2 Peter 3:3-4 In the last days, scoffers will come – scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say: Where is this ‘coming’ He promised? Our fathers have been laid to rest, but still everything goes on as it always has done.
This is a question posed by sceptics, put so as to ridicule, by those who have not entered into the experience of believing in and trusting the Lord Jesus.
We Christian believers may well ask; Why does Jesus delay His Return? We await His coming and sometimes get impatient. But we can be confident that this delay is not due to some kind of mix up. God is sovereign; when everything that needs to be accomplished before His Return, is done – then He will come.
2 Peter 3:5-7 When they say this, they forget that God created the universe and the first civilisation on earth was destroyed by a great flood. Scripture says that the present heavens and earth are reserved for burning, until the Day of judgement, when the godless will be destroyed.
Atheists, evolutionists and just simply apathetic people, deny or ignore the obvious fact that something does not come out of nothing; there has to be a Creator.
The reality of the Flood is proved by the geological record and ancient writings.
2 Peter 3:8-9 Dear friends, do not forget; in the Lord’s sight, 1 day is like 1000 years. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promises, He is patient. It is not His will that any be lost, but that all should come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:10-13 The Day of the Lord will come unexpectedly. On that Day, the heavens will dissolve with a roar and flames, then the earth and all those in it will be brought to judgement. Since this will happen, you must live holy and dedicated lives, as you look forward to the renewal of the heavens and earth, where justice will be established.
This passage may allude to Revelation 21, at the end of the Millennium and is often thought to relate to the Return of Jesus, but careful study shows it is neither.
There are many prophecies about the Day of the Lord’s vengeance and wrath, yet to be fulfilled – which don’t fit this Revelation 21 scenario, or the Return, therefore what Peter is prophesying about is the next event on this earth. The descriptions of the Day of the Lord, are of a soon to happen cleansing of the earth, with earthquakes and fire, which will cleanse the Holy Land and destroy His enemies. Revelation 6:12-17, Isaiah 63:1-6, Isaiah 30:26, Joel 2:1-11, Deut 32:34-43, Psalms 18:7-15, Isaiah 2:12-22.
This will enable the fulfilment of the many prophecies that say how the Lord’s faithful people will gather in all of the area Promised to their spiritual forefathers, and is the beginning of events leading up to the Return of Jesus Christ in His glory. NOW, we look forward to a renewed [cleansed] heaven and earth and the establishment of justice. In the new nation of Beulah: Isaiah 62:1-5, Isaiah35:1-10, Zechariah 8:1-13, Ezekiel 34:11-16.
2 Peter 3:17-18 So, dear friends, you have been forewarned. Take care that you do not let anyone seduce you with their errors, hold on to your faith. Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and saviour, Jesus Christ. To him be the glory, both now and for eternity! Reference: Revised English Bible. Verses abridged.
Analysis of 2 Peter 3:10 The Day of the Lord will come like a thief. On that Day, the heavens will disappear with a great rushing sound, the elements will be dissolved in flames and the earth with all that is in it will be brought to judgement.
Is this verse about the Return of Jesus? No, for the following reasons:
1/ Day of the Lord – His Return is not called that in Revelation 19 or Matthew 24.
2/ Like a thief – After the ‘abomination of desolation is placed into the 3rd Temple, we are given 3 specific time periods – 3½ years, or 42 months, or 1260 days. This will allow an exact calculation of His Return, at that time.
3/ The Heavens disappear and the elements dissolve – As He will Return ‘on the clouds”, it is rather difficult to imagine this happening at that time.
4/ All the earth judged – Jesus will destroy the armies of the Anti Christ and He will divide the remaining nations. [the sheep and goat judgement] But the final judgement of all people, alive and dead, is at the end of the Millennium.
Is it the Great white Throne judgement? To happen at the end of the Millennium period.
1/ Day of the Lord – not described as such in Revelation 20-21 or Daniel 7:9-10.
2/Like a thief– Jesus will have reigned on earth for 1000 years.
3/ The heavens will disappear with a great rushing sound – The earth and heavens flee.
4/ The elements will be dissolved in flames – Only the Lake of fire is mentioned in Rev., not a fire judgement of all mankind.
5/ The earth and all that is in it, judged – All those that are alive at that time, not the dead, as in Revelation 20:12. Note – the KJV says; the earth and all its works.
What this verse does fit, is the next prophesied event – the Day of the Lords vengeance and wrath. Isaiah 34:5, Hebrews 10:27, Malachi 4:1, Isaiah 29:5-6, Deut 32:41-43.
1/ The Day of the Lord – This is mentioned many times, always in conjunction with a terrible judgement against His enemies, by fire and sword.
2/ Like a thief – Yes, this will certainly be an unexpected event.
3/ The heavens will disappear with a great rushing sound – Paralleled by Revelation 6:14 and Isaiah 34:4 ‘the sky rolled up like a scroll’. Description of what will happen to the sky when a huge coronal mass ejection hits the earth.
4/ The elements dissolved in flames – Many prophecies say how the earth will be devastated: the land burnt clean, whole cities just heaps of white ash, etc.
5/ The earth and all those in it, judged – This Day will be a worldwide event. Isaiah 66: 15-17 The Lord is coming in fire, like a whirlwind, He will judge with fire. His sword will test mankind, many will be slain by Him.
Haggai 2:6-7 & 21-22 Y’hovah says: In a little while from now, I shall shake the heavens and the earth, I will shake all the nations, their treasure will come to Jerusalem.
Hebrews 12:26-29 [In ancient times]His voice shook the earth and now He has promised ‘Once again, I shall shake the earth and the heavens’. The words ‘once again’ point to the removal of created things, of all that is shaken, so that what cannot be shaken, may remain. The Kingdom we are given is unshakeable, let us, therefore give thanks to God for it and worship Him with reverence and awe – for our God is a devouring fire. REB