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Bible Commentaries

Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament

2 Peter 3

Verses 1-9



1. .. “In which I stir up your pure mind in remembrance.” We are born into the world with the carnal mind, transmitted from Satan through Adam. In regeneration this carnal mind is conquered and grace given to hold it in subjugation, till it is utterly destroyed in sanctification, leaving in you nothing but the “pure mind” of Christ. The Greek eilikrinee, “pure,” is from eilee, a sunbeam, and krinoo, to judge. Hence it is a wonderfully strong adjective, describing the mind imparted by Christ in the gracious economy. It simply means a mind or heart so pure, that when illuminated by the infallible Sun of Righteousness, the omniscient eye of God discovers no impurity in it. Oh, how grandly does the Holy Ghost preach Christian perfection!

2. In this valedictory of the senior Apostle, he importunately reminds the saints of their momentous responsibility to hold pertinaciously the words spoken by the holy Apostles and prophets.

3. “Knowing this primarily that in the last days mockers in scoffing will come forth, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For since our fathers fell asleep, all things remain as from the beginning of creation.” We are living amid the fulfillment of the prophecies. Many preachers are now mocking and scoffing at the idea of the Lord’s near coming. They stand in the popular pulpits and preach evolution (which is really the Ingersoll infidelity), proclaiming to the people that the world is growing better, whereas the Bible says, “Wicked men and seducers,” i. e., the world, will wax worse and worse even to the end.

5, 6. Here Peter confirms his argument on the world’s deterioration and divine intervention by reference to the antediluvians who waxed worse and worse, till the flood swept them away. While God’s true people progress in wisdom anti-holiness, Satan’s people make similar progress in knowledge and wickedness. As the antediluvian world increased in wickedness till the flood, so the post-diluvian ages will progress in wickedness till the Lord comes. These pulpit evolutionists and progressionists, whose name is legion at the present day, are leading the people into practical infidelity by ignoring the divine administration and substituting the human. The trend of this preaching is to obscure the epochs of conversion, sanctification and the Lord’s personal return to the earth, thus taking all epochs out of Christian experience, and running into gradualism, i. e., humanism. Rest assured, when you leave out the epochs you eliminate God and run into infidelity.

7. “But now the heavens and the earth have been preserved by the same Word, kept for fire in the day of judgment, and to the destruction of ungodly men.” Thus you see Peter proves the future epochs by the past. As the earth was baptized with water when converted to God in Noah’s day, so it is to be sanctified by fire, preparatory of its final restitution and celestialization at the end of time.

8. “But let this not escape your memory, beloved, that one day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” This brings us the clear revelation that God’s millennial day is a thousand years. Scoffing infidels bring up geology to refute the Mosaic history of creation, as they construe, in six twenty-four hour days. The fact that the sun did not appear till the fourth day does away with the hypothesis of there having been solar days. As here we learn that God’s day is a thousand years, applying the schedule to creation, we have ample time for the geological period discovered by scientists. Many authorities certify to an error of one hundred years in Bishop Usher’s chronology, thus winding up the sixth thousandth year with the present century. Regardless of the chronological disparity, we are certainly rapidly approaching the end of Satan’s week, full of toil, sin, suffering and calamity, and denominated “night” (Romans 13:12), in contradistinction to the bright day of Eden, which preceded it, and the glorious millennial day destined to follow it.

Oh, glory to God, for the swift retreat of Satan’s long, dark night, and the glorious dawn of God’s long prayed-for millennial day.

9. Matthew 16:28 affirms the probability of our Lord’s return before the death of the living generation, involving a human contingency which did intervene, postponing the advent. Perhaps He has been waiting these centuries to give time for the accumulation of a sufficient number of charter members to organize His kingdom. It is certainly a great mercy to all who are disposed to appreciate a place in the bridehood for Him to delay till we wash and put on our white robes and get ready to meet Him.

Verses 10-16



10. Remember God’s day is a thousand years. The Lord comes as a thief, receives His bride, inaugurates the millennium and reigns a thousand years, as related by John. After the millennium, as described by John (Revelation 20:0), the final resurrection and judgment transpire. Meanwhile the cremation of the earth will take place, i. e., its sanctification by fire, putting an end to the temporal and probationary state on the earth. This final and thorough cremation of the earth will exterminate all the effects of sin, superinducing a final and complete expurgation of this entire world from all the maladies and contaminations of sin, consuming the oceans and seas and melting the frozen poles.

11. “Therefore these things being dissolved, what part does it behoove us to be in holy deportment and godliness.” Certainly these relations constitute the greatest possible incentives to a holy experience and life.

12. “Anticipating and expediting the coming of the day of God.” He has promised to come so soon as the “Gospel of the kingdom is preached to all nations, thus giving all a chance for the bridehood and a throne in the Coming kingdom. So we can expedite His coming by telling the nations, i. e., preaching the Gospel to all the world. “Through which the heavens,” i. e., the firmaments, being on fire, will be melted with fervent heat. The intense heat of the cremation will not only consume the ocean, but melt the mountains and deserts and dissolve the great strata of the earth, reducing the globe to a molten plate, thus preparing it for the ensuing reformation and celestialization.

13. “But we look for new heavens [i.e., new firmaments] and a new earth in which dwelleth righteousness.” This corroborates John. Revelation 21:1. Harmonizing Peter and John, we see the cremation and renovation will take place after the millennium. During the final judgment, which will occupy a period of time sufficient for the magnitudinous issues destined then to transpire. Meanwhile the great Appellate Court of the universe is moving and settling all destinies for eternity. The earth will be passing through those tremendous fiery convulsions and revolutions requisite to utterly expurgate all the debris of sin and prepare the way for complete renovation and glorious transformation into a heavenly world, for the inheritance of saints and the occupancy of glorified spirits through all eternity. “In which dwelleth righteousness.” In the new celestial world into which our earth will be transformed after its complete sanctification by the fiery baptism, there will never be any more sin nor anything contaminated by sin. Transfigured saints and glorified angels will here abide forever. Doubtless this redeemed earth will ever be a favorite among the glorified inhabitants of all celestial worlds, having universal celebrity as the battlefield of God’s empire, where his Son met the powers of hell in battle array and fought the battle of human redemption. Therefore throughout celestial ages, earth will be a favorable resort as the battlefield of God’s empire. Doubtless the bright unfallen intelligences from millions of unfallen worlds, will delight to visit the scene of the most terrible conflicts in the history of the universe.

14. “Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, hasten to be found spotless and blameless unto Him in peace.” The true attitude of saintship in all ages has been that of constant expectancy of our returning Lord. This vivid and constant outlook is the grandest conceivable inspiration to a holy experience and life. Mark the commandment, “Hasten to be found spotless and blameless,” i. e., get wholly sanctified by the precious blood and the consuming fire, utterly expurgating inbred sin out of the heart. This is the only possible way to be found “spotless and blameless.” You must first get “spotless and blameless,” and then keep so, looking out constantly for King Jesus to ride down on a cloud. Foolish people think it simply depends on their conduct. A hog can not live like a sheep. First of all, you must receive the transforming grace of God, to eliminate all of the hog nature out of you, then you can live like a sheep.

15. “Consider the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation.” Oh, how true! Salvation here means our final transfiguration at the Lord’s coming. If He had not waited long He would have found many of us without the spotless robe.

16. Peter brings in Paul’s testimony (2 Thessalonians 2:0), to corroborate his visions on the Lord’s coming, observing that they are hard to understand and, consequently, wrested by the unlearned and unestablished to their own destruction. The Bible is a spiritual book, dealing in spiritualities and not mentalities. Peter himself is pronounced an unlearned and ignorant man. Acts 4:13. Hence “unlearned and unestablished” is to be understood in a strictly spiritual sense, i. e., untaught by the Holy Ghost and unestablished in holiness.

Verses 17-18



17. “Therefore, you beloved, knowing beforehand watch, lest having been led away by the delusion of the ungodly, you may fall from your own establishment.”

18. “But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” It is much to be lamented that a subject so transcendently important as growth in grace is so little understood, involved in fogs and clouds of theological heresies, superinducing incalculable popular bewilderment, and filling our pulpits with nonsensical twaddle. While the commandment to be holy rings throughout the inspired volume, we have but this one instance of a direct literal commandment “to grow in grace.” The solution of this problem becomes easy when we consider that sanctification is the one great and indispensable condition of growth. If the farmer wants his crop to grow he must clean all the filth out of it. Then it will do its own growing. 1 Peter 5:10. We have perfection, followed by establishment, confirmation and settlement in holiness. The growth of a tree comes on after it has been transplanted, established, rooted, and settled in the soil, so the winds, instead of blowing it down, will only loosen the roots and prepare them with greater vigor to interpenetrate the deep interior and coil round the everlasting rocks, bidding defiance to howling tempests. Meanwhile the tree rises in his majesty, towering above his comrades, the monarch of the forest. In perfect harmony with these great facts, fundamental in the plan of salvation, Peter here administers this commandment, “Grow in grace,” not to the people who have the grace to grow in, but to those who have been born again, sanctified wholly and established in holiness. Now they are in fix to grow rapidly, continuously and perpetually. All this you see follows as a legitimate sequence from the statement, “Grow in grace lest ye may fall from your own steadfastness,” i. e., establishment, which Peter locates after entire sanctification. God save the preachers from misrepresenting Peter. This they do when they use this text, preaching “growth in grace”, to the unsanctified. We must first meet the conditions before we can make headway in enlargement, i. e., get regenerated, sanctified and established in holiness. Then growth will follow with ever-increasing rapidity through time and all eternity.

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Bibliographical Information
Godbey, William. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3". "Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament".