“For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:11).
Do you remember the slogan for the Toys “R” Us retail toy store chain? It was, “I don’t want to grow up I’m a Toys “R” Us kid. There’s a thousand toys at Toys “R” Us that I can play with.”
I’m sure we all realize how unrealistic that familiar jingle was. We all eventually grow up unless death unexpectedly intervenes. We all encounter the joys of adolescence, the challenges of those teen years and the excitement of receiving a driver’s license and eventually graduating from high school and perusing either a college education or subsequently a career, or entering the work force and learning a trade or skill.
As God designed to physical grow and mature, so likewise believers in Christ are responsible to spiritually grow and mature. God does not call us to remain stagnant but to constantly progress in our faith. That is the predominant theme in 2 Peter 1:1-10.
Today’s text focuses our attention on ultimate goal and destination for each believer in Christ: the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Dr. John Walvoord writes that, “The ultimate reward of a growing, Christ-honoring life is the personal “welcome” by the Savior into His kingdom. Stephen experienced it (Acts 7:56); Paul knew when it was imminent for him (2 Tim. 4:7–8, 18); and every believer will experience such a welcome when he enters the Lord’s presence in heaven. You will receive a rich welcome is, literally, “the entrance will be supplied richly for you.” “Supplied” is from the verb epichorēgeō, translated “add” in 2 Peter 1:5. The entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be supplied with richness; it will be a wonderful “welcome home.”
What Peter is addressing is the doctrine known as the perseverance on the saints. It is the biblical teaching that all true believers in Christ will continually and diligently continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).
Dr. R. C. Sproul writes, “Though perseverance is partly our work, we must never miss the chief reason to be confident of our security in Christ. Perseverance, as a reality, is not an achievement accomplished by human effort. Ultimately it is a gift. The only way anyone ever perseveres to the end is by virtue of the unmerited grace of God that sustains us.”
“The gift of perseverance is a necessary deduction from passages like Philippians 2:12–13, which tells us that it is God who works in us, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. This idea is also clearly articulated in Romans 8:29–30, where the apostle Paul writes that all who have been predestined are also glorified.”
Dr. Sproul concludes by saying, “We work out our salvation with fear and trembling, but we do so because God has elected and regenerated us. All those whom He has predestined will receive the full inheritance of salvation. We know this to be true from Ephesians 1:13–14, which tells us that the Holy Spirit is the seal and guarantor of our inheritance. God seals Christians and gives them the Holy Spirit as an indwelling presence so that they may persevere. The Spirit is the promise from the One who never breaks His promise that those who love Christ will inherit salvation.
The great theologian Augustine was one of the first to remind the church of the donum perserverantiae, the gift of perseverance. Perseverance as a gift from God means that even in our working to continue in our faith, God receives all the glory. Praise the Lord today for His mercy in causing and guaranteeing that all of His elect children will persevere.
Soli deo Gloria!