“You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked…”
We come now to the conclusion of 2 Peter. The last two verses sum up what Peter wants his readers to know. This is not a formal conclusion, like other epistles. Peter does not say “goodbye” to anyone personally.
The last two verses comprise a warning (“beware”) and a directive (“grow”). First, we come to the warning in verse seventeen.
You therefore, beloved
In his final statement to his readers, Peter makes another endearing statement to them. This is the fourth time in chapter three that Peter uses the term “beloved.” He now draws a conclusion for those he loves.
since you know this beforehand
Peter reminds his readers of something they already know. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. If we know how to handle something before it occurs, we are better prepared to deal with it.
The words “know this beforehand” is one word in Greek and means know in advance. Peter wants believers to anticipate something. He wants us to know something about this subject before it happens.
When we approach a red light, we prepare to stop. We soon learn that our life on this earth will be problematic if we constantly run red lights. This passage is the equivalent of a flashing red light. There is a danger — “beware.
The Greeks used “beware” as a military term. In this context, it is a warning to be on the alert against the danger of instability in their faith.
To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
Many Christians are very unstable in their faith. They know little of the Scriptures and are subject to spiritual seduction. As well, a stable believer today may be an unstable believer tomorrow. Faith without knowledge easily disintegrates.
We should stand guard against a shaky faith and prevent the erosion of belief. People out there will try to ambush your faith. Christians in the twenty-first century often do not know doctrine and become vulnerable.
Are you running the red lights of the Word? Are you heading toward spiritual destruction?