2 Peter 3
This last chapter of Peter is discussing the last days. Peter wanted his audience to be reminded that there will be a day of judgment to come.
“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.” 2 Peter 3:1-3
Peter is saying, pay attention to the scriptures, he was also noting the importance of the New Testament even as it was unfolding before their eyes. He couldn’t have known that these writings would live on for thousands of years except by way of the fact that the prophetic scriptures had already lived for thousands of years. He also says that there will be scoffers in the last days who want to follow their own sinful ways. He goes on to say that the scoffers would be thinking that things would just continue as they had been from the beginning of time. But he wanted the believers to remember that just as the world was made by the word of God, that the day will come that the world will burn up by the word of God. The thing is, we can predict that we are in the last days, but the truth is we have no idea how long these last days will last. Time does not have the same meaning to God as it does to us.
“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.” 2 Peter 3:8-10
It is God’s desire that all should come to repentance, and He will act with that thought in mind always. God is patient, and in His kindness, He wants everyone to have a chance for redemption. But the truth is when that last day comes, it will come like a thief, no one will know that it is coming and it will happen quickly and the works that have been done on earth will be exposed immediately.
“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 heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!” 2 Peter 3:11-12
I wonder, and these are my thoughts here, if the people were becoming so consumed with watching for the return of the Lord, that they were forgetting how they should live. I had that thought as I read “what sort of people ought you to be”. Did Peter ask them that because they were becoming consumed with the thought of the Lord’s return that they were forgetting to just live their day to day lives in holiness and godliness. For me, if I am waiting for an event or for a season of life to turn or change, sometimes I feel I get so paralyzed in the waiting I forget to keep on living. I think that could be what Peter is pointing out to them. Don’t get so caught up in the last days and the waiting that you forget to keep living. We are waiting for His return but we are supposed to keep living as we wait.
“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.” 2 Peter 3:13-14
The only way to be diligent to be found by Him without spot or blemish and at peace is to keep growing in Him. We should count the Lord’s patience as our salvation and see that His patience is giving opportunity for more and more people to come to Him. We should be aware of the world, that there are people who will twist the scriptures for their own gain but what we do with that is keep ourselves grounded in the scripture. We must be careful to be in the world but not to be carried away by it.
“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 3:17-18
Yes we should be ready if today is the day but we should also keep living in the waiting in case the day isn’t coming for a thousand years. That is what will bring Him glory. If the world sees that we are not cowering in fear but that we are living in the waiting!