One day, Jesus Christ will return in glory. Live in perpetual readiness for that great event. Peter admits that Paul can be difficult to understand. [UPDATED]
SUMMARY: One day, Jesus Christ will return. Peter wants us to keep that truth in mind. Plenty of people will scoff at this teaching. Thus far, it has been delayed so that more and more people can come to faith. But when the time is right, he will return in an instant.
VERSE 1. This is now, beloved, the second letter that I have written to you; and in both of them I stir up your sincere mind by reminding you,
I stir up your sincere mind. That is, try to stir up your sincere devotion. People need their sincere devotion to be stirred up on a regular basis.
by reminding you. Peter has a ministry of reminding. He refreshes the memory of believers, concerning things they already know.
We believers need to be reminded. See our study of 2 Peter 1:12-15. The ministry of reminding.
1 Thessalonians 3:10. night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face, and may perfect that which is lacking in your faith?
1 Thessalonians 5:1. But concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need that anything be written to you.
2 Peter 1:12. Therefore I will not be negligent to remind you of these things, though you know them, and are established in the present truth.
2 Peter 3:1. This is now, beloved, the second letter that I have written to you; and in both of them I stir up your sincere mind by reminding you,
VERSE 2. that you should remember the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior:
mockers will come. People will scoff and mock sincere faith.
VERSE 4. and saying, “Where is the promise of his coming? For, from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”
Where is the promise of his coming? In those early days of the Christian movement, many believers thought that Jesus Christ’s triumphal return in glory was immanent.
It was easy for a scoffer to mock Christians. They pointed out that Jesus Christ had not returned as they thought he would.
VERSE 5. For this they willfully forget that there were heavens from of old, and an earth formed out of water and amid water by the word of God,
VERSE 6. by which means the world that existed then, being overflowed with water, perished.
VERSE 7. But the heavens that exist now and the earth, by the same word have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
VERSE 8. But don’t forget this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
One day … a thousand years. In prayer there can be an altering of our perception of time. Sometimes, a long time in prayer can go by quickly. In other cases, even the shortest of times seems to drag on and on.
This is especially the case for people whom God has called to Contemplative Prayer. Or Unitive Prayer.
VERSE 9. The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but he is patient with us, not wishing that anyone should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
The Lord is not slow concerning his promise. God does not delay. He does not drag things out.
But in the case of the End of Days, he will delay it. By delaying it, more and more people have a chance to come to faith and be saved.
not wishing that any should perish. God’s mercy is so great! He does not desire the destruction of the “ungodly,” as we see time and again in the pages of the Bible.
Rather, God desires that people come to faith and be saved.
but that all should come to repentance. That’s our focus here. We aim to bless all sorts of people with the message of Jesus Christ. We do this not by condemning or denouncing. Rather, we do it by encouraging.
VERSE 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 be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. The End of Days will not occur when people say it will. It will happen at a day and hour that we cannot predict.
If someone claims to know when it will take place, they are a false prophet. In our day, a man named Harold Camping claimed to know when it would occur. He was wrong.
SUMMARY: One day, Jesus Christ really will return in glory. Therefore, let’s prepared. Let’s live holy lives. Let’s look forward to the new heavens and the new earth. Let’s be at peace.
VERSE 11. Therefore since all these things will be destroyed like this, what kind of people ought you to be in holy living and godliness,
since all these things will be destroyed. Some people, knowing that all will be destroyed eventually, feel there is no need to be wise stewards of the world’s resources.
“It’s all gonna burn,” they might say, “so don’t bother with saving the planet. Instead, focus on the things of eternity.”
Their sentiment reminds us of a bumper sticker which said: “Earth First: We Can Strip-Mine the Other Planets Later!”
VERSE 12. looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God, which will cause the burning heavens to be dissolved, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God. That is, waiting for and hastening.
The prospect of the End of Days should not frighten us believers. It is a great and wonderful event we are eager for.
VERSE 13. But, according to his promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
VERSE 14. Therefore, beloved, seeing that you look for these things, be diligent to be found in peace, without defect and blameless in his sight.
SUMMARY: In one of the great understatements of the entire Bible, Peter admits that to understand Paul can be difficult, and that some people get Paul wrong.
VERSE 15. Regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote to you,
Regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. That is, the Lord’s patience gives more and more people the time they need to repent and be saved.
VERSE 16. as also in all of his letters, speaking in them of these things. In those, there are some things that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unsettled twist, as they also do to the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
there are some things that are hard to understand. Even the apostle Peter found Paul a little hard to understand.
the ignorant and unsettled twist. Ignorant and unstable people distort Paul.
People are always distorting the Scriptures.
It’s easy to twist a text around to mean whatever you want.
Its difficult to sit with that same text for years or decades, patiently studying it, praying and waiting for God to illuminate it.
the other Scriptures. Peter is saying that Paul’s letters are Scriptures.
SUMMARY: Peter calls us to not fall away. Rather, we are to grow. To not grow is to be ill, spiritually. To not grow is to fail, to be shortsighted or blind. We are to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
VERSE 17. You therefore, beloved, knowing these things beforehand, beware, lest being carried away with the error of the wicked, you fall from your own steadfastness.
beware, lest being carried away with the error of the wicked. That is, be on your guard.
That way, you won’t get swept away by wicked people, such as false prophets.
VERSE 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.
Grow in the grace and knowledge. Many believers have stagnated in their faith. They no longer grow.
But God desires that we grow. We are to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
To not grow is to be ill, spiritually. To not grow is to fail. It is to be shortsighted or blind:
2 Peter 1:9. For he who lacks these things is blind, seeing only what is near, having forgotten the cleansing from his old sins.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.