2 Peter 3:1-9
This second letter, beloved, I now write to you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:…
A careful study of this passage is necessary to a clear understanding of the apostle's meaning, and of the place of this urgent exhortation in his argument. For such a study it may be welt to gather up his teaching here round three points.
I. THE "WORD" OR "COMMANDMENT" HERE INTENDED. Concerning such we ask:
1. By whom is it proclaimed?
(1) "Spoken before by the holy prophets;" i.e., perhaps chiefly, though not solely, of the Old Testament. Forth-tellers as well as fore-tellers.
(2) "Your apostles;" i.e., those that brought you the gospel.
(3) "The Lord and Saviour." He is the Source; the prophets and apostles are but the channel.
2. How is it to be received?
(1) "Stir up your mind;" active intelligence.
(2) "Sincere" mind; unprejudiced intelligence.
(3) By way of "remembrance;" intelligence that recalls what has been revealed. Not a novelty, not a discovery.
3. What is it? The theme of both Epistles - Christ's coming.
II. THE OBJECTION OF MEN TO THIS "WORD" AND "COMMANDMENT."
1. What are the men who object? "Mockers with mockery." Not the troubled truth-seeker.
2. What is the spirit in which they object? "Walking after their own lusts." Strong unbridled desire is the explanation of their scornful unbelief.
3. What is the argument of this objection? "Where is the promise of his coming?" Not, where written? but, what has come of it? Since the fathers fell asleep it seems to lie like a dead letter.
III. THE THREEFOLD ANSWER TO THIS OBJECTION.
1. It arises from willful ignorance of history. There is the "Flood" - probably one among many, but the chief - of which tradition, science, the Bible, have much to say. And that Flood, and all coming destruction, is to be traced, not to a fortuitous concourse of atoms, but to "the Word of God."
2. It arises from fixing time as a condition of God's ways, as it is of man's. "One day," etc. Look at "the dial of the ages, not the horologe of time."
3. It arises from misreading the apparent tardiness of God. He is slow, but never late. What seems to us delay is not an interval of Divine neglect, but a period of Divine mercy, granting an opportunity for human "repentance." - U.R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: