People's New Testament
This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
3:1 The End of All Things
SUMMARY OF II PETER 3:
The Purpose of the Second Epistle. The Sayings of Scoffers. God's Apparent Delay to Give Opportunity for Repentance. The Day of the Lord. The New Heavens and New Earth. The Blameless Lives We Ought to Live. Paul's Writings. Final Admonitions.
This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you. This language implies a former letter written to the same persons to whom this is addressed.
I stir up your pure minds. In both letters his object was mainly to exhort them to holy lives.
By way of remembrance. By reminding you of the claims of Christ as shown by prophets and apostles.
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:
3:2 That ye be mindful of the words which were spoken. Both of what was spoken by the prophets in the Old Testament, and what of what the apostles have now spoken.
Of us the apostles. The Twelve, and Paul, who is alluded to in 2Pe 3:15.
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
3:3 Knowing this first. The apostles and prophets have reminded them that there will be scoffers
in the last days. Under the last dispensation.
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.
3:4 Where is the promise of his coming? This question is asked by the scoffers, as though the coming of Christ was so long delayed that all hope had ended. They take advantage of the disappointment to try to destroy faith.
All things continue as they were. The scoffers assert that the regular order of natural continues right on as it was from the beginning. They forget the deluge.
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:
3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of. Their ignorance which causes them to speak thus is willful. They obstinately forget all the lessons taught by the deluge. There the fixed order was interrupted.
That by the word of God. See Ge 1:6,9.
The heavens were of old. This alludes to the beginning of creation. See Ge 1:1,2.
And the earth standing out of the water. Compacted out of water (Revised Version). That is, water is a principal element in its formation, a fact seen in three-fourths of its surface being sea, and water being found in the depths of the earth everywhere, and being found largely in earthly combinations.
Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
3:6 Whereby the world... perished. By means of the waters of heaven and earth; the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened, the old world was overflowed and perished (Ge 7:11).
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.
3:7 By the same word. The heavens and earth of old were formed by the word of God, but the same word, which has always been sure, declares that they are reserved for fire. See Ps 50:3 97:03:00 Isa 66:15,24 Da 7:9 Mal 4:1.
Against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. This destruction by fire will be when the Lord is revealed in judgment and when perdition comes on ungodly men.
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.
3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing. Delay was the objection of the scoffers, but time is no element in the counsels of God.
That one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. He has eternity in which to work out his purposes. He can as well take a thousand years as a day. If he seems to us short lived creatures to delay, it for wise purposes. See Ps 90:4.
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.
3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise. If the day of the Lord seems delayed, it is not due to slackness.
But is longsuffering to us-ward. It is rather because God is long- suffering and is giving time to call the world to repentance. See 1Ti 2:4.
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.
3:10 But the day of the Lord will come. This expression usually, but not always, refers to the second advent. Such is the meaning here.
As a thief in the night. When people are not expecting it. Compare 1Th 5:2 Mt 24:43.
In which the heavens shall pass away. See Lu 21:33.
The elements shall melt. The material of which they are composed.
The earth also and the works that are therein, shall be burnt up. The earth and all man's creations. That the world shall come to an end seems to be written in its very constitution. A slight change in the constitution of the atmosphere, or the decomposition of its water would wrap it in flame. Science finds the elements of final dissolution in the relations of the earth and sun. According to the ratio of increase in two centuries the would will not have resources to feed its population. In a few hundred years the coal resources of the world will fail. These and many other facts point to a necessary and inevitable change.
Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
3:11 What manner of persons ought ye to be. Since we have no abiding home on this earth and seek one beyond, we should live in a state of preparation.
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?
3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God. Looking for, preparing for, and desiring the Lord's coming. Dreadful as that day will be for the impenitent, it is a day of relief and of glorious attainment to the saint.
Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
3:13 According to his promise. See Isa 65:17 66:22.
We... look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. The heavens and the earth are not to be blotted out, but changed, purified, and made better for the home of the righteous.
Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
3:14 Wherefore, beloved... be diligent. Now follows an earnest exhortation to holiness in view of the coming of the Lord.
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;
3:15 The longsuffering of our Lord is salvation. That God's long- suffering is designed to promote salvation.
As our beloved brother Paul... hath written unto you. We cannot tell what epistles of Paul are alluded to. We have at least three which were written to the same churches Peter was addressing. See 1Pe 1:1,2.
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.
3:16 As also in all his epistles. Peter knew of many epistles, then, that Paul had written, and knew also that they contained some very profound argument, which a Jew especially found it difficult to understand (See Galatian Letter).
The unlearned and unstable. The ignorant and vacillating.
Wrest. Pervert and give meanings that were never meant.
As they do also the other scriptures. The other scriptures may mean the Old Testament, or New Testament writings already written. The point to be noted is that already when Peter wrote Paul's epistles were accepted as a part of the Scriptures.
Unto their own destruction. This should be a warning to all in our day who twist the Scriptures from their real meaning.
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.
3:17 Seeing ye know these things before. That there shall be false teachers; hence beware of them.
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.
3:18 Grow in grace. How they may so grow was shown in 1Pe 2:2.
And in the knowledge of our Lord. The two kinds of growth must keep equal pace. He who grows in the one will grow in the other.