CONFIDENCE OF CHRIST’S RETURN
(a) Mockery in the Last Days
Peter reminds his readers the purpose of his writing to them; “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.” , his first reason is to remind them of the words of the ancient prophets and then to recall the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ, so as to motivate wholesome beliefs among them.
“First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come…..following their own evil desires.” . He warns that there will be those that ridicule the teachings of the scriptures, the promise of Christ’s return and the judgment to follow. They fail to understand or appreciate that God’s Word is sure and that His timing is not the same as our human scheduling. “But they deliberately forget” ; to put more correctly is to say that their failure to understand is more of a premeditated action on their part, since by God’s Word heaven, earth and the waters were created, destroyed by the water, and that same Word now preserves the present heavens and earth for the time of His judgment upon ungodly mankind .
(b) Manifestation of the Day of the Lord
He emphasizes one important fact that we must remember, “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.” . God views time in comparison to eternity so time is relative to Him, unlike us who can only understand time as experienced on the human level; so we cannot compare God’s time to what we think it should be, for His time is to our benefit. “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.” .
We cannot be presumptuous of God’s delay in His judgment but must understand that as it was prior to the flood , He will not delay forever and His day of judgment will be unexpected by those who will not believe for “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.” .
(c) Maturity in View of the Day of the Lord
In view of the fact that God’s judgment is a certainty and the earth as we know it today will be totally destroyed, believers in Christ must “live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God” since this is what is expected of us as we anticipate His promise; “But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.” . We are called to “make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” , as we contemplate that God’s patience is for our salvation.
We are also cautioned to “be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.”, a reference to the false teaching that he has warned us of; and the best way to accomplish this is to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” .