2 Peter 3

End Times!

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In 2 Peter 1, Peter asks us to grow in the knowledge of Christ while we wait for His return for His kingdom and His glory to come.

2 Peter 1:10-11. "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
11. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

Verse 16. "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty." and..

Verse 19. "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:"

Peter wanted to remind the Believers of these truths. Go back to verses 12-13. "Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
13. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle [body], to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;"

In the last chapter of John's Gospel, Jesus told Peter to feed His sheep. Peter took it to heart and here he is feeding the Lord's sheep spiritually. He states that we need to be reminded of what we already know more than we need to learn new truth.

Then, in 2 Peter 2, God tells us He will destroy the false teachers. We all know there are many false teachers in our society today. I won't go into detail on chapter 2.

I want to spend the time on 2 Peter 3. It tells us God will destroy the earth, and just when He will do that. This prophecy gives us a look into the future, both immediate and distant. It tells about the second coming of the Lord and it's affect on all creation. If we know these things, we'll be able to understand God's plan for the future and be better able to live for God in the present.

Here is both a warning of doom and a promise of blessing. Scripture promises that Jesus is coming back to earth to reign, and that will be wonderful for some, but it will be terrible for those who don't believe in Him.

2 PETER 3:1-2. "This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
[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 Savior:"

The first two verses tell us that we have to believe what the apostles and prophets wrote to understand God’s future program.

A lot of people don't want to believe what they wrote or face the fact that history is moving rapidly toward it's end. Most of the unsaved live in the present and for the present with only a vague idea that Bible prophecy will be literally fulfilled.

Christ will come back for His church, and shortly after that He'll return to rule the world from an actual throne in Jerusalem. A thousand years after that, God is going to destroy heaven and earth and replace it with a new heaven and a new earth.

The Holy Spirit revealed a lot about the end of the world to Peter. Years later, He revealed the events in more detail to the apostle John, when he wrote the book of Revelation.

The Believer’s thinking needs to be “stirred up” to keep the future in focus. "Pure minds," from verse 1, are those without hidden sin and motives, and in verse 2, we are to be mindful of the “words spoken before by the holy prophets and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior."

The Old Testament prophets wrote about His coming with glory. The New Testament apostles explained that when Christ came to die on the cross it was the prelude to His glory.

God chose when to start history and He has chosen when to close it. The world won't be destroyed by an atom bomb or hydrogen bomb, and it won't be destroyed for at least 1,007 years. Not everybody believes this. There are scoffers.

VERSES 3-7. "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
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.
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:
6: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
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."

There are people right now who laugh at you and say, as one minister from our state capitol city said, "To predict the future by Old Testament prophecy makes Christianity laughable." It just makes me shudder for that man's soul, and those he leads.

God said there would be those who didn't believe and would scoff. They will be without excuse when they are judged by God. Even before I got saved, I knew that enough of the Old testament prophecy had already come true that I was scared to death to dispute it. Evidently those who doubt it have never read the Old Testament.

People ridiculed Jeremiah and Jesus and the apostles. It will be worse in the last days, and the last days are now, the time between the first and second coming of Christ. The scoffers still deny the Lord Jesus Christ and that He is coming back in Person to judge the world. They live “walking after their own lusts” denying any future judgment.

Don't let these detractors of Christ discourage you. They're just fulfilling Bible prophecy. The worse they get, the more sure we are that God's Word is being fulfilled.

There's a question in verse 4, "Where is the promise of His coming, for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation?"

There had been doomsday prophets for several thousand years but no doom. The end of the world hadn't come. They said God hasn't intervened in nature since the creation and so we can't expect Him to do so now.

In verses 5 and 6, Peter does bring up one historical fact where God did intervene in nature and the affairs of men to punish their wickedness. It was the flood.

They knew the flood story was true, but they willingly denied it and refused to even consider it. Their willful ignorance meant that they willfully ignored it, not that they were ignorant of the facts. They admitted that God spoke the heavens and earth into being. They denied that God destroyed the wicked world of Noah’s time.

They said that things hadn't changed since the beginning of time. Evolution would require that natural conditions remain more or less the same on the earth since the beginning. It would require millions of years for a mouse to evolve into an elephant, or was it for an elephant to evolve into a mouse? The Bible records that things have not remained the same from the beginning.

It takes faith in man's word to believe evolution. It takes faith in God's Word to believe creation.

Those who deliberately ignored the evidence in Peter's day have counterparts today that ridicule the evidence of creation. There is evidence of a catastrophic flood on every continent, and yet many geologists refuse to even consider the possibility that it could have happened.

Our public schools won't even consider creation as an alternate theory to evolution. Kansas schools allowed reference to creation for two years and now have banned teaching it again. With all their wisdom, they can't explain the Bible’s statement that God spoke the world into being. To keep from seeming ignorant, they substitute their understanding of science and natural law which doesn't allow for a Supreme Being that could create or destroy a whole universe with just a "word."

Peter comments on the power of God’s word in verse 6. "whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished." God did that.

In verse 7 he flatly states that God preserved the heavens and earth at that time from total oblivion for a later judgment. That will be total destruction by fire. This will take place along with the “day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” That will be the Great White Throne Judgment after the thousand year reign of Christ. The unsaved of all time will be judged and thrown into the Lake of Fire. Then the heavens and the earth will burn up.

When the old earth and heavens are burned up, the person who has trusted Christ will be living with Christ in the perfect environment of the New Heaven and the New Earth.

VERSES 8-9. "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.
9: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

Read verse 9 again and then, if you can, tell me God isn't a loving God!

God doesn't count time like man does. Eternity is easy for Him to understand. We can't. Non-believers considered God's forbearance in destroying the world as indecision. Man is always in a hurry. When I hurry, I make mistakes. God doesn't do either one.

I got an e-mail from a lady who wanted to know why, since man had gotten so wicked, God hadn't just ended it all. I respectfully answered that I was personally glad that He had let it go this long and hadn't ended it 74 years ago.

I wouldn't have been born and would never have the opportunity to spend eternity in heaven. I said that I was glad He hadn't ended it 52 years ago, as I wasn't saved and I would have spent eternity in hell. God is still waiting for that last soul, likely a Gentile, to be saved. Then He will act.

Here are two things often misunderstand about the Lord’s delay:

First, He doesn't count time like we do. It isn't because of God's indifference or inability. It's our inability to see time as He does. We're limited by the space and time in which we exist, and He isn't. He is right on schedule to the very nano-second. What seems like a long time to us is very short to the Lord. Time is relative to the situation. Ask a kid that has to wait five minutes for his supper.

Old Testament believers had the same problem we have. Habakuk tried to explain it. Habakuk 2:3. "For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry."

The second thing, and really the greatest thing about God's time plan, is His patience and mercy. [VERSE 9] “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise as some men count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." He's still waiting for some to repent before destroying the earth with fire. He is long-suffering, but the fact remains, He is going to destroy the world.

VERSES 10-13. "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."
11: Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
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?
13: Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."

We have two entirely different days spoken of here, the "Day of the Lord" and the "Day of God." "The Day of the Lord," from verse 10, covers events that begin after the Rapture and end with the Great White Throne judgment.

"The Day of God," from verse 12, begins after the "Day of the Lord" ends. It is eternity. In the "Day of the Lord," all the earth and all the things men have made the on earth will be destroyed, along with the heavens. The “heavens” include our atmosphere and probably the planets and stars, too. If you happen to be on the space shuttle to Mars at the time, it will still affect you. It will also settle all the talk about Space Aliens.

Even though it's called a day, the "Day of the Lord" covers more than one thousand years, and “In that day” God will judge Israel, the Gentile nations, fallen angels, Satan, and all the people whose names are not found in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Also, Revelation 19:15 tells us that, because of sin among those living here on earth during the Millennial Reign of Christ, righteousness will be enforced by a “rod of iron.”

The Lord warns “Behold I am coming like a thief.” Revelation 16:15. Christ will return to earth just before the Battle of Armageddon to complete these various judgments and they will be sudden and horrible. People won't be expecting God to judge them.

In verse 11, the obvious question is, “Seeing then that all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be?”

If we are going to live eternally, we should live in obedience to God’s Word now. "Holy conversation" should be our testimony. "Godliness" is living according to God's will.

God tells us to look for the "coming of the Day of God." In light of all Christ has done for us, shouldn't we want to live for God and to look forward to eternity with Him?

"The Day of God" marks the beginning of eternity. It comes at the close of the "Day of the Lord," when all judgment has been completed and the earth and heavens are burned up with fire. "To hasten" that Day means “earnestly desiring the day of God to come."

The Old Testament prophets earnestly desired to see that day and recorded details of these events to come. Isaiah described the Millennial reign, as well as some of these judgments, in the last two chapters of his book.

2 Peter 3:14-16. "Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
15: And account that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
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."

In view of the coming judgments, I think most Believers are ready and waiting for the Lord's return. When the Lord comes, the Believers will appear at the Judgment Seat of Christ. [2 Corinthians 5:10]. [This is for Believers only, it is not the same as the Great White Throne judgment which is for non-believers only.] Our goal should be to live for Christ now so that we'll be found "without spot and without blemish."

"Account that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation" [verse 15]. That longsuffering is to allow more people to have an opportunity to get saved. Peter states that Paul, a “beloved brother" wrote the same things. [Romans 2:4.]

Verse 16 mentions things that are hard to understand. In the two epistles of Peter there are many truths which were also taught by Paul and are not easy to understand.

Peter had no use for false teachers and calls them “unlearned and unstable." They “twist” these truths and also the "the other Scriptures."

Today, some deny the Trinity by denying that Christ is the only Son of God. They deny the virgin birth of Jesus. They twist the meaning of the Word of God by adding to it or taking from it. They teach that God is so loving that He won't judge anyone for their sins and that there is no literal hell. What they believe will lead “to their own destruction."

Verses 17 and 18 are a fitting conclusion to Peter's letters to Christians.

Here he touches on the two main themes of the letter, warning and encouragement, and both are based on the reader's previous knowledge.

VERSES 17-18. "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 steadfastness. 18: But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen."

Peter warns us, that, since we know the truth, we are not to listen to the false teachers and fall away from the security of the truth. "Beware Lest ye also be led away with the error of the wicked." My dad always said to beware of those who were only close to the truth.

Verse 18 offers encouragement. “But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Don't just sit there and bask in the "Son-light"--grow!

Peter urged growth in chapter 1, and he tells us that we grow by knowing Christ as our Savior, and growth continues when we study His Word.

Peter closes with praise for his Lord and Savior. They were constant companions in the flesh for over three years. They suffered every indignity man could heap on them. According to tradition, Peter was crucified in Rome, [albeit upside down] for his testimony of Jesus shortly after writing this letter. Jesus had told him he would be crucified.

Jesus wants to be your constant companion in the
Person of the Holy Spirit.
Do you know Him as Lord and Savior today?
God may be patient but He isn't going to wait on you forever
to accept His offer of salvation.
Trust Him as your Savior today--tomorrow may be too late!


r today--tomorrow may be too late!