2 Peter 3:1-18
1 Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder),
2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior,
3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts,
4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”
5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water,
6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.
7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons 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 dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;
15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,
16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;
18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
Peter, having encountered the ramifications of a dimmed commitment to His Lord, is greatly sensitive to the dangers of the world’s distractions and deceptions. The longer there is an unfulfilled expectation, the more there may be thoughts of skepticism that threaten the ultimate experience of its promise. If there can be a question of His coming’s expediency, there can be a way allowed for the world’s enticements to prevail and dissuade from being with Him at all. Rather than dampening holiness unto Him, each moment that we continue in expectancy can be seen as His longing for our repentance and readiness for Him. There is an ultimate overall purpose in the revelation of Christ’s work in us. All of Paul’s illumination of grace and its provision of life in Christ was never meant to lead us to a state of apathy and vulnerability to the ever-present stalking of evil and wickedness. Instead, there is an opportunity in every moment of His delay to grow and flourish in the power of grace to transform us from glory to glory in His image. Away from headiness and to the side of our Savior, the anticipation of His promised coming and our standing before Him should only be growing in intensity and effect of chosen righteousness over the world’s wickedness.
To truly know Him and the abundance of life He provided for us in His sacrifice is to be increasingly separated from any influences of diminished passion for Him. Though He has secured it forever with regard to the Father’s seeing us in Him, this is yet a choice for us of acceptance or, like Peter, denial. Where it is treasured and honored, there is an assurance of eternity with Him. However, where His purchase of us with His life is allowed to be twisted into provisions for compromise, there is a perilous danger of intentionally choosing His worldly and temporal alternatives and losing His offering altogether. So much better to remain steadfast in the fire and desire of what brought us to Him in the first place – passionate and intense awareness of His love, mercy, and holy presence.