The Day of the Lord Will Come
3 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
2 Peter 3 Commentary
by Hank Workman
“But continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory, now and forever! Amen.”2 Peter 3:18 GNB
Peter ends his letter the same way he opened it – with great boldness. As I’ve thought about these 3 chapters and yesterday’s thoughts, he has strikingly sounded the alarm throughout. His conclusion in this last chapter is Jesus will return. We must be ready. We must fight until our last breath to hold strongly to the faith of which we have.
He is trying to stimulate the readers to thinking beyond the current toward the eternal. Our choices today matter for tomorrow. And although his words ring out toward the scoffers of the Truth, these who have slipped into the church and are wolves, he speaks directly to Believer’s to hold fast to their relationship with Jesus. Grip tightly the Sword of the Spirit to cut through the lies and deception. Cling tightly to the words of encouragement we find in the Word. He is coming back. It will be like a thief in the night. We must be ready.
The fascinating thing is since these words were first penned, centuries and millenniums have passed. Many would say, and most live this way, that it seems He’s never going to return. The men and women of Peter’s day looked expectantly toward Jesus’ return and since then so have millions of people. But we do live within the Last Days as it could happen at any moment. No one is certain. The time between Jesus’ first and second coming are the Last Days and we must not grow tired from the life we live and stay the course.
And so we must stay alert and not grow complacent. There must be an expectation that it can happen at any moment and live like it. Consider what you would want to be doing when He returned? How would you like to be, in what situation would you find yourself? The point is how we’d like to be living if we knew the day and hour is how we should be living now.
The patience of God is that no one would perish. This is His desire for all people to come to Him. In the meantime, our hearts must not grow cold or distant and stay the course laid out for us until either our last breath is taken or the clouds pull back with the Glory of Jesus’ triumphal return. As we live this day and the next, we must continue the journey laid out; grow in grace and continued knowledge of Jesus and remain alert and be expectant!
2 Peter 3 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Peter was writing, at the time, against the theory of uniformitarianism. It states that the processes affecting Earth today are the same ones that affected it in the past. Looking forward, Peter writes of how skeptics will argue using ridicule and mockery. I like the GNB translation of verses 3-4…
“First of all, you must understand that in the last days some people will appear whose lives are controlled by their own lusts. They will make fun of you and will ask, “He promised to come, didn’t he? Where is he? Our ancestors have already died, but everything is still the same as it was since the creation of the world!””2 Peter 3:3-4 GNB
“Everything is still the same as it was” indicates that they never really knew God to begin with. If they had, they would know the truth. Faithless people argue that since “nothing” has happened, God must not exist. This is why Peter follows up with the creation story and a reference to the flood. He’s trying to remind everyone not to be put to sleep by these false doctrines!
“But do not forget one thing, my dear friends! There is no difference in the Lord’s sight between one day and a thousand years; to him the two are the same. 9 The Lord is not slow to do what he has promised, as some think. Instead, he is patient with you, because he does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants all to turn away from their sins.”2 Peter 3:8-9 GNB
Those who mock Him have no idea that the extra time they are experiencing is for their own good – to see the truth and turn from their sin. Peter ends the chapter on a familiar note. He once again reminds us to remain faithful and not to tolerate false doctrine!