OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER
1) To be reminded that there will be scoffers of the promise of the Lord's coming
2) To review the catastrophic events to occur when the Lord returns, and the promise of new heavens and a new earth
3) To note Peter's estimation of Paul as a brother and his epistles as Scripture
4) To carefully consider the twofold admonition at the end of the epistle
In this final chapter Peter seeks to stir up his readers by reminding them to give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles of the Lord. Especially as it relates to promise of His coming, for in the last days scoffers will come who conveniently forget that the Word which tells of the judgment day by fire was also the same Word which brought about the destruction of the world by the flood. Any delay is not to be construed as slackness on the Lord's part, for time means nothing to the Lord. Rather, delay is an indication of the Lord's longsuffering, who does not want any to perish but for all to repent (1-9).
When the day of the Lord does come, it will be unexpected like a thief in the night. A mighty conflagration will dissolve the heavens and the earth with all its works. In anticipation of such things, Christians are to focus on holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening that day when God's promise will be fulfilled of new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells (10-13).
We should view the longsuffering of the Lord as opportunity for salvation, even as Paul wrote in his epistles of such things (though unlearned and unstable souls have twisted his words to their own destruction, just as they do the rest of the Scriptures). With admonitions to beware lest they fall, and to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus, Peter brings his second epistle to a close with a doxology to Christ (14-18).
I. THE SCOFFERS WILL COME (1-9)
A. REMEMBER THE WORDS SPOKEN BEFORE (1-4)
1. Peter writes this second epistle to stir up his readers by way of reminder
2. To be mindful of the prophets' words and the apostles' commandments
3. That scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts
a. Questioning the promise of the Lord's coming
b. Declaring that all things continue as they were since creation
B. REMEMBER THE WORLD WAS DESTROYED BEFORE (5-7)
1. Which the scoffers willfully forget
2. That the world once perished being flooded with water
3. The same word that brought destruction by water now promises judgment by fire
a. The heavens and the earth which now exists are reserved for fire
b. When comes the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men
C. REMEMBER THE LORD'S TIMELESSNESS AND LONGSUFFERING (8-9)
1. Do not forget that time means nothing to the Lord
a. One day is as a thousand years
b. A thousand years is as one day
2. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, but longsuffering
a. Not willing that any perish
b. But that all should repent
II. THE DAY OF THE LORD WILL COME (10-18)
A. UNEXPECTED WITH CATACLYSMIC DESTRUCTION (10-12)
1. The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night
2. The heavens and the earth be dissolved
a. The heavens will pass away with a great noise
b. The elements will melt with fervent heat
c. The earth and its works will be burned up
d. The heavens will be dissolved being on fire
3. Since all these things will be dissolved...
a. What manner of persons ought we to be in holy conduct and godliness?
b. Looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God?
B. EXPECTED BY THOSE WHO ARE LOOKING (13-18)
1. According to His promise, we look forward
a. To new heavens and a new earth
b. In which righteousness dwells
2. Looking forward to these things, we should be diligent
a. To be found by Him in peace
b. To be without spot and blameless
3. We thus consider the longsuffering of the Lord to be salvation
a. Of which the beloved brother Paul has written, according to the wisdom given him
b. In which are some things hard to understand, which the unstable and untaught twist to their own destruction
4. Knowing such things beforehand, we should beware and grow
a. Beware lest we fall from our own steadfastness, led away with the error of the wicked
b. Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
5. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER
1) What are the main points of this chapter?
- The scoffers will come (1-9)
- The day of the Lord will come (10-18)
2) How did Peter seek to stir up his readers' minds? (1-2)
- By reminding them of the words of the prophets and the commandments of the apostles
3) What would scoffers be saying in the last days? (3-4)
- "Where is the promise of His coming?"
- "For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation."
4) What do they willfully forget? (5-6)
- That by the Word of God the world was once destroyed by water
5) What does the Word of God say concerning the heavens and the earth? (7)
- They are kept in store and reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men
6) What should we be careful not to forget? (8)
- That time is meaningless to the Lord
- With the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day
7) How will the day of the Lord come? (9)
- As a thief in the night
8) What will happen when that day comes? (9)
- The heavens will pass away with a great noise
- The elements will melt with fervent heat
- The earth and the works that are in it will be burned up
9) Since all these things will be dissolved, what should we do? (11-12)
- Concern ourselves with holy conduct and godliness
- Look for and hasten the coming of the day of God
10) Again, what will happen to the heavens and the elements? (12)
- The heavens will be dissolved being on fire
- The elements will melt with fervent heat
11) Despite such an end, what do we look for according to His promise? (13)
- New heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells
12) Looking forward to such things, about what should we be diligent? (14)
- To be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless
13) How should we view the longsuffering of the Lord? (15)
14) Who else wrote about such things? How? (15-16)
- Our beloved brother Paul
- According to the wisdom given him
15) How does Peter describe the epistles of Paul? (16)
- As speaking of these things
- In which are some things hard to understand
16) What do the untaught and unstable do with such writings of Paul? (16)
- They twist them to their own destruction
17) In what category does Peter place the writings of Paul? (16)
- As part of "the Scriptures"
18) Knowing such things beforehand, what warning does Peter give his readers? (17)
- Beware lest you fall from your own steadfast, being led away with the error of the wicked
19) What final admonition does Peter give to his readers? (18)
- Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
God's promise is not slack
[2Pe 3:1-18 NASB] 1 This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior [spoken] by your apostles. 3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with [their] mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For [ever] since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation." 5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God [the] heavens existed long ago and [the] earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 8 But do not let this one [fact] escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
The day of the Lord
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. 11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord [as] salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 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. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him [be] the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.