Purpose of Writing the Epistle: 2 Peter 3:1-7.
In this chapter Peter provides comfort to Christians by explaining that justice will come soon. Peter reminds the readers the purpose of writing this letter. It was to stir up their sincere mind (2 Peter 2:2,13). He warns believers that scoffers will come in the last days (2 Peter 3:3). Christians are the beloved brothers. They are not professionals but brothers in the family of God. Their memory needs to be refreshed and thinking should be stimulated by reminding them of what prophets and apostles have already said. The scoffers would come in the last days following their own lust (1 Timothy 4:1). They pride themselves that they have special knowledge. They scoff at the hope of Christ's return. They arrogantly overlook the fact that God is the creator and judge of the world. (3:5-6). They willfully reject the fact that God judged the world with the flood and will one day judge the present world with fire. The day of the Lord is the reference to the final judgment of God. One day Christ will return and the wicked will learn that they are wrong.
False Teachers are Scoffers:2 Peter 3:8-13.
Peter warns that in the last days, scoffers will come. The “Last days” is a term that refers to a period of time from the first coming of Christ to his return. While it seems that Christ's return has been delayed a long time, it is but a moment to our God. With the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day (2 Peter 3:8). The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise but he is patient in love, giving people more time to get saved (2 Peter 3:9).
The false teachers ridicule the second coming of Christ. 2 Peter 3:3.
They follow their own sinful desire. 2 Peter 3:3.
They argue “where is the promise of His coming, everything remains same from creation. 3:4.
They deny the historical account of the universal flood. 2 Peter 3:5, 6.
They deny that this earth and heaven will be purged by fire and a new earth will emerge. 3:7.
They willingly ignore that they are standing on a fire bomb. Scientists suggest that this earth core is boiling at 12400 degree Fahrenheit and separated by a crest of 10 miles. 3:11-13.
False teachers were in direct opposition to the apostolic teaching.
They don’t understand that God is not slow to fulfill his promise but is patient towards us. 3:9
They do not know that God does not count time in the same way we count time. From God’s perspective 1000 years is just one day. He is long suffering not willing that any should perish.
God is patient towards men that they might be saved. 2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2: 4.
Christ’s return is imminent and it can happen any time. Out of the 260 chapters of the New Testament, there are about 300 references to Christ's return. That is one in every 25 verses.
Christ’s return is our blessed hope of resurrection and reign with Christ. Titus 2:13.
It is a comforting hope, we will see our dear ones who went to be with the Lord. 1 Thess 4:18.
It is our purifying hope because the return of Christ motivates us to live a holy life. 1 John 3:3
It is a challenging hope that prepares us to appear before Christ with confidence. 1 John 2:28.
It encourages us to get busy in evangelism to hasten the return of Christ. 2 Peter 3:12.
God’s Amazing Grace: 2 Peter 3:14-18.
Peter exhorts Christians to remain holy and blameless because a new world is coming. Paul the beloved brother also wrote about it with the wisdom God has given him. False teachers twist the truth to mean something quite different. So Peter warns that Christians must resist the deception of false teachers not to be carried away by errors (2 Pet 3:17). They should grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The grace that saved them will empower them to grow in Christ. The promise of Christ’s return should motivate us to grow in the grace and knowledge of him. Growing in grace and in the knowledge of Christ must go together. Christian life is not lived by an auto pilot. Sixteen times the word knowledge is used in this letter. Biblical knowledge is experiential knowledge. This gives us assurance of God’s saving grace and our sufficiency in Christ. He is our God, Christ and our Savior. Those who are born again must remain firm in their faith and appreciate what God is doing in their lives through Christ. It is a fight they cannot lose, because God has provided all they needed to live a life of godliness (2 Peter 1:3). Peter encourages believers be on guard against false teachers so that they may not fall from their steadfastness to Christ. Do you appreciate God's amazing grace!
We are saved by the grace of God. Ephesians 2:8-10.
We are empowered by this grace to serve Christ. 2 Timothy 2: 1-4; 1 Corinthians 15:10.
We are strengthened by grace in our suffering. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.
We are the stewards of God’s grace. 1 Peter 4: 10.
Grace encourages in our generous giving when giving becomes harder. 2 Corinthians 8:9.
Grace makes us strong when we are weak. 2 Corinthians 12: 10.
Grace enables us to praise God with singing. Colossians 3:16
All that we are and we have, we owe to the grace of God. 1 Corinthians 15:10.
Peter exhorts believers to remember that God shows patience for sinners to get saved (3:15). Peter draws support from Paul's writing (Romans 2: 4). False teachers twist the scripture for their own gain. Believers must be on guard against their destructive teachings. Patience is a godly virtue that we should imitate. God does not wish anyone to perish in their sin but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2: 4). God never prepares hell for people but shows patience and mercy to all to get saved. People prepare themselves for hell by their disobedience and rebellion toward God (Romans 9: 22, 23). The goodness and patience of God should lead us into repentance. Paul’s argument is that every time we condemn others and do the same thing, we condemn ourselves before God. Also when we continue to sin and do not repent, we store up the wrath for the righteous judgment of God. We should not take God’s patience for granted and reject the gospel. How thankful that God’s love never ceases, His mercies never come to an end, and they are new every morning and great is His faithfulness (Lamentations 3: 22, 23). Peter concludes his letter by giving glory and honor to Christ both now and forever. Have you received Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior? If not, why not today?