This now, my dearest friends, is the second letter I have written to you, in both of which I have sought to awaken your remembrance by [way of] an open memorandum, a meditation, calling on you to recall the words that have (already) been spoken to you by the holy prophets and also of the commandments of the Lord and Saviour, given to us apostles. This is sent all in the knowledge that [since he has now come]† there shall also come forth in these latter days those who play along, driven by their own desires and who say: "So where is the promise of his appearing." Ever since the day the fathers fell asleep all things have remained as they are, the same as from the beginning of the creation."
†† Peter writes as if he is catching himself midstream. In his exposť of those false teachers who had used their association with the apostles and their teaching, to further their own interests, he identifies himself again, reminding his readers of the letter's purpose and his authority.
†† This is a memorandum. Just as the first letter embodied Peter's sense of responsibility to leave some expression of how he understood the Gospel's impact upon their lives, so also in this letter he has given them a formal reminder (and for us it is a somewhat more permanent reminder) of what it is that they and we have embraced.
†† Serving the Lord and Saviour, remembering His commandments, is no hobby. It is not a way of life that admits of half-measures. And it is a call to display in our lives the mercy and long-suffering of the Lord and our "remit" is for as long as it takes. In other words we image the Lord God's patience in the way we patiently give form to our lives in service to our neighbours according to Christ's liberation and command.
†† But these "dearest friends" of Peter are called by him to anticipate those who will cast doubt upon their hope. They need to walk with their eyes open. Peter is pretty well convinced that they will be confronted by those who do indeed consider the message they have heard to be a "cleverly elaborated myth". They will in effect consider apostolic authority to be a well thought-out self-commendation by peter and his cronies to do such work. In effect, there will be those who instinctively raise the question:
If you can be a shepherd of this newly gathered flock, then why can't I get a slice of the action too and show the gifts for leadership that God has bestowed upon me?
†† Throughout this examination of Peter's letters, together with my studies of the letters of James and John, I have drawn attention to the signal event that is recorded in the Gospels where the wife of Zebedee, the mother of James and John, approached Jesus and asked Him to ensure that her sons were at His right and left hand when He came in His glory. The accounts are very important for understanding the "New Testament leadership ethic" that developed among Jesus' disciples, after He prophetically chastised them about their inner competitive drive which set them on a path diametrically opposed to the service He came to restore among the sons and daughters of God (Mark 10:35-45; Matthew 20:20-28; Luke 22:24-27).
†† Such a base-less competitive striving for dominance does not actually believe in the long-suffering merciful rule of the Lord of Heaven and Earth. It has nothing to do with the dominion humankind have be called upon to exercise from the beginning. For those who have come under the liberating sound of the Good News, to lapse into this ethic is to base oneself in an unwillingness to believe God's promises. That's it, purely and simply. Such an orientation tries to gain leverage by resisting the position one has inherited as if it is an impersonal fate. It is much lower than one would like and so it must be resisted. What will be, will be! It may sound pious, but it is concerted forgetting, a conscious effort to avoid remembering the Lord Himself.