2 PETER 3:1-18  


 

PREPARING FOR THE SECOND COMING

In expectation of the second coming of Jesus and the inception of the day of the Lord at that arrival, Peter exhorts believers to be on their guard and diligent to live in fellowship with God and not be deceived by the many and varied false teachers that are out there.

Verse 1

1. This is now, beloved: Clearly, Peter is writing to believers. The term beloved, agapātos, is standard to refer to those who have trusted in Christ as Savior.

2. the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up:

The verb, stirring up, is diegeiro as a present active indicative to communicate the idea of a "bringing to life." But this is metaphorical and refers to the stirring up of the mind in order to elicit necessary and consistent application of Christian character.

3. Your sincere mind: the word mind is dianoia, which is more than just the mind. The MIND would be the word, nous, and refers to the PERCEPTION aspect of the mentality. Dianoia refers to the aspect of the mentality that has already processed perceived data and has made it a part of one's KNOWLEDGE or UNDERSTANDING.

The mind is that portion of the "heart" that perceives, processes and stores knowledge content. Knowledge perceived, enters the mentality of the soul ("heart") through the mind (Luke 24:45, nous) where it is analyzed based on previously learned standards and frame of reference (memory). It is then related to the self-consciousness (ego) and responded to by volition (Acts 2:37; 7:54).

Accepted information becomes "understanding" (dianoia) which is the

source of viewpoint and insight (dialogismos). It is then transferred to the conscience to form norms and standards for life and godliness (Heb. 10:22; Titus 1:15; 1 Tim. 1:5). The dianoia (understanding) retains the information in the memory/frame of reference (2 Pet. 3:1-2, dianoia) and provides the basis for insight and reasoning (dialogismos). The conscience and the mind then form the character of the soul by influencing self-consciousness (ego) and volition.
For more details about this see topic: The MIND and CONSCIENCE and The HEART

The word, sincere, is eilikrinās, which means something that is evaluated (judged) by the light of the sun. It thus refers to purity and genuine motivation, but not sincerity. People who are following false doctrine can be sincere. The PURE mind or UNDERSTANDING then, refers to a soul that has learned proper standards for Christian living, and is thus equipped to receive a reminder that should elicit it to continued faithfulness and watchfulness concerning what Peter writes about.

4. by way of reminder: this noun is hupomnāsis and simply means the act or even process of reminding someone of what they already know.
In this case, Peter has in mind the truths that had been taught to them by the prophets and apostles.

 

Verse 2

1. that you should remember: the verb is mimnāskomai as an aorist passive infinitive to indicate the purpose for the act of reminding.

The purpose is to encourage Christians to apply the truths they have previously learned. Those truths involve TWO factors.

A. Knowledge that there will be mockers and false teachers for whom they need to be on guard.

B. Knowledge of Christian virtue, which they need to apply consistently in view of the possible arrival of the day of the Lord within their lifetime.

2. the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets:

The verb, proeipon refers to what has been proclaimed at an earlier time in the history of the church. It cannot be determined with certainty whether Peter has in mind Old Testament prophets or the prophets of the church age. But since God revealed his NEW information to both apostles and prophets (Ephesians 3:5) and in fact the prophets are even designated as "holy prophets," it seems likely that he has in mind only those communicators of the early church.

3. and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles:

And this refers specifically to what the apostles taught concerning the words of Jesus. Jesus did in fact teach about both of these issues; (1) the presence of false teachers (Matthew 7:15; 24:11) and (2) the urgency of preparedness (Luke 21:34-36).

 

Verse 3

1. Know this first of all: The first thing he wants to remind them of is the presence of the false teachers and mockers.

Mocking from others has a tendency to shake the faith of those who are not well grounded, because the mocking shows confidence on the part of the mockers. However, for those who know bible truth, the mockers only demonstrate their own ignorance and inadequacies as they speak about the things that they know nothing about.

2. that in the last days: this is the preposition (epi, upon) plus the adjective eschatos (last) and the noun hāmera (days).

This IDEA of the last days occurs in many different forms in our New Testament writings, and in each of these cases it sees the TIME in view as the PRESENT. That is, a period of time that they were at that time going through.

1. In later times: en husteros kairos (1 Tim. 4:1)
2. In (the) last days: en eschatos hemeras (2 Tim. 3:1)
3. At the end of these days: epi eschatos hamera houtos (Heb. 1:2)
4. In the sphere of the last days: en eschatos hemeras (James 5:3)
5. In these last times: epi eschatos chronos (1 Pet. 1:20)
6. In the last time: epi eschatos chronos (Jude 18)
7. It is a (the) last hour: eschatos hora (1 John 2:18)

The apostles wrote with the impression that they were in the last days.

No one knew, however, how long those "last days" would last. That would all depend on whether the specific circumstances for the second coming of Jesus would fall into place during that first century. Paul understood that those circumstances could develop for he writes to the Thessalonians of the possibility of deliverance from persecution by the visible and glorious coming of Jesus (1 Thes. 5:1-11; 2 Thes. 1:6-10).

And James writes with the idea that the Lord's coming was near (James 5:7-8). And in our present context, Peter exhorts the readers to be expectant and prepared for the coming of the day of the Lord (v. 10-15).

Of course, this could only happen after the fall of Jerusalem which Jesus predicted as occurring (Luke 21:6, 12-24) before the tribulation.

Most of them perhaps even understood the teaching of Jesus to indicate that it would in fact occur in connection with the destruction of the city. He said that the fall of Jerusalem would constitute "great calamity upon the land and wrath to this people" (Luke 21:23). Given the right occurrence of events, this could easily be interpreted as a fulfillment of "the time of Jacob's trouble" of Jeremiah 30:5-7.

He further said, that after the city would be destroyed, that the Jews would be scattered until the times of the Gentiles would be fulfilled (Luke 21:24), but there was no way of knowing how long that period of time would be. As it turned out, the fall of Jerusalem had nothing to do with the end times other than FORMALIZING God's displacement of Israel (Matthew 21:43-44; 23:37-39) and establishment of the church as the new evangelistic agency (1 Pet. 2:5-10) "upon whom the end of the ages has come," (1 Cor. 10:11).

But after the fall of Jerusalem, there was still the possibility of fulfillment of end times events, whenever the Jews would be returned to their land and a new temple would be built. This historical chain of events can be considered imminent, for it can BEGIN to occur at any time, but the actual second coming of Jesus and the day of the Lord can not occur until the events of the 70th week of Daniel begin, and more specifically, until the tribulation begins at the midpoint of that 70th week (Matthew 24:9-29; 2 Thes. 2:1-12).

3. mockers will come with mocking: The content of these mockers revolves around the second coming of Jesus. This indicates that the "last days" that Peter has in mind refers to a time that is a significant number of years away from the giving of the promise, which was given by Jesus himself. This letter is dated about 68 AD, 38 years after Christ's last words. The fall of Jerusalem is two years away, but no one knows that at this time. Peter is simply warning that, whether in the near or distant future, the believer will be encountering this attack from the arrogant mockers.

4. following after their own lusts: The controlling factor in all immorality and spiritual error, is of course, the self-centeredness of the sin nature. Man's independence from God revolves around the three philosophies of darkness described at 1 John 2:15-16.

A. Do not be loving: the verb is agapao as a present active imperative. It means to place such value on something that you revolve your life around catering to it and/or seeking what is best for it.

B. The world: kosmos expresses the idea of an organized system of viewpoint and influence. It is used consistently to refer to the value system that is based on darkness standards; standards that are opposite to and in fact, antagonistic to the standards of the Divine value system as represented by God's written revelation found in the Bible.

C. Nor the THINGS of the world: The things of the world refer to the THREE items mentioned at verse 16. These are the three kosmic (worldly) philosophies that have affinity with the sin nature and assist it in deceiving the soul (the deceitfulness of THE sin, Heb. 3:13)

D. The lust of the flesh: This refers to sensuality. Sensuality is the desire to fulfill the five physical senses of the body in order to experience pleasure, and through that pleasure experience what they perceive to be fulfillment in life.
See Topic: SENSUALITY

E. The lust of the eyes: This refers to covetousness, which is the desire and endeavor to possess everything that one perceives as attractive and in that possession, perceive it to be the means for true fulfillment in life.
See Topic: COVETOUSNESS

F. The arrogant pride of life: This refers to the attitude and action of self-accomplishment and self-promotion, which is perceived as bringing true fulfillment in life.
See Topic: PRIDE

G. These correspond with the three areas of temptation that were directed to the woman (Ishah) in the garden of Eden, as recorded at Genesis 3:6.
Notice that Ishah perceived three things about the forbidden fruit.

1. It was good for food: This is a bona fide observation and attraction. Mankind must eat. However, to make the food attraction superior to the divine viewpoint of God's mandate is practicing the philosophy of sensuality, thinking that the pleasing of the physical senses is one of the keys to true fulfillment in life.

2. It was a delight to the eyes: This likewise, is simple human perception that recognizes a bona fide factor concerning the tree. There is nothing wrong with beauty and enjoying that beauty as it is perceived through the eye gate. However, when beauty becomes a standard for evaluating good and bad to the denial of God's mandate, it is covetousness that seeks to find fulfillment in life by what one empirically perceives as having value.

3. It was able to make one wise: This is a false perception based on hearing and accepting the lie from the tempter. This is not something that can be determined by simply LOOKING at the tree. This is something that had to be suggested by a third party and accepted as true.
It introduces the "arrogance of life" philosophy to Eve and suggests that she can be as good as or better than God.

 

Verse 4

1. saying, where is the promise of His coming: It should be obvious that they are not asking FOR a promise but are scoffing because they know about the promise and it has been ridiculously too long for them to give it any credibility.

2. For ever since the fathers fell asleep:

They appeal to the VERY distant past. THE fathers, even though the definite article is not present, is a standard term to refer to the Jewish forefathers (John 6:31; Acts 3:13; Rom. 9:5). This tells us a little about these mockers.

They are probably Jews and they are well aware of the promise that God will come and be the judge of the living and the dead (Psalm 96:13; 98:9). It is this that they dispute and mock.

3. all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation:

Since the promise that God would judge mankind is associated with the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus as the "purported" Messiah (Acts 10:42; 17:31;, in their mocking they even dismiss the relevancy of His birth, by claiming that everything is the same since the beginning of creation. They totally skip over the historical fact that Jesus of Nazareth claimed to be the Messiah.

 

2 Peter 3:5-18

Orientation to God's past dealings with the earth.

1. For when they maintain this: This is a present active participle of the verb, thelo, which means to want, wish, desire, will, resolve, hold as an intent or purpose. Thus, our English MAINTAIN.

The present participle is temporal and functions as an adverb modifying the word ESCAPE. It is saying that while they desire, will or resolve themselves to THIS (course of action), it does not change the fact that they have missed truth. Accordingly, I translate this as, "for while maintaining this (attitude) . . ."

2. It escapes them: the verb is lanthano as a present active indicative, and means that someone has failed to see the significance of something. The translation in the NASB expresses this idea with the translation, "it escapes their notice." In this case, they have either ignored or never been taught the truths that Peter is about to declare. It seems more likely that they KNOW about these things, but are unable to see how they apply to the contentions they are making.

3. The earth has been destroyed before, and this refutes the scoffers who claim no changes and no fulfillment of God's promises.

A. Not only was the earth destroyed and replenished, but its now secure and stable because of the power of God's word.

1. The heavens: reference to the original creation of Gen. 1:1.
2. existed: eimi as an imperfect indicative = were.
3. long ago (ekpalai): context indicates the original creation.

4. by the word of God: the mechanics of the original creation.
Hebrews 11:3, worlds (aion) prepared by the word of God.
(Aion is sometimes used for the physical universe: Heb. 1:3
Prepared: is katartidzo (aorist pas. indicative) which means to be EQUIPPED. The worlds were EQUIPPED, decked out with all their various characteristics. Ie, all the details of the creation, as in "all its fullness," (Psalm 24:1).

5. And: kai - introduces a new and separate focus than the original creation.
6. the earth: a specific reference to Genesis 1:2
7. Was formed: perfect active participle from sunistāmi, which means to be placed or stationed (with) together.
Thus the idea of a physical creation and organization.

8. out from water: preposition, ek, to indicate the prior state before the actual habitable environment existed. Genesis 1:2, the surface of the deep and the surface of the waters.

9. And through water: preposition, dia, to indicate a massive amount of water that was incorporated in the formation. Probably a reference to the canopy of water (Gen. 1:6-7), the seas (Gen. 1:10), and the water in the "fountains of the deep," which we see at Genesis 7:11.

B. 1656 years after Adam, that physical world (antediluvian), was destroyed in the flood of Genesis 6-8.
2 Peter 3:6

1. through which: plural relative pronoun. This is a reference to all the water that was just mentioned in those 3 places.

2. the world at that time: The days of Noah as Jesus put it at Matthew 24:37.

3. was destroyed: aorist middle indicative of apollumi.

4. Being flooded with water: katakludzo as an aorist passive participle. This incorporated the waters from above and below as at Genesis 7:11, as well as the obvious contribution from the water that was already there.

C. The mockers of verse 4 are thus exposed as being ignorant of several items.

1. God's word created the universe.
2. God destroyed the world by a flood.
3. God's word is maintaining the present universe
4. God is moving His plan toward a future judgment of both the universe and all unbelievers.

5. So in view of their ignorance, their skepticism is understandable, but not excusable.

6. And they have no business commenting on Divine timing, purpose and policy when they are ignorant and unreceptive to the reality of His sovereignty and power.

 

2 Peter 3:7-9 Orientation to divine timing concerning the future:

A. While the earth has been judged before, the solar system (heavens) in which the earth exists has not.

B. The post-diluvian earth is our current one (verse 7), and is held in its current status by the power of God's word.
This "new" earth is governed by DIFFERENT SCIENTIFIC LAWS.

1. The earth exists in a new ecological environment. It is no longer filled with water as it once was, for most of the water remained on the surface after the flood.

2. Instead, the earth is filled with fire which causes a gas build up that applies pressures on the earth's outer crust.

3. The gas build up and the heat is currently attacking the earth's surface causing volcanoes and earthquakes that threaten to break or blow the planet to pieces.

4. But God's power is holding everything together in the person of Jesus Christ (Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3) until the perfect time in His plan.

C. That perfect timing in God's plan will be in connection with the great white throne judgment of Revelation 20:11-15 (2 Pet. 3:7).

1. The present heavens and earth: establishes without question the subject.

2. by the same word: The word of God of verse 5, which is actually the pre incarnate (before He became a man) Messiah (John 1:3; Hebrews 1:2, 10; Col. 1:16; 1 Cor. 8:6).

3. is being reserved: thāsauridzo, as a perfect passive participle plus the present indicative of eimi (the "to be" verb) indicates that they are in the status of having an appointment that cannot be broken except by the one who made it (God). The word means to treasure something, or more specifically, to carefully guard something. God is not TREASURING or STORING anything, but He is most certainly CAREFULLY preserving the world, as though it was very valuable and needed special protection.

4. for fire: locative case of the indirect object to indicate the nature of the appointment.

5. being kept: This is a present passive participle of tāreo, to indicate the means by which the appointment will be kept.

6. unto the day of judgment: the preposition eis, indicates the time when this appointment will be fulfilled. It is at the time of the day of judgment.

7. And the destruction: the word apoleia refers to the spiritual ruin that occurs when a person is thrown into the lake of fire. This word does not mean destruction as in "annihilation." But rather, the destruction of QUALITY of life so that one's existence is now characterized by pain and misery (Rev. 14:10-11). This is the second death, the lake of fire, Rev. 20:14-15.

8. of un-worshipping men: The word is asebes, which is an adjective that describes someone as NOT bending the knee as an expression of worship. Thus, the idea of rebellion against God or "ungodly."
This refers to someone who has never trusted in the Messianic promise that God sent the the Savior to pay for sins, and whoever trusts in Him receives forgiveness of sins, and everlasting life with God (John 3:16; Acts 26:18).

D. See Topic: The Renovation of the Universe

E. Man, using human viewpoint is not aware of God's time table and that 1000 years to humanity is nothing to God - it is like a day (2 Peter 3:8).

F. Another reason for the delay is that millions of unbelievers will die in the second advent judgments (trumpets and bowls), and at the end of millennium. But this is not what God really wants to happen. (2 Peter 3:9).

1. God is not slow about His promise: this counters the impatience and accusations of the mockers.

2. As some evaluate slowness: This refers to human viewpoint that does not consider the wisdom and love of God.

3. But he is patient: This is a present active indicative of makrothumeo, which means to be long (makro) before one expresses the negative passion of anger (thumos).

4. Toward you: This is a generic use of YOU, to refer to all unbelievers in general.

5. Not willing: this is a present middle participle of boulomai, which means to desire or have intent. The negative in front of the verb indicates that God DOES WANT all people to respond to Him in a positive way. This provides a very interesting contrast with the rebellious attitude of the mockers that we saw at verse 5, who WILLINGLY MAINTAIN their mocking. God on the other hand is NOT WILLING that these mockers or any other unbeliever should perish.

6. For anyone to perish: the verb is apollumi as an aorist active infinitive, and refers to the last judgment that was mentioned at verse 7. Paul writes of God at 1 Timothy 2:3, that He "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."
Accordingly, God will do everything within HIS POWER, to bring about His desire, except that He cannot and will not make anyone THINK what they do not want to think. That means that God always honors the free will of every person so that "whoever wants" can be saved (Rev. 22:17).

7. but for all to come to repentance: the noun, metanoia refers to a change of mind, which must take place for anyone to trust in Christ as Savior. Repentance and faith are ALMOST the same thing, but not quite.

a. Repentance is the change of mind that LEADS to faith, but is not identical to faith. Mark 1:15 summarizes the message of Jesus, "repent and believe in the gospel." And Paul's summary of his own ministry explains it perfectly at Acts 20:21, "testifying to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ."

b. The verb, come, is choreo as an aorist active infinitive, and means to have room for. In this case, the issue is having room in your soul for a change of mind toward God.

 

2 Peter 3:10 This describes the destruction of the present earth and its solar system.

A. The day of the Lord: The period of time that begins at the return of Jesus in the clouds of the sky (Joel 2:30-31; Mat. 24:29-30) at some unknown time (Mat. 24:44) after the midpoint of Daniel's 70th week (2 Thes. 2:1-3). It is announced through the signs in the sun, moon and stars (Joel 2:30-31; Mat.24:29; Rev.6:12-17), which is portrayed at the 6th seal, and is characterized by God's judgment upon the unbelieving world and the kingdom of the beast via the trumpet and bowl judgments of the book of The Revelation in preparation for the Messiah's 1000-year reign upon the earth.

B. Will come like a thief: this is the image first taught by Jesus at Matthew 24:43-44, and found with Paul at 1 Thes. 5:2, which would be Peter's frame of reference (2 Peter 3:15-16). It communicates unexpectedness, but within a certain context.

1. Jesus talks about not knowing "what hour of the night" the thief would come, and in the context of his teachings clarified that we can know when the season (summer) for His coming is near, but we cannot know the day or hour (Matthew 24:32-36). Later, the book of The Revelation records, "Behold, I am coming like a thief," (Rev. 16:15).

2. The "season" for the return of Jesus is when the man of lawlessness is reigning and administrating his wrath and Satan's wrath toward God and God's people during the tribulation (Matthew 24:9-29; 2 Thes. 2:1-4; Rev. 12:7-12).

C. in which: this is the preposition, en + the instrumental case, to indicate mechanics = by means of.

1. It could also be rendered, "in the sphere of" by viewing the word as in the locative case.

2. However, I suggest that because of verse 12, which reads, "THROUGH which" (the day of God), and is very clearly a MECHANICS issue, that the case of the noun here at verse 10 was intended to be instrumental.

3. Thus, this is saying that by means of or because of or through - - the day of the Lord, the heavens and earth are going to be destroyed.

4. This is probably what is referenced at Revelation 20:11, as occurring in association with the last judgment.
For it says, "And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. The image of "fleeing away" communicates a disappearance, which is what happens when the fire of God's power LOOSES (destroys) them.

D. the heavens: the same heavens mentioned at verse 7, that are being kept for the day of judgment.

E. shall pass away: the verb is parerchomai as a future middle indicative to indicate a yet future event to take place at the time that Jesus sits on the great white throne (Rev. 20:11).

F. with a great noise: roidzedon means a loud wind or a rush of wings. Here and at verse 12, we are told that this occurs through an act of burning that will melt the very physical elements that are the foundation for the structure of the universe. The great noise is simply the audible side to the destruction, but indicates a suddenness and force that would cause a loud wind-like noise.

G. and the elements: stoicheia refers to something that is the foundational essence of something. Colossians 1:17 tells us the Jesus Christ holds all things together, and that would include these foundational elements of the universe that will be destroyed by Him as well.

H. will be destroyed: this is luo as a future passive indicative which means to be loosed (let go). Rev. 20:11, says that they FLEE from the face of Jesus. This would be the effect of the intense heat producing a great noise and sending the physical elements off into nothingness.

I. with intense heat: the Greek has only one word. It is a present passive participle of kausoo, which means to consume something with HEAT. The participle is instrumental to indicate the means by which the loosing takes place, and should read, by being heated, to reflect the passive voice. At verse 12, it reads "melt" by being heated, using the very same participle.

J. And the earth: the specific planet earth, in contrast with the heavenly spheres of the universe.

K. And its works: the Greek word is ergon and refers to something that someone accomplishes or produces. The WORKS of the earth refers to everything and everyone on it. But since "everyone" is dealt with on a different level (spiritual judgment), this should probably be seen as referring just to all the physical things on the planet.

L. will be discovered: The variety of manuscript evidence here for different readings is because of the difficulty of this verb, which is in the oldest of those manuscripts. Since this is the most difficult to understand, it is the one that is most likely to have been altered or changed altogether. We thus accept it as original (being supported by Sinaiticus, B, K, P and a few minuscules). The majority reading has the verb, "shall be burned," and this poses no problem for the interpretation at all. But again, this is what the verb "discovered" would be more likely changed to, rather than the other way around.

What then is the meaning of this verb, "discovered," in this context? The verb is heurisko as a future passive indicative. In the active voice, it basically means to find or to discover. In the passive voice, the idea is to be found, found out, discovered, exposed. This then is what will happen when the justice of God destroys the physical earth so that all of its physical weakness will be exposed which includes all the distortions and effects of the curse. The idea is as expressed at Hebrews 12:27, "the removal of those things that CAN BE SHAKEN." Thus, they are exposed and discovered as "able to be shaken," and will thus be destroyed.

M. This judgment on the physical universe is too complete to be connected with the trumpet or bowl judgments that do damage to the actual earth and various heavenly spheres. Furthermore, verse 7 makes it clear that this is talking about the destruction that occurs in connection with the last judgment.

 

2 Peter 3:11

The reality of this future activity by God should elicit from the believer a specific grace attitude and action.

A. Since: this word comes from the concessive use of the participle (destroyed) and communicates that the nature of the case should promote the attitude that the earth and its production are temporal and not of eternal value (Heb.12:27).

B. all these things: reference to the physical world and the physically inadequate things of that world, including the manifestation of sin through both man and fallen angels.

C. are to be destroyed in this way: the verb is luo as a present passive participle (concessive participle, which is the basis for the translation - since.) All the temporal things will be discovered (exposed) as temporal and of no eternal value. And since the believer who understands this, will then change his viewpoint toward all the "physical" and "material" things of this world, and will instead, focus more consistently on promoting the things of God.

D. What sort of people ought you to be: this is an interrogative adjective of quality PLUS the obligatory particle, dei (it is necessary - followed by an infinitive) PLUS the verb huparcho as a present active infinitive (which means to exist), with YOU as the subject. Thus, the CT = "of what quality it is necessary for you to be existing . ."

Peter brought this out in his first letter without an "end times" focus (1 Peter 2:11 - 3:8), but the Christian life is to be lived the same no matter what time a person may live in.

E. In holy conduct: this is the preposition, EN, to indicate the sphere of character that the believer should be living within. the adjective, HOLY, describes a quality of life that is unique because it reflects the character of God (love and righteousness).
See 1 Peter 1:15-16, "You shall be holy for I am holy."
The word conduct is anastrophe and refers basically to one's way of life which should reflect God's righteousness.

F. And godliness: the word is eusebeia, which means good worship. It reflects the attitude and action that recognizes God as the creator and the source of every thing we need for our life here on earth. It is thus, living under the umbrella and NAME of Christ, and refers to anything that would be "distinctively" Christian.

 

2 Peter 3:12

A. looking for: The verb is prosdokao, which means to expectantly anticipate o look forward to something, and is used only here with the return of Jesus as the object. It occurs as a present active participle, which communicates an ongoing, continuous attitude of looking FORWARD to the arrival of Jesus. This is not a word for imminence, but for anticipation. CT = "expectantly anticipating," or simply, "looking forward to."

B. And hastening: This verb is speudo, which means to be zealous about something, to exert oneself, be industrious and to strive for. Since there is nothing that the believer can do to HURRY the return of Jesus, as it will come in the Father's own perfect timing (1 Timothy 6:15), this means to be diligent in living in view of and promoting the return of Jesus. It means to promote and ADVANCE the influence of God's plan in the world around you. As believers remain in fellowship with God and function effectively as ambassadors for Christ, they are actively involved with ADVANCING the progress of God's plan in the world, as that plan moves ever closer to the arrival of Jesus. This verb is also a present active participle to indicate continuous activity so that we have, "and diligently advancing."

C. the coming of the day of God: the word, coming, is parousia, which means to be (or exist) beside or AT THE SIDE of something or someone. This word is used 13 times in the epistles and every time refers to the ONE and only second coming of Jesus for His church. And in that connection, it is described as a visible, physical presence of Jesus in the sky with GLORY. This word also occurs four times in Matthew 24 to refer to the very same second coming as an unexpected event (any day or hour) within the context of the SEASON of the tribulation (Matthew 24:3, 27, 37, 39).

D. The day of God: This is the only place this term occurs, and it is clearly used as a synonym for the day of the Lord in verse 10. This can be stated because of the context in each verse, which is the destruction of the universe.

E. There is another term that is used only 3 times and only in Philippians. It is The day of Christ, which occurs at Phil. 1:6; 1:10; and 2:16. It also refers to the very same parousia of Jesus in the clouds of the sky, when He will gather together all the Christians.

F. Because of which: this is the preposition, dia Plus the accusative case of the relative pronoun (which), and indicates the cause or means by which something occurs. It is this construction that convinces me that the case with EN at verse 10 should be viewed as instrumental (by means of which).

G. the heavens: The physical universe outside the earthly atmosphere.

H. will be destroyed: this is the verb LUO again, as a future passive indicative, which means either to "let loose" or destroy, but both ideas communicate the ENDING of the present physical state.

I. by burning: this is the verb puroo as a present middle participle, and means to be burned by fire. Whereas, kausoo, which occurs next and in verse 10, means to be consumed by HEAT. There is no significant difference except that the FIRE is directed against the universe, and the HEAT is directed against the foundational elements.

J. and the elements: stoicheia, as above in verse 10, the foundational elements of the physical universe.

K. will melt: the verb tako, means to melt or dissolve. It occurs as a future passive indicative and indicates a cessation of existence.

L. by intense heat: The repeat of the verb, kausoo as a present passive participle, to indicate a total dissolution of the foundational structure of the physical universe so that nothing is left. As mentioned earlier, this is exactly what the language at Revelation 20:11 indicates, when we see that the physical universe "fled" from the face of Jesus and "there was no place found for them," which indicates that they were no more.

 

THE CREATION OF THE NEW UNIVERSE

A. 2 Peter 3:13

1. But (now): de = mild transition = now.
But it does provide a contrast between the destruction and God's plan for "eternity" afterwards.

2. According to his promise: reference to Isaiah 65:11 and 66:22, which looks directly to Messiah's kingdom on earth, but has application to the new earth created after the Great White Throne judgment.

3. We are looking: prosdokao as a present active indicative means to be expecting and anticipating. The functional believer is occupied with the character and plan of God so that he is "excited" about the advance of that plan. Of course, for the church, that promise will be realized when we receive resurrection bodies. Our expectation is for that according to Romans 8:18-25.

4. New heavens and earth: that which follows the destruction already described by Peter. But the new universe begins for the children of God with the new PHYSICAL creation through resurrection at the rapture.

5. In which righteousness dwells: no unrighteousness, no darkness viewpoint and influence; no sin, no evil, etc.

a. This is anticipated during the Millennial earth in Palestine through the righteous reign of Christ.

b. But it is not fully realized until after the Great White throne.

B. It is best to view this as taking place after the Great White Throne, for it is not until then that all enemies are put under Christ's feet and every tongue acknowledges His sovereignty (1 Cor. 15:24-28).

C. Thus, the process of destroying the old includes the removal of all unbelievers from God's presence and their placement in the lake of fire at the Great White throne. Rev.20:11-15; 2Thes. 1:9

D. The creation of the new begins with a completed resurrection program prior to the destruction of the universe. ICor. 15:23-24

E. It is completed after the Great White Throne in two stages.

1. Creation of the new physical universe
2. Establishment of the eternal authority structure according to I Corinthians 15:28

F. The way of life of the new is described at Revelation 21:1-8.

 

EXHORTATION TO RIGHTEOUS LIVING: 2 Peter 3:14-16

Verse 14

1. Therefore beloved: conclusion based on faith anticipation of God's fulfillment of his promises

2. Since we look: prosdokao (present active participle), since we are expectantly anticipating God's fulfillment of his plan. But for us, the fulfillment of that plan begins with the rapture.

3. for these things: second advent events

a. From his coming for us as a thief at the rapture, verse 10
b. To the establishment of the Messiah's kingdom
c. To the creation of the new universe, verse 13.

4. Be diligent: spoudadzo (aorist active imperative) means to make every effort; to be diligent in promoting something. This is a word for dedication to spiritual value via growth and fellowship and then application as we saw at verse 12.

5. To be found by Him: heurisko (aorist passive infinitive) discovered when he appears.

6. In peace: eirānā means the absence of enmity. The emphasis is on the reality of the abundant life. It is usually associated with joy and both together result in maximum confidence and inner stability.

7. spotless and blameless: these two words indicate the basis for experiencing the peace of God in our soul.

a. aspilos: No human viewpoint pollution (content accuracy)

b. amōmātos - No compromise in character or behavior.
This is a Testimony and service issue. (irreproachable).

8. Spotless:

A. James 1:27, unspotted by the world is a reference to being influenced by human viewpoint from the sin nature.

B. 1 Timothy 6:14, keep the commandment without stain (used with a word that indicates character consistency in the testimony of life and word. The word is, anepilāmptos, which also occurs at I Tim. 3:2 and 5:7.

C. spotless corresponds with purity of viewpoint indicated by the word unmixed at Philip. 2:15 and Rom. 16:19 (Also at Philip. 2:15, the only other occurrence of amōmātos is used to indicate consistency in testimony as at 2 Peter 3:14.

 

9. Blameless: in the sense of irreproachable in testimony.
There are five words which all mean basically the same thing.

A. anepilāmptos, which we saw above.
B. amōmātos: which occurs here and at Philippians 2:15
C. aproskopos: 3 times, Phil. 1:10; 1 Cor. 10:32; Acts 24:16
D. anegklātos: 4 times and means beyond accusation. 1 Timothy 3:10; Titus 1:6-7; Colossians 1:22-23;
(I Corinthians 1:8, refers to the believers status in union with Christ and not quality of life here on earth.)

E. And, amomos: which occurs 7 times.

When Christ appears He will find a minimum amount of divine viewpoint being proclaimed. The question is asked at Luke 18:8, "However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find THE faith on the earth?" This applies to both the number of believers as well as the number of functional believers (those who are being expectant and diligent in promoting the truths of Christianity). This recognizes that there will be a maximum amount of failure in both preparation and application.

But the exhortation is still given so that living believers might be confident and not shrink away from Him in shame at His presence (1 John 2:28).

Preparation for the WORSE possibility of pressure, is accomplished through spiritual growth (2 Peter 3:18).
This is the only means for preparation once a person joins the family of God through faith in Christ. And it is possible for the believer to be "carried away by the error of unprincipled men," and to "fall from your own position of strength," (2 Peter 3:17).

 

Verse 15a

1. And regard: this is the verb, hāgeomai as an aorist middle imperative, which exhorts the believer to a mental application of the truths he has learned. It means to add up the facts and come to an assured conviction concerning the conclusion.

2. The patience of our Lord: the noun, makrothumia means to be long in anger, which is the idea of controlling one's anger, and thus patience in emotional pressures. The word can refer to man's patience or God's patience, and how it is used here depends on one's understanding of the word, salvation.

The word salvation, can be taken to refer to the unbeliever's salvation from the penalty of sin, or to the believer's deliverance from failure during his Christian experience.

Peter is writing to believers. Since everyone who has ever trusted in Christ as Savior is eternally secure, the "salvation" that Paul has in mind cannot refer to the "salvation" of the believers.

If the word "salvation" refers to eternal salvation from the penalty for sin, then it can only be referring to the salvation of unbelievers. In that case, the exhortation to "us" as believers would be that we are to understand that the patience of God in DELAYING the second advent, is in order to give that final generation as much time as possible to not perish, "but to come to repentance" (verse 9).

This is consistent with what Paul taught at Romans 2:4,

"Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness
and forbearance and patience, not knowing that
the kindness of God leads you to repentance?"

Paul mentions this same "patience" of God at 1 Timothy 1:16 in reference to his own salvation.

"And yet for this reason I found mercy, in order that in me as the foremost,
Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience,
as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. "

This would serve, then, NOT as a warning, but as an encouragement while we WAIT, not knowing when Jesus will return, but knowing that however long God's plan is delayed, it will result in more salvation opportunities for the unbelievers.

However, there is a strong "warning" flavor to this passage as well, that suggests serious consequences if the believer fails to be "found in Him in peace, spotless and blameless." We know that those consequences cannot be loss of salvation, nor being left behind at the rapture.

It would then refer to the QUALITY of our meeting with the Lord based on whether we are in fellowship with Him at that time; that is, walking in the light or ABIDING in Him.

From this perspective, the word, salvation, should be understood as "deliverance," and it would refer to believers, and the "patience of the Lord" would refer to application of that character virtue in the face of the tribulation pressures. This application of "the patience of our Lord" results in DELIVERANCE from failure during the many and varied attacks against the Christian during his time here on earth.

Patience as demonstrated in Christ's life when he faced His own persecution pressure, provides us with an example of perfect patience in the face of the severest physical and spiritual pressures.

In fact, Peter presents Jesus this way for us in his first letter, at 1 Peter 2:21-23, where we see him as a "copybook" from which we take the "letters" and reproduce them onto the writing slate of our own soul - thus effectively imitating His character.

As we learn and apply the same character of patience in our own persecution pressures, then we will experience the deliverance that is described by Paul as vindication of character and enhanced growth.

Furthermore, we will be prepared for the arrival of Jesus at the Day of the Lord and not be caught off guard and "ashamed at His appearing" (1 John 2:28).

Paul writes about this kind of patience, using the word hupomone (endurance) at 2 Cor. 1:6,

"But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and deliverance;
or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective
in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer."

And the writer of Hebrews exhorts Christian faithfulness right up to the END - either of their earthly life, or the arrival of the Lord.

"And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as
to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, that you may
not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and
patience inherit the promises" (Heb. 6:11-12).

And James writes,

"Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord.
Behold, the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil,
being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.
You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of
the Lord is at hand" (James 5:7-8).

 

This is patience expressed specifically in reference to the possible coming of Christ in their lifetime. It refers to endurance of the persecution pressures that they were going through, and a patient waiting for Christ's arrival in the perfect timing of God.

Paul speaks of the possibility of this deliverance from within the tribulation at the arrival of Jesus when he writes to the Thessalonians at 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10.

"For after all it is {only} just for God to repay with affliction
those who afflict you, and {to give} relief to you who are
afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed
from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out
retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not
obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty
of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and
from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His
saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have
believed -for our testimony to you was believed."

 

The exhortation to faithfulness and the application of patience is because of the possibility that a believer might not be "walking in the light" at the time that Jesus arrives. In such a case, he will be "caught off guard" and will experience initial "shame" and remorse before Him at His presence. Thus we have the warning given to us by John at 1 John 2:24-29.

1 John 2:28,

"And now, little children, abide in Him,
so that when He appears,
we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him
in shame at His coming."

This does not mean that the "out of fellowship" believer will be left behind at the rapture, but simply that his initial reaction will be great shame and remorse. Later, at the justice seat of Christ where all his works as a Christian will be evaluated, he will suffer loss of reward for his times of unfaithfulness on earth. But he himself will be saved (1 Corinthians 3:10-15).

Accordingly, Peter exhorts us to growth preparation so that we might not be deceived and fall from our own stability (2 Peter 3:17-18).

Peter's exhortation is in a second coming context, and therefore ultimately refers to believers who would be alive during the persecutions from the beast in the great tribulation, and who would see the arrival of the day of the Lord.

The bible speaks of two types of preparation for this arrival of the Day of the Lord.

SALVATION PREPARATION: This refers to those who have trusted in Christ as savior and thus are secure in the family of God. Paul refers to them at 1Thessalonians 5:4,

"But you brethren are not IN darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief."

In other words, because of their "positional" union with Christ, they are IN THE LIGHT (Ephesians 5:8) and are called at verse 5, "sons of light and of day." Accordingly, when the "day" arrives, it will not be "sudden destruction" for those who are believers in Jesus.

See doctrinal development of SALVATION SECURITY.

However, if the believer is not "walking in the light" then he will be "caught off guard" when Jesus returns and will experience initial "shame" and remorse before Him at His presence. Thus, the need for experiential preparation.

EXPERIENTIAL PREPARATION refers to being "in fellowship" with God; being a believer who is actively pursuing the things of God; who is "walking in the light" as a growing and productive believer and has no sin in his life.
See Topic: FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD

If the believer fails to maintain fellowship consistency, he will be vulnerable to deception from false teachers (2 Peter 3:17) and from materialism lust (Luke 21:34-36).

At Luke 21:34-36, Jesus warns the believers,

"Be on guard, that your hearts may not be weighted down with carousing and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day come on you suddenly like a trap; for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. But keep on the alert at all times, praying in order that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."

1. Strength to escape: refers to endurance during the specific time of tribulation which will begin at the midpoint of the 70th week.

2. And to stand before the Son of Man: refers to "not shrinking away from Him in shame at His appearing," as we saw at 1 John 2:28. The emphasis, in view of the amplification in the New Testament, is that the believer can stand before the Son either -

IN FELLOWSHIP with God (abiding in Him) and have initial great joy (Jude verse 24). Or the believer can stand before the Son

OUT OF FELLOWSHIP with God and experience great shame and remorse.

Paul gives similar warnings to the church at 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11.
At 1 Thessalonians 5:6-11, Paul continues by exhorting the believers to "reflect" their "positional" union with Christ "IN THE LIGHT" by living the Christian life not as those who are "asleep" and in darkness.

The exhortation through all the New Testament is that the believer should be living like a child of God and not like a child of the darkness. This of course, takes growth and consistent volitional decisions to apply the word of God to every area of your life. However, if the believer fails to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" he will fail to experience the true joy and peace of the Christian life as well as fail to serve God as a faithful ambassador for Christ. In such a condition, that believer will be "walking in darkness," not abiding in Him, and not only will he be living an experience of frustration and unhappiness, but he will be unprepared for the events of the tribulation and the arrival of Jesus.

It may seem strange that believers could become so distracted during the time of the tribulation, but the warnings are clear enough to indicate that it is a very real possibility. Various circumstances have caused very strong believers to become so depressed and disillusioned that they choose to live OUTSIDE of their Christianity. Such is the possibility during this time of future persecution.

Another point of confusion is trying to understand how a believer who would be living within the midst of vivid fulfilled prophecy, and specifically, that which points to the imminent return of Jesus, could possibly choose to not live for Christ.

And the last item of question is, how might there be any kind of environment that would allow ANYONE, let alone a Christian, to live a life of occupation with the details of life while the beast would have such rigid economic controls in force.

The fact remains that the warnings indicate that it is possible, and whether we can UNDERSTAND the HOW of it at the present time or not, we must accept it and remind ourselves and others to be constantly diligent, just as Peter warns us in this letter.

Verse 15b

Just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote to you.

This comment effectively credits divine wisdom to Paul, and therefore, inspiration to His writings. The next verse develops it even further by assigning the title, SCRIPTURE to His writings.

Verse 16

"as also in all {his} letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as {they do} also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction."

1. hard to understand is the adjective, dusnoātos, which comes from the verb, noeo, which means to think (about) or understand; plus DUS, (hard or slow) and thus indicates something that is detailed or complicated and requires diligent concentration.

Peter is not saying that HE has trouble understanding Paul, but simply that there are some things in general, that are difficult to comprehend.

It requires a large scriptural frame of reference to understand Paul's writings, and because of that, it is easy for ignorant believers to distort them. The ones who would have a tendency to do this are -

A. the untaught: The noun is amatheis, and indicates that these have failed to function as a LEARNER or disciple. The result is that they have no knowledge of God's character and plan and can only distort it as they try to understand it and/or relate it to others.

B. and the unstable: the adjective is astāriktos, and only occurs here and at verse 2:14. It comes from the verb, stāridzo, which means to strengthen or stabilize, and thus to support.
The negative "a" in front of it indicates the opposite of strength and stability, and indicates that the person has no character stability, with the result that he functions totally from the perspective of his own emotional weakness. If he operates in the arena of "religious" Christianity, then he will be attempting to support his views and practices by distorting the written word of God.

2. Those who are thus unable to properly correlate either Paul's writings or the rest of the Scriptures will DISTORT God's word according to their own viewpoints and desires. The verb here is strebloo as a present active indicative to indicate the reality of this problem. Whether it is someone who is seeking to control others or just someone who has his own personal belief system, in order to support their views, they must distort the written revelation that God has provided for us. Regardless of the imagined or real difficulty in understanding some passages, it is the believer's responsibility to seek to understand all that God has provided for us in His word. Paul consistently expressed this idea as he wrote so often, "I desire that you not be unknowing."

3. unto (producing) their own destruction: the noun is apoleia, and indicates a total ruin of normal life purpose. This word can refer to experiential ruin as they live here on earth in frustration and misery; or it can refer to eternal judgment in the lake of fire.

Peter is writing about the experiential results of their failure to learn and use the truths of God's written revelation. That destruction was already described at chapter 2:20-22 where Peter indicates that the LATER end of the believer's life, who fails to maintain growth and fellowship, is actually WORSE than when they were an unbeliever.

In other words, EXPERIENTIALLY, they would have been better off if they had never become a Christian in the first place.

 

SPIRITUAL GROWTH
2 Peter 3:17-18

Exhortation to protection through growth in order to recognize and reject the error of false teachers.
Verse 17

1. You therefore, beloved: oun (therefore) introduces a course of action based on the previously given information. The adjective beloved (agapātos) indicates that Peter is addressing believers.

2. knowing this beforehand: the verb is proginosko as a present active participle to indicate possession of information that will motivate them to protect themselves from being vulnerable to false teachers.

3. be on your guard: the verb is phulasso as a present middle imperative, and indicates a CONSTANT or CONTINUOUS activity. This is not something that is done just one time and then you are COVERED. It is a continuous activity of learning God's word that guards the soul from the many and varied forms of false teaching that is out there.

The MECHANICS of being on guard is described at verse 18 with the command, "grow" as a present active imperative.

4. lest: this is a negative purpose clause (hina plus me) to indicate the purpose and result of being guarded. The reality of being guarded through knowledge of truth provides protection from being deceived by false doctrine and/or teachers.

5. being carried away: the verb is sunapago as an aorist passive participle. This is a triple compound verb composed of (1) the preposition, sun = with, and (2) the preposition, apo = from, and (3) the verb, ago = lead. The combination of the prepositions indicates first an association WITH the false teachers, and a departing AWAY FROM the truth. The passive voice of the verb, ago, indicates the idea of BEING LED, and thus carried, which communicates an influence upon the soul that causes this to happen, rather than an ACTIVE expression from one's own consciousness. It thus communicates DECEIT by others rather than intentional distortion by the believer.

6. by the error: the noun is planā which refers to the content of false doctrine. It is contrary to truth.

7. of unprincipled men: the adjective is athesmos, another word used only by Peter - here and at verse 2:7. There, it clearly refers to those who have no moral standards and seek only the gratification of self. Here, the focus is more on those who have no "religious" standards that seek the benefit of others, but once again, only the fulfillment of their own selfish agendas.

8. you fall: The verb is ekpipto as an aorist active subjunctive, which completes the negative purpose clause and indicates that proper preparation SHOULD protect the believer from falling AWAY FROM (preposition, ek) his own spiritual stability.

9. from your own steadfastness: the noun is stārigmos comes from the verb stāridzo, which indicates support that stabilizes the soul.

That stability depends on knowledge and application of God's character and plan. If these standards become undermined in ANY WAY, then the possibility for falling away from stability exists. Such a falling away would then result in a variety of expressions - anything from the compromising of vital doctrinal standards (encumbrances of Hebrews 12:1) to the actual entanglement with sin (the sin of Heb. 12:1).

Verse 18

Peter gives the mechanics for being on guard against false teachers that would attack the doctrinal and functional stability of the believer.

1. but grow: this is a present active imperative of auzano, which in this context refers to SPIRITUAL growth, that is, the learning and assimilation of divine viewpoint (1 Peter 2:1-2).

2. in the grace: This refers to the principle and practice of grace.

Grace is the expression of God's LOVE that DOES for others what they cannot do for themselves, without requiring merit or payment, but freely and without strings attached. Grace then also relates to how we perceive the gifts that we have from God, and how we perceive ourselves from the perspective of God.

As we learn more about what God's grace IS and DID, we are then able to apply the same THINKING in our lives as we deal with people. Love and grace are the key factors in how we reflect God's character in our Christian life and glorify Him.

3. and knowledge: the word gnosis, focuses on DATA or FACTS. It refers to all the facts, principles and promises that are communicated to us through God's revelation. Throughout the history of the human race, these standards of divine viewpoint were taught both by direct revelation through the prophets and apostles, and by written documents. For us today, the KNOWLEDGE content that we are to learn for spiritual growth is found ONLY in the written revelation comprised of the 66 books of the Bible. There is no direct revelation from God today, for all that we need to know and all that God wants us to know has been previously revealed and preserved in the bible.

4. of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: Both the standards of grace and the content of divine viewpoint revolves around the person and work of Jesus the Messiah. He is the embodiment of all divine knowledge and character, and He is our example in application of grace and truth in every area of life.

See Topic: Spiritual growth

5. To Him {be} the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

The final statement of praise recognizes that Jesus Christ is the one around Whom the plan of God revolves, and the very same glory that is ascribed to God the Father is to be ascribed to Christ.

 
 

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İRon Wallace, http://www.biblefragrances.com. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it,
but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's consent.

 

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