2 Peter 3
The Results of True Faith 3:1-18
True Faith Waits with Patience (3:1-9)
Peter tells them plainly that the writings of the prophets and the commandments of the Lord as taught by the Apostles were to be the basis for their theology…and that they should always be mindful of them, and obedient to them. These writings should serve as the final and absolute standard to evaluate all other teachings.
He tells his readers that in the last days there would be those who would question their teaching (“mockers”-means to delude, to deceive)...in particular, he mentions the teachings of the Apostles concerning the return of Christ. These “mockers” say that much time has passed and He has not yet returned. It would seem that by appealing to this fact…they are trying to use it to discredit the rest of the teachings of Peter. As if they were saying, “The Apostles have taught that Jesus would return soon…but He still has not. If we can’t trust the Apostles with this most basic of teachings…how can we trust them with anything else?” Peter tells them that because of their limited understanding of the truth…they are only seeing things from an earthly perspective. He talks about how long the earth has been here in the first place (:5-7) and that time is not a limiting factor with God. Then he says that to God, a day is like a thousand years (:8)…meaning that in His estimation it is just a mere moment. The reason for the delay of the return of Christ is that God is being patient...there are still some to be saved (:9). So, since God is patient, we need to be patient as well, and not place man-made restraints on God. In His time, His schedule…God will bring all things to pass that He has said He will do.
True Faith Lives in Anticipation (3:10-13)
When the Lord does return, it will be like when a thief comes. Peter directs our attention to three aspects of His return.
- It will be at a time when He is unexpected. He is not going to announce ahead of time the exact day of His return.
- His return will be quick…when it begins, it will not be a long, drawn out event.
- When He does return…there will be no doubt because of the decisiveness and finality of His judgment.
With this realization…their focus should not be on the day of His return, but on the judgment that will take place when He returns. That should make them carefully consider how they are living. Not just occasionally…but continuously…every day, until He comes.
True Faith Protects with Diligence (3:14-18)
Peter says that these teachings of his are in keeping with what Paul wrote. The two of them are in agreement…and that should add an additional element of confirmation to them.
Peter warns them to be careful to not be deceived by the false teachings that these men have brought. Now that he has revealed their error to them and given them such a decisive warning…they should more careful than ever to keep close watch over their lives.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord...that You have given us Your Word and we can clearly know the truth. Please give me discernment that I may be able to understand what You have taught us. Help me to be able to communicate Your truth to others so that they too may grow in their understanding of You.