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November 9, 2016

2 Peter – start 11.09.2016

Filed under: Old and New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 1:30 pm

2 Peter

Chapters 1 | 2 | 3


WRITER: Simon Peter (2 Peter 1:1)
The Petrine authorship of 2 Peter has been challenged more than the authorship of any other book in the New Testament. Dr. William Moorehead said, “The Second Epistle of Peter comes to us with less historical support of its genuineness than any other book of the New Testament.” However, this has caused conservative scholars to give adequate attention to this epistle so that today it is well established that Peter wrote this letter. The autobiographical sections afford internal evidence of the Petrine authorship (see 2 Peter 1:13, 14, 16-18; 3:1).

DATE: About A.D. 66. This second epistle was written shortly after his first epistle (2 Peter 3:1) and a short while before his martyrdom (1:13, 14). (See 1 Peter.)

THEME: This is the swan song of Peter, as 2 Timothy is the swan song of Paul. There is a striking similarity. Both epistles put up a warning sign, along the pilgrim pathway the church is traveling, to identify the awful apostasy that was on the way at that time and now in our time has arrived. What was then like a cloud the size of a man’s hand today envelops the sky and produces a storm of hurricane proportions. Peter warns of heresy among teachers as Paul warns of heresy among the laity. Both Peter and Paul speak in a joyful manner of their approaching death (2 Peter 1:13, 14; 2 Timothy 4:6-8). Both apostles anchor the church on the Scriptures as the only defense against the coming storm.
The similarity of 2 Peter to Paul’s last epistle of 2 Timothy explains the sharp contrast between Peter’s first and second letters. The subject has changed, and the difference is as great as that which exists between Paul’s letters to the Romans and to Timothy.

Nevertheless, the theme is explained on the basis of the words which Peter uses here as contrasted to his first epistle. The words are different, with the exception of the word precious, which occurs in this epistle twice in the first chapter. Likewise, the word faith occurs twice in the first chapter.

The characteristic word is knowledge (occurring sixteen times with cognate words). The epitome of the epistle is expressed in the injunction contained in the final verse:

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and
Savior, Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18)

True gnosticism is not some esoteric information concerning a formula, a rite, or ritual; nor is it some secret order or password. It is to know Jesus Christ as He is revealed to man in the Word of God. This is the secret of life and of Christian living (see John 17:3).

I. Addition of Christian graces gives assurance, Chapter 1:1-14
“The [full] knowledge of God, and of Jesus, our Lord” is the foundation on which Christian character is built (see v. 2).

II. Authority of the Scriptures attested by fulfilled prophecy,
Chapter 1:15-21
Scriptures give light for obedience in dark days.

III. Apostasy brought in by false teachers, Chapter 2
Church should beware of false teachers and not false prophets.

IV. Attitude toward return of the Lord is a test of apostates,
Chapter 3:1-4

V. Agenda of God for the world, Chapter 3:5-13 A. Past world, vv. 5, 6
B. Present world, vv. 7-12
C. Future world, v. 13

VI. Admonition to believers, Chapter 3:14-18
Knowledge of God’s program is an incentive to grow in the
knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.



Vernon McGee: I. Addition of Christian graces gives assurance, Chapter 1:1-14

Chapter 1

2Pe 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

Vernon McGee: v. 1 — “Simon Peter” — the name Simon appears here, but it does not in 1 Peter 1:1. Christ never stands alone in this epistle; Jesus is added here, elsewhere Savior and Lord are also added.

to them that have obtained = The Greek word implies that they have not won it or earned it for themselves, but that it has been allotted to them.

2Pe 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

v. 2 — “Knowledge” occurs nine times (with cognates) in this chapter.

Confirm Your Calling and Election

2Pe 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

divine power and given unto us = God has given us everything we need to live a life of godliness. We are not dependent upon ourselves or anything or anyone else. We have everything we need through Jesus Christ.

He called us = we didn’t earn our salvation, he called us, God’s initiative, his action.

goodness = this is his basic character, he is good. His very virtue.

Vernon McGee: v. 3 — His blessings come “through the knowledge of him.” “Virtue” is excellence.

2Pe 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

partakers of the divine nature = we are born again and made part of God’s family. Joint heirs with Jesus Christ.

that is in the world through lust = we live in a broken, fallen world. The only escape from our sinful world and sinful nature is through Jesus Christ, our Redeemer.

Vernon McGee:v. 4 — “Precious promises” come through the knowledge of Him. “Partakers of the divine nature” come through the knowledge of Him (John 17:3).

John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

2Pe 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

add to your faith = a verb, an action item. Pursue it, take action.

2Pe 1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
2Pe 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

Vernon McGee:vv. 5-7 — These graces are not given in the order of their priority. One does not depend upon the other, but they are placed in orderly sequence.

“And beside this” is for this very cause.
“Add” is supply — have all the graces.
“Virtue” is excellence with energy.
“Brotherly kindness” is love of the brethren. This is enthusiasm for the knowledge of Christ.

FAITH: By faith we are born again. Until faith is present, good works mean nothing. It’s impossible to please god without faith.
GOODNESS: moral excellence. The same quality that Peter attributed to God himself.
KNOWLEDGE: “practical knowledge” … the knowledge of Him…the knowledge of truth … and being able to apply that.
SELF CONTROL: self control in all areas of your life… behavior, food, etc.
ENDURANCE: Perseverance.
GODLINESS: We must pursue Godliness, becoming more Christlike in our nature.
BROTHERLY AFFECTION & LOVE: Phileous (like a brother love) and Agape love (unconditional love).

2Pe 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is gospel transformation, your walk of sanctification. Growing in Christ, through Christ.

Vernon McGee: v. 8 — “Barren” is idle. Paul’s great desire was to know Christ (Philippians 3:10).

2Pe 1:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

The person who does not grow in Christ is like being blind, making no effort to walk or grow in Christ. Shortsided.

Vernon McGee:v. 9 — Sterility and lack of enthusiasm may lead to the place where the believer will forget he has been saved.

2Pe 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

Vernon McGee: v. 10 — Make your calling and election more sure. It is possible to believe in the security of the believer but lack the assurance of salva- tion.
Security of the believer is objective; Assurance of salvation is subjective.

brethren = we are all brothers, fellow saints in Christ.

your calling and election = God has given us the way unto salvation. He had called you out of darkness, He has elected you as his own. All you must do is accept him as your Lord, repent of your sins, and confess him.

2Pe 1:11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

entrance = entrance into the everlasting eternity with our Lord, in heavenly joy.

2Pe 1:12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.

Holman commentary: His words imply that there was already a settled body of Christian teaching which the apostles and early church planters were carefully passing on. The verb rendered established (or “strengthened”) is also found in Jesus’ personal commission to Peter: “When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32).

Luk 22:32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

2Pe 1:13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;

Vernon McGee: vv. 11-13 — Peter felt called to stir up these saints to grow in grace lest spiritual senility set in.

2Pe 1:14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.

Holman commentary: Peter had received special information from Jesus about his impending death. Whether Peter was recalling his conversation with Jesus shortly after the resurrection (John 21:18-19), or whether he had received recent revelation from our Lord Jesus Christ, is unknown.

John 21:18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” John 21:19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Vernon McGee: v. 14 — Tradition tells us that Peter was crucified with his head down because he was not worthy to die as Christ did (John 21:18, 19).

II. Authority of the Scriptures attested by fulfilled prophecy,
Chapter 1:15-21

2Pe 1:15 Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.

Peter knew his death was close. Soon after this writing he was martyred by Nero. But even knowing he was close to death, he was encouraging his readers to keep the faith.

Vernon McGee: v. 15 — “Decease” is exodus. In light of his approaching death, Peter calls attention to that which should be remembered.

Christ’s Glory and the Prophetic Word

2Pe 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

Vernon McGee: v. 16 — “Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses” — when did this take place? The next verse explains.

2Pe 1:17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
2Pe 1:18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

Holman commentary: Peter never got over his astonishment that he (along with James and John) had the unspeakable privilege of seeing Jesus’ honor and glory revealed by God the Father. The opponents Peter was combating could claim no such eyewitness experience.
The voice from the heavenly Father (here alone in Scripture designated the Majestic Glory) extolled Jesus. Note the following affirmations the Father made about Jesus:
• Jesus is uniquely My…Son. Jesus alone is the eternal Son of the Father. As redeemed people, we are brought into God’s family as His adopted children (1 Pet. 1:14-17).
• The Father uniquely loves His Son. At the transfiguration, the Father reaffirmed aloud the affection He had proclaimed when His Son was baptized (Mark 1:11; 9:7).
• The Father is greatly pleased with His Son. Again, the heavenly voice declared again what had been spoken at Jesus’ baptism (Mark 1:11).

Vernon McGee: vv. 17, 18 — This is a reference to the Transfiguration and offers the explanation for Matthew’s strange statement (see Matthew 16:28). Matthew follows this with an account of the Transfiguration.

Mat 16:28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

2Pe 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

Vernon McGee::v. 19 — Something more reliable and trustworthy than being an eyewitness to the Transfiguration is “a more sure word of prophecy.” Scripture is a light that is focused on the appearing of the “day star.”

2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

Vernon McGee::v. 20 — No prophecy of the Scripture is to be interpreted apart from other references to the same subject.

2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Vernon McGee::v. 21 — “Holy men” were men set apart for the task of writing Scripture. They were carried along by the Holy Spirit like a sailboat is carried by the wind.

Chapter 2

False Prophets and Teachers

2Pe 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

Vernon McGee: v. 1 — “False prophets” brought in heresy to the nation Israel. “False teachers” are the bearers of heresy and apostasy into the church. One of the marks of identification is that they deny Christ’s work of redemption for them.

2Pe 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

Vernon McGee: v. 2 — False followers will go after false teachers. God’s elect cannot be permanently deceived. 1 Corinthians 11:19 explains the rea- sons why God permits cults.

1Co 11:19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.

2Pe 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

Vernon McGee: v. 3 — “Covetousness” is another mark of a false teacher. The apostle gives a list of three types of apostates in the past who will appear in the future.

2Pe 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

Vernon McGee: v. 4 — (1) “Angels that sinned” — even some angels rebelled against God. Rebellion against God will appear in the last days (see Psalm 2:1-3).

Psa 2:1 Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? Psa 2:2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, Psa 2:3 “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”

2Pe 2:5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

Vernon McGee: v. 5 — (2) The ungodly of Noah’s day left God out of their lives, even in eating and drinking and in marriage (Matthew 24:37-39).

Mat 24:37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Mat 24:38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark,
Mat 24:39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

2Pe 2:6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;

Vernon McGee: v. 6 — (3) Gross immorality characterized Sodom and Gomorrah (see Romans 1:24-32).

Rom 1:24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,
Rom 1:25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
Rom 1:26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;
Rom 1:27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
Rom 1:28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.
Rom 1:29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips,
Rom 1:30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
Rom 1:31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
Rom 1:32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

2Pe 2:7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
2Pe 2:8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)

Vernon McGee: vv. 7, 8 — This is enlightening. The record in Genesis does not make it clear that Lot was a righteous man; in fact, it implies the opposite.

2Pe 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

Vernon McGee: v. 9 — God can and will do two things, of which Lot’s experi- ence is an illustration:
(1) “Deliver the godly out of temptations” (2) Keep the unjust for judgment

2Pe 2:10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

Vernon McGee: v. 10 — These are total apostates, hopeless.

2Pe 2:11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.
2Pe 2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

Vernon McGee: v. 12 — These apostates are like animals.

2Pe 2:13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;
2Pe 2:14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:

Vernon McGee: vv. 14-22 — This is a striking, frightful, and bold description of apostates.

2Pe 2:15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

Vernon McGee: v. 15 — “Following the way of Balaam” is being covetous, will- ing to sell his gift for money.

2Pe 2:16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.
2Pe 2:17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.
2Pe 2:18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.
2Pe 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
2Pe 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

Vernon McGee: v. 20 — These apostates have a head knowledge. They know the truth but have not received a love of the truth.

2Pe 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
2Pe 2:22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

Vernon McGee: v. 22 — This is a frightful and awful description of an apostate. This is Peter’s parable of the prodigal pig — “the sow that was washed.” The pig professed to like the father’s house, but he returned to the pigpen of his old man. (See Jude for a more complete description of apostates.)

Chapter 3

Summary of Chapter 3:
Peter’s teaching in this chapter can be organized as follows:

• Scoffers will deny the coming of the Lord (3:1-7).
• The Lord is patient regarding His return because He wants more people to repent (3:8-10).
• Believers are to live godly lives in light of the Lord’s return (3:11-13).
• In conclusion, believers are to be on guard spiritually and morally at all times (3:14-18).

The Day of the Lord Will Come

KEY DOCTRINE: According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth, the dead will be raised, and Christ will judge all men in righteousness

2Pe 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:

beloved: When I type in beloved and do a search, this word appears six times in my search. Peter shows his love for the people he is writing to here, again!

2Pe 3:2 That ye 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 Saviour:

mindful: don’t forget what you have learned, think about these things, they are important.

which were spoken before by the holy prophets: The importance of the testimony of prophecy (obviously here O. T. prophecy, and specially those sections of it which spoke of the Advent of Messiah)

2Pe 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

last days – the era that began with the first coming of Christ, because the “first days” meant the Old Testament period—the centuries of preparation for the coming of the Messiah and the outpouring of the Spirit (see Acts 2:17).

Act 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

scoffers – those who disdain or look with contempt. We still have those today. Self-indulgence often leads to skepticism.

2Pe 3:4 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 the creation.

Where is the promise of his coming: (Mal 2:17, “Where is the God of judgment?”). The Lord had prophesied of his coming; St. Paul had spoken more than once as if that coming were very near at hand (1Co 15:51; 2Co 5:4; 1Th 4:15). Yet he came not. Already men were beginning to mock, and to question whether the long-delayed promise would ever be fulfilled.

fathers – He may have meant the Old Testament patriarchs (such as Abraham and Isaac). Or he may have had in mind the first generation of Christians who already fell asleep; that is, they had died (such as Stephen and James; Acts 7:60).

Act 7:60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

2Pe 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

The scoffers were deliberately ignoring important, unassailable truths from the Book of Genesis. First, it was the word of God that had brought about the original creation of the heavens and the earth. Peter’s emphasis on the place of water in the creation is similar to the emphasis found in Genesis (1:6-10).

Peter picked up the theme of water to make his second point about divine intervention: the world of that time went through these waters, and all people and animals perished. The flood is, of course, a supreme example of divine judgment being brought about by the word of God (Get 6-9)

Thus, the original creation and the flood of judgment in the days of Noah are two obvious examples of God’s intervention in the world. For the scoffers to overlook these two, Peter thought, was a matter showing that they willfully ignored the facts of history.

2Pe 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
2Pe 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

    The same word of God that brought the world into existence and then judged the world is now sustaining the present heavens and earth.

  • But God’s preservation is not indefinite; it will not last forever.
  • The current state of affairs will last only until God is ready to judge the world again, this time with fire.
  • As surely as the flood resulted in the destruction of ungodly men, so in His return the Lord Jesus will unleash the day of judgment.
  • The references to fire and destruction should not be understood to refer to an annihilation of the wicked. Peter and the other writers of the New Testament understood that a literal hell lies ahead for the unrepentant.

2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

    Now Peter showed the reasons why God seemed to be delaying the second coming.

  • The first reason is that God has a different perception of the passing of time than we humans do.
  • He created space and time, and we humans are locked into a narrow sliver of time (seventy or so years, if we have a typical lifespan).
  • God sees all times equally, and this fact must not escape us.
  • In the light of God’s eternal perspective one day is no different than a thousand years and vice versa (Ps. 90:4).
  • Psa 90:4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

  • Thus, we as humans often seethe with impatience at God’s timeline, but He sees everything in the light of eternity.

2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

    The second reason that God seems to be delaying the second coming is not His indifference but rather that He is patient with people.

  • He is waiting so that all who will come to repentance and faith in Christ will do so.
  • As the God of creation and judgment, He is not wanting any to perish.
  • He provided the Savior and offers salvation.
  • Yet He will not force salvation on those who refuse Him.
  • Just as surely, however, as God’s patience finally ran out in the days of Noah and the judgment waters of the flood destroyed the world, so too will God’s patience finally run out and the judgment fire connected with Christ’s return will fall.

2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Day of the Lord
Amo 5:18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. Amo 5:19 As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Amo 5:20 Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?

    the Day of the Lord.

  • It will come suddenly. Just as a thief breaks in without warning, so Christ’s return will be (1 Thess. 5:2). His coming is certain, yet its time will be unexpected.
  • It will come universally. No person will escape (just as in the flood of Noah). Peter described a cataclysmic event: the heavens will pass away and the elements will burn and be dissolved. Ultimately, there will be a new heaven and new earth (Rom. 8:18-25; Rev. 21:1-8).
  • It will come as a final evaluation. Not only will the earth itself be exposed, so will the works that people have done. Everything at last will be disclosed. Again, Peter was not teaching the obliteration of the wicked; rather, he was teaching the certainty of judgment.

Vernon McGee note:
v. 10 — “Noise” (Greek rhoizedon) is the word used for the swish of an arrow, the rush of wings, the splash of water, the hiss of a serpent.

“Elements” refer to basic material, atoms, the building blocks of the universe.

“Melt” is dissolve.

“Fervent heat” is energy. These descriptive words make us think of an atomic explosion

2Pe 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

As believers, we are to live for that which is eternal, not for that which is destined to be demolished. Peter noted two moral qualities—near synonyms—that will enable us to (1) avoid the devastation of the last judgment and (2) last for eternity.

2Pe 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
2Pe 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

  • We are to live with a stance of anticipation.
  • We wait for and earnestly desire the time when we will finally attain the goal for which we have been longing.
  • The heavens will be permanently changed, as they will be on fire and be dissolved.
  • God will at last bring these things about, and we are to be expectant.
  • What makes this worth waiting for are the new heavens and a new earth.
  • Peter’s main point is that our final destination—as those who have been born again and lived lives of holiness and godliness—will be where righteousness will dwell. Just think about it: at last all the marks of sin and evil will be gone, and we will enjoy God’s holy presence forever and ever.

Final Words

2Pe 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

This leads to holy living

2Pe 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

Patient waiting is mental adjustment to the present world situation. Paul also wrote of these things.

2Pe 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Peter admits that Paul wrote of truth in depth — but so did Peter.

2Pe 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

The coming of Christ should make for a stable and steadfast life.

2Pe 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Vernon McGee: This is the all-important program for the child of God now. Paul said, “Study.” Peter said, “Grow.” Both refer believers to the Bible and the study of it.

  • Avoid error in the Christian life.
  • Grow in grace and grow in knowledge.
  • The gospel is best expressed in one word: grace (God’s unmerited favor).
  • Grace is coupled with truth or knowledge, for example, knowledge about the certainty of Christ’s return and coming judgment. Peter had emphasized knowledge at the very beginning of his letter
  • Peter was ready for his conclusion. There was no better way to end than with a brief doxology, a word of praise
  • God receives all the praise now, perfectly in heaven (Isa. 6:1-3; Rev. 4–5) and imperfectly on earth.
  • Isa 6:1-3 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

  • Yet we look forward to the time when God will be unendingly and perfectly praised throughout all eternity. Peter concluded his song of praise with a hearty Amen.

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