The General Letters
This is part of ‘the epistles*’. The word epistles* means ‘letters’. The leaders of the new church* wrote these letters. Peter, James, and John wrote most of the general letters. These letters tell the readers how to live as God’s people. The letters remind them that God will keep his promises.
THE NEW TESTAMENT | THE GENERAL LETTERS
PEOPLE TO KNOW
PLACES TO GO
Add to your faith*.
2 Peter 1:5-9
Men spoke from God.
2 Peter 1:19-21
Watch out for false teachers.
2 Peter 2:1-12
The Day of the Lord* is coming.
2 Peter 3:3-10
Be on your guard.
2 Peter 3:17-18
Peter was a leader in the early church*. He was one of the men that Jesus asked to follow him. He spent three years listening to what Jesus said. He was the man that spoke for God to the people just after the church* began. But some men had come into the church* and started to teach many false things. Peter did not like this. He did not want people to listen to these men. So Peter wrote this letter.
Peter wanted the new Christians to grow. In order to grow, they needed to know more about Jesus and know Jesus better. But that was just the beginning. He wanted them to add to their faith*. What they knew about Jesus would change the way they lived. They must grow in faith* and knowledge. This knowledge would help them to control their actions and live the way Jesus lived. People who followed Jesus could do these good things. God helped them. God gave them the power to overcome evil* and do good.
Peter knew that some evil* teachers had come into the church*. They were teaching false things. And they were acting in bad ways. Peter warned the people not to listen to them. He told them that they must not live like they lived. They were selfish. They were greedy. They followed their own desires and not the ways of Jesus. People should not listen to what these men said. God would punish these men. And God would punish those who listened to their words and did what they did. Instead, they should listen to the words of the apostles. Peter knew Jesus. He saw the glory* of Jesus when he was with Jesus on a mountain. He heard God’s voice.
And the people must listen to the words of the prophets*. Because these men spoke the words God gave them to speak. The prophets* did not make up stories about God on their own. They were ‘carried along by the Holy Spirit*’. The false teachers did not know Jesus and they did not speak the truth from God.
The false teachers confused many of the people. They said that Jesus was waiting too long to come back from heaven*. So they said that Jesus was not going to come back at all. Peter told them that Jesus would come back. And when Jesus came, he would judge the false teachers. Yes, God did not come back right away. But he would keep his promise to return. Jesus delayed his return because he was patient. He wanted to give everyone time to repent* and turn to him. But, some day, the day of the Lord* would come. When that day came, God would destroy the old world by fire. God would remove all evil* things from the world. Then, he would make a new heaven* and a new earth.