2 Peter 3

This is the coming of the Lord to the earth, not the Rapture.

v. 1-2—Peter wrote to his fellow-Christians to “stir up their pure minds by way of remembrance.”

He had two things in mind:

1. That they may be mindful of the writings of the OT prophets. These predict as the first and second advents of the Lord and also foretold His millennial reign.

2. That they may be mindful “of the commandment of the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior as given by the apostles.” Christ’s teachings through the apostles fulfill the spiritual promises of the OT, but they go far beyond them. He wanted them to remember that God has exalted the rejected Christ and made Him to be Head over the Church, and Chief Supreme over creation. Through Paul God revealed the Rapture. The glory connected with His return to earth is also revealed through the Lord Himself and through His apostles. The best antidote against false teachers and teaching is to be acquainted with the Word of God.

v. 3-9—The certainty of Christ’s second advent is shown. To the believer there is nothing more certain than the Lord’s coming. The prophets of the OT and the apostles of the NT, plus the Lord Himself, accept it to be an established fact. Do we? But Peter says here that especially towards the end of the age mockers will scoff at the idea.

In chapter 2 the false teachers will deny the Lord that bought them. In chapter 3 scoffers will deny the second coming of Christ. The scoffers base their denial on appearances.

v. 5-7—In taking this stand, they deliberately ignore the creation story. They do not accept the flood as a fact. They scoff at future judgment of the world and the destruction of the godless. This is not altogether surprising. “The natural man cannot understand the things of the Spirit”—1 Corinthians 2.

v. 8—These wicked men ridicule the second coming of the Lord. “Where is this promised return?” they say that the time factor involved proves to the intelligent mind that such an event is incredible. Peter says to his brethren in Christ, “Do no let this one fact escape you.” “One day with the Lord is as a thousand years.” “A thousand years is as a day with Him.”

Peter is not trying to bring God within the compass of human comprehension. He is rather showing that God is eternal. The age of grace seems to be a long period of time, humanly speaking, almost 2,000 years. In God’s reckoning it is not yet two days since the promise of His coming. “If I go I will come again.”

v. 9—Peter says, the Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise. The reason He hasn’t come is because He is being patient. He does not want any to perish, He wants each to have an opportunity to repent of their sins.

Verse 10 introduces us to a very interesting study. The present creation in which we live is destined to be destroyed, because it is stained with sin. Every trace of sin will be removed.

Verse 10 tells us how it will be accomplished. Note the two expressions: “The Day of the Lord” and “The Day of God.”

“The Day of the Lord” is that period which is ushered in when the Lord returns in power and great glory, at the end of the Tribulation. This “Day” will continue throughout the Millennium and will end with the dissolution of the present earth and heavens. Surprisingly Peter says that this Day will come as “a thief in the night.”

Despite the many signs that the prophetic Word says will precede the “Day of the Lord”, this day will come unexpectedly upon mankind.

Some of the signs:

1. The rapture of the Church.

2. The unconcern and apostasy of the professing church.

3. The revelation of the man of sin.

4. The great Tribulation.

5. The appearing, the ministry, the slaying, the resurrection, and the ascension of the two witnesses.

Despite these signs, blatant unbelief will so dull the senses of the deluded unbeliever that that “Day of the Lord” will be unexpected. The final event in the Day of the Lord will be the burning up of the natural creation.

v. 12—At this point the “Day of God” will be ushered in. this is the eternal state, where righteousness dwells, not reigns as in the Millennium. See Revelation 21.

There is a practical application of this truth.

v. 11—What manner of persons ought we to be?

1. Believers should be characterized by holy living and God-likeness.

2. Believers should be in a state of expectancy, “Looking for and hasting unto.”

3. Believers should be diligent to be found in peace, without spot, and blameless when Christ returns.

4. Believers should display evangelistic zeal in view of the delay in the Lord’s coming. Peter urges this and suggests that Paul does also.

5. Believers should be steadfast in the faith.

6. Believers should grow in grace and in the knowledge of their Lord and Savior.

Peter concludes his letter by ascribing glory and honor to the Lord in this present day and also throughout eternity.