2 Peter 3:1-13

Purpose of This Letter

1 This is now, 1beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am 2stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder,
2 that you should 3remember the words spoken beforehand by 4the holy prophets and 5the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.

The Coming Day of the Lord

3 6Know this first of all, that 7in the last days 8mockers will come with their mocking, 9following after their own lusts,
4 and saying, "10Where is the promise of His 11coming? For ever since * the fathers 12fell asleep, all continues just as it was 13from the beginning of creation."
5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that 14by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was 15formed out of water and by water,
6 through which 16the world at that time was 17destroyed, being flooded with water.
7 But by His word 18the present heavens and earth are being reserved for 19fire, kept for 20the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, 21beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and 22a thousand years like one day.
9 23The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but 24is patient toward you, 25not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

A New Heaven and Earth

10 But 26the day of the Lord 27will come like a thief, in which 28the heavens 29will pass away with a roar and the 30elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and 31the earth and its works will be burned up.
11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
12 32looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which 33the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the 34elements will melt with intense heat!
13 But according to His 35promise we are looking for 36new heavens and a new earth, 37in which righteousness dwells.

Images for 2 Peter 3:1-13

2 Peter 3:1-13 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 2 PETER 3

In this chapter the apostle makes mention of the end and design of his writing this second epistle; foretells that there would be scoffers at the coming of Christ in the last days; describes the coming of Christ and the burning of the world; and closes with the use saints should make of these things. The end of his writing both this and the former epistle was to put the persons he writes unto in mind of the doctrines and ordinances of the Gospel, delivered by the prophets and apostles, 2Pe 3:1,2; and then, agreeably to what the prophets had said, he predicts that there would be scoffers in the last day; who are described by their sinful course of life, and by their words, what they would say concerning the coming of Christ, and their reasoning about it, 2Pe 3:3,4; which arose from their ignorance of the creation of the heavens and the earth, and of the situation of them; and is refuted by showing that things have not remained as they were from the creation; that the earth standing in and out of the water, as it was capable of being overflowed with a flood, so it perished by one; and that the present heavens and earth are reserved and prepared for a general burning at the day of judgment, in which wicked men will be destroyed, 2Pe 3:5-7; but let these men scoff as they will, the length of time since the promise of Christ's coming was made should be no objection with the saints to the performance of it; since the longest term of time is nothing with God, however considerable it may be with men, 2Pe 3:8; besides, the reason of the coming of Christ being deferred, is not owing to any dilatoriness in the performance of the promise, but to the longsuffering of God towards his elect, being unwilling that anyone of them should be lost, but that all should be brought to repentance, 2Pe 3:9; but as for the coming of Christ, that is certain, and will be sudden; at which time will be the general conflagration, which is described in a very awful manner, 2Pe 3:10-12; and the use to be made of such a tremendous dispensation by the saints is to live a holy and godly conversation, 2Pe 3:11; to be eagerly looking for the coming of Christ, 2Pe 3:12, and to expect, according to his promise, new heavens and a new earth, in which will dwell righteous persons, 2Pe 3:13; and to be diligent to be found in peace at that day, 2Pe 3:14; and to account the longsuffering of God salvation; and the whole of this account, and the use of it, is strengthened by the testimony of the Apostle Paul, of whom, and of his epistles, a character is given, 2Pe 3:15,16; and the epistle is concluded with some cautions and exhortations to the saints, to beware lest they should be carried away with the errors of wicked men, and so fall from any degree of steadfastness in the faith; and to be concerned for a growth in grace, and in the knowledge of Christ Jesus, to whom glory is to be ascribed for ever and ever, 2Pe 3:17,18.

2 Peter 3:1-13 In-Context

1 This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder,
2 that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.
3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts,
4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation."
5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water,
6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.
7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.
9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.
11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!
13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,
15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you,
16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.
17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness,

Cross References 37

  • 1. 1 Peter 2:11; 2 Pet 3:8, 14, 17
  • 2. 2 Peter 1:13
  • 3. Jude 17
  • 4. Luke 1:70; Acts 3:21; Ephesians 3:5
  • 5. Galatians 6:2; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Peter 2:21
  • 6. 2 Peter 1:20
  • 7. 1 Timothy 4:1; Hebrews 1:2
  • 8. Jude 18
  • 9. 2 Peter 2:10
  • 10. Isaiah 5:19; Jeremiah 17:15; Ezekiel 11:3; Ezekiel 12:22, 27; Malachi 2:17; Matthew 24:48
  • 11. 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 2 Peter 3:12
  • 12. Acts 7:60
  • 13. Mark 10:6
  • 14. Genesis 1:6, 9; Hebrews 11:3
  • 15. Psalms 24:2; Psalms 136:6
  • 16. 2 Peter 2:5
  • 17. Genesis 7:11, 12, 21
  • 18. 2 Peter 3:10, 12
  • 19. Isaiah 66:15; Daniel 7:9; 2 Thessalonians 1:7; Hebrews 12:29
  • 20. Matthew 10:15; 1 Corinthians 3:13; Jude 7
  • 21. 2 Peter 3:1
  • 22. Psalms 90:4
  • 23. Habakkuk 2:3; Romans 13:11; Hebrews 10:37
  • 24. Romans 2:4; Revelation 2:21
  • 25. 1 Timothy 2:4; Revelation 2:21
  • 26. 1 Corinthians 1:8
  • 27. Matthew 24:43; Luke 12:39; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; Revelation 3:3; Revelation 16:15
  • 28. Isaiah 34:4; 2 Peter 3:7, 12
  • 29. Matthew 24:35; Revelation 21:1
  • 30. Isaiah 24:19; Micah 1:4
  • 31. 2 Peter 3:7
  • 32. 1 Corinthians 1:7
  • 33. 2 Peter 3:7, 10
  • 34. Isaiah 24:19; Isaiah 34:4; Micah 1:4
  • 35. Isaiah 65:17; Isaiah 66:22
  • 36. Romans 8:21; Revelation 21:1
  • 37. Isaiah 60:21; Isaiah 65:25; Revelation 21:27

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Or "they are willfully ignorant of this fact, that"
  • [b]. Lit "the works in it"
  • [c]. Two early mss read "discovered"
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