One more thought I’d like to pass along regarding 2 Peter 1 and doing our “spiritual math.” While researching the keywords in that passage, “brotherly kindness” wasn’t exactly what I thought it might be. It spoke of uprightness of life and heart, and genuine love towards others of like faith. It is demonstrating love, honor, and respect to those who are our brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s gotta begin there. And that can be very challenging: this love thing, this honor thing, and this respect thing. We’re good at doing it to one another’s faces; we’re not so good behind one another’s backs.
Quite some time ago, I was out to lunch with a good friend, Omar Reyes. And there was this old, homeless guy watching cars in the Chinese restaurant’s parking lot, and he recognized Omar and said, “Hey bro, don’t worry, I got your back.” And Omar said, “You leave my back alone!”
Sometimes the people who got out of their way to tell me they got my back, makes me want to say, “You leave my back alone. God’s got my back, cuz I don’t know what you’re doing back there.” We really ought to be our brother’s keeper. We really ought to commit ourselves to watching out for one another and defending one another; that’s called “honor.”
And to brotherly kindness, Peter says we are to add “love.” This speaks of a love for all mankind. There is to be a peculiar affection for brothers and sisters in the family of God, and then there is to be a true, genuine love for the entire human race. And in doing the math, look at this in verse 8, he says, “You will not be barren, you will not be unfruitful,” in other words you’re not going to be idle, and you’re not going to be inactive. To say that you won’t be unfruitful is to say that you will be fruitful. And each of us is going to be judged by our fruit!
Peter says that if you don’t want to be unfruitful, do the math! Add it up. Go through the process. He says you won’t be shortsighted, in other words, you won’t be blind. To be “shortsighted” means that you can’t see far off. In fact, the word being used in this passage is not found anywhere else in the New Testament. It literally means to shut the eyes, contract the eyelids, to blink, as one who cannot see clearly, hence, to be nearsighted. He said, “You will not be shortsighted”; you’re going to be able to see the bigger picture. You’re going to be able to see beyond where you are.
And then he says we are to make our calling and our election sure. Look at verse 10: “If you do these things.” “Do” is the action word; look at this promise. I just love this. “If you do these things, you will not stumble.”
You know there are times that I stumble. And now I know why. I stumble because I’m not doing these things. Wow, pretty simple math. Do these things, and you won’t stumble. In other words, if you don’t do these, then you will stumble. So when I stumble, it’s because I’m not a’doin’ these things that He says that I oughtta be a’doin,’ cuz when I’m a’doin’ the things I oughtta be a’doin,’ then I’m a’doin’ what I oughtta do! Harvey Tater.
And finally, in verse 11, “And so an entrance will be supplied to you.” Look at that, “an entrance” will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This speaks to me even in the “now.” What this means is that if I do these things, I’ll not only enter in, I’ll experience a greater realm of the Kingdom of God in this life and in the life to come. It’s not just talking about in eternity and in the sweet by and by. There will be an entrance granted to me into the Kingdom that I have yet to experience. I will be able to experience, to see, to experience, and thus demonstrate a greater amount of God’s Kingdom than I can if I don’t do these things. This is how I believe that we experience a fuller measure of God’s Kingdom in this life and in the life that is to come.