Use one or both of these questions to introduce the lesson.
1. Have you ever been teased or mocked for your faith?
2. How would you describe what it means for you to be holy?
Read 2 Peter 3:3-9
1. Were you ever surprised when you were persecuted or mocked for your faith? There will always be those who scorn us for following Christ. What does this passage say will happen to those who mock true faith in God?
2. Read 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12. What encouragement and hope do you receive from this passage to persevere when you have difficulties living a Christian life?
Read 2 Peter 3:10-13
3. What is the “day of the Lord?” Describe or draw it in detail. Answer the questions: Who? What? When? Where? How? Discuss what Peter says a believer’s response to end times should be. Is this normally our attitude?
4. Read 1 Peter 1:13-16. The word holy means to be set apart, and in verse 16, it conveys the idea of being separate from infirmity, impurity, and sin. Using the text, describe the practical ways Peter gives us to live holy lives. As New Testament believers, wrestle with this question: Is holiness external, internal, or both?
Read 2 Peter 3:14-18
5. The Greek word, spoudazó, means to make haste, to be eager and earnest, and is used four times in the three chapters of 2 Peter. In verse 14, what is Peter pleading with believers to make every effort to do? Discuss the urgency of the apostle’s message for us today and consider whether or not you are being as diligent to live a blameless life as you should. What needs to change?
6. How does verse 15 go hand-in-hand with verse 9? Recall a circumstance from your life when you were thankful for these spiritual truths and write a prayer of thanks for God’s patience during that time.
7. Are you at all surprised at Peter’s commentary about the apostle Paul? Why do you think Peter placed these affirming sentences about Paul here, in his final words to the church?
8. What stumbling blocks or points of sin do you have in your life—addictions, behaviors, thoughts, actions, or words? Consider what steps you can take this week to get the spiritual, emotional, and physical help you need to live a spotless and blameless life and be at peace.
Conclude your group time with prayer, using the following as a guide.
Jesus, thank you for this powerful teaching in the last words of Peter. Help us to make every effort to live holy and godly lives as we look forward to the Day of the Lord. Amen.