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Bible Commentaries

The Bible Study New Testament

2 Peter 3

Verse 1


My dear friends. AGAPETOI = those who form a unity in Christian love. Peter uses this four times in this chapter. This is now. He refers to the Letter of First Peter, and implies that only a short time separates the two letters. See note on 2 Peter 1:13. I have tried to arouse. As Peter writes, the next few years will be especially crucial for Jewish Christians. The Jewish wars will climax in the destruction of Jerusalem (70 A.D.), perhaps one-third of the Jewish nation will be killed, and the Jewish Christians will barely escape (1 Peter 4:17-18). Peter writes to arouse pure thoughts in their minds, because this will be the best defence against the false teachers. Truth and love are the two strongest weapons, and no false teacher can use them!!!

Verse 2


To remember the words. The things spoken by the Old Testament prophets. See note on 2 Peter 1:19. The Old Testament prophets predicted the coming of Christ in Judgment (compare Jude 1:14). And the command. The command of Christ to prepare for the Judgment. Peter could mean the whole truth which Christ gave to his apostles.

Verse 3


First of all. The last days began at Pentecost (Acts 2:16-17) and will continue until Christ Comes Again!!! Christians live in a last-hour situation (see 1 John 2:18 and note). False teachers will arise all during the time God’s offer of salvation is still in effect!!! Make fun of you. See Jude 1:18 and note.

Verse 4


And say. “These people will say: ‘Where is his promised Coming to raise the dead and destroy the earth??? For from the time of the death of the first race of men, all parts of our universe continue just as they were in the Creation. Christ’s Coming is therefore only something which you dreamed up!!!’”

Verse 5


They purposely ignore. “They say the stability of the universe disproves both Creation and any coming destruction. But in saying this they must purposely ignore the facts which they already know! Our universe HAS NOT continued to be just as it was without any changes, as the Flood proves!!!” Was formed. See Genesis 1:7-10; Psalms 136:6; Psalms 24:2.

Verse 6


By water also. MacKnight says: “The reason is, if the word of God destroyed the old world by water, he certainly is able to destroy it a second time.” See Genesis 7:11-12.

Verse 7


That now exist. “But though the destruction of the old world shows that the present world is capable of being destroyed, I do not say that it will be again destroyed by water. The same word of God who destroyed the old world by water, is now preserving the present heavens and earth for their future destruction by fire at the time when godless men will be judged and destroyed.” On being preserved by the word, see Hebrews 1:3.

Verse 8


But do not forget. “Do not listen to those who say the fact that Christ has not come yet proves he will not come at all. God is not limited by time as we are, and both one day and a thousand years are the same thing to him!” Peter paraphrases Psalms 90:4 to show that God works in ETERNITY!!!

Verse 9


The Lord is not slow. “If the Lord seems slow to keep his promise to destroy the world, it is certainly not because he cannot do it!!!” Instead. God acted in Christ to offer salvation to all mankind! God desires all human beings to hear and come (John 6:44-45; 1 Timothy 2:4-6; Revelation 22:17). Why does God delay??? Oecuminius writes: “The time of the end is deferred, that the number of them who are to be saved may be filled up.” Compare Revelation 6:9-11 and notes.

Verse 10


Will come as a thief. Compare Matthew 24:36-44 and notes. On that Day. The Expositor’s Greek Testament says: “No distinction is made between the Day of the Lord, and the Coming of Christ. This is remarkable, as excluding any idea of millenarian teaching, which speedily made its appearance in the Early Church.” Clement of Rome paraphrases this verse in his writings: “But ye know that the day of judgment cometh even now as a burning oven, and the powers of the heavens shall melt, and all the earth as lead melting on the fire, and then shall appear the secret and open works of men” (2 Clem. 16:3). Will vanish. HEURETHESETAI rather than the KATAKAESETAI of the T.R. The point is: (1) our material creation as we know it will vanish; (2) all (unforgiven) human sin will be laid bare.

Verse 11


Since. “Since you know the prediction that all these things will be destroyed in this way, what should be your response??? You should always be prepared for the Lord to Come!!!”

Verse 12


As you wait. See Philippians 3:20 and note. To make it come soon. Compare note on 1 Corinthians 16:22. This is John’s last-hour situation (1 John 2:18 and note). Christians are to have a sense of urgency and pray for Christ to bring the Day of Judgment! This is the attitude which the early church had. The Day when. Peter repeats what he had said in 2 Peter 3:10 for emphasis. This is also to introduce the next verse.

Verse 13


But we wait. The Coming will be both judgment for the wicked and triumph for the Kingdom! The Church Militant will become the Church Triumphant!!! New heavens and a new earth. MacKnight understands God’s promise to Abraham of Canaan to refer to this new creation, and that Isaiah describes this in Isaiah 65:17-23. Compare Acts 3:21; Romans 8:18-23; Colossians 1:20. The fact that our bodies will be raised and transformed would certainly fit in with the idea of a new earth (after this one is destroyed by fire). See 1 Corinthians 15:35-54. Compare Revelation 21:1-7 and notes.

Verse 14


And so, my friends. “Since we expect this whole world-system to be destroyed, we must each do our best to be pure and faultless in God’s sight and to be at peace with him. We must firmly hold to God’s finished work in Christ as the means of our being put right with God. And as God’s people, we must live lives which are holy and pure!!!” See 2 Peter 1:10-11 and notes.

Verse 15


As the opportunity, “Don’t think of the Lord’s delay in coming as proof that he will not come at all!!! Instead, think of it as the opportunity which he gives all to be saved!!!” See note on 2 Peter 3:9. Paul wrote. Remember that much writing was done very early in the life of the church (Luke 1:1-4 and notes). Since the New Testament writers wrote by inspiration, they could write down God’s message in a short time. These writings were being widely circulated, as would be expected, and these churches had no doubt read all that Paul had written, probably even Second Timothy. It is important also to note that Peter puts his stamp of approval on the things which Paul has written. There is ONE GOSPEL for BOTH Jews and Gentiles!!!

Verse 16


This is what he says. This implies that Paul is now dead and that Peter has read everything Paul had written. Note that Peter calls their attention to the fact that Paul wrote the very same thing about the Judgment that he is writing!!! Some difficult things. This is not criticism of Paul, but rather of the false teachers who purposely misuse Paul’s writings. See Introduction to James. With other passages. Note that Peter includes Paul’s writings as part of the Scriptures!!! This certainly proves that at this point in time there was already in existence a body of writings accepted as authentic Scripture – in addition to the Old Testament Scriptures!!!

Verse 17


Already know this. “You already know all these things I have warned you about. I just want to put you on your guard so that no false teachers will be able to steal your promise away from you and make you fall from your safe position!!!”

Verse 18


But continue to grow. See 1 Peter 2:1-3 and notes. A failure to grow spiritually exposes you to the Devil’s power!!! But you never progress away from God’s act in Christ to set you free: you progress deeper and deeper into it!!! Everything God has for his people is based on CHRIST-ON-THE-CROSS!!! To him. This is Peter’s doxology of praise to Jesus Christ our Messiah!!!

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Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3". "The Bible Study New Testament". College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.