2 Peter 3
The Promise of Christ's Coming (2 Peter 3)
A. Peter here reminds his readers to not neglect the Scriptures in view of a problem which he
foresees: the delay of the day of judgment prompting scoffers to rebel against the truth.
B. The last days have been in effect since the first advent of Christ.
GAL 4:4; HEB 1:1-2; 9:26; 1JO 2:18.
C. The attitude of these scoffers is what the Savior warned the disciples about on the Mount of
Olives. MAT 24:48.
D. Note that the thing to which they look as evidence that there must be something amiss concerning
the coming of the Lord is the seeming constancy of the physical earth. v. 4.
1. This is basically the position of uniformitarianism: the belief that present processes have
always been thus, rejecting divine catastrophic interference in the natural course of this
2. Mind that they may not entirely discount catastrophic destruction (asteroid, global
warming, etc.); it is the notion of divine catastrophic judgment that they reject, past or
E. Peter points to one specific, obvious example which they reject outrightly: the divine judgment of
the flood of Noah. vs. 5-6.
1. Observe that the promise of His coming is not connected with the judgment that God
brings upon national or political powers by the hand of another people (as happened to
Israel in 70 A.D.).
2. Rather, the promise of His coming is associated with a consummation by God Himself.
F. As such, Peter has apprised his readers to be prepared to face the denial of the personal coming of
Christ to judge the world by fire, though the Scriptures plainly declared it. v. 2.
1. Observe these places where prophets and apostles had spoken of the destruction of the
physical earth and heavens. GEN 8:21-22; JOB 14:12; PSA 102:25-26 (quoted in HEB
1:10-12); ISA 34:4; 51:6; MAT 24:35; 1JO 2:17.
2. Observe the words spoken concerning a new heaven and earth.
ISA 65:17; 66:22; REV 21:1-4.
G. The heavens and earth of which Peter is speaking is the natural creation, not symbolism of
Judaism and Christianity (vs. 5-7). It is the present natural creation that is reserved unto fire.
H. What seems to be a ridiculous amount of time for men is no time at all to an infinite, timeless God.
v. 8 c/w PSA 90:4.
A. That the earth is still carrying on as usual does not mean that God has forgotten His promise. His
coming is purposely delayed for the benefit of the elect. v. 9 c/w v. 1 c/w 1PE 1:2.
B. Since it is evident that this present earth is not going to last, it is pointless to wrap up our hopes in
it. vs. 10-14 c/w HEB 11:16.
C. We ought therefore to be on constant guard, that our hopes be not dashed when He does come.
LUK 21:34-36; 1JO 2:28.
A. Peter here declares that the Lord is longsuffering for the sake of salvation, as Paul had also
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declared. ROM 2:4; 9:22-23; HEB 11:7 c/w 1PE 3:20.
B. Paul spoke of these things in all his epistles:
1. ROM 2:5. The day of judgment.
2. 1CO 15. The coming of Christ and the destruction of death.
3. 2CO 5:10. The judgment seat of Christ.
4. GAL 5:5. Waiting for the hope of righteousness. c/w 1JO 3:2-3.
5. EPH 1:10. Gathering all things in Christ.
6. PHIL 3:20-21. Looking for the Savior to change our bodies.
7. COL 3:4. The appearance of Christ.
8. 1TH Every chapter speaks of the blessed hope.
9. 2TH 1:7-10. Redemption and judgment at His coming.
10. 1TI 6:14. The appearing of Christ.
11. 2TI 4:8. The reward of the saints at the Lord's appearing. c/w MAT 25:34.
12. TIT 2:13. The blessed hope and appearing of Christ.
13. PHM 1:15. Eternal hope for Onesimus.
14. HEB 1:10-12; 2:5; 9:28; 10:25; 13:14.
B. By contrast, if the displacement of heavens and earth in 2PE 3 is talking about the overthrow of
Judaism and the Jews, 1TH 2:16 is about the only place he seems to address that issue.
A. A doctrine which asserts that there is no future coming of the Lord to destroy the present heavens
and earth and introduce a new heavens and earth is pointedly the error of the wicked.
B. Impatience leads people to vile idolatries. EXO 32:1.
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