Peter’s Counsel to Parents


Chapter 8—“Steadfast Unto the End”


Ellen White closes her discussion on the sixty-first book of the Bible with special reference to its author, the apostle Peter. The key to his teaching success, she says, was that “Peter kept alive in his heart the hope of Christ's return, and he assured the church of the certain fulfillment of the Saviour's promise.” Not that our conversation about the second coming should be designed to frighten children into obedience; but that Christ's eventual return adds purpose to the concept of character development. PCP 55.1

Adventists believe that because there was a first advent, there will be a second advent. When Jesus comes a second time He will expect to find individuals who have heeded His invitation “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Now, in this last selection Ellen White adds fascinating detail to the concept of Christian perfection. She notes, for example, “None need fail of attaining, in his sphere, to perfection of Christian character.... PCP 55.2

“Man's obedience can be made perfect only by the increase of Christ's righteousness, which fills with divine fragrance every act of obedience.... PCP 55.3

“The work of transformation from unholiness to holiness is a continuous one.” PCP 55.4

Ellen White shows Peter's optimism for the possibility of a person to grow after the pattern of Christ. Though the believer cannot now totally understand the miracle of sanctification, he rejoices in God's desire to restore his image in men and women. It is essential that we make young people aware of the satisfaction and practical benefits of pursuing a life style after the pattern of Jesus. PCP 55.5

Finally, Adventists believe that there is an intimate connection between the process of growth in this life and that of achieving Christian maturity throughout eternity. This was Peter's conviction: his life story is a clear illustration of it. So Ellen White could say, “Let parents study the first chapter of the second epistle of Peter. Here is represented the exalted excellence of Bible truth.” PCP 56.1