What you get:
- Tips for teaching 1, 2 Peter, Jude in a Bible Study
- Discussion Questions for 1, 2 Peter and Jude
- Answers and insights for all Discussion Questions
- Atlas of 4 high-definition maps of sites mentioned in the two letters of Peter and one of Jude
Sample map in 1-2 Peter, Jude Leaders Guide & Atlas
Trouble in the church
All three letters of 1-2 Peter and Jude target troubles in the church. Christians are facing frauds passing themselves off as church leaders. And they’re facing persecution from people outside their community of faith, perhaps including some former relatives and friends who don’t like the changes Christianity is making in these new believers.
Some scholars say this seems like an odd book for Peter to write. Peter addresses Christians scattered throughout what is now Turkey. That was Paul’s turf. Paul was born and raised there, and that’s where Paul started planting churches among non-Jews. There’s no record of Peter ever having gone there. He’s best known for ministering to Jews in what is now Israel and Palestinian Territories.
One guess about why he wrote is that he was on trial in Rome, just before his crucifixion, when he got word that churches throughout Turkey were facing some kind of persecution, which Peter never identified. Emperor Nero, credited with executing Peter and Paul, launched the first persecution of Christians after accusing them of starting the July AD 64 fire that burned much of Rome. That might explain why Peter, on trial in Rome, wouldn’t specifically identify Nero as the source of the trouble. But there are other theories, too. Jews might have caused the trouble for these churches, just as they had done for Turkey’s premiere church planter, Paul.
Frauds in the church were apparently one of the main reasons Peter or someone writing in his name sent this open letter to Christians everywhere. The frauds apparently tried to pass themselves off as church leaders. But they were greedy people who wanted to get rich off the church. Driven by their animal instincts, they taught heresy that advocated sexual immorality. “These people act like animals…They’ll died like those animals, too” (2 Peter 2:12).
In addition to warning Christians about these frauds, he told Christians not to worry about why Jesus hadn’t come back yet. Critics were apparently targeting this promise of a Second Coming, then perhaps a generation or more after Jesus seemed to say he’d be back before his generation ended. “I’m telling you the truth, this generation of human beings will live to see everything I’ve talked about here” (Mark 13:30). Peter explains, “Our leader isn’t late, as some claim. He didn’t break his promise. Instead, he’s being patient with you. He doesn’t want anyone annihilated. He wants everyone to reject sin instead of rejecting him” (2 Peter 3:9).
This is a one-chapter book warning Christians about fraud church leaders preaching heresy and practicing what they preach. “Some people snuck into your church. These are bad people, condemned long before their time. They take God’s kindness and misrepresent it. They treat it as a license to behave immorally and to reject our only true leader and Lord, Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:4). Sounding a bit like 2 Peter, he says they operate on animal instincts that “will destroy them” (Jude 1:10). He urges believers to hold onto the truth the apostles taught them and to trust that “God can keep you from falling” (Jude 1:24).
In addition to 1-2 Peter, Jude Leaders Guide & Atlas
You might consider the 1-2 Corinthians Leaders Guide & Atlas
Best resource for comparing other Bible translations: Bible Gateway. This isn’t an ad. It’s a recommendation from the Casual English Bible.
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