2 Peter 3

Greetings!    Jesus said He would return, and He will.  Everything in this present earth will end then and all will be judged.  But He didn’t give a specific time.  There were some general comments made, but Christians often look foolish when trying to predict exactly when he’ll return.  So far they have been 100% wrong 100% of the time.   But that doesn’t mean He won’t return.  God is very patient, and that is good for us.  Sometimes we wish God would remove all evil, but as Greg Koukl from Stand to Reason asks, if God removed all evil from the planet at midnight tonight, where would you be at 12:01 AM?  If He eliminate every element of evil then we’d all be gone. 

2 Peter 3 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

This is a great promise of God: “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”   

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.

When Peter refers to a “new Heaven and a new earth,” I don’t think he means this planet will be blown up and a new earth created.  If that were the case, Satan would have won because God would have had to destroy his creation.  I think God will make over the present earth and this is where the final Heaven will be. 

So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

Note that Peter’s last recorded words were a warning to be on our guard against false teaching and a blessing to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus.  As Peter notes, “To him be glory both now and forever!  Amen.”   

Please share any comments or questions you have. 

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10 Responses

  1. How does one know if he has been repentant enough? Are some people evil even when they don’t act upon evil thoughts and thus destined for eternal hell?

  2. Hi Hombre – That is a good question. To repent is to turn from our sinful ways and turn towards God. The Bible teaches that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and that leaves us spiritually dead. But God shows his own love for us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 3:23 and 5:8). Those destined for Hell are those who haven’t put their faith in Jesus and accepted what He did on their behalf. He is the only one who could pay the price for all our sins. God loves to forgive.

    Thinking evil things can indeed be sinful, though just being tempted doesn’t mean you have sinned in that case.

    Hope that helps and wasn’t too long of an answer!

  3. I understand God forgives but there has to be some limit as to how much he can take from one person. Are some peoples hearts so impure that even if they accept Jesus Christ as their lord and savior it means nothing? Even if they don’t do anything immorally wrong in a physical sense, can their heart simply be so evil and impure so as to prevent their soul from accepting Christ even if they have “gone through the motions” of receiving Christ? The lasat question is what I’m trying to ask. Does that make sense?

  4. God is in control and he is all knowing. That is why we must let him be the one who avenges and not us. If I have learned anything from the scriptures it is that people matter to God and he wishes them to matter to us. We must get off our duffs and live a life that glorifies him so that more will want to accept him as saviour. I happen to live in the Mississippi Gulf Coast area. We were the hardest hit when Katrina came through. Thousands are still homeless (praise God our house is now livable though it is far from being completely rebuilt) and many of these people are ready to hear about Christ. Can I say I am glad Katrina devastated my home? No! I can, however, see how it has caused many people to rethink their spirituality and turn to or back to God. Our God is a loving God. As you so aptly pointed out many want to pinpoint when Christ is coming back but that is not what we as Christians need to do. We need to be spreading the message of love and redemption to our fellow men. We have the answers. I hope God tarries so that I can tell many more people about him. We must be about Our Father’s business with a true sense of urgency to spare souls. God bless you and this site.

  5. Hombre…Gods Word says that when we ask forgiveness that He throws them “As far as the East is to the West.” They are gone, my friend. Yes, we should try to live a life as close to Christs’ as possible but God does not hold forgiven sins against us. If you lied yesterday and God forgave you upon your repentence and asking for forgiveness then today if you say,”Dear God I am sorry that I have lied again” He would say,”My dear child what do you mean again?” Hombre God loves you and if you were truly remorseful he will forgive you. You and I may be filled with guilt from past sins but I assure you that the scriptures say that God does not. We just have to keep trying to walk in his footsteps and pray that we become strong enough to overcome our sinful lives. God bless you my friend.

  6. Pamela, well said.
    Hombre, the short answer is, no, there is no heart so evil that God can’t forgive it. He is infinitely gracious and merciful. Jesus paid the penalty for every sin of every person. If someone with an evil heart sincerely turns to God he will be accepted.

    Are you familiar with the story of the Lost Son? It shows how God will accept and forgive even those who mocked and rejected him. As long as they turn back to God He is waiting for them.

    There is a concept in Christianity known as the unforgivable sin. It is a little fuzzy to me, but the Bible lists it as blaspheming the Holy Spirit (Luke 12:10). Other than that, no particular thought or deed is unforgivable and no amount of sins are unforgivable. As a rule of thumb, if you are worried if you have blasphemed the Holy Spirit then you haven’t done it, otherwise you wouldn’t care.

    Also think about the criminal on the cross who put his trust in Jesus . He probably never read the Old Testament and the New Testament hadn’t even been written. He obviously did something worthy of the death penalty, so he was a “bad” person in that sense. Yet He has been in Heaven with Jesus for 2,000 years because He placed His trust in Jesus.

  7. Thanks for the replies. I guess what I’m asking refers more to how faith is involved when a person accepts Jesus. Is it possible for a person to “think” he/she is saved when in fact they may not be? I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m questioning my salvation and faith. What does the Bible say about that? Sorry to get off topic. Thanks very much for the wisdom and this blog. It’s really touched me.

  8. Hombre, thanks for your comments and your candor. Don’t worry about being off topic. I expect an online study to veer off into all sorts of questions and topics, just like a face-to-face study would. And this is a very important topic.

    Technically, I think it is possible for someone to think they are saved but really not be (just like people in false religions are mistaken). But I think it is wise to really think it through so we can be sure where we have placed our trust. It isn’t the amount of faith that saves us, it is the object of our faith.

    Some people might refer to Matthew 7:21-23 (“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’) However, the context of that passage is shown in verse 15, where Jesus specifically addresses it to false prophets.

    There are some assurance verses that you might want to focus on, like Philippians 1:6 (being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.) and 1 John 5:13 (I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.)

    Please check back as I’ll think about this some more and some others may have good insights as well. I know many people, myself included, have wrestled with that question. I would recommend that you pray about your concerns and just pour out your fears to God. One thing I do know is that He wants you to have confidence in a saving relationship with him and to live a full, vibrant Christian life.

  9. Neil, you mentioned Matthew 7:21-23 – I used to get really worried about that verse because everything that was mentioned, (prophesying, driving out demons, miracles) sounds very good, especially since being done in Jesus’s name. But I believe this is a tie-in with Jesus’s warning about the seed of the Pharisees – that pride can infect any human heart in any generation, before or after Jesus’s life. I know many times that I can fall prey to that and suddenly, the good news sounds pretty bad. the gospel can be corrupted to come across like, “Well, I don’t really like you very much, but perhaps I can fix you up to my standards so I CAN like you.”. Yikes! So yes, it is possible to do good works with an ungodly motive. I have to remember that I am supposed to lower the nets, not make the fish jump into the boat! God’s word connects people to God and sets them free but rooted in love fo God and others. Outreach that is rooted in Jesus’s compassion is really good news!

  10. Well If U know that its just Jesus than U can to miracles like him. If U have the faith U can move mountains…But yeah it won’t work if in your heart Ui think it cann’t work. If U have the lord in your Heart, even If your a evil person, God will forgive U & U will be saved & go Up. No 1 is damm & goes to helll. Even the ones that aren’t saved will have a time where they can chosce to go to heavn or hell. Hopefully they will make the right choose. U guys keep this up cause this is a go sample to everybody that goes on this site. I’m a missionary in Thailand & a Christian, soo I use the bible all the time. U guys. Don’t let the fire in your heart get put out , nor be put under a table. For the world needs ppl like U to put your canddle on the table to show light to the darkness of this world. The world right now is at this last rope & we ppl need to be the samples that Jesus Need Us to be. For it will just get hard. But if We look to Jesus we will run the race like it was nothing. GBYs U & keep up the good Work.

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