers is also mockery of the gospel of Christ. Christ had prayed for believers to be united.

Therefore, causing division in the congregation of believers, such escapade is not very amusing to the Lord. What do you think? Precisely, division contradicts unity. What did Jesus Christ pray for believers in John 17:20-21? 20My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.


            Christ prayed for unity among believers, but sadly, unity is not realized yet.

When a pastor departs, the church is disturbed. Church members who are loyal to the pastor may encourage him, and they may start another church. It happened when a pastor was terminated. Some church leaders appealed to his wife not to leave the church because there were more church members who favored them.

The pastor turned down their request to prevent discord among members.

Instead, the pastor and his family were prayerful of their next adventure.

            Wow! Do you think that the Lord bless anyone who promotes church unity?

Church split isn’t very amusing; but sometimes if the ultimate goal is to advance the kingdom of God, division can be painful approach to start another church. But it’s better testimony if mutual agreement happens among concerned leaders, so that, animosity could be avoided. Those who leave may return without alienation.

Let’s learn how Abram and Lot parted ways amicably. Genesis 13:5-9 says, 7Quarreling arose between Abram’s herders and Lot’s. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time. 8So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. 9Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.”

            Abram and his nephew Lot mutually agreed to part ways. The Lord blessed Abraham much more after that. Church split happened to any local church before; it may happen again. We should not be hostile to anyone who may cause people to leave the church. The Lord has mission purposes for everyone, just as he has greater plan for us. The Lord is our hope, even if others may say otherwise.

3.  Say

4They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”

            By faith, we expect that Christ returns sooner, then, he would take us into his heaven. How strong do you feel that way? Do you long for Christ’s appearing?

Scoffers may say what they want to say. Their mockery may disturb anyone. Their misleading argument won’t change what Christ promised us in John 14:1-3: 1Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

It is by faith that we trust Christ prepares a place for us in his heaven. We believe that he wants us to be with him where he is. Check your heart and mind frequently to be sure that you long for his return. Longing for his returns may help us to focus on eternal life and not become very comfortable with worldliness.

Did you know that longing for the return of Christ can earn eternal crown?

Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4:8, 8There is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day —and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

            It is righteous in the eyes of the Lord to long for his return. Longing to see Jesus face to face is our personal proof of our faith in Christ. His Holy Spirit helps us sense such longing in our heart which proves his presence in us; his presence in us should be our practical affirmation and guarantee of our eternal life in Christ.

Plane Ticket

            Listen: When you fly somewhere else, for instance: You fly from Canada to the Philippines. Now, you are ready to fly; passport, plane ticket, luggage are ready. You boarded the airplane; you landed in the Philippines. Who will eagerly wait for you at the Philippine airport? Imagine such eagerness.

Similarly, do you eagerly wait for the Lord to transport you into heaven? The Lord says in Malachi 3:17-1817“On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.

God situates us for divine opportunity to serve him. It is righteous to serve God. Reading his word to know which service he approves is wholesome thinking. God is gracious and just; he always observes and rewards faithful service to him.

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