May 27, 2018 – 2 Peter 3:1-18
Lesson Date: May 27, 2018
Focal Scripture Passage: 2 Peter 3:1-18
AIM: To lead students to discover two things we can expect in the last days and instructions for how Christians should live in the last days, and to evaluate their lives to see if they are doing those things.
Before class: Read the notes on 2 Peter 3:1-18 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Get enough copies of the “How Should We Live in These Last Days?” handout for your anticipated attendance.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Tell the following to the class:
The teacher assigned one of the students to take names of anyone talking or getting out of their seat. She told the class she would return in less than ten minutes and promised that those who talked or got out of their seat would be punished. She then left the room and closed the door.
Ask: “Do you think the students will stay quiet and remain in their seats? Why or why not?” Fear of certain punishment when the teacher returns would probably cause them to obey the rules. The students would behave well because they knew the teacher could return at any moment and punish those who broke the rules.
Ask: “Suppose one of the students stood before the class and made a very convincing argument that the teacher was not coming back to the classroom ever. If he could convince them the teacher was not coming back, how do you think the students would behave?” (they would probably go wild, because there would be no punishment to fear).
Tell the class in today’s lesson we will discover two things to expect in the last days, as well as guidelines for how we should live in the last days.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Tell the class this is our last lesson from the New Testament book of 2 Peter.
- Remind them that Peter wrote this letter from prison shortly before he was executed (d. 66-68).
- Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (the dangers of false teachers).
- Ask if any volunteer would be willing to recite last week’s memory verse (2 Pet. 2:9).
- Peter’s Purpose for Writing.
- Ask a volunteer to read 2 Peter 3:1-2.
- Ask: “Why did Peter write this second letter?” (to “stir up” his readers to remember the teachings of the prophets and the commandments of the apostles).
- Summarize: Since time was running our, Peter wanted his readers to remember the things they had been taught.
- Scoffers Will Come in the Last Days.
- Read 2 Peter 3:3.
- Explain that the term “last days” refers to the time beginning with the first coming of the Lord Jesus Christ (see Heb. 1:2) and continuing through His Second Coming. That means that we are living in the last days right now.
- Read 2 Peter 3:3-5.
- Ask: “Who will come in the last days?” (scoffers – those who mock, ridicule, and make fun of things).
- Write the word “Scoffers” on the board.
- Tell the students the first thing we can be certain will come in the last days are scoffer.
- Ask: “According to verse 3, what motivates scoffers?” (their own lusts).
- Ask: “According to verse 4, what do they try to make people doubt?” (the return of the Lord Jesus).
- Ask: “According to verse 5, what are they willingly ignorant of?” (the fact that God created the world and everything in the universe).
- Ask: “Why do you think scoffers cast doubt on the return of Jesus?” (because His return will be a time of judgment and punishment for sinners).
- Explain that like the students in the opening illustration, if Jesus is not coming back there is no fear of punishment and therefore no need to obey the rules.
- Tell the class that while scoffers doubt the return of Jesus and deny that the Lord created everything, the next verses tell us the truth about these things.
- Ask a volunteer to read 2 Peter 3:6-9.
- Briefly lecture on those verses using the following outline:
- The truth is that God once destroyed the world by a flood (v. 6).
- The truth is that God is now preserving the world for a time of future judgment (v. 7).
- The truth is that God is not bound by time as we are, so He can be patient (v. 8).
- The truth is that God is patiently giving people time to repent and turn to Him (v. 9).
- Summarize: Scoffers will come in the last days, casting doubt on the return of Jesus Christ and denying the truths of scripture.
- The Day of the Lord Will Come in the Last Days.
- Read 2 Peter 3:10.
- Ask: “What else is coming in the last days?” (the Day of the Lord).
- Write “Day of the Lord” on the board.
- Explain that the Day of the Lord is a term used throughout scripture to refer to a future time when the Lord will execute divine judgment upon the wicked.
- Ask: “When will the Day of the Lord come?” (suddenly and unexpectedly, like “a thief in the night”).
- Explain that the future Day of the Lord will come when Jesus returns to rapture His church and set in motion the terrible judgments beginning with the Tribulation.
- Ask: “What will happen to the heavens?” (they will pass away with a great noise).
- Ask: “What will happen to the elements?” (they will melt with fervent heat).
- Ask: “What will happen to the earth?” (it will be burned up).
- Summarize: In the last days the Day of the Lord will come. God will ultimately destroy the heavens and the earth.
- How Should We Live in the Last Days?
- Direct everyone’s attention to the words written on the board.
- Tell them we have learned two things that will come in the last days: scoffers and the Day of the Lord.
- Ask: “These are interesting facts, but what difference do they make in how we live right now?”
- State that just as the students in the opening illustration behaved because they were certain the teacher was returning and would punish those who broke the rules, the Bible makes it clear that Jesus is coming back and those who have broken His commandments will face terrible punishment.
- Ask a volunteer to read 2 Peter 3:11.
- Tell the students that the rest of the chapter tells us how we should live in these last days.
- Ask them to listen for those instructions as you read 2 Peter 3:11-18.
- They should name the following:
Verse 11 – Holy conversation (behavior) and godliness.
Verse 12 – Look forward with anxious anticipation to the coming of the Lord.
Verse 13 – Look forward to the new heavens and new earth.
Verse 14 – Be diligent to be people of peace, without spot, and blameless.
Verse 15 – Realize the Lord is “delaying” His coming so more people can be saved.
Verse 17 – Beware not to get led astray with the errors of the wicked.
Verse 18 – Grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Summarize: In these last days we should live holy lives, anticipate Christ’s coming, and grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Give everyone present a copy of the “How Should We Live in These Last Days?” handout. Review the seven things we should do in light of the fact that we are living in the last days. Ask: “Are you doing those seven things? Which ones are lacking in your life?” Lead a brief class discussion about the meaning of each of those items and practical ways to add them to our lives.
Encourage everyone to confess and correct any areas in which they are falling short and to work on adding those attitudes to their daily lives. Lead a closing prayer of commitment.
CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize 2 Peter 3:18. Remind them not to be surprised when they encounter scoffers, but rather to use that as a reminder to live right. One important aspect of growing in grace is reading the Bible. Urge them to read the Bible every day.
Be sure everyone has a copy of the new Sunday School Member Quarterly for the summer quarter. Tell them next week we will begin a study of some of the Minor Prophets. Tell them to find the Old Testament book of Obadiah and place their handout sheet there as a bookmark.
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