SDA Sabbath School Lessons
Thursday September 12, 1996

How Do We Prepare for the Close of Probation?
(2 Peter 3:8-18)

As you study 2 Peter 3:8-18, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Why did Jesus not come as soon as some thought He would? (verses 8, 9).
  2. In what sense will Jesus come "like a thief" (verse 10, NIV)?
  3. What biblical definitions can you give for "holiness" (verse 11, RSV), "godliness" (verse 11), "righteousness" (verse 13)?
  4. How can we be "without spot, and blameless" (verse 14)?
  5. How can we avoid "the error of lawless men" that causes us to lose our spiritual "stability" (verse 17, RSV)?

Many passages in Scripture indicate that the Lord wishes His people to be spiritually blameless. (See I Cor. 1:8; Phil. 2:15; 1 Thess. 5:23;,2 Peter 3:14.)

"God requires the homage of a sanctified soul, which has prepared itself, by the exercise of the faith that works by love, to serve Him. He holds up before us the highest ideal, even perfection. He asks us to be absolutely and completely for Him in this world as He is for us in the presence of God.

"This is the will of God' concerning you, 'even your sanctification.' 1 Thessalonians 4:3. Is it your will also? Your sins may be as mountains before you; but if you humble your heart, and confess your sins, trusting in the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour, He will forgive, and will cleanse you from all unrighteousness. God demands of you entire conformity to His law. This law is the echo of His voice saying to you, Holier, yes, holier still. Desire the fullness of the grace of Christ. Let your heart be filled with an intense longing for His righteousness, the work of which God's word declares is peace, and its effect quietness and assurance forever.

"As your soul yearns after God, you will find more and still more of the unsearchable riches of His grace. As you contemplate these riches, you will come into possession of them, and will reveal the merits of the Saviour's sacrifice, the protection of his righteousness, the fullness of His wisdom, and His power to present you before the Father without spot, and blameless.' 2 Peter 3:14."--The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 566,567.