2 Peter 3:3-7

The Coming Day of the Lord

3 1Know this first of all, that 2in the last days 3mockers will come with their mocking, 4following after their own lusts,
4 and saying, "5Where is the promise of His 6coming? For ever since * the fathers 7fell asleep, all continues just as it was 8from the beginning of creation."
5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that 9by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was 10formed out of water and by water,
6 through which 11the world at that time was 12destroyed, being flooded with water.
7 But by His word 13the present heavens and earth are being reserved for 14fire, kept for 15the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

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2 Peter 3:3-7 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 3:3-7 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.

Cross References 15

  • 1. 2 Peter 1:20
  • 2. 1 Timothy 4:1; Hebrews 1:2
  • 3. Jude 18
  • 4. 2 Peter 2:10
  • 5. Isaiah 5:19; Jeremiah 17:15; Ezekiel 11:3; Ezekiel 12:22, 27; Malachi 2:17; Matthew 24:48
  • 6. 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 2 Peter 3:12
  • 7. Acts 7:60
  • 8. Mark 10:6
  • 9. Genesis 1:6, 9; Hebrews 11:3
  • 10. Psalms 24:2; Psalms 136:6
  • 11. 2 Peter 2:5
  • 12. Genesis 7:11, 12, 21
  • 13. 2 Peter 3:10, 12
  • 14. Isaiah 66:15; Daniel 7:9; 2 Thessalonians 1:7; Hebrews 12:29
  • 15. Matthew 10:15; 1 Corinthians 3:13; Jude 7

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or "they are willfully ignorant of this fact, that"