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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Bible Commentary

2 Peter 3

Verses 1-18

Chapter 3

Now Peter said this second epistle,

Beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles and of the Lord and Saviour: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, who are walking after their own lusts ( 2 Peter 3:1-3 ),

So he's warned us concerning the false teachers that are going to arise. Now in the last days also there will be scoffers, and the scoffers are going to be ridiculing the idea of the coming again of Jesus Christ. They're going to be,

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 ( 2 Peter 3:4 ).

That is a very clear articulation of the theory of Uniformitarianism. The theory upon which the evolutionary theory was built. "All things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." Uniformitarianism. So that anything that is happening today or anything that has happened in history can be explained by things that are happening today. There's a uniform pattern by which things take place and have always taken place from the beginning of creation. And Uniformitarianism really denies any great cataclysmic judgments or changes. And of course, that whole concept was really shaken by Emmanuel Villakosky in his books, Worlds in Collision and Earths in Upheaval. And he gives damning evidence to prove that the whole concept of Uniformitarianism is not valid.

Peter said there will be scoffers who will say, Where is the promise of His coming? Things have just going on as they were from the beginning.

But this they are willingly ignorant of ( 2 Peter 3:5 ),

In other words, they had closed their mind to this truth that there has been cataclysmic catastrophes that have happened upon the earth. And one of these cataclysmic catastrophes was the great flood of Noah's time. And the great flood of Noah's time gives a far more reasonable explanation of fossils than does the concept that they were gradually laid down over several periods of eons, or geological eras, gradually depositing these various fossil forms in the various geological structures, because we have difficulty in Uniformitarianism showing any development of fossil forms today. Fossils aren't being formed on the ocean beds today. They had to be formed by some catastrophic cataclysmic upheaval in nature where suddenly a great deal of sediment was laid down quickly under pressure. Fossilize it, setting them within the sediment. You don't see it happening today.

The flood explains the fossils. But they are willingly 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: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished ( 2 Peter 3:5-6 ):

That God did bring cataclysmic judgment. That God did not stand aloof from His creation. That God did not just start things going and then step back and watched them in their evolutionary development. But that God has had an active hand in His creation and has continued to have an active hand in creation.

But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of the judgment and the perdition of ungodly men ( 2 Peter 3:7 ).

So God is going to judge the world again. Not with a flood, not with a universal flood; but the next judgment will be a fiery judgment of God upon the earth.

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 ( 2 Peter 3:8 ).

In other words, we live in time; God lives outside of time. Time is relative. God outside of time. A day is as a thousand years, a thousand years is as a day. That makes a very interesting look then at Hosea where he speaks about, and I doubt if I can find it real quick. I think it's the second chapter if I remember. Hosea speaks about in sixth chapter. "Come, and let us return to the LORD: for he is torn, he will heal us; he is smitten, he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us" ( Hosea 6:1-2 ).

This is the nation Israel and it's the voice of the remnant in the last days. "Come, let us return to the Lord, he is torn, he will heal us, he is smitten, he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us. In the third day he will raise us up and we shall live in his sight." A day is as a thousand years to the Lord. It was just about two thousand years ago that Israel ceased to exist as a nation. Now they are being revived. "After two days he will revive us." The third day lifted up. A thousand year millennial reign, the kingdom age, when Israel again becomes the center of the world. God governing from Israel. So "a day is as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day."

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise ( 2 Peter 3:9 ),

That is, the promise of the coming again of Jesus Christ.

as some men count slackness; but He's longsuffering, and He's not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance ( 2 Peter 3:9 ).

And so the only reason why God hasn't already set in motion the rapture of the church and the judgment of the world is His patience and His longsuffering, "He's not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." And so this is just time that God has given men to get right with Him.

But in the days of Noah, God said, "My Spirit will not always strive with man" ( Genesis 6:3 ). There comes a time when even the patience and the longsuffering of God has been expended. And that day of opportunity of grace is over and a person will face the awesome wrath of God. So the scoffers will say, "Where is the promise of His coming?" You know I heard that from the time I was a kid. My grandmother used to and they would scoff at the idea of the coming of Jesus Christ. The rapture of the church. God isn't slack concerning the promise to come and take us to be with Him. He's just longsuffering, "He's not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

But the day of the Lord will come [it will come] as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy manner of living or behavior and godliness ( 2 Peter 3:10-11 ),

This old world, this material world, this world of things is all going to burn. It's all going to be dissolved. If the material world is to be dissolved, what manner of persons ought we to be in our behavior and in godliness?

As we look for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, the elements shall melt with a fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for the new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness ( 2 Peter 3:12-13 ).

So this whole system is going to be dissolved. But we are looking for the new heaven, the new earth, the eternal kingdom of God.

Wherefore, beloved, seeing that you look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And just account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation ( 2 Peter 3:14-15 );

Just realize that God's waiting is only allowing more people to be saved.

even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom that was given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all of his letters, speaking in them of the things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable twist, as they do also other scriptures, to their own destruction ( 2 Peter 3:15-16 ).

There are always those who are able to take and twist the Scriptures to accommodate the things they want to do. Whenever you twist the Scriptures to accommodate the level upon which you want to live, and if you decided to live on a low level and you try now to twist the Scriptures to accommodate that level, you are twisting them to your own destruction.

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. But [in contrast] grow in grace, and in the knowledge ( 2 Peter 3:17-18 )

Going back now to chapter one, the whole idea was the knowledge of God, the knowledge of Jesus our Lord. So "grow in grace, and in the knowledge"

of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen ( 2 Peter 3:18 ).

Next week we start the first epistle of John. There are three reasons, four reasons why John wrote this epistle. I want you to find all four. There are six places where John points to Jesus as our example, "As He," "Even is He." I want you to find all six. There are seven false professions that man makes. "If a man says." "If a man say." I want you to find all seven. There are eight places whereby John tells us how we know what we know. "Hereby we perceive." "Hereby we know." I want you to find how you know what you know. False professions men make; Jesus our example; and the reasons why John wrote the epistle. So you would have to study it carefully to find out these things. I hope you have to read it at least twenty times to get them. Okay, you got those things now?

All right, the reasons why he wrote it. He tells you. "These things write we unto you." And he tells you why he writes them. And then he talks about Jesus, "As He," or "Even as He." Six examples of Christ where He is our example. Seven places where people make false professions, A man says one thing, he's doing another. And then how we know what we know. For extra credit, he uses the word "know" I think thirty-nine times. If you go in the Greek I think forty-one, but translated "know" thirty-nine times. However, there are two Greek words: one is "ginosko", which is to know by experience.

I may say to you "that stove plate is hot". How do I know? I got a blister on my finger. I "ginosko". I know by experience. I may say, "I know I'm right". How do you know you're right? I just feel it. That's knowledge by intuition. That's another Greek word, "eido". I know a lot of things spiritually by intuition or the Holy Spirit has put the knowledge in my heart. I haven't yet experienced it but I know it because of the intuition of the Holy Spirit within my heart, other things I know by experience. We know that we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren. I've experienced this transformation and it's proved by my love for the brethren.

Now without knowing Greek, figure out in its context whether it's the Greek word "ginosko", knowledge by experience or "eido", knowledge by spiritual intuition or by the Holy Spirit. You'll find that that will be an extremely fascinating study. I would be curious as to how many of them you get right. I would say that you'll get a lot more right than what you think. As you have to think it out, though. If you think it out, you can see. Oh yeah, yeah, that's right. It's sort of like a driver's license test; it just takes some just common sense, stopping and figuring it out.

So that's extra credit. First John, we'll get started with it next week. Don't guarantee how far we'll go. We'll just get started. But I can promise you some very fascinating things are going to happen in your life as you study this book. I'll tell you the things that are going to happen next week.

May the Lord bless you and cause you to grow in grace and in knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May you increase in your understanding and knowledge of Him. May you be freed from that power of darkness, the corruption that is in the world through lust. And may you grow up in Him in all things, and strengthened. And may you increase day by day in His richness, in His love, in His grace, in His word. In Jesus' name. "

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Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3". "Smith's Bible Commentary". 2014.