WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 27
SCRIPTURE: 2 Peter 3
Today we are going to bring this short letter to a close. I know it has been a few very busy days since we last looked at this letter. So, as just a short reminder, in chapter 2, Peter dealt with the character and conduct of the false teachers. In this final chapter he is going to expose their false teaching.
As the chapter opens, Peter says that he has written this second letter to remind his readers of the truth of God’s Word. Some of the other translations say that he was writing to stir up or stimulate their memory of God’s Word. What an interesting statement.
It is easy for us to get so accustomed to God’s Word that we get complacent about God’s Word. It is easy for us today (particularly) to be so exposed to God’s Word that we start neglecting God’s Word. So, Peter has taken on the task of giving us some important reminders that should stir us up or stimulate us to get back to the Word of God.
It seems that one of the things that the false teachers were teaching was that there wouldn’t be a “Day of the Lord” or that there wouldn’t be a time when God brought everything to a halt. Of course, if there is no ultimate time of judgment and subsequent punishment, then it doesn’t matter how you live now.
The teaching of the “Day of the Lord” and its judgment/punishment is not just a human fabrication or a New Testament phenomenon. As far back as the days of Enoch, God was warning the world of this horrific day. (Jude 14-15) Other Old Testament prophets warned of this as well: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Amos, Zephaniah, Zechariah, etc. Jesus Himself taught of this Day. And the New Testament apostles wrote to broaden our understanding of the last days.
In verse 6, Peter uses the flood of Noah’s days as proof text that God has not only brought about great destruction but would be less than holy if He did not bring even greater destruction in the days ahead.
Of course the argument of the false teachers was that since it had happened after all these years it won’t happen now. Peter’s response to that is found in verse 8. The first thing he reminds us is time is a most relative thing. To God one day and one thousand years is seen the same way. In that context, as far as God is concerned the universe is just a few days old. So, He is not late.
The fact that God has not brought this universal judgment down upon all unredeemed creation is the result of His patience not His inability or unwillingness to intervene. God has not yet fulfilled His promise of the Day of the Lord because He is patiently waiting for even more people to come to repentance (be saved). Think about this for a moment. This is huge. God is more interested in the salvation of people than He is in bringing the judgment/punishment of the Day of the Lord.
That doesn’t mean it won’t happen. God has said it will happen. It will happen. But it will happen only when He is ready.
In the meantime, Peter says at the end of this chapter, we should live a Christ like life. We should stay focused on and passionate about God’s Word. And we should continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.