“For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.” 2 Peter 1:12-15
One of the most difficult and challenging things with the restarting of school every fall is what has been called the “summer slide.” During the school year students receive regular reminders combined with the introduction of new material. This helps to keep the material fresh in their memories.
But then comes summertime when those daily reminders are inclined to turn into a three-month moratorium. And it is going to happen that many things have been forgotten.
So it is that during those first days back at school much time is spent reviewing what was taught at the end of the previous school year.
And “what is forgotten” is not limited to the 3 R’s, to history dates, or to scientific formulas. Nor is it only the ‘summer slide’ which is the problem.
As the Apostle Peter wrote his second epistle, he knew that his readers were already well “established in the present truth” (1:12). Those believers to whom he was writing had been well instructed in “these things” (1:12)—namely, the truths concerning salvation. They had “obtained like precious faith…by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ” (1:1). They had come to know “God and Jesus our Lord” (1:2) and had been given His “exceeding great and precious promises” (1:4).
Each one of us can think of a point in life when Satan tempted us to think that we knew all there was to know—or at least all WE needed to know concerning the truths of Scripture.
But Peter knew how easy it would be to forget what they had learned. And so he took it upon himself to “remind [them] always of these things” (1:12). It didn’t satisfy him how well they already knew the truth or how well they had been established in that truth! Knowing that the time of his death was soon to come, Peter was going to be “careful to ensure that [they] always have a reminder of these things” (1:15).
Each one of us can think of a point in life when Satan tempted us to think that we knew all there was to know—or at least all WE needed to know concerning the truths of Scripture. And how often don’t we find that confirmands appear to view their confirmation as a graduation from the Bible? Or how often haven’t we found new converts wavering from their regular involvement in Sunday worship and Bible classes?
So it is that we all need what Peter committed himself to leaving behind: a “reminder of these things after my decease” (1:15).
Yes, with the beginning of a new school year, our thoughts turn to the Christian education of our children. It is a great opportunity to take to heart the reminder from Peter that no matter how much is already known, we do well to “abide in [Jesus’] word” (John 8:31).
Parents and grandparents, take every opportunity to set God’s Word before the eyes of the next generation! Whenever possible, make use of and get involved with the Bible education program offered by your church so that the next generation grows up “in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
And all this is for us too—for those who are beyond the years of learning in the classroom. Yes, we may be “established in the present truth” (1:12) of God’s Word, but let us also take to heart the admonition of our fellow forgetter–Peter—and be reminded regularly so that we may be “stirred up” (1:13) in our faith and Christian life.
Let us together thank the Lord for Christian education, for every opportunity for instruction in His Word–that Word through which “an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ” (1:11)!