II Peter: Warning of False Teachers

Chapter 3






Chapter 3

1-2 Promise of Jesus Christ’s coming

3-4 Scoffers deny Christ’s coming

5-7 Coming fiery judgment is certain as the Flood

8-9 God’s timing appears slow due to His mercy

10-14 His coming in judgment should affect us

15-16 Paul’s epistles also taught these things

17-18 Such knowledge should cause faithfulness.



  1. We want the Lord’s direction to go forward as a church … He has given us a list … II Peter 3 emphasizes one.
  2. For a church to advance in true spiritual religion, they need to focus on their lives in light of Christ’s return.
  3. Is there any better subject needing to be repeated to stir up pure minds of God’s people than Christ’s coming?
  4. There is no knowledge or mention of His coming outside the church, so we must make up for it in the church.
  5. Are you living like you should, if He were to return today? This must be your focus, as it was the early church.
  6. If He does not come in the next six months, He knows … right now … whether you are living for His return.
  7. The Thessalonians, examples of true conversion, repented and waited for Jesus from heaven (I Thess 1:9-10).
  8. The righteous look for His coming, love His appearing, and haste unto it (Heb 9:27-28; II Tim 4:8; II Pet 3:12).
  9. But … His coming will bring the wrath of God! … Day of Judgment! … the universe dissolving and melting!
  10. The righteous will be saved; they are delivered from wrath; the wicked will be punished with eternal torment
  11. The difference between outcomes is great … glorification forever … eternity in the darkness of the lake of fire.
  12. Why do we get so caught up in the events and hopes of this life, when its best/worst is nothing in comparison?
  13. For two parables and a prophecy of Christ’s return … see the great contrast three times in succession (Matt 25).
  14. When Paul had opportunity to present the gospel, it was the terror of the Lord (Acts 17:31; 24:25; II Cor 5:11).
  15. Without the second coming, what do we have in our religion? Not much! We are quite miserable (I Cor 15:19)!
  16. Paul concluded a lengthy, detailed, and graphic description of it by exhorting to mutual comfort (I Thess 4:18).
  17. The hope of Jesus’ return and its glorious events should motivate holy living by honest Christians (I Jn 3:1-3).
  18. One thing high among the rest for us to remind each other about must be the second coming of Jesus Christ.
  19. The most important thing we can do for each other is to remind of this event and help us all prepare well for it.
  20. You will confess Jesus is Lord when He comes! … but you should do it now before He comes and shocks you!
  21. Some will cry for the rocks to fall on them and hide them from God and the Lamb (Rev 6:12-17; Luk 23:27-31).
  22. Preterism is an evil heresy – antichrist and anti-gospel; II Peter 3 will crush it, but we want practical conviction.
  23. Preterism is all prophecies in the past (70 A.D.), including second coming, Judgment, new heavens/earth, etc.
  24. For a detailed introduction to the context of Peter’s epistles.


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

This second epistle.

  1. Peter wrote two epistles to the same people for the same purpose – reminding.
    1. There is evidence Peter confirmed Paul’s gospel (I Pet 5:12; II Pet 3:15-16).
    2. Peter said in both that they were established in truth (I Pet 5:12; II Pet 1:12).
    3. Peter promised reminders in this epistle, and so he wrote another (1:12-15).
  2. The audience was churches and converts of Paul in central and western Turkey.
    1. Peter clearly identified five Roman regions in the first epistle (I Peter 1:1).
    2. These were dispersed Jews proven by various evidences in both epistles.
    3. The Jews were scattered in Roman provinces in central and western Turkey.
    4. Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia were identified as present at Pentecost (Acts 2:9).
    5. Seven churches of Asia included Paul’s churches at Ephesus and Laodicea.
    6. Galatia had churches by Paul (I Cor 16:1); Paul passed Bithynia (Acts 16:7).
    7. Paul’s letter to Galatians included rebuking Peter, yet he wrote those saints!
    8. God chose when you hear and believe; we trust and thank Him for Bithynia.
  3. Any argument from the first epistle should be assumed as known in the second.


  1. Peter used this affectionate term four times in the third chapter (3:1,8,14,15,17).
  2. There are good reasons Peter had not met most or all of the epistle’s recipients.
  3. Yet, in Christ Jesus we are all beloved to each other, for we are blood brothers.
  4. Any consideration of Christ’s return removes all geographical locations for us.
  5. Any view of God’s great judgment reminds us of our salvation in the Beloved!

I now write unto you.

  1. For details about this audience.
  2. Does knowing the audience help? Remember that the title of Hebrews greatly helps with its difficulties, and the mixed church at Rome helps that epistle.
  3. The scattered strangers are Jewish Christians resulting from Israel’s Diaspora.
    1. Persecution by Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans had scattered Jews.
    2. These Jews were strangers due to living in strange nations rather than Israel.
    3. They were also strangers in that they lived among Gentiles rather than Jews.
    4. These Jews were scattered due to being deported or moving to other nations.
    5. These Jews were scattered, as opposed to gathered, with a few in any place.
    6. James identified similar Jews as the twelve tribes scattered abroad (Jas 1:1).
    7. John mentioned these scattered or dispersed Jews in his gospel (John 7:35).
    8. Peter at Pentecost met some of the scattered Jews in Jerusalem (Ac 2:5-11).
    9. We know it is a Jewish audience by distinction of Gentiles (2:12; 4:3; etc.).
    10. We have further evidence of Jews by quotations for Israel (Joel 1:9; 2:23).
    11. Peter also referred to the tradition of their fathers, which is Jewish (1:18).
    12. Familiarity with Israelites and their prophets is assumed (II Peter 2:1; 3:2).
  4. Their location was five small areas in what is now central and western Turkey.
    1. Paul wrote churches of Galatia warning about Jewish legalism (Gal 1:1-2).
    2. If Jewish legalism was an enemy, Peter confirming Paul’s gospel was key.
    3. Peter closed both epistles agreeing with Paul (I Peter 5:12; II Pet 3:15-16).
  5. Gentiles are not excluded, due to idolaters, usually truer of Gentiles (1:14; 4:3).

In both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance.

  1. Due to this verse, any audience considerations apply to both epistles of Peter.
    1. The same audience received both epistles, so any argument applies to both.
    2. They were scattered Jews being confirmed in Paul’s gospel in both epistles.
  2. Both epistles had one main goal – to remind these believers of apostolic truth.
    1. Peter in this epistle clearly stated his commitment to repetition (1:12-15).
    2. The thing to be remembered is set forth in the following verse and context.
  3. A pure mind is a regenerated mind that is established in the truth of the gospel.
    1. Peter defined one way of purifying your heart by brotherly love (I Pet 1:22).
    2. Yet even pure minds need to be stirred up by repetitions of divine truth.
    3. For even elect and regenerate minds can forget the truth (1:9; I Cor 15:2).
  4. Repetition of truth is crucial to remembering it and prioritizing life around it.
    1. Even simple elementary facts of knowledge must be repeated to be learned.
    2. Peter had already in this epistle greatly emphasized the role of repetition.
  5. But there are some doctrines that require greater effort and have greater value.
    1. The doctrine of Jesus Christ’s return is a life-changer in significant ways.
    2. Consider Paul’s sober warning to Corinth about forgetting it (I Cor 15:2,19).
    3. The truth of Christ’s return has no earthly reminders like His first coming.
    4. The cycle of sunrises and sunsets keeps us from imagining anything else.
    5. The world’s profane disregard or rejection of future judgment distracts us.


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:

That ye may be mindful of the words.

  1. The purpose of gospel preaching is to keep important truth in believers’ minds.
    1. Mindful. Taking thought or care of; heedful of; keeping remembrance.
    2. Paul preached and wrote to put truth in mind (Ro 15:15; II The 2:2; Tit 3:1).
    3. A temptation is minding earthly things as belly worshippers (Phil 3:18-19).
  2. Peter introduced a topic of prophecy given by inspiration for heed (1:16,19-21).
    1. He identified this subject in the first epistle as Jesus’ coming (I Pet 1:4-13).
    2. The message of the O.T. prophets and N.T. apostles was the same message.
    3. When you have these two witnesses agreeing, it is truth of great importance.
  3. Context has a key point of prophetic doctrine – Christ’s coming and judgment.
    1. Comparing the similar epistle of Jude, he wrote of Enoch’s prophecy of it.
    2. It is promise of Christ’s coming that is in the context of this verse (3:4,9,13).
    3. The first epistle placed great emphasis on the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Which were spoken before by the holy prophets.

  1. Peter had specifically identified O.T. prophecies about His return (I Pet 1:3-13).
  2. In context of Christ’s coming, Peter had repeated it in this epistle (1:16,19-21).
  3. Did the O.T. prophets ever write about the final phase of salvation? Indeed!
    1. Job knew his living Redeemer was coming to glorify his body for personal fellowship with God, in spite of great afflictions in his life (Job 19:25-27).
    2. Abram, Job’s relative, saw Jesus and heaven (Jn 8:56; Heb 11:8-10,13-16).
    3. Jacob spoke of Jesus Christ as Shiloh and gathering the elect (Gen 49:10).
    4. David knew his future was different from men of this world (Psalm 17:15).
    5. David knew God would redeem him, his body, from the grave (Ps 49:15).
    6. Asaph knew a great reversal of fortune was coming after this life (Ps 73:24).
    7. David repeated the prophecy of God coming in judgment (Ps 96:13; 98:9).
    8. Isaiah gave Paul words we love much in the resurrection chapter (Is 25:8).
    9. Hosea gave Paul words we love much in the resurrection chapter (Ho 13:14).
    10. Daniel foretold the kingdom of God standing forever after others (Dan 2:44).
    11. Daniel saw judgment and saints with the kingdom (Dan 7:9-14,18,22,27-28).

And of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour.

  1. We know the Lord and Savior and His apostles, but what is the commandment?
    1. A commandment singular may be brotherly love (Jn 13:34-35; I Jn 2:7-11).
    2. But it may also be the commandment of righteousness in the gospel (2:21).
    3. Due to context after this verse and what Peter stressed in both epistles (3:1), we see apostolic duty of godliness in light of Jesus Christ’s second coming.
    4. Following is promise of His coming (3:4,9,13) and its description (3:10-14).
    5. Peter has appealed to N.T. apostles for Christ’s coming (1:16,19-21; 2:9).
    6. Peter’s first epistle repeated this doctrine (I Pet 1:3-13; 4:4-7,13; 5:1,4,10).
  2. Peter identified Paul’s epistles (3:15-16) about Christ’s return (Rom 13:11-14; I Cor 15:23-28; II Cor 5:1-11; Phil 3:20-21; I Thes 4:13-18; II Thes 1:7-10; etc.).
  3. Context of both epistles and what follows is more than warning about scoffers.
    1. Peter warned about false teachers, but his main emphasis was Jesus’ return.
    2. However, there was significant need, knowing this first, to reject scoffers.


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

Knowing this first.

  1. This is an interruption in the flow to interject a negative about Christ’s return.
    1. The main issue in context and throughout both epistles is the second coming.
    2. However, as an introduction to it here, a scoffer argument against it is listed.
  2. The overall message of this chapter is not scoffers, but rather Christ’s coming.
  3. Jude made mention of this very same danger in his short epistle (Jude 1:16-19), which was also in context of declaring God coming in judgment (Jude 1:14-15).

That there shall come in the last days scoffers.

  1. Enoch told of such ungodly men, and we know by Jude’s epistle (Jude 1:14-15).
  2. Jude made mention of this very same danger in his short epistle (Jude 1:16-19).
  3. Paul warned in several places of such men (I Tim 4:1-2; II Tim 3:1-7,13; 4:3-4).
  4. While there were scoffers in the apostolic age, this verse speaks more about us.

Walking after their own lusts.

  1. Their own agenda or ideas motivated them, rather than the written word of God.
  2. Those who have no role for God must get rid of a final confrontation with Him!
  3. Today, those who promise great liberty for lusts deny a literal, burning hell.


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.

And saying, Where is the promise of his coming.

  1. Many had seen Him alive, so scoffers had difficulty denying His first coming.
  2. So they took it on themselves to deny the prophecies of His second coming.
    1. Because sentence against evil is not done speedily, fools assume a reprieve.
    2. Peter will shortly explain that any such reprieve was for the elect only (3:9).
    3. With faith in scripture the only evidence of His coming, skeptics can bark!
    4. The Jews themselves denied God’s judgment by any longsuffering or mercy (Is 5:18-19; Jer 5:12-13; 17:15; Ezek 12:22-28; Mal 2:17; Luke 12:31-48).
  3. Here we have the coming of Christ specifically identified as the topic at hand.
    1. It will be identified again by his explanation for the perceived delay (3:9,13).
    2. It is tightly tied to the day of the Lord and burning of the universe (3:10-14).
    3. The various comings of the futurists are combined into one event right here.
    4. The heresy of the preterists tying everything to 70 A.D. is denied right here.

For since the fathers fell asleep.

  1. The fathers to Jews are primarily Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, fathers of Israel.
  2. Thus, these Bible scholars could appeal to near 2000 years of no such event.
  3. The terminology of falling asleep indicates, possibly sarcastic, a resurrection.

All things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

  1. This fact, abused by scoffers, sensed by believers, must be dealt with by faith.
    1. The study of world history shows a dearth of any such cataclysmic events.
    2. You have not experienced anything even close to resembling Christ’s return.
    3. Therefore, there is a real disconnect between the promise and the fulfillment.
  2. So it is behooves God’s children to take this promise by faith and promote it.
    1. There is nothing more certain than Jesus Christ’s promise to come again.
    2. Jesus came the first time in order to make His return possible and profitable.
    3. The universe exists for God to judge vessels of wrath (Pr 16:4; Ro 9:22-24).
    4. We are to comfort one another with the certainty of His return (I Thes 4:18).


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:

For this they willingly are ignorant of.

  1. It is a sin to be ignorant of things you may readily know – like Noah’s Flood.
    1. Of course, there is great human motivation to overlook or ignore the Flood.
    2. A sin of mankind is against retaining God in their knowledge (Rom 1:28).
    3. Without understanding is another condemning sin of mankind (Rom 1:31).
  2. Why argue with an atheist, for they have chosen to be ignorant of all evidence?
    1. The burden of proof is far greater on them to prove that God does not exist.
    2. Any other solution to the origin of the universe is ridiculous in comparison.
  3. Fools that crucified Jesus were ignorant He was the Lord of glory (I Cor 2:8).
  4. Ignorance itself is a sin and proportionately more based on evidence rejected.
  5. It is the lust of men mentioned earlier (3:3) that chooses to be ignorant of truth.
  6. There was no rain for 1,656 years, but when it began to fall, you needed the ark!
    1. Do you know how many so-called scientific journals denied possibility of it?
    2. Paul mocked what is called science alongside vain babblings (I Ti 6:20-21).
  7. Preterists are damned ignorant by their will to refuse anything but their opinion.
    1. They refuse to admit cataclysmic events at Jesus’ return have not happened, such as the very clear language for the material/physical world here (3:5-7).
    2. To rid themselves of literal events like this, they rather choose hallucinatory spiritualizing of such prophecies to reject the literal events that judge them.
    3. They copy Ellen White, who invented an investigative judgment to rescue William Miller’s folly in Daniel 8 and the Disappointment of 1843/1844.
    4. For Miller’s idiotic heresy.

That by the word of God the heavens were of old.

  1. Creation occurred by the will and word of God without any creature influence.
  2. God brought each aspect of creation into existence by His omnipotent voice.
    1. The first occurrence of His spoken word brought light into being (Gen 1:3).
    2. The second creative event brought heaven between the waters (Gen 1:6).
    3. The third creative act separated the waters from the dry ground (Gen 1:9).
  3. We see the living Word of God and His spoken word (John 1:1-3; Ps 33:6,9).
  4. Creation occurred by the word of God; judgment will come by the same (3:7).

And the earth standing out of the water and in the water.

  1. Some of earth or dry ground is above water, and we live on that part of earth.
  2. Some of earth or its solid mass is under water, and we do not live on any of it.
  3.  Properly viewing the limits of oceans should cause men to fear God (Jer 5:22).


6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

Whereby the world that then was.

  1. The world that then was refers to terra firma of the planet earth before Noah.
  2. The world that then was indirectly refers to the rebel humanity living on it.
  3. The context of II Peter 3:5-6 is clearly the geological, material, physical earth; it is not some metaphorical earth; therefore, 3:7,10-14 must be the same earth.

Being overflowed with water, perished.

  1. Every creature with the breath of life or living substance drowned in the Flood.
  2. There was nothing left of earth has it had been known – all was fully destroyed.
  3. The perishing here should not be restricted only to death, for men went to hell.
    1. Peter wrote in the first epistle that their spirits were in prison (I Pet 3:19-20).
    2. He further included them right in with the angels and Sodom (II Pet 2:4-6).


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.

But the heavens and the earth, which are now.

  1. This is the physical universe as presently known existing under and around us; it is surely not a metaphorical representation of the old covenant of the Jews.
  2. The comparison of then and now require both worlds to be the material/physical earth that God overflowed with water in Noah’s time and will yet fully burn up.
  3. A covenant change is nonsensical in context and had already occurred! which Paul and Peter had identified well (I Peter 2:4-10; Heb 8:1-13; 12:28-29; etc.).
  4. Elements is here to deceive them (Gal 4:3,9; II Pet 3:10,12). Yes (Eze 14:1-11)!
  5. They deny real events in Rom 8:18-23; Heb 1:10-12; or similar places, for none occurred in 70 A.D., leaving their ideas bankrupt of any purpose or validity.

By the same word are kept in store.

  1. The word of Jesus Christ, Who created all things, upholds all things (Heb 1:3).
  2. The word of God created all things, drowned all things, and will burn all things.
  3. When all things consist by Him (Col 1:7), it is easy for Him to undo all things!

Reserved unto fire.

  1. The physical universe as known will be entirely burned rather than drowned.
  2. All the rainbows in the world, promising no worldwide flood, will not stop fire.
  3. This reservation is connected to hell as follows next (II Pet 2:4,17; Jude 1:6,13).
  4. This earth is reserved for fire, but we have an inheritance reserved (I Pet 1:4).

Against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

  1. There is a planned, ordained day of God’s judgment of sinful and wicked men.
  2. Perdition. The fact or condition of being destroyed or ruined; utter destruction, complete ruin. Theol. The condition of final spiritual ruin or damnation, the future condition of the wicked and finally impenitent or unredeemed; the fate of those in hell, eternal death.
  3. Enoch gave this prophecy early on with 700 years to the Flood (Jude 1:14-15).
  4. There is a very definite Day of Judgment coming (II Pet 2:9; Matt 10:15; 11:22,24; 12:36; Rom 2:5; I John 4:17; etc.).


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.

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing.

  1. This is the second of three reasons against scoffers to confirm Christ’s coming.
    1. The first reason against scoffers was the earlier event of the flood (3:5-6).
    2. The third reason is why Jesus Christ has delayed – grace to the elect (3:9).
  2. This is the second of three answers to preterists that claim everything in 70 AD.
    1. The first answer is that the material, physical earth has not been destroyed.
    2. The third answer is that the perceived delay is for a very good reason (3:9).
  3. In defending and defining Christ’s promise, Peter gave an inspired timing rule.
    1. In a context about timing of His return, a rule defends against imminency, and it is clearly stated of being extremely important among other statements.
    2. Why emphasize it – be not ignorant of this one thing – unless very crucial?
    3. Against the scoffers, Peter gave two reasons for the apparent delay (3:8-9), a divine timing perspective and God’s commitment to save each of the elect.
    4. It is this kind of special revelation for His children that we must praise God.
    5. There are keys in the Bible to open its truth to us, and this is one of them.
    6. Compare the value of II Thess 2:3; II Pet 1:20; II Tim 2:15; I Cor 2:13; Acts 2:40; Luke 21:20; Matt 24:32-35; Hosea 12:10; Rev 1:1; etc.
    7. We are the beloved children of God, and our faith and humility will gain access to His secrets (Gen 18:17-19; Ps 25:14; Prov 3:32; Matt 13:11-12).
    8. Jesus is right on schedule, no matter what others say; we have a timing key.
  4. Preterists are willingly ignorant of much, but this time rule is surely one thing.
    1. They are willfully ignorant that the earth has not been destroyed with fire.
    2. They are willfully ignorant other events of His coming have not occurred.
    3. They are willfully ignorant that this timing rule destroys their timing texts.
    4. When Peter or we use willingly or willfully, it is anti-revelation rebellion!
    5. Preterists fit the bill as Peter’s scoffers, for they use timing sound bites for their heresy with the same fervor and in the same way as Bible-denying atheists have used the imminency language of the N.T. to discredit the Bible.
    6. See Jonathan Edwards’ refutation of them.
  5. Preterists mock 3:8 to differentiate human and divine time, for even a slight concession would crush their total dependence on their so-called timing verses.
    1. Here are some of their favorite timing texts: Rom 13:11-12; 16:20; Phil 4:5; Heb 6:8; 8:13; 10:37; Jas 5:8-9; I Pet 1:5; 4:5,7; Rev 1:1,3; 22:6,7,10,12,20.
    2. For a detailed and full refutation of their timing errors, see Preterism’s Timing Fallacies in this study.
    3. Paul also corrected their imminency heresies and deceptions (II Thess 2:3).
    4. If it appears at hand is both denied and declared (II Thess 2:3; I Pet 4:7; Rev 1:1), then consider Habakkuk 2:3, which uses tarry two ways in one verse!
  6. There are many examples and principles to defend this rule against preterism.
    1. Deut 4:26-27 threatened Israel’s soon destruction and would not not prolong their days on the land, though the Assyrian dispersion was 800 years away, the Babylonian 1000 years away, and the Roman 1500 years away.
    2. Deut 32:35 used at hand and make haste, but His wrath in due time may take centuries. Paul in Heb 10:30-31 used it for 70 A.D., 1500 years later. Deuteronomy 32 is a general prophecy of 70 A.D., but 1500 years earlier!
    3. Isaiah 13:6 described the destruction of Babylon at hand, though the Medes and Persians would not actually fulfill this prophecy for another 200 years (13:17); Isaiah 13:22 saw a much more distant final desolation as near to come and her days shall not be prolonged.
    4. Haggai 2:6-7 said His first coming a little while away, yet 400 years distant!
    5. The past tense is used in at least three places for future events (Is 21:9; Rom 4:17; 8:30)! Honest preterists should forget timing verses, but they are few.
    6. Charles Spurgeon asked preterists why present tense in Isaiah 9:6, “For unto a child is born,” when that event of His first coming was 600 years away.
    7. Charles Spurgeon asked preterists why the past tense in Isaiah 53:4, “Surely he hath borne our griefs,” when that event was 600 years in the future.
    8. While the verb tenses are the perfect tense, he thus ridiculed preterist timing texts, which prompted his two illustrations to destroy their theory.
    9. Though a life of 70-80 years is a long time, various metaphors in the Bible describe it as very short (Job 7:6; 9:25; Ps 39:5; 89:47; 90:9-10; Jas 4:14).
    10. Paul thought this life only a moment if compared to eternity (II Co 4:17-18).
  7. For full refutation of heresy of preterism.

That one day is with the Lord as a thousand years.

  1. God’s timing is different from ours – one day or a thousand years is the same.
    1. The context is exactly the issue – the time of the second coming (3:4,9,13).
    2. God is not guilty of slackness; He sees time differently and for good reason.
    3. Peter did not give this rule to defend himself. God used it to justify Himself!
    4. There was a delay of His promise for scoffing, slackness, and longsuffering.
    5. The second coming was not then at hand: the earth was reserved for it (3:7).
  2. This timing rule was given in the O.T. (Ps 90:4), which was illustrated above by O.T. prophecies that were fulfilled slower than timing words would indicate.
  3. This is an inspired answer for timing phrases of events you know are yet future, and wise saints will use it just as Jesus hung onto God’s word against the devil.
    1. Such a clear Bible answer means nothing to those obsessed with an agenda.
    2. Preterist efforts to rip this verse out of context are damning to their cause.
    3. If you miss this point, you take the risk of falling from stedfastness (3:17).

And a thousand years as one day.

  1. See the notes for the previous two clauses of this verse for a full explanation.
  2. The Holy Spirit has given an inspired axiom about timing to refute imminency no matter the methods used by preterists or others to force it in the first century.
  3. We are only two days removed from His promise, if they are like 2000 years!
  4. For full refutation of heresy of preterism.


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 Lord is not slack concerning his promise.

  1. Keep the contextual purpose of this verse in your mind before giving it a sense.
    1. It is the third reason against scoffers to confirm the Lord’s return (3:4,9,13).
    2. The first two reasons were the flood (3:5-6) and the divine timing rule (3:8).
    3. This reason (3:9) explains why Jesus is not slack; He waits for a good goal.
    4. The verse is not exhortation; it defends Christ rather than warn backsliders.
    5. Peter continued with more description of earth’s final destruction (3:10-14).
  2. Jesus Christ promised to return, and He will surely keep His promise on time.
    1. The promise considered here is Jesus Christ’s second coming (3:4,13; 1:16).
    2. Christ’s return was prophesied by Enoch and apostles (3:1-2; Jude 1:14-15).
    3. Jesus did promise His own coming (Matt 25:31; John 14:3,28; I Thess 4:15).
    4. Others also promised His coming, angels to apostles (Acts 1:9-11; Jas 5:8).
  3. Slackness is the weak trait of lazy men, and Jesus Christ is not that in any way.
    1. Slack. Lacking in energy or diligence; inclined to be lazy or idle; remiss, careless; negligent or lax in regard to one’s duties.
    2. Slack is opposite of diligence; it leads to poverty instead of riches (Pr 10:4).
    3. We cannot be slack paying vows; God is not against haters (De 23:21; 7:10).
  4. Our God and Son do not slumber or sleep or by any other means void promises.
    1. You may count on the coming of Christ more than any other future event.
    2. The return of Christ is not a matter of IF He will but rather WHEN He will.
    3. God does not always tarry (Isaiah 46:13; Hab 2:3; Luke 18:7-8; Heb 10:37).
  5. Why does the Lord’s return in judgment seem to linger in light of His promise?
    1. It appears Jesus Christ is slack, since He has not come as fast as advertised.
    2. A divine rule for time had just been given (3:8) – here is the gracious reason.
    3. The context is clearly and only the timing of the second coming of the Lord.
    4. With scoffers mocking and a timing rule needed – there is a glorious reason.
    5. God in longsuffering delays Judgment Day for His elect to repent, for until each and every one has been regenerated, He cannot and will not come.
    6. In a similar way, God in longsuffering holds back vengeance on murderers of the martyrs, waiting for others appointed to martyrdom to die (Re 6:9-11).
  6. This text is glorious in the reason it gives for the apparent delay in His return.
    1. He is not slack – He is longsuffering, gracious, loving, and merciful to you.
    2. His elect, though a class of His chosen, are viewed individually, one by one.
  7. Most of the time this verse is used for the wrong reason – Arminian sound bite.
    1. This is one of the top five verses in the Bible to deny God’s electing grace.
    2. Arminians thinking Jesus wants all men in heaven use the last two phrases.
    3. But the verse’s intent is to explain the apparent delay in the second coming.
    4. They do not try to identify a reason for the phrases – they want a sound bite.
    5. They do not try to identify the object of the phrases – they want a sound bite.

As some men count slackness.

  1. The scoffers at least, in context, counted slackness against Jesus Christ (3:3-4).
  2. Preterists howl that their timing texts show any coming after 70AD to be tardy.
  3. It is a general rule of life to charge slackness against any not appearing on time.
    1. Sometimes there are good reasons for a delay, denying any slackness at all.
    2. Even believers may wonder and worry why He has not yet come (Rev 6:9).
  4. The reason this wicked world is not yet incinerated is not for them, but for you!
  5. On this account, believers will account His longsuffering as salvation (3:15).

But is longsuffering to us-ward.

  1. This phrase in the middle of the verse saves it from Arminian heretical twisting.
    1. Arminians never once think about its audience, but only the two sound bites.
    2. Context, especially objects of a description, is always of useful importance.
  2. This is the explanation and reason for the apparent delay in the Lord’s return.
    1. These words in the middle of the verse are crucial to grasp the whole verse.
    2. He first gave a divine definition of timing to be used for the prophecy (3:8).
    3. Peter then gave the explanation or reason – God’s longsuffering for the elect.
    4. There is a delay; it should not be denied, but rather defended and explained.
    5. God’s longsuffering endures the wicked He wants to judge and send to their appointed place, but the reason for the longsuffering is salvation of His elect.
  3. Longsuffering is patience under duress and difficulty, for He is ready to come!
    1. Longsuffering. Bearing provocation or trial with patience.
    2. God’s suffering is not due to believers’ faults or sins, but rather He suffers by wicked men, for He has them reserved and damnation is not slumbering.
    3. Judgment and damnation of wicked men are not lingering or slumbering; God is not sleeping; He wants to destroy the wicked (Pr 16:4; Rev 6:9-11).
    4. An excellent cross-reference in a similar context is Paul’s in Romans 9:22, where he described God as enduring the vessels of wrath in longsuffering.
    5. Another good cross-reference is Peter’s description of the Flood (I Pet 3:20).
  4. Those considered here are Peter’s audience considered as a class – God’s elect.
    1. Usward. Adverb based on the plural, objective case, first person pronoun us.
    2. Peter contrasted scoffers against Christ with beloved brethren (3:1,8,14,17).
    3. Peter identified his audience as elect in both epistles (I Pet 1:2; II Pet 1:10).
    4. They were justified, sanctified, regenerated, and converted (I Pet 1:22-23).
    5. His audience was definitely God’s chosen people (I Pet 1:20-23; 2:5-9; etc.).
    6. Peter is part of those under consideration, which is not the world at large.
    7. It is God’s elect as a class, just as the scoffers are to be in the last days (3:3).
    8. Furthermore, the direct audience had repented (I Pet 1:22; II Pet 1:1; etc.).
  5. Peter included himself in first person usward, but it does not prove imminence.
    1. We understand the first person to be identifying a class of people, the elect.
    2. Audience relevance, a buzzword of preterists, requires fulfillment wherever first and second pronouns are used for the Lord’s coming or related events.
    3. The first and third person in I Thess 4:13-18 is to comfort, for Paul did not believe that he or his audience would be alive (I Cor 6:14 cp II Thess 2:1-3).
    4. The first person and unknown timing creates watchfulness (I Thess 5:1-10).
    5. The O.T. proves this a hermeneutical farce (Deut 4:25-27; 28:68; etc., etc.).
    6. What did Joseph mean in Genesis 50:25, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence? When and how did God visit? Who carried up his bones? When? He did not say, God shall visit your posterity, and they shall carry up my bones from hence. But though he did not, Joseph knew it would not happen in that generation. [J. Edwards].
    7. Did Isaiah limit salvation to 700 BC by audience relevance in Isaiah 53:1-6?
    8. Is Jesus Christ’s death for our sins for Paul and Corinth only (I Cor 15:1-3)?
  6. God is longsuffering for His elect to be saved, to fulfill His word to lose none.
    1. No matter how long God might wait, the unregenerate will never be saved.
    2. On the other hand, the elect were to see this delay for their salvation (3:15).
    3. God will delay judgment He wants to send until the last elect is born again.
    4. God was longsuffering 120 years as Noah built the ark (Gen 6:3; I Pet 3:20).
    5. Jesus guaranteed the elect, which requires their lives for repentance (Jn 3:3).
  7. Preterist fools count God slack (3:9); believers account Him longsuffering (3:15); the difference is faith-based, Spirit-led thinking versus rebel scorning.
  8. There are two main reasons for apparent delays in prophecies to those waiting.
    1. There are preceding prophecies to be fulfilled (Dan 9:24-27; II Thess 2:3).
    2. There are people involved for wrath or salvation (Gen 15:16; Rev 6:9-11).
    3. God suffered long before the Flood and before wrath (I Pet 3:20; Ro 9:22).
    4. He will come on the day (Ex 12:40-41; Gen 15:13-16; Gal 3:17; Heb 10:37)!

Not willing that any should perish.

  1. Due to the context of Judgment Day, we understand the perishing to be eternal.
    1. By clauses of this verse and context nearby, a sense of perish must be given.
    2. The context is fiery judgment and destruction of the wicked at the last day (5:7), for it is compared to the flood and will bring perdition of the ungodly.
    3. The context is the day of the Lord and of God that will destroy the physical universe, both heavens and earth, and all men living on the earth (5:10-14).
    4. God holds that day back to save any elect from perishing in that burning and the judgment following, just as he waited for the ark to save Noah’s family.
    5. The perishing is not Jerusalem’s destruction, for that event was 600 miles over the Mediterranean, not in context, and could hardly affect this audience.
    6. The perishing is not practical stumbling, conscience conflict, or offence about liberties, since not in context and far too minor (I Cor 8:11; Ro 14:15).
    7. The perishing is not chastening like at Corinth (I Cor 11:29-32), for there are many reasons to affirm final phase perishing and deny practical. List below.
    8. There is no reason to press any other perishing; all is satisfied with eternal, yet we always appreciate God’s practical longsuffering for daily repentance.
  2. The any God is not willing should perish must be limited to usward in context.
    1. The context by virtue of usward and the audience is only the elect of God.
    2. God delays the second coming of Jesus to make sure no elect are destroyed.
    3. Peter identified his audience as elect in both epistles (I Pet 1:2; II Pet 1:10).
    4. Compare similar longsuffering for eight while the ark was built (I Pet 3:20).
    5. For more details about usward here, see the notes for that phrase above, including rejection of audience relevance, for usward is the elect as a class.
    6. God guaranteed in time to get His whole family together through Jesus Christ (Eph 1:10; Gen 49:10; Ps 22:30-31; 45:16-17; 87:1-6; Is 6:13; 53:10; John 10:16; 11:49-52; Acts 2:38; Rom 8:29; Gal 3:16,28-29; Heb 2:12-13).
    7. It is God’s will no elect should perish; as such it is His sovereign will for final salvation, not conversion or practical salvation (Jn 3:16; 6:37-39; etc.).
    8. God waits with longsuffering for all elect to be born and saved, just as He did for the ark to be built … once all were in the ark … He shut the door!
    9. With eternal life from perishing guaranteed, the elect must be conceived or born for existence, then born again, then repent (Jn 3:3,5; 6:37; 10:27; etc.).
  3. It is preposterous to use this sound bite to say God’s will is against any in hell.
    1. God made all men for Himself, including the wicked for judgment (Pr 16:4).
    2. God wills mercy, hardening, and vessels of wrath to destroy (Rom 9:15-24).
    3. Peter already declared some appointed to wrath earlier (I Pet 2:8; II Pet 2:3).
    4. Jude wrote that reprobates were before ordained to condemnation (Jude 1:4).
    5. The good pleasure of God’s will is only for the elect in Christ (Eph 1:3-6).
    6. Saying God wants no one in hell slanders Him as loving those He created to damn, for their omniscient God made them knowing they would reject Him!
    7. For fun exposing their folly.
  4. But what about God having no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Eze 33:11)?
    1. It is a good question, but the answer is same as here – who are the persons?
    2. Here they are the elect of God! There they are the church of God – Israelites!
    3. Also, in Ezekiel 33:11 the issue is practical chastening, not eternal judgment.
  5. But does not God love the world and want to save whosoever from perishing?
    1. God does not love all humanity, so you are on a heretical road to confusion.
    2. The only world that God loves and sent Jesus for is the world of His elect.
    3. The text does not offer eternal life but identifies evidence of those He saves.
    4. World by John is a limited number, and others use it to include the Gentiles.
    5. For truth about God’s love.
    6. For John 3:16 rightly explained.
  6. We believe perishing here is strictly eternal, yet there is also practical perishing.
    1. There is practical death and damnation (I Co 11:29-32; I Ti 5:6; Ja 5:19-20).
    2. There is either confidence or shame at Jesus Christ’s coming (I Jn 2:28-29).
    3. Improvement and fruit in God’s grace takes time; longsuffering to us helps!
    4. Great judgment is proper for presumption on longsuffering (Mat 24:48-51).
  7. We reject a practical-phase sense of perish here, which would give a meaning or application to perish of only personal backsliding and consequent chastening.
    1. This writer wrongly put such a practical construction on perish in the past.
    2. First and foremost, the preceding and following context is final day of wrath.
    3. The topic here is the Day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men (5:7)!
    4. The topic here is burning up of the universe and final judgment (5:10-14)!
    5. Peter’s purpose is to justify God’s delay in Christ’s return in vengeance, and his argument does not need mere backsliding and recovery by repentance.
    6. Peter just used perished in 3:6. They drowned, but there is much more to be understood, just as there is here (I Pet 3:19-20; Heb 9:27-28; Luk 16:22-23).
    7. Peter just used perish in 2:12. Those reprobate false teachers are the unjust that are reserved to the Day of Judgment to be punished (II Pet 2:9,12).
    8. The New Testament generally uses perish for hell and final damnation, and there is no case of it being used for backsliding and chastening (Matt 18:14; John 3:15-16; 10:28; 11:50; Acts 8:20; 13:41; Rom 2:12; I Cor 1:18; 15:18; II Cor 2:15; Col 2:22; II Thess 2:10; II Pet 2:12; Heb 1:11; Jude 1:11).
    9. By longsuffering, Noah made it; the rest perished (I Pe 3:18-20; II Pe 3:5-7).
    10. God suffers long, not for believers’ faults or sins, as if perish were practical instead of final, but He rather endures the wicked men he hates, for He has them reserved for damnation that is not slumbering (Rom 9:22; I Pet 3:20).
    11. God’s decretive will is committed and stated to finally save all the elect, none to perish (Jn 3:16; 6:37-40; 10:27-29; 17:2; Ro 8:28-39; He 2:13; etc.).
    12. In contrast, it is only God’s revealed will for our repentance from personal backsliding, and there is no guarantee of it, as in saving all elect from hell.
    13. It does not say shame (I John 2:28), but rather perish (Jn 3:16; 10:28; etc.).
    14. Delay for martyrs is similar, all future martyrs in God’s providential decrees must die first before God can come in vengeance on the earth (Rev 6:9-11).
    15. Christ’s return in judgment is far greater than repentance from backsliding, especially for one terminal generation, for many perish practically everyday.
    16. He has allowed many to perish practically in its various senses, why change?
    17. The verse is not one of exhortation but rather one of explaining God’s delay.
    18. Peter’s audience had not fallen; they were Paul’s converts and churches; they lived right with pure minds (II Pet 1:12; 3:14,17; I Pet 1:22; etc.).
    19. The practical exhortation to godliness in 3:10-14 is not needed, if God is so committed to practical repentance that He will not let one perish practically.
    20. Is His will for none to perish sovereign or wishful? A practical sense must be wishful, or He guarantees repentance to all men over duty or exhortation.
    21. Will He save all of a terminal generation from backsliding before coming, for earlier generations cannot hold him up, and He allows our backsliding?
    22. There is an epoch here, thousands of years, not just a generation or far less, and the elect are seen as a class (not just Peter and audience), intending final.
    23. The following verse (3:10) draws no practical conclusion from 3:9 but continues to describe His return and the final destruction of the universe.
    24. Exhortations in 3:11 and 3:14, with clear inferences from attached verses, make no reference to 3:9, but rather to 3:10 and 3:12-13, respectively.
    25. God’s goodness in longsuffering seeks repentance to eternal life (Ro 2:1-11).
    26. The context here is making election sure, not restoring fellowship (1:5-11).
    27. Believers account longsuffering as salvation (3:15); we assume it is final phase also, due to ordinary use and continuation about the last day (3:10-14).
    28. Is the terminal point of Christ’s return one generation that God gives repentance to all His elect or the completion of the whole family of God?
    29. How long will He wait for all to come to repentance in a practical way, since He has not required it before and most Christians are getting much worse?
    30. If God has guaranteed practical salvation in the terminal generation, why did Jesus ask if there would be faith on the earth when He returned (Luke 18:8)?
    31. Why will it take angels to distinguish elect and reprobrates practically, since all elect at the time of harvest will be highly repentant (Matt 13:24-43)?
    32. Seeing practical phase or unconverted elect where not stated is a dangerous risk of our doctrine, as I and others have experienced, with Primitive Baptists creating more of them than allowed all the way up to universalism.
    33. There are no reputable commentators that make this only practical perishing.
    34. John Gill is final phase.
    35. Do not fear connecting repentance to eternal life; the N.T. is filled with such connections (Acts 11:18; Matt 7:21; Mark 16:16; II Thes 1:9). See below.
  8. God has much patient longsuffering for our conversion, growth in grace, and practical repentance of lesser sorts, but it is not taught in this verse (II Ti 2:15).
    1. Such a difference in interpretation does not violate overall scripture doctrine.
    2. It is the author’s conviction that emphasis of the Day of Judgment be kept in view, which makes perish final phase and repentance the evidence of life.
  9. Problem texts.

But that all should come to repentance.

  1. The all God desires to come to repentance must be limited to usward in context.
    1. The word all must be limited by overall Bible context, immediate context, or common sense e.g. I Tim 6:10; I Cor 9:22; Luke 2:1; Matt 3:5; Mark 1:33.
    2. God does not will all men to repent, or He would grant it, and they would!
    3. The context by virtue of usward and Peter’s audience is the elect of God.
    4. God delays Christ’s second coming to make sure all elect are finally saved.
    5. We gave the sense of final salvation to perish in 13:9d, so we do here also.
    6. Repentance is prime evidence of eternal life and a general rule that the elect will repent (Acts 3:19,26; 5:31; 11:18; 20:21; 26:18-20; II Tim 2:25-26).
  2. It is preposterous to use this sound bite to say God’s will is that all men repent.
    1. Arminians use this clause as a mantra over and over for freewill, but only a small minority of humanity ever repents, even when they do hear the gospel.
    2. Until born again, man cannot even imagine repentance, for he is a captive of the devil (Ps 10:4; 14:1-3; Rom 3:9-18; 8:7-8; I Cor 2:14; II Tim 2:25-26).
    3. Repentance is His gift, so why not give it to all (II Tim 2:25-26; Ac 11:18)?
    4. The gospel is needed to repent, but He does not get it to all (Rom 10:14-17).
    5. If God wants all to repent, why does He withhold both the grace and means?
    6. He sends strong delusion to believe lies and be damned (II Thess 2:11-12).
  3. But what of God commanding all men to repent, as Paul preached (Acts 17:30)?
    1. It is a good question, but it is answered by total depravity – who will repent?
    2. God commands man to repent, but without regeneration, he will not repent.
    3. God’s command for men to repent does not make any man willing to do so.
    4. God holds all men inexcusable by creation, but they do not obey (Ro 1:20).
    5. Can God harden a man in rebellion and hold him accountable (Ro 9:17-21)?
    6. If you dislike this situation, you have no right to question it (Rom 9:20-21).
    7. God grants repentance to those He chose for His children (II Tim 2:25-26).
  4. Does this clause mean repentance is necessary for eternal life and not to perish?
    1. A final sense of perish was made, with a vital/practical sense of repentance, as respects the five phases of salvation, due to the context of Judgment Day.
    2. Faith, repentance, and good works are not conditions, but they are evidence.
    3. Many verses use one or more evidences connected in such a way to eternal life that it appears they are conditions e.g. Matt 7:21; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 11:18; 16:30-31; Rom 10:9-11; II Thess 1:8; I Tim 6:17-19; Heb 5:9; etc.
    4. We must not see unconverted elect or practical salvation everywhere, or we will stray from the inspired emphasis and step toward the ditch of fatalism.
  5. Five Phases.
  6. Problem texts.


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.

But the day of the Lord.

  1. The inspired but counters the admitted delay and its reason with a sure coming.
    1. Though a thousand years is only a day to God’s longsuffering, He is coming.
    2. Not only will it surely come, it will come in a stealthy way to surprise men.
  2. It is the day of the Lord here and day of God in 3:12. Both are Christ’s coming.
    1. The Day of Judgment had been identified as the focal point of promise (3:7).
    2. The Day of Judgment had also been identified in the previous chapter (2:9).
    3. This day is worse than anything the world has seen or can even imagine.
  3. There is one great day coming, without a 7-year tribulation or a 1000-year millennium creating additional comings and intervals without Bible description.
    1. Jesus prophesied of this Day of Judgment (Matthew 10:15; 11:22,24; 12:36).
    2. Paul prophesied of a day of Christ involving judgment and redemption (Rom 2:5,16; I Cor 1:7-8; 3:13; 5:5; II Cor 1:14; Eph 4:30; Phil 1:6,10; 2:16; I Thess 5:1-4; II Thess 1:10; 2:2-3; II Tim 1:12,18; 4:8).
    3. John warned about the Day of Judgment and need of boldness (I John 4:17).
    4. Jude called it judgment of the great day, for angels are sentenced (Jude 1:6).
  4. We reject C.I. Scofield and others creating two different days in II Thess 2:1-2.
  5. Scofield’s Introduction.

Will come as a thief in the night.

  1. This overwhelming day of evil (sinners) and good (believers) will surprise all!
    1. Nothing has happened like it in history to compare, so it will shock them.
    2. All fools that have ignored or rejected the Bible will be instantly in trouble.
    3. When the world says, “Peace and safety,” then sudden destruction will fall.
  2. Paul used this identical language describing Jesus Christ’s coming (I Thes 5:2).
  3. The uncertainty of its exact timing forces all of us to rightly live each day for it.
    1. Jesus used a lesson of not knowing when a thief would come (Matt 24:43).
    2. You do not know the timing of a thief, so you take precautions every night!
    3. You do not know if a car will be in your lane, so you buckle up every time!
    4. You do not know when you will die, so you pay premiums year after year!
  4. As here with Peter, Paul warned that believers could be overtaken (I Thess 5:4).

In the which the heavens shall pass away.

  1. There is only one day coming – Jesus Christ’s return for judgment and reward.
    1. Heretical notions of tribulation and millennium are distracts from the truth.
    2. There is no goofy rapture taught in the Bible (John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15).
    3. Jesus Christ shall return, but that is not the rapture! He will leave no one!
    4. Against the rapture.
  2. Jesus Christ’s return, His second coming, will burn the present heavens away.
    1. The flood was similar, destroying the earth, but this the heavens also (5:7-9).
    2. The wicked will be destroyed in flaming fire of vengeance (II Thess 1:7-9).
    3. This event is assumed/foretold in other places (Is 51:6; Matt 5:18; 24:35).
  3. We understand three heavens altogether, but not all three require purification.
    1. Paul had a vision or trip to the third heaven of God’s glory (II Cor 12:1-4).
    2. It was Paradise, where Jesus and the elect thief went at death (Luke 23:43).
    3. There is then the atmosphere in which birds and planes fly and we breathe.
    4. There is also the interplanetary spaces where planets and stars are ordained.
    5. Due to the plural, we see this to be the heavens other than God’s presence.
    6. We do not spiritualize this verse, for comparison with the flood in context requires us to maintain the material, physical universe in our minds. Period!
  4. We understand the passing away of the heavens as a great change in nature.
    1. Terminology here is of full elimination and complete replacement with new.
    2. However, other places indicate a change (Rom 8:17-23: Heb 1:10-12).
    3. Compare bodies – they will be changed to new (I Cor 15:35-52; Phil 3:21).
    4. Planted seeds keep their nature but are changed as plants (I Cor 15:36-38).
    5. Our bodies are resurrected – God does not create new bodies from nothing.

With a great noise.

  1. If the Bible calls it a great noise, then it will certainly get your attention, now!
    1. The explosion of fire and destruction should create an incredibly loud noise.
    2. You know the awesome sound of close thunder – multiply it many times.
  2. Paul listed a shout, the archangel’s voice, and the trump of God (I Thess 4:16).
    1. A whole Psalm is dedicated to thunder as the voice of the LORD (Psalm 29).
    2. Michael is the archangel, highest rank (Da 10:13; 12:1; Jude 1:9; Rev 12:7).
    3. The trumpet at Sinai got louder and louder, consistent with terror (Ex 19:19).
  3. All the dead bodies will be raised by the voice of the Son of God (Jn 5:28-29).
    1. John described the voice of Jesus Christ glorified as many waters (Re 1:15).
    2. Voices from heaven are described in various ways (Rev 4:5; 14:2; 19:6)

And the elements shall melt with fervent heat.

  1. Peter used the word elements again in 3:12, again saying that they will melt.
  2. Peter had declared that the next destruction would be by fire (3:5-7), and this fiery judgment is exactly what Paul wrote of His second coming (II Thes 1:7-9).
  3. Everything has a burning or boiling point, our Creator knows exactly what heat!
  4. The heavens are exclusively the focus here, so consider the elements above us.
    1. It is the elements of the heavens, for the earth is distinguished next by also.
    2. Our atmosphere is made up of nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%), argon (.9%), carbon dioxide (.03%), trace elements, and other dust particles and such.
    3. Include sun, moon, planets, stars, and other objects of matter in the heavens.
    4. For example, the moon is oxygen (45%), silicon, iron, and other elements.
    5. For example, the sun is hydrogen (70%), helium (28%), and minor ones.
    6. Scientists speculate that elements make up only 4.6% of the known universe, with the remaining 95.7% being dark energy (72%) or dark matter (23%).
  5. There are also various English uses of elements for heavenly bodies or forces.
    1. Element. One of the ‘heavens’ or celestial spheres of ancient astronomy; also (rarely) one of the heavenly bodies themselves.
    2. Consider how we often use elements for atmospheric agencies or powers.
  6. Our tiny experiments with fission (atomic) and fusion (hydrogen) bombs may be a token allowed by heaven to vaguely see what this verse describes.
  7. Peter used elements, causing some to think Moses’ law (Gal 4:3,9; Col 2:8,20).
    1. Elements. The rudiments of learning, the ‘A, B, C’; also, the first principles of an art or science.
    2. Paul explained elements in Galatians as rudiments in Colossians; both terms are basic, beginning, and foundational principles of a body of knowledge.
    3. Rudiment. The first principles or elements of a subject; those points which are first taught to, or acquired by, one commencing the study or practice of a branch of knowledge, art, etc.
    4. Couple this with new heavens and earth of the gospel (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22), and some like John Owen make this passage the destruction of Jerusalem and the reformation of covenants following, also using Paul (Heb 12:26-28).

The earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

  1. The earth is separated by also, because the previous clauses are of the heavens.
  2. Rather than just overflow the world as the flood waters, which caused all that had the breath of life, or living substance, to perish, the earth itself will burn.
  3. Everything has a burning or boiling point, our Creator knows exactly what heat!
  4. God’s works in the natural creation, at which we marvel, will be burned up.
    1. A puff of steam will be the end of the Pacific Ocean as we presently know it.
    2. A puff of smoke will be the end of Mount Everest as we presently know it.
  5. Man’s works of any and every sort, which men worship, will also disappear.
    1. If a few camel jockeys (or conspiratorial pawns) could do what they did to the World Trade Center in NYC on September 11, 2001, what can God do?!
    2. From the Great Pyramid of Giza to the Great Wall of China to the Taj Mahal to the International Space Station to the Large Hadron Collider to the Internet to the Burj Khalifa to the U.S. Highway system to the Biltmore estate in Asheville, God will burn up all the works that have consumed the imagination, ingenuity, investment, and industry of men over millennia.
  6. Men fuss about global warming, rain forests, overpopulation, food supply, etc.
  7. Rather than total disappearance, we understand a great change (Heb 1:10-12).
    1. Paul and David; both testament have prophecies/promises (Ps 102:25-27).
    2. Remember our corrupt bodies will be raised and changed (I Cor 15:35-58).
  8. Burning up of man’s works should not confuse Christians from working hard.
    1. Godly men still work wise with all their might (Eccl 9:10; Romans 12:11).
    2. Godly men still save money for houses to entertain (Prov 6:6-8; Heb 13:2).
    3. They do not get too spiritual like the Thessalonians (II Thess 3:6-14; 2:1-2).
    4. The monastic or convent lifestyle is lazy heresy from hell (I Thess 4:11-12).
    5. Measuring spirituality by feelings and not revelation is only self-deception.


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

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved.

  1. Here is the first of three deductions and applications for obedience (3:11,14,17).
  2. Seeing then draws an inference from that written … understanding this or that.
    1. We can paraphrase … on the basis of … due to this fact … for this reason.
    2. Compare the other occurrences (Eze 21:4; Acts 19:36; II Cor 3:12; He 4:14).
    3. The Bible is the most logical book ever – there is an obvious conclusion.
  3. Based on the knowledge of earth’s total destruction, it should affect our lives.
    1. Your business … your house … your garden … your car … are quite trivial.
    2. The things that distract worldlings from delighting in God should not affect Christians nearly so much or not at all, for all things will all be burned up.
    3. The pleasures that distract most Christians should not affect us (II Tim 3:5).
  4. This cataclysmic, fiery destruction of the world must get our attention and lives.
    1. There is a reward for the righteous, so they should not faint (I Cor 15:58).
    2. Nothing in this world matters – calling lands after yourself (Psalm 49:6-14).
    3. There are horrible consequences for sinners in the lake of fire (Rev 20:15).
    4. There will be shame that cannot be undone for the carnal (I John 2:28-29).
    5. To know this and not change your life is to show yourself a beast (Ps 49:20).
  5. If you knew when a thief was coming and his strength, you would be prepared.
    1. If you knew a thief was coming generally, you would be well prepared for it.
    2. If you knew the thief was strong, you would take needed steps to stop him.
    3. You now know the Lord Jesus Christ is coming, get ready and stay ready!
    4. You know the consequences of His coming are severe, so diligently prepare!

What manner of persons ought ye to be.

  1. What kind of a person should you be in light of this advance, secret knowledge?
    1. This is the most basic and obvious conclusion to draw from Christ’s return.
    2. If you know this gospel fact and do not change, you are likely a reprobate.
    3. If you know this fact and do not change, you are at best a belly worshipper.
    4. How can we any longer delight in building things here, seeing their future?
  2. He is a great King, deserves your very best, and curses hypocrites (Mal 1:14).
    1. David sought to make the temple exceeding magnifical for Him (I Chr 22:5).
    2. He commands your total love, and He deserves it anyway (Matt 22:37-38).
    3. Flirting with the world is spiritual adultery, enraging Him, defrauding you!
    4. You owe Him, for … Who He is! What He’s done for you! What He expects from you! What will happen to your world! What He will do to sinners!
  3. Knowing of Christ’s coming should change our lives, as John wrote (I Jn 3:3).
    1. There should be a drastic difference made in your life by this secret truth.
    2. How or why could you even think of compromise in light of His holiness?
    3. There is every reason to be as godly as you possibly can be to please Him.
    4. There is every reason to not let this world and its toys get a hold on you.
    5. God’s word exposes our blemishes, but this threatens judgment (Jas 1:24).
  4. For your information, it is win-win; your choice to live worldly is lose-lose.
    1. Even if God does not exist and Jesus is not coming, living the Bible works.
    2. Christianity is by far the best way for all parts of life over any other lifestyle.
    3. It trumps the world in love, alcohol, careers, marriage, sex, money, children, relationships, attitude, fear, risk, politics, self-discipline, motivation, etc.
    4. Christians walking with God are the happiest people by far over worldlings, and it does not require good circumstances or an improvement in them for it!

In all holy conversation and godliness.

  1. God is holy, and we should gird up our minds to be holy in light of His coming.
    1. Conversation is your conduct and lifestyle, all your thoughts, words, deeds.
    2. Peter made use of this reason for holiness in his first epistle (I Pet 1:13-17).
    3. Peter warned it would be terrible to turn from the holy commandment (2:21).
    4. Holiness is absolute purity and hatred of sin in any way you can imagine it.
    5. A child of God with the hope of Christ’s return will purify his life (I Jn 3:3).
    6. For much more about holiness.
  2. Godliness is religious sobriety with commitment to conform to God’s character and will for your life in contrast to worldliness or compromise with any sins.
    1. God gave divine power for godly living and expects diligence (1:3,5-6,10).
    2. Godly repentance that totally clears sinners is godly sorrow (II Cor 7:10-11).
    3. Rather than bodily exercise, godliness is much more profitable (I Tim 4:7-8).
    4. We must resent and reject preachers that minimize godliness (I Tim 6:3-6).
    5. God’s grace in the gospel teaches godliness against ungodliness (Tit 2:12).
    6. Godliness is a higher level of conduct than we would ever choose by nature.
  3. The exhortations here and following are worthless from a preterist view, for the events are 2000 years old and a new earth is here forever for you to enjoy.
    1. Since they deny any future event as described, there is no reason to take the warning and exhortation serious, or even to receive it as helpful at all.
    2. Preterists, by spiritualizing this event away, and by putting the Day of Judgment in 70 AD, remove all the teeth from this pressing passage.
    3. There was no event to fear for Peter’s audience in Asia Minor even in 70 AD, for the destruction of Jerusalem was merely fulfilled prophecy far away.
    4. Since there is nothing for us Gentiles, and all that was intended was a change in covenants from Old to New, there is no incentive to alter our lives at all.
  4. Burning up of man’s works should not confuse Christians from working hard.
    1. Godly men still work wise with all their might (Eccl 9:10; Romans 12:11).
    2. Godly men still save money for houses to entertain (Prov 6:6-8; Heb 13:2).
    3. They do not get too spiritual like the Thessalonians (II Thess 3:6-14; 2:1-2).
    4. The monastic or convent lifestyle is lazy heresy from hell (I Thess 4:11-12).
    5. Measuring spirituality by feelings and not revelation is only self-deception.


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?

Looking for and hasting.

  1. This continues the description of the kind of persons we ought to be from 3:11.
  2. We should look for the coming of the day of God, or Christ’s return (Tit 2:13).
    1. It requires effort and focus to love God and Christ’s appearing (Jude 1:21).
    2. Paul gave a wonderful promise to those that look for His coming (Heb 9:28).
    3. The proof you are not a belly worshipper is to look for Christ (Phil 3:20-21).
    4. The only way to do this is set your attention and affection above (Col 3:1-4).
    5. The practical way is to change inputs accordingly (I Thes 4:18; He 3:12-13).
    6. Our goal as a church is to love His appearing above all else (II Timothy 4:8).
    7. Do you groan for Christ to return with fire and redeem your body (Ro 8:23)?
    8. Do you heartily understand and agree with the closing words (Rev 22:20)?
  3. We are not hasting, and we cannot haste the day, but we can desire it to haste!
    1. We want to do more than only look for it – we want to love it and desire it!
    2. This word describes our fervent desire of it and diligent preparation for it.
    3. We want it to hurry, to come quickly, because of its many related blessings.
    4. Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor heart imagine the benefits (I Cor 2:9).

Unto the coming of the day of God.

  1. It is the day of God here and day of the Lord in 3:10. Both are Christ’s coming.
    1. The Day of Judgment had been identified as the focal point of promise (3:7).
    2. The Day of Judgment had also been identified in the previous chapter (2:9).
    3. This day is worse than anything the world has seen or can even imagine.
  2. It is coming! Like children in a car, parents remind them they are getting closer.
  3. There is one great day coming, without a 7-year tribulation or a 1000-year millennium creating additional comings and intervals without Bible description.
    1. Jesus prophesied of this Day of Judgment (Matthew 10:15; 11:22,24; 12:36).
    2. Paul prophesied of a day of Christ involving judgment and redemption (Rom 2:5,16; I Cor 1:7-8; 3:13; 5:5; II Cor 1:14; Eph 4:30; Phil 1:6,10; 2:16; I Thess 5:1-4; II Thess 1:10; 2:2-3; II Tim 1:12,18; 4:8).
    3. John warned about the Day of Judgment and need of boldness (I John 4:17).
    4. Jude called it judgment of the great day, for angels are sentenced (Jude 1:6).
  4. What a day that will be! When God reveals Himself, Jesus, and us as His sons!
  5. We reject C.I. Scofield and others creating two different days in II Thess 2:1-2.
  6. Scofield’s Introduction.

Wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved.

  1. This is the same or similar language about the heavens he already used (3:10).
    1. The repetition should get our attention, for it is God’s choice of emphasis.
    2. In between the two descriptions is the conclusion to change our lives (3:11).
  2. Keep in mind the flood only affected the surface of the earth, not the heavens.
    1. The coming destruction of the universe is far, far greater than Noah’s flood.
    2. Preterists minimize the damage done by the flood to minimize this great day.
    3. The coming day of God will dissolve the heavens created in Genesis 1:1-8!
  3. For more explanation of this phrase’s words, see the notes on 3:10 given above.

And the elements shall melt with fervent heat.

  1. This is the same or similar language about the heavens he already used (3:10).
    1. The repetition should get our attention, for it is God’s choice of emphasis.
    2. In between the two descriptions is the conclusion to change our lives (3:11).
  2. Keep in mind the flood only affected the surface of the earth, not the heavens.
    1. The coming destruction of the universe is far, far greater than Noah’s flood.
    2. Preterists minimize the damage done by the flood to minimize this great day.
    3. The coming day of God will dissolve the heavens created in Genesis 1:1-8!
  3. For more explanation of this phrases words, see the notes on 3:10 given above.


13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Nevertheless we.

  1. In spite of this horrific destruction of the universe, we have good things coming.
    1. After realizing salvation from damnation, get excited about your inheritance.
    2. Jesus Christ will own you before the universe as His brethren (Heb 2:10-13).
    3. You will inherit all things, which have been changed for a perfect universe.
  2. Do you understand the difference election makes? How different is your life?
    1. You were chosen to salvation before the world began (Ep 1:3-6; II Tim 1:9).
    2. God is not willing any elect to perish, for every one of them will be saved.
    3. In spite of vengeful ruin of the universe, God will fully exalt every believer.
  3. Due to God’s election, included here, you may meet Jesus Christ confidently.
    1. Paul was not ashamed, but persuaded his soul would be safe (II Tim 1:12).
    2. John said by living in love, for God is love, will create boldness (I Jn 4:17).
    3. Peter opened this epistle with fruit to prove an abundant entrance (1:10-11).
    4. Faith in Christ with works will never be confounded (I Pet 2:6; Rom 10:11).

According to his promise.

  1. God has promised He has good things in store for His elect at Christ’s coming.
  2. God promised to change the heavens and earth (Ps 102:25-27; Heb 1:10-12).
  3. We love Isaiah 65:17 and 66:22, but we interpret them first of the gospel kingdom including Gentiles, yet knowing the last days do include His coming.
  4. Other promises include Job 19:25-27; Jn 14:1-3; Rom 8:17-23; Rev 21:1-5; etc.
  5. Many scriptures promise Christ’s coming, though they present various details or views of events, the total of which provide the full picture (Gen 49:10; Ps 17:15; 49:15; 73:24; 96:13; 98:9; Is 25:8; Hos 13:14; Dan 7:9-14,18,22,27-28; Acts 1:6-14; Rom 13:11-14; I Cor 15:19-28; II Cor 5:1-11; Phil 3:17-21; Col 3:1-7; I Thess 1:9-10; 4:13-18; II Thess 1:7-10; II Tim 4:8; Tit 2:13; I Pet 1:3-13; 4:4-7,13; 5:1,4,10; II Pet 1:16; Rev 20:7-15; etc.)

Look for new heavens and a new earth.

  1. The issue at hand from start of the chapter to here is Christ’s promised return.
    1. The promise, declared through history, even by Enoch, is the debate (3:4,9).
    2. Jesus Christ’s return includes ruin of the wicked and a new universe for us.
  2. God’s promises, prophecies, word, and integrity are at stake, for He promised.
    1. We believe His promise, so we look for Christ’s climax to this great drama.
    2. He will return to right all wrongs and ordain a perfect universe by His rule.
  3. The old heavens and earth will dissolve and melt, but there will be new ones.
    1. The terrible judgment seat of Jesus Christ will drive them away (Rev 20:11).
    2. God will make all things new, and pain and sorrow are gone (Rev 21:1-8).
    3. The new universe will be freed from bondage of corruption (Rom 8:17-23).
    4. We are predestinated to adoption and glorification (Ep 1:5-6; Rom 8:29-30).
    5. We are predestinated to an eternal inheritance (Eph 1:10-11; I Peter 1:2-4).
    6. We groan and wait for the change for ourselves and creation (II Cor 5:1-5).
    7. We apply lion and lamb (Is 11:1-16) to the gospel, but they will be changed.
    8. For Rom 8:17-23.

Wherein dwelleth righteousness.

  1. With the devil and the wicked gone, the new heavens and earth will be glorious.
    1. Sin and sinners and all they affected and infected will be destroyed by fire.
    2. Salvation delivers from the plan, penalty, power, practice, presence of sin.
    3. The universe will be glorified, just like our bodies, with the wicked in hell.
  2. Our glorious liberty as sons will extend to the entire creation (Rom 8:17-23).
    1. There will be no more curse, for it will be lifted in the new world (Re 22:3).
    2. God will make all things new so they are different than before (Rev 21:4-5).
  3. All liars and many other sinners will be kept out of heaven (Re 21:8,27; 22:15).
    1. This will be a great relief to have only honest, sincere, and holy persons.
    2. Scripture lists sins that cannot inherit the kingdom (I Cor 6:9; Gal 5:21; etc.).
  4. What does your new man hate the most about this world? It will be fully gone!
    1. Are you tired of temptation and everything mixed with sin? All will be holy!
    2. Are you tired of distractions and thoughts running wild? All will be focused!


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.

Wherefore, beloved.

  1. Here is the second of three logical deductions for their obedience (3:11,14,17).
    1. Wherefore, similar to a therefore, draws our minds to an obvious conclusion.
    2. However, the apostles did not leave conclusions to us; they pressed them.
  2. Peter wrote affectionately with exhortation rather than terror to persuade them.
    1. He calls them beloved with this exhortation – four beloveds (3:1,8,14,17).
    2. We are God’s beloved children! Live like it (Eph 5:1-2; II Thess 2:13; 1:4).
    3. It took God’s love set on us from eternity to rescue us from this coming hell.
    4. The camaraderie we should feel to one another is due to mutual salvation.
  3. This cataclysmic, fiery destruction of the world must get our attention and lives.
    1. There is a reward for the righteous, so they should not faint (I Cor 15:58).
    2. Nothing in this world matters – calling lands after yourself (Psalm 49:6-14).
    3. There are horrible consequences for sinners in the lake of fire (Rev 20:15).
    4. There will be shame that cannot be undone for the carnal (I John 2:28-29).
    5. To know it and not change is to be a beast and belly worshipper (Ps 49:20).
  4. The camaraderie we should feel toward one another is due to mutual salvation!

Seeing that ye look for such things.

  1. Seeing that draws an inference from that written … understanding this or that.
    1. We can paraphrase … on the basis of … due to this fact … for this reason.
    2. Compare seeing then occurrences (Eze 21:4; Ac 19:36; II Co 3:12; He 4:14).
    3. Note seeing then (3:11), seeing ye know (3:17), and here seeing that ye look.
  2. The Bible is the most logical book ever – there is an obvious conclusion for life.
    1. It takes less faith to believe and practice the Bible than to reject and defy it.
    2. Once you admit God, the most rational presupposition ever, you are caught.
    3. The Bible then follows as the only supernatural, written revelation on earth.
    4. The Bible is a collection of if – then responses to mysteries revealed to us.
    5. Consider a few wise judgments (II Cor 5:14-15; Hebrews 2:1; I John 4:11).
  3. We look for the things that were described in this inspired/preserved context.
    1. The such things are destruction of the old universe and arrival of a new one.
    2. The assumption in his terminology is that they were truly looking for Christ.
  4. Is it true that you are looking for them? If not, then you are not a real Christian.
    1. It is not enough that you or I intellectually or mentally assent to their truth.
    2. Real Christians look for His coming as described and live in light of its truth.
    3. It is really not enough to look for it, you should love and hasten His return.
    4. If you love and hasten His return, you will diligently live it and speak of it.

Be diligent that ye may be found of him.

  1. Based on the knowledge of the universe’s destruction, it should affect our lives.
    1. Your business … your house … your garden … your car … are all trivial.
    2. The things that distract worldlings from delighting in God should not affect Christians nearly so much or not at all, for all things will all be burned up.
    3. The pleasures that distract most Christians should not affect us (II Tim 3:5).
  2. He is coming for us for the new heavens and earth, so how will He find you?
    1. Will the Son of man find real faith on the earth at His coming (Luke 18:8)?
    2. Will we be living like children of light or worldly darkness (I Thess 5:1-10)?
    3. He will find you, for you will not be able to hide, and you will give account.
  3. Diligence is a key character trait of the righteous in things natural and spiritual.
    1. We use our might in earthly callings (Pr 10:4; 22:29; Eccl 9:10; Rom 12:11).
    2. Peter had called them to diligence in proving their election (II Peter 1:5,10).
  4. What can or should you do today to clear any matter and be ready to meet Him?

In peace.

  1. When Jesus Christ comes, He must find us loving one another without fighting.
    1. God loves peace; He calls us to it many times. Do not meet Him with strife!
    2. Sadly, some learned in critical/fighting homes and/or cannot rule their spirit.
    3. Consider how Jesus used fighting illustrating His coming (Matt 24:42-51).
  2. He comes as a thief in the night, so there is only one way to be found in peace.
    1. You must stay at peace with everyone at all times, so He can come anytime!
    2. Therefore, you must quickly and fully resolve any offences or bitterness.
    3. The only reason you are not at peace with all men is your pride (Pr 13:10).
    4. You should forgive them their offences, forget yourself, and serve others.
  3. For much more about peace with others.

Without spot.

  1. Related to blame following, we see it as worldly influence versus active faults.
  2. Pure religion and undefiled before God our Father is to be unspotted (Jas 1:27).
    1. The world corrupts and pollutes us by dirtying our thoughts, speech, actions.
    2. Corinth was to come out and not touch the unclean thing (II Cor 6:17; 7:1).
    3. We pull some out of fire, of judgment, hating spots by the flesh (Jude 1:23).
  3. Do not flirt with the world, for it is God’s archenemy He will burn (James 4:4).
    1. All that is in the world is not of the Father and will be burned (I Jn 2:15-17).
    2. This is our sanctification in holiness, perfecting it by fear of God (II Co 7:1).
    3. It is befriending the world – its things, people, lifestyles, attitudes, etc., etc.
  4. Let Him find us hating the world and all they think, say, or do about anything.
  5. Remember the false teachers that were spots by their carnal character (2:13).

And blameless.

  1. Related to preceding spots, we see active faults versus active worldly influence.
  2. We cannot achieve perfect perfection, but the blood of Christ cleanses the holy.
    1. Yet, there are some God counted blameless, as John’s parents (Luke 1:6).
    2. God expects blamelessness, so do it (I Cor 1:7-8; Phil 2:15; I Thess 5:23).
  3. We want nothing outstanding in our lives that He could charge us in judgment.
    1. This is practical salvation and conversion in lifestyle without existing faults.
    2. Live in the way to be in favor with both God and men (Luke 2:52; Pr 3:3-4).
    3. This goal makes plucking and cutting very wise (Matthew 5:29-30; 18:7-9)!
    4. Cover faults and be blameless by real repentance (II Cor 7:10-11; I Jn 1:9).


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;

And account.

  1. The mention of accounting here is to defy the some that count God slack (3:9).
    1. Peter had continued on with more revelation about Christ’s coming after 3:9.
    2. Most men will presume to question or condemn God by their own ignorance.
    3. Because they think wisdom was born with them, they reject God’s wisdom.
    4. Every man makes a decision how they count God – we believe (Heb 11:6).
  2. Believers account for God’s word based on faith, rejecting all other influences.
    1. The saying is … God said it; I believe it; that settles it. This is true faith.
    2. Believers reject feelings, for they know the heart is a wicked liar (Jer 17:9).
    3. Believers reject false science, for it is instead devilish faith (I Tim 6:20-21).
    4. Believers reject the multitude, for they know truth is not there (Luke 16:15).
    5. With a Bible, a believer passes enemies, teachers, ancients (Ps 119:98-100).
  3. Believers know God is right in anything He said, whether they grasp it or not.
    1. We give God the benefit of doubts, for our ignorance is what creates doubts!
    2. Rather than change Ahaziah’s age, we trust God and get secret revelation.
    3. Rather than play games with Artaxerxes, we now Cyrus was God’s builder.
    4. For age of Ahaziah.
    5. For Cyrus’s decree.
  4. Scoffers mean nothing to believers, for they know the warnings and their future.
    1. God’s damnation is not slumbering and His judgment is not lingering (2:3).
    2. There are scoffers on every Bible subject, but believers enjoy mocking them.
    3. What the world calls science is often profane/vain babbling (I Tim 6:20-21).
  5. Peter gave three glorious reasons to account for things different than scoffers.
    1. While they boast worldwide events unlikely, there had been a flood (3:5-7).
    2. While they think they know timing words, God thinks differently (3:8).
    3. While they think it is slackness by God, it is actually great mercy (3:9).

That the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation.

  1. Peter returned to the revelation of 3:9 after finishing his prophecy of the future.
    1. He had not lingered at 3:9, but told the overthrow of the universe (3:10-14).
    2. Jesus Christ’s return had been promised, and the apparent delay was mercy.
    3. He returns to the reason for the delay briefly to assuage any foolish doubts.
    4. As far as timing concerns, God has a very good reason for Christ’s delay.
    5. Peter then confirmed his prophetic agreement with what Paul had written.
    6. There is no further application of 3:9 but confirmation of apostolic unity.
  2. There would be an obvious, apparent delay in Christ’s return Peter explained.
    1. Scoffers would accuse God of being slack in keeping His promise (3:9).
    2. But Peter explained the Lord’s perceived delay in returning in detail (3:9).
    3. Rather than accuse, doubt, or question God, believers account Him faithful.
    4. Believers will accept, believe, defend, embrace the inspired reason for delay.
  3. The first and foremost reason for His delay is for all elect to be finally saved.
    1. His use of perish in 3:9 and other reasons indicate final phase of salvation.
    2. For the full details of God’s longsuffering for salvation, see the notes for 3:9.
  4. They also know that a delay for final salvation is to them great practical mercy.
    1. This is not the first or foremost reason of God’s longsuffering, but it is true.
    2. Growth in grace Peter opens and ends with requires time (1:1-15; 3:17-18).
    3. They know any time allowed for repentance and sanctification is precious.
  5. The issue here is to defy scoffers and account Christ’s delayed return as mercy.

Even as our beloved brother Paul also.

  1. Peter appealed to Paul in his epistles: he wrote to confirm Jews in Paul’s gospel.
    1. The intent here is to corroborate Paul’s doctrine of Christ’s second coming.
    2. In the first epistle it was to corroborate the doctrine of salvation (I Pet 5:12).
    3. The fantastic revelation of Christ’s return and its events was fully apostolic.
    4. Peter and Paul agreed fully, even as … also, in the doctrine about last things.
  2. Observe Peter’s gracious and affectionate terminology for the apostle Paul.
    1. Paul had rebuked him to his face and recorded it in an epistle (Gal 2:11-14)!
    2. Peter proved the rule of wisdom of Solomon about reproving (Pr 9:8; 25:12).
    3. Would to God that all believers could respond half as well to their reprovers.
  3. Observe Peter’s guarded and limited language for the greatest apostle, our Paul.
    1. As Jesus had taught them, they were to brethren to each other (Mat 23:5-12).
    2. As Elihu indicated early, those that fear God do not use titles (Job 32:21-22).
    3. Compare this to Peter’s presumed successor, called the Most Holy Father!

According to the wisdom given unto him.

  1. Peter and Paul agreed perfectly, even as … also, in doctrine about last things.
  2. Wisdom is a gift given, from initial grace to all providential mercies following.
    1. The beginning of wisdom, the fear of God, is only by God’s gift (Rom 3:18).
    2. Even practical wisdom you need for life’s trials is by God’s gift (Jas 1:2-5).
  3. Paul had exceptional wisdom to be the apostle of the Gentiles (Eph 3:1-12).
    1. Paul had been taught personally by the Lord Jesus Christ (Gal 1:11-19).
    2. He had seen Jesus Christ and received communion instruction (I Cor 11:23).
  4. Elihu, a young man with four wise patriarchs, had inspired wisdom (Job 32:8).
  5. Ezra, a ready scribe in Moses’ law, had wisdom in his hand (Ezra 7:6,14,25).
    1. What a quaint and glorious description by Darius Hystaspes = Ahasuerus!
    2. Do you understand the value and power of the divine library in your hand?
  6. Every man of God has a manual for his perfection as a pastor (II Tim 3:16-17).

Hath written unto you.

  1. Peter clearly identified his audience for both his epistles (I Peter 1:1; II Pet 3:1).
  2. The internal evidence of Hebrews suggests Paul wrote it to Jews yet in Judea.
    1. Consider the relationship to Christ that Paul credits them for (He 1:2; 2:1-4).
    2. They were not new converts, as Paul expected much of them (Heb 5:12-14).
    3. These saints had suffered persecution for the faith (Heb 10:32-33 cp Ac 8:1).
    4. Repeat warning to submit to pastors makes sense (He 13:7,17,24; Gal 2:6-9).
    5. Converted Jews elsewhere were won by Paul in synagogues (Acts 17:1-2).
  3. Paul did indeed write scripture to churches in the regions identified by Peter.
    1. By comparing this verse with the next, the key issue is scriptures by Paul.
    2. Paul wrote Galatians, Ephesians, and Colossians to Peter’s listed regions.
    3. He also wrote Laodicea in Asia, but it is not scripture, and lost (Col 4:16)!
    4. The rest of Paul’s epistles were to Rome, churches in Greece, or ministers.
  4. Did Paul write similar doctrine to what Peter wrote in these two last chapters?
    1. Think of warnings against scoffers, judgment of the wicked world, Christ’s second coming for His own, an eternal inheritance, a great change, etc., etc.
    2. False teachers (Gal 1:1-12; 2:4-5; 4:19-31; 5:12; 6:12-13; Col 2:4-9,16-23).
    3. Prophecies of destruction of world (Gal 1:4; 4:26; 5:21; Eph 5:5-7; Col 3:6).
    4. Jesus Christ coming again for His own (Gal 1:4; 6:9; Eph 1:10-14,18).
    5. An eternal inheritance for the elect (Eph 1:10-14; 2:7; Col 1:5,12; 4:11).
    6. A great change coming upon nature (Col 3:1-4).
    7. God’s merciful longsuffering to save all (Eph 1:3-12 … 5:9-18???).
    8. These passages above do not include all those to other churches.


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.

As also in all his epistles.

  1. Paul’s epistles to Peter were the inspired ones preserved as scripture; see below.
  2. How many Pauline epistles did Peter intend? The number is plural, all of them?
  3. The great whore of Rome claims that she established the N.T. canon much later.
    1. She says, earliest extant list of the books in order was by Athanasius in 367.
    2. Council at Rome under Pope Damasus began formal process for list in 382.
    3. Council of Hippo began debate over canon proposed by Athanasius in 393.
    4. Council of Carthage sends refined canon to Pope Innocent to ratify in 397.
  4. We should not be surprised the New Testament canon came together quickly.
    1. Paul told Corinth the revelatory gifts would disappear with it (I Co 13:8-10).
    2. By latter epistles, healing was gone (I Tim 5:23; II Tim 4:20; Phil 2:26-27).
    3. How could New Testament pastors function without it (II Tim 3:16-17; 4:2)?
    4. Paul quoted Luke right alongside Deuteronomy as scripture (I Tim 5:18).

Speaking in them of these things.

  1. What things? Especially the promise of Christ’s coming and errors around it.
  2. The Thessalonians got the most (I Thess 4:13-18; II Thess 1:7-10; 2:1-3).
  3. Hymenaeus and Philetus were heretics against the truth (II Tim 2:16-18).
  4. Corinth got a large chapter regarding the resurrection of bodies (I Cor 15:1-58).
  5. Paul referred to the coming of Christ and final salvation (Col 3:1-4; Phil 3:21).

In which are some things hard to be understood.

  1. Things hard to understand are limited to prophetic passages being considered.
    1. The words in which limits the warning to the previous things of prophecy.
    2. There was no need for Peter to state difficulty understanding Paul in general.
  2. Are there some prophetic passages written by Paul that are hard to understand?
    1. Some commentators understand this to be “the creature” of Romans 8:17-23.
    2. We know there confusion about His return and the man of sin (II The 2:1-8).
    3. Resurrection of dead bodies was resisted and questioned by some (I Cor 15).
  3. God is omniscient, so He knew Paul wrote obscurely, so why not change him?
    1. If God inspired scripture difficult, which He did, why not inspire it simpler?
    2. Because God does not want all men to easily know the truth (Mat 13:10-17).
    3. Confusion.

Which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest.

  1. The unlearned and unstable here are professing Christians with these two traits.
    1. Unlearned is the negative trait of lacking instruction in correct hermeneutics.
    2. Unstable is the negative trait of vulnerability to influences and movement.
  2. The purpose of the ministry is to protect believers from being tossed to and fro.
    1. Paul identified this purpose when detailing the role of the ministry (Ep 4:14).
    2. There are men that lie in wait to deceive with sleight and cunning craftiness.
    3. Church members are like children, susceptible to most any new doctrine.
    4. Paul thought the Charismatic/Pentecostal Corinthians susceptible to another Jesus, another spirit, and another gospel (II Cor 11:1-4), like those today.
    5. Pastors must heed themselves and the doctrine to save hearers (I Tim 4:16).
  3. There were false teachers and Bible corrupters early (II Cor 2:17; II Thess 2:2).

As they do also the other scriptures.

  1. New Testament epistles came to be scripture by apostles pressing them as law.
  2. Men have been corrupting the scriptures from the apostolic period (II Cor 2:17).
  3. Men were even counterfeiting epistles and forging signatures (II Thess 2:2).
  4. This can be Old Testament and New Testament?

Unto their own destruction.

  1. Prophetic error, indicated by context here, is important enough for judgment.
  2. We do not believe that hell is intended here as the result of wresting scriptures.
    1. Men go to hell for Adam’s sin and their own sins long before abusing truth.
    2. There are other forms of destruction or damnation that result from error.
    3. God will chasten His own all the way to death, and He will crush reprobates.
  3. There is a practical destruction resulting from wandering into error (Ja 5:19-20).
    1. Paul described potential destruction from being cast down (II Cor 4:8-10).
    2. Paul described offences against liberty as destroying brethren (Ro 14:15,20).
    3. Hope destroyed in I Cor 15 leaving men most miserable is a destruction.
    4. The prophetic error of Hymenaeus overthrew faith of some, a destruction.
  4. Destruction is something that could happen to Peter’s audience, see “also” next.
    1. They could not lose their eternal life, but they could lose their hope of it!
    2. The destruction connection is falling from their own stedfastness in the faith.
  5. To their own destruction indicates these are not the false teachers of chapter 2.


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.

Ye therefore, beloved.

  1. As a result of knowing prophetic truth, scoffers, and Bible-twisting, all beware!
    1. Peter had established the certainty of coming events by apostolic scripture.
    2. We know the world’s future by His promise in writing, and we live by it.
    3. Truth about horrific cataclysmic events and eternal inheritance is fantastic!
  2. The camaraderie by four uses of beloved here should exalt our bond in Christ.
    1. These believers were Paul’s converts, and Peter had likely never met them.
    2. But no matter who or where, the children of God are blood brothers in Him.
    3. As blood brothers, we want to serve others and protect them from all danger.

Seeing ye know these things before.

  1. God’s revelation by His prophets and preachers tell us about things in advance.
    1. There is no reason to limit these things to the scoffers and heretics coming.
    2. For there is also the benefit of knowing future things that we cannot forget.
    3. We must resist scoffers as prophesied and their heresies to corrupt the truth.
  2. If you consider, you have secret knowledge of a total change in the universe.
    1. The gospel of Christ is the most fabulous body of knowledge imaginable.
    2. The divine library of the scriptures have everything past, present, and future.
    3. Do you know how much you know? Consider it! It must change your life!
  3. Peter was very kind and useful as a man of God to warn his audience of danger.
    1. Paul explained the perilous times to Timothy so that he might warn others.
    2. With knowledge of scoffers and Bible-twisters, we must be strictly vigilant.
    3. Knowing the perilous times, we must hold the line against any compromise.

Beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked.

  1. Believers must be very vigilant against doubts, questions, errors, or heresies.
    1. There are more than wicked heretics in the context – the unlearned/unstable.
    2. Churches are for the perfection of all members in the truth of the gospel.
    3. Therefore, confusion or doubts or questions should be answered scripturally.
  2. Churches must have no-tolerance rules and judgment against compromisers.
    1. Heretics should be quickly confronted for any Bible errors (Titus 3:9-11).
    2. We do allow members to grow in knowledge, but not with open mouths.
    3. Consider Paul’s order (Rom 16:17-18; Gal 1:6-9; II Thes 2:15; 3:6; etc.).
  3. Wicked men will come up with all kinds of errors, false doctrine, heresies.
    1. The main error of the wicked from chapter two is carnal Christianity.
    2. The main error of the wicked from chapter three is prophetic corruption.
    3. The error of the wicked is not smoking marijuana behind the high school.
    4. The error of the wicked is corrupting the doctrine and promises of God.
  4. It is exceeding great and precious promises of prophecy that have great value.
    1. Peter concluded a glorious introduction by benefits from promises (1:3-4).
    2. Faith is hurt when promises are altered, ignored, or rejected (II Tim 2:18).
  5. Men will arise, as Paul warned, as in the past, to lead men and churches astray.
  6. Peter kindly exempted them from the unlearned and unstable by use of also.
    1. This believing audience Peter addressed were holding to truth stedfastly.
    2. But false teachers, likely beyond the unlearned/unstable, might corrupt them.
    3. Some fell from truth by ignorance and weakness, but these could also fall.

Fall from your own stedfastness.

  1. The audience Peter addressed did not have problems believing prophetic truth.
    1. He began by describing their great faith even in persecution (I Peter 1:3-9).
    2. His most recent reference to his readers was looking for Christ (II Pet 3:14).
  2. A man reason for local churches is to help to hold fast (He 3:12-13; 10:23-25).
  3. Those with new ideas, especially spreading them in the church, must be stopped


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.

But grow in grace.

  1. The inspired disjunctive but keeps you from contentment for holding truth fast.
    1. The previous verse was a negative one in a way – holding on against heresy.
    2. We must hold truth fast and not move away from the hope of the gospel, but a church cannot turn into a dry, dusty museum of properly labeled doctrines.
    3. There is far more to the Christian life than resisting error – growth in grace.
    4. We do not want to preach about grace every Sunday, we want to grow in it!
    5. Grace here is the religion of Jesus Christ with all its knowledge and fruit.
    6. We want to do much more than hold grace fast – we want to exploit grace!
  2. God saved us by grace to grow! We want to grow in the ability/liberty of grace.
    1. Peter began the first epistle with election through regeneration (I Pet 1:1-3).
    2. He began this epistle with the faith of conversion up to God’s nature (1:1-4).
    3. Grace by knowing Christ brings power for abundant living and godliness, and motivating promises lead to the divine nature and escaping the world.
    4. For more of Peter’s intro (1:1-4).
    5. Eternal, legal, and vital phases of salvation are for us to advance practically!
    6. After being quickened, we are to produce good works for Him (Eph 2:10).
    7. His mercies are to have an effect far beyond mental assent (Rom 12:1-2).
  3. Tell me more about growing and exactly what should I be examining and doing.
    1. When a thing grows it gets stronger, more beautiful, more productive, more reproductive, and more like the species’ defined and described standard (Christ); it becomes less fragile, less vulnerable, less needy, less worthless.
    2. He wants and deserves a return on investment of grace for His glory … think talents … forward movement … upward progress … fruitbearing … etc.
    3. Grasp the divine nature, add things to perfection, and retain it all (1:5-15).
    4. Use the local church for its intended goals in grace (Heb 3:12-13; 12:23-25).
    5. It is RCC heresy to assemble for pulpit benefits without social interaction.
    6. The increase of saints to Christ is by church function (Eph 4:16; Col 2:19).
    7. Is your desire, pleasure, measure, zeal, spiritual fruit increasing to others?
    8. You can examine, pray, read, muse, serve, and press others to grow in grace.
    9. You should be more and more like Christ in joy, patience, love, and service.
  4. And the grace of God teaches us a great deal, for on our own we knew nothing!
    1. The true grace of God teaches us to live the way to please God (Tit 2:11-14).
    2. Before God’s grace comes in regeneration, even Paul was a mess (Tit 3:3-7).
    3. For growth in the grace of sanctification.
  5. God saved us by grace, and it is His grace that we want to learn and show more.
    1. Paul warned saved Hebrews not to waste time in other subjects (Heb 13:9).
    2. God’s pastors are to ignore even things of God’s O.T. (Tit 3:9; I Tim 1:5-7).
    3. His grace is best seen by His love and Christ’s love for us, which should greatly move us (II Cor 5:14-17; I John 3:1-3; Eph 3:14-19; Rom 8:28-39).
    4. Putting off sinful immaturity and desiring the word, we grow (I Peter 2:1-3).
  6. We must advance as Peter described by adding to faith for fruitfulness (1:5-9).
    1. Faith is basic to be a Christian, but then we must grow much, much more.
    2. Patience is perfection (Jas 1:2-4), but it is only in the middle of listing grace.
    3. These basic Christian graces (hear it? get it?) are what we are to grow up in.
    4. We must learn more and more to put off the old man and put on the new.
    5. We must learn more and more to put off works of flesh for fruit of the Spirit.
    6. We can by faith and Spirit grow to great joy, peace, and hope (Rom 15:13).
  7. We must aspire as Christians to some precious passages about growth in grace.
    1. Consider Paul’s prayer for more and more for the Philippians (Phil 1:9-11).
    2. Consider Paul’s prayer for more and more for the Colossians (Col 1:9-11).
    3. Consider Paul’s prayer for more and more for Thessalonica (I Thess 4:1-2).
    4. There are sweet gifts of grace flowing through faith for us now (Rom 5:1-5).
    5. In some respects, patience is perfection, which requires trials (James 1:2-4).
  8. Growth is measurable, obviously. Growth in grace will also be measurable.
    1. As just mentioned, Paul identified things that should be more and more.
    2. Paul’s second epistle to Corinth said they altogether cleared themselves ().

And in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

  1. Peter stressed the knowledge of Jesus Christ in this epistle (1:2,3,8; 2:20; 3:18).
    1. Peter wrote established Christians, exhorting them to growth (1:12-15; 3:18).
    2. The means for God’s power to multiply His graces in your life is knowledge.
    3. This is learning all there is about God and Christ, in the word, by the Spirit.
    4. Of course, none of this will happen correctly without the Holy Spirit of God.
    5. Of course, this knowledge is more experiential than intellectual (Phil 3:10).
  2. God saved you to know Him, not just know about Him or His rules (John 17:3).
    1. He first had to create you, or you could and would never know Him. Glory!
    2. He then had to save you, or you would and could not know Him. Add glory!
    3. John knew this aspect of the gift of eternal life, and you can too (I Jn 5:20).
  3. Paul, who knew Jesus better than any, wanted to know Him more (Phil 3:8,10).
    1. He knew nothing in this world that could come close to Christ (Phil 3:4-8).
    2. He was not content with any accomplishments, but pressed on (Phil 3:9-14).
    3. This is the pattern we are to follow against belly worshippers (Phil 3:15-21).
    4. Growth in knowledge will exalt Christ and heaven against earth and now.
  4. Have you grown from a hearer and learner to a teacher and defender of truth?
    1. Paul justly criticized Hebrews for neglecting great privilege (Heb 5:12-14).
    2. Recall, it takes a little knowledge to believe, more to teach, more to defend.
    3. Do you have the certain words of truth in your lips for others (Pr 22:17-21)?
    4. Are you able and ready to give a reason of your hope in Christ (I Pet 3:15)?
    5. Neither matters, unless you have a life that shines Christ like a searchlight!
  5. Paul, who knew Ephesus was saved, wanted them to know Christ, which depended on divine Spirit power revealing Christ more fully (Eph 3:14-19).
  6. The knowledge of God and Jesus Christ must be far more than mere head facts.
    1. We do not reject mental knowledge of Bible facts, but a mere devilish faith.
    2. The scriptures – a book that is read and learned – are what testify of Christ.
    3. We neither condemn intellectual learning nor condone Catholic meditation.
    4. We exalt Bible doctrine as the primary means of knowing God intelligently.
    5. We must know correct facts about God, His works, His ways, His will, etc.
    6. But the devils know more of God than any man, and it does them no good.
    7. True faith and knowledge change lives, create passion, and demand worship.
    8. Faith that pleases God, knowledgeable faith, believes two things (Heb 11:6).
    9. But it also includes intellectual assent and desire of promised blessings (1:4).
    10. Paul had greater doctrinal knowledge than any, but wanted to know Christ!
  7. Knowing God is diligent search, passion, obedience of Him, His ways and will.
    1. It desires to know His will as much as His ways, lest we violate His will.
    2. It changes lives, in that your goal is to sacrifice self to please Him more.
    3. It passionately pursues Him to love Him by word and deed much more.
    4. It plumbs, praises, and proclaims His unsearchable riches in grace to you.
    5. It results in obvious greater love of heaven and greater hatred of the earth.
    6. It is obtained on your knees and by your tears more than facts and figures.
    7. It is sacrificial making all else dung in comparison to show Him sincerity.
    8. It results in obvious greater love of holiness and greater hatred of any sin.
    9. It is deep and intimate and person, not intellectual, superficial, or casual.
    10. It humbly flushes all you are, have, and could do in life in order to find Him.
    11. It stops praying for help or things in other parts of life but for this great goal.
    12. It denigrates and despises all other competitors to knowing Him much better.
    13. It craves Him and is not content with precious things of life without Him.
    14. It delights and muses in Him for great personal pleasure beyond mere duty.
    15. It is associated with fellowship of sufferings, conformed to His death, etc.
    16. David (and Asaph) described it passionately and personally in the Psalms they wrote (Ps 16:5,11; 24:6; 27:4,8; 36:8-9; 37:4; 42:1-2; 43:4; 63:1-5; 73:25-26; 84:2,4,10; 104:34; 105:4; 119:2,10; 143:6).
    17. Moses and Paul both sought to know the Lord better (Ex 33:18; Phil 3:10).
    18. There are levels of knowledge far past most believers (Eph 1:17-20; 3:19).
    19. The knowledge Solomon’s lover had was far beyond mere acquaintance.
    20. God was Abram’s exceeding great reward, which was more than intellectual.

To him be glory both now and for ever.

  1. Jesus is worthy of all glory now and forever, and it should be our joy to give it!
    1. Jesus Christ is our Lord, as He is David’s Lord and our King and Sovereign!
    2. Jesus Christ is our Savior, as He cheerfully endured the cross for each of us!
    3. All choirs of heaven and earth broke forth in praise to Christ (Rev 5:8-14).
    4. Our church and your life is to glorify Him and His cross (Ga 6:14; I Co 2:2).
    5. The greatest joy and fulfillment is in glorifying Him by praise and service.
  2. There is no need to wait until heaven to glorify Jesus Christ – we can do it now.
    1. Why not fulfill your destiny now to please God and realize His best for life.
    2. The universal drama is for God’s glory through grace and glory to His Son!
  3. There is a fault to think glorifying Him here is enough – we will also do it there.
  4. Men and women swear to love spouses and others forever, but what of Christ!
    1. Our glory is a way to give glory – use your tongue for His glory (Ps 30:12).
    2.  To give Him ultimate glory, you must learn and practice more of knowledge.
    3. Active and joyful obedience and service to Him and His gives fullest glory.