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The character and scope of Peter's Second Epistle
The second epistle of Peter is even more simple than the first. Like those of Jude and John, it is written essentially with a view to the seducers, who, with large promises of liberty, beguiled souls into sin and licentiousness, denying the coming of Christ, and in fact disowning all His rights over them. The epistle admonishes the same Christians to whom the first was written, pointing out the characteristic features of these false teachers; denouncing them with the utmost energy; explaining the long-sufferance of God, and announcing a judgment which, like His patience, would befit the majesty of Him who was to execute it.
Exhortations and warnings: the foundation of both
But before giving these warnings, which begin with 2 Peter 2, the apostle exhorts Christians to make their own calling and election sure — not evidently in the heart of God, but as a fact in their own hearts, and in practical life, by walking in such a manner as not to stumble; so that testimony to their portion in Christ should be always evident, and an abundant entrance be ministered to them.
These exhortations are founded, firstly, on that which is already given to Christians; secondly, on that which is future — namely, the manifestation of the glory of the kingdom. In touching upon this last subject, he indicates a still more excellent portion — the bright morning star, the heavenly Christ Himself and our association with Him before He appears as the Sun of righteousness. Thirdly, we shall see that the warnings are founded also on another basis — namely, the dissolution of the heavens and the earth, proving the instability of all that unbelief rested upon, and furnishing for the same reason a solemn warning to the saints to induce them to walk in holiness.