The Book of II PETER
James J. Barker
THE HEAVENS AND EARTH SHALL PASS AWAY
- We saw last
time that just as the Lord intervened in history before, He will surely do it
- Just as the
Lord visited this world in judgment before (the destruction of Sodom and
Gomorrah, and the flood in Noah's day -- 2:4-9; 3:3-7), He will surely judge
this world again (3:7).
- In fact, the
judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the flood that God sent in Noah's day are
both mentioned by our Lord in reference to His second coming (cf. Luke
- Second Peter
3:10 tells us that "the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the
elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are
therein shall be burned up."
- Our Lord said,
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Matt. 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke
- Isaiah 65:17
says, "For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall
not be remembered, nor come into mind."
- Isaiah 66:22
also says God will make new heavens and a new earth.
- Revelation 21:1
says, "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the
first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea" (cf. II Peter
- We do not know
how much time we have left, but the Bible teaches we are to be busy winning
souls while we can.
- Our Lord said in John 9:4, "I must work the works of him
that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can
GOD IS PATIENT WITH SINNERS
- Second Peter
3:9 says the Lord is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should
come to repentance" (cf. Ezek. 18:23, 32; 33:11).
- This is one of
God's divine attributes -- His patience and longsuffering (3:9).
- Nahum 1:3 says,
"The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the
wicked." The LORD will not at
all acquit the wicked, but He gives the wicked time to repent because the LORD
is gracious, and patient, and longsuffering.
- Psalm 145:8
says, "The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great
- Numbers 14:18
says, "The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and
transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the
fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth
- The LORD by no
means clears the guilty, but He gives the guilty time to repent, because "the
LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and
- First Timothy
2:4 says, "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of
- Second Peter
3:8 says, "that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand
years as one day."
- God is not
limited to time the way you and I are. God is eternal. God is timeless. God does not dwell in the sphere of time
the way we do.
- God does not think in terms of yesterday, today, and
tomorrow; past, present, and future, and so on, because God is
- Psalm 90:4 says, "For a thousand years in thy sight are
but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the
- And in II Peter 3:8, "But, beloved, be not ignorant of
this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a
thousand years as one day."
- Therefore, by God's reckoning, our Lord has only been
gone about two days. God has His
own schedule and He is always right on time.
- Regarding the first coming of Christ, Galatians 4:4
says, "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his
- Likewise, at God's appointed time, our Lord will
- Hosea 6:2 is very interesting. It says, "After two days will he revive
us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his
- Some believe that if a day with the Lord is as a
thousand years, and a thousand years as one day, then Hosea 6:2 is teaching that
our Lord will return after about 2,000 years.
- Furthermore, if we take the genealogies in Scripture
literally, this world is about 6,000 years old. According to Scripture, our Lord rested
on the seventh day.
- Genesis 2:2, 3 says, "And on the seventh day God ended
his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work
which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because
that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made."
- Therefore if a day with the Lord is as a thousand years,
and a thousand years as one day, then after six days our Lord is going to usher
in His millennial kingdom -- one thousand years of peace and rest on
- All of this is interesting, but there are two things
that are very clear: one is that our Lord will return "as a thief in the night"
(II Peter 3:10), i.e., unexpected.
- First Thessalonians 5:2 says, "For yourselves know
perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night."
- Our Lord said in Revelation 3:3, "If therefore thou
shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and
thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee."
- And He said in Revelation 16:15, "Behold, I come as a
thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his
garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame."
- So there are two things that are very clear: one is that
our Lord will return "as a thief in the night" (II Peter 3:10), i.e.,
- Secondly, our Lord is giving sinners time to repent (II
- The Lord gave sinners time to repent back in the days of
Noah (I Peter 3:20), and He is giving sinners time to repent today (II Peter
THIS EARTH WILL SOON PASS AWAY
- It is sad to
hear worldly people talk about "Mother Earth" and "global warming" and all of
this foolish talk. After
record-breaking cold weather all over the world, liberals now prefer to use the
term "climate change."
- Well, "climate
change" has been around a long time.
We call it summer, autumn, winter, and spring!
- There is a
place for environmentalism, but many radical environmentalists are crazy.
Some environmentalists are trying to put a limit on how much toilet
paper we can use.
- Many of them
are heathenistic and idolatrous.
Some proudly admit they are pagans.
Romans 1:25 says men have worshipped and served the creature more than
the Creator. That is a good
description of some of these bug-worshiping, tree-hugging environmental
- I am glad we
have laws against air and water pollution.
In some foreign countries the air is so bad it is hard to breathe. And the water is filthy.
- However, some
of these radical environmentalists have gone way too far. They are opposed to drilling for oil, so
we are dependent upon foreign oil, which is very expensive.
- We should take
care of our planet, but we should be more concerned with getting people saved.
- Colossians 3:2
says, "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." People grasp for material things, and
soon these things will all go up in smoke.
- Furthermore, we
should understand that God is going to judge this wicked world and blow it up
(II Peter 3:7-10).
- This world will not blow up because some crackpot
dictator blows up an atomic bomb and starts a major world war. This world will end when God moves
in judgment (3:7).
- Soon the day of man will end in judgment. The Bible
calls this judgment "the day of the Lord" (3:10). Man has brought much sin and misery, and
so God must judge sinners for their unbelief.
- The term "the day of the Lord" usually has reference to
events surrounding the second coming of Christ. Joel 2:31, 32 says, "The sun shall be
turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day
of the LORD come. And it shall come
to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered:
for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said,
and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call."
- As I said earlier, our Lord often described His second
coming as like a thief coming unexpectedly in the night (II Peter 3:10; cf.
THESE PROPHECIES OUGHT TO MOTIVATE US TO HOLINESS
AND GODLINESS (3:11).
- Second Peter
3:11 isn't really a question. It is
a statement. It is an
- It reminds us
of what Peter said in his first epistle: "But as he which hath called you is
holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation" (I Peter
- In both these
Scriptures, "conversation" refers to our conduct (cf. II Peter
- We have here an
important contrast. The false teachers referred to in II Peter 2 did not teach
holiness and godliness. In fact,
they taught the very opposite (cf. 2:13, 14).
- The idea here
in II Peter 3:11 is that we should be separated from all evil. We should be living our lives in a way
that is pleasing to God.
- And we should
be winning souls, for soon there will be no time left to warn
- According to
the Bible, there is coming a day, and it could be very soon, when the heavens
and earth shall be set on fire and "shall melt with fervent heat" (II Peter
- I read that
when the USA dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, the temperature at the center
of the blast was officially estimated at 60 million degrees centigrade (over 127
million degrees Fahrenheit).
- This is 10,000
times hotter than the temperature of the surface of the
- And yet, it
will be far worse when God sets this world on
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