Heavenly Father, thank You for bringing us to the last chapter of 2 Peter. Even though this short epistle was written in antiquity, yet its message is profound, powerful, impactful, and applicable to every generation. We pray for wisdom to understanding, obey, and apply, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
2 Peter 3:1-18, the day of the Lord, the new heaven and the new earth, final encouragement, doxology
VV 1-2, 1 Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), 2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, 3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”
We should have a high view of the Old Testament, written by the prophets, and the New Testament written by of the apostles including Peter. In the last days, skeptics and false teachers, who walked in the flesh, will deny and scoff at Christ’s second coming.
VV 5-7, 5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
These false teachers deny the creation narrative, Noah’s flood, the final destruction of the world by fire, and the day of judgment for ungodly people.
VV 8-9, 8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
The Lord’s delay in His second coming is the result of His patience because He is not willing that anyone should perish. His delay is to give time and opportunity for people to repent. God exists outside of the time and space domain. He is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. He can see everything from everywhere from the beginning to the end at any moment in time. One day to the Lord can be as long as one thousand years to us. One thousand years to the Lord can be as short as one day to us.
VV 10-14, 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
No one knows the exact date and time of Christ’s second coming. He will come as suddenly and as unexpectedly as a thief in the night. Heavens will pass away and the earth will be destroyed by fire. After this, God will recreate a new heaven and a new earth, Rev. 21:1. In view of this, we should repent, to lead godly and holy lives.
Rev. 21:1, “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea”.
VV 14-16, 14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation, as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
We should be faithful to Christ, live in peace with others, be above reproach and blameless in conduct, and be patient in outlook. Peter acknowledged the writings of apostle Paul as inspired scripture.
VV 17-18, 17 You, therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
We should be steadfast in our faith and continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Peter ended his epistle with a doxology of praise to the Lord.
We should have a high view of scripture viz. the Old Testament and the New Testament as these are God’s inspired words for us.
We should be faithful to Christ, live in peace with others, be above reproach and blameless in conduct and be patient in outlook.
Since we do not know when Christ will return, we should be prepared by living holy lives.
We should continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by diligent Bible study and devotion.
Heavenly Father, Your second coming will be sudden, unexpected, and mysterious. The world will be destroyed by fire and You will recreate a new heaven and a new earth. We pray for You to mature us in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and lead holy lives in anticipation of His imminent return, in Jesus’ name, Amen.