2 Peter: To God be the Glory.

18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:18)

To God be the Glory. Is this the title of a familiar and classic hymn? Is it the passionate plea in prayer by believers who seek each day to bring praise and honor to the Lord Jesus Christ? Is it the proper response to any compliment given to one who is faithfully serving the Lord?

The answer to all three questions is an unequivocal and obvious yes. How often can we recall the striking melody, by William Howard Doane (1832-1915), and singing the stirring words, by Fanny Jane Crosby (1820-1915)? Having been raised in a Lutheran Church tradition, we sang weekly a hymn entitled the Gloria Patri. The words are as follows: “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.”

My daily prayers feature an earnest plea to the LORD that I would glorify Him in my thoughts, in my speech and in my behavior. It is my desire that I not only glorify the LORD in whatever church ministry I may be involved, but also to glorify Him at my work with my co-workers and in my home with my family.

When I serve Him, and as I serve Him, whatever compliment may come my way I want my response always to be “Soli deo Gloria!” In the Latin this means “to God alone be glory.” Both now and forever.

As found in today’s text, glory (δόξα; doxa) means to praise and honor the Lord. It may also mean to speak of something as being unusually fine and deserving honor. Certainly the Lord would fit this definition as being unusually fine and deserving honor.

In speaking about the glory of God, Dr. R. C. Sproul writes, “The final sola of the Reformation is the one that sums up the point of all the others. The truth that the Reformers were most concerned to promote and what can be seen as the central theme of Scripture is soli Deo gloria — to God alone be the glory. The first question and answer of the Westminster Shorter Catechism tells us that “man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” God’s glory is the highest good and therefore is the purpose for which we were created. We were made to glorify Him, to reflect His glory and proclaim it to all creation (Isa. 43:6–7).”

“In saving His people and defeating their enemies, His glory is displayed (Ex. 14). Salvation must be sola fidesola gratia, and solus Christus — through faith alone, by grace alone, and on account of Christ alone — because to attribute redemption to our efforts in any way is to rob God of His full glory. If God and God alone is not the one who saves, then He shares His glory with creatures. But as the prophet Isaiah tells us, God will share His glory with no one (42:8). Sola Scriptura — Scripture alone is the final, infallible authority — must be the church’s confession. If any other source is placed on par with or above the Bible, then the Word of God is no better than the fallible words of creatures, and therefore the one who superintended the writing of the Bible is mocked.”

 It was fitting, therefore, for Peter to conclude his second epistle with this appropriate doxology; “To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” As these words dominated the mind, emotions and will of the Apostle Peter, may they so dominate our own. Amen! So be it!

Soli deo Gloria!


2 Peter: Growing in Grace.

17 “You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:17-18)

2 Peter 3:17-18 are the last recorded and biblical words to come from the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Peter. As I remarked in my previous blog, these verses were the foundation of a radio teaching ministry, Growing in Grace, the Lord allowed me to be a part of for over ten years in the greater northeast Indiana region.

How are believers in Christ to “take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability?” What must we do to ensure that we do not lose our firm grip upon the truth of God’s Word? What is the believer’s proactive and positive responsibility to be in order to not be carried away by false doctrine and false teachers?

The Apostle Peter provides the answer in 2 Peter 3:18. “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”

What does it mean to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? The word grow (αὐξάνετε; auxanete) is in the imperative mood. This means God gives each believer the command to grow. It is a present, active command. To grow means to increase, spread and extend. This is what God charges believers in Christ to do.

But the question arises: grow in what? Worship? Good works? Evangelism? All of these items have their place in the believer’s life. However, what God commands the believer to grow in is not primarily worship, good works or evangelism but rather in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Grace (χάριτι; chariti) means kindness, charity, and good will to others. Knowledge (γνώσει; gnosei) refers to doctrinal content. Both grace and knowledge are centered in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Believers can ensure that they will not be carried away by false teaching and false teachers if they continue to increase in their biblical knowledge of Christ and display that knowledge by being gracious to other people.

It is interesting to note that the Apostle Peter concluded his epistle with the same idea that he began this epistle. Do you recall what Peter said in 2 Peter 1:3-10?

3 “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.”

 Both passages parallel each other regarding the believer’s responsibility before God and man. What is the ultimate result of this kind of disciplined life? God is glorified. “To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”

All of the believer’s efforts to become more holy and godly, in other words to become increasingly sanctified, is so God will be glorified, honored and praised. To bring God glory is to be our focus not only in the present, but also for eternity. Why? It is because God is worthy of all glory, honor and praise.

What remains to be said but Soli deo Gloria!




2 Peter: Take Care.

17 “You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:17-18)

2 Peter 3:17-18 are the last recorded and biblical words to come from the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Peter. These verses were the foundation of a radio teaching ministry, Growing in Grace, the Lord allowed me to be a part of for over ten years in the greater northeast Indiana region. I will always look back with fondness when I remember all who were a part of that undertaking.

The word “therefore” again forms the basis of a conclusion (2 Peter 3:14). These two verses form Peter’s concluding thoughts to the believers who likely were the recipients of both of his letters (I Peter 1:1-2). They were believers who encountered persecution but also false teachers. Perhaps, the false teachers were involved in the persecution these believers experienced.

These people were “beloved” by the apostle and by God. The word beloved (ἀγαπητοί; agapetoi) has frequently occurred in 2 Peter 3 (see vs. 1, 8, 14, 15). It means the object of an individual’s affection. This affection not only comes from Peter, but most importantly from God.

Peter wants the beloved believers to know and understand something before it happens. They already know it presently but they are also to prepare their minds for it to occur in the future.

What believers are to know and understand is that they are to take care (φυλάσσεσθε; phylassesthe), guard closely and stay away from false teaching which can carry them away from the truth of God. To be carried away (συναπαχθέντες; synapachtheentes) means to be led astray, to participate in and associate with error (πλάνῃ; plane) which is misleading and deceptive belief, teaching or doctrine.

Misleading and deceptive belief, teaching or doctrine originates from lawless people. Lawless people (ἀθέσμων; athesmon) are those who refuse to submit to law or God. In other words, they reject God’s Word because they reject God (Romans 1:18-32).

The concern Peter has for believers to “take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people” is so that they will lose their own stability. To lose (ἐκπέσητε; ekpesete) means to actively forsake and fall away from stability. Stability (στηριγμοῦ; sterigmou) is a place and position of safety. It is having a firm and stable position. The believer’s stability is upon the Word of God and the teachings from and of false teachers.

As a young Bible college student, I commuted to Detroit Bible College from my home. During my drive time back home from classes, I often had the opportunity to listen to the radio program Through the Bible which featured the Bible teaching ministry of Dr. J. Vernon McGee. What a blessing!

The theme song for the program was the hymn How Firm a Foundation. This classic hymn parallels the Apostle Peter’s words in 2 Peter 3:17.

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word
What more can He say than to you He hath said
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled.

Fear not, I am with thee; oh be not dismayed
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie
My grace all sufficient shall be thy supply
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose
I will not, I will not desert to its foes
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

Soli deo Gloria!




2 Peter: Peter and Paul.

15 “And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.” (2 Peter 3:15-16)

As the Apostle Peter brings his second epistle to a conclusion. He issues a command to all believers. The command is to “count the patience of our Lord as salvation.” The specific command is to “count.” The word count (ἡγεῖσθε; hegeisthe) means to regard, to consider and to hold an opinion.

What believers in Christ are to count, regard or to consider is the patience (μακροθυμίαν; makrothymian) forbearance and longsuffering of the Lord. Peter is reminding his readers what he already spoke of in 3:9. The Lord is patient in continuing His saving work until it is complete. When the Lord completes this work that is when He will return in power, might and glory to judge the wicked.

What Peter wrote was not that different from what the Apostle Paul was writing about in his epistles to the churches. Peter refers to Paul as “our beloved brother.” He also mentions that Paul has received wisdom from God.

Peter acknowledges that some of the things Paul writes about are difficult to understand. However, Peter also acknowledges that the written works by Paul are Scripture. One of the evidences that Paul’s writings are Scripture are the attempts by false teachers to twist and diminish to their own destruction and ruination.

Dr. R. C. Sproul writes that, “Peter views Paul’s letters in the same category as the inspired, authoritative writings of the Old Testament and in harmony with Paul’s own claim to unique apostolic authority (Romans 1:1; I Corinthians 2:13; Galatians 1:1). This (2 Peter 3:15) is an important verse for showing that the apostles intended to gives us new covenant Scripture when they wrote.”

 May each believer in Christ take comfort in the harmony found in the Scriptures.

Soli deo Gloria!










2 Peter: Final Words.

Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.” (2 Peter 3:14)

2 Peter 3:14 begins the final section of the Apostle Peter’s second epistle. The apostle wrote several miscellaneous directives for the purpose of encouraging the believers to whom he wrote. The word “therefore” which begins vs.14, introduces the reader to Peter’s concluding thoughts. Of all the things the Holy Spirit could have led the apostle to write, what in fact did he write?

To begin with, Peter encouraged his beloved readers by issuing a command. He wrote, “be diligent.” This command was issued to the believers in light of the previous context which stressed the soon return of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:1-13). Peter even refers to this in the first portion of 3:14 when he wrote, “Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these.” What the believers were waiting for were the new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells (3:13).

To be diligent (σπουδάσατε; spoudasate) means to be zealous, eager to do one’s best. God calls the believer to do their best for the Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 3:23). In other words, we are to do everything for the purpose of glorifying God (I Corinthians 10:31).

Peter specifically mentions three things for which the believer should be diligent to pursue in light of the Lord’s soon return. Believers are to be without spot, blemish, and at peace.

To be without spot (ἄσπιλοι; aspoloi) means to be without fault, morally spotless and pure. It means to be without anything that would mar one’s moral character.

To be without blemish (ἀμώμητοι; amometoi) is being one who is blameless. This means being a person who is morally irreproachable.

To be at peace (εἰρήνῃ; eirene) is being a person who is free from worry. Even when life is difficult and false teachers seem to abound, the expectant believer in Christ is not anxious.

Dr. John MacArthur writes, “When Christ returns, each Christian should be found enjoying the peace of Christ, which knows no worry or fear about the day of the Lord or the judgment of Christ (cf. Phil. 4:6–7). To have this peace means that the Christian has a strong sense of assurance of his salvation and a life of obedience to Christ (cf. 1 John 4:17).  Christians should also have a spotless character and a blameless reputation. These characteristics are in graphic contrast to the false teachers (cf. 2 Pet. 2:13), but like Christ (1 Pet. 1:19).”

 Do these three characteristics sum up your life in Christ? If so, wonderful. If not, ask God to provide a new found resolve to live for His glory in this new year and decade.

Soli deo Gloria!







2 Peter: Holiness and Godliness.

11 “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:11-13)

What is to be the believer in Christ’s response to the soon return of our Lord? How are believers to live in anticipation of God’s coming judgment of the fallen world?

For some, a believer in Christ does not have to live any differently from anyone else who is not converted. The perspective seems to be that while it is a good thing to live a godly life, it is not really necessary because it’s all about going to heaven regardless of how one lives on earth.

However, the Apostle Peter stressed to believers then, and by extension to believers in Christ today, that Christians have a biblical responsibility before God, and before other people. What exactly is that responsibility?

In short, it is to live lives of holiness and godliness. Holiness (ἁγίαις; agiais) means to be set apart from sin. It is to be pure, righteous, and have superior moral qualities. If you recall from our study of I Peter, the apostle spoke of holiness in I Peter 1:13-16 when he wrote, 13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

It is the believer’s responsibility to no longer be conformed (συσχηματιζόμενοι; syschematizomenoi) or to shape one’s behavior in the passion of one’s pre-converted state or spiritual condition. God has called and commanded His children, or disciples, to be holy as He is holy (see Leviticus 11:44; 19:1-2; Matthew 5:48; Ephesians 5:1). This holy lifestyle is to be lived in light of the Lord’s return and the world’s increasing hatred of God.

Holiness is connected to godliness. Godliness (εὐσεβείαις; eusebeiais) refers to not only appropriate beliefs but also the devout practice of those beliefs. In other words, believers in Christ are to live out what they believe.

Christians are not to become so consumed with the anticipation of the Lord’s return that they lose sight of how to obediently live for the Lord’s glory in light of His soon return.

Yes, we are awaiting the new heavens and the new earth in which righteousness dwells. In the meantime, we are to live holy and godly while dwelling in this fallen and sinful world (Matthew 5:13-16).

Pray that the Lord will give you the strength to so righteously live for His glory.

Soli deo Gloria!






2 Peter: It Will Come Like a Thief.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed” (2 Peter 3:10).

One of the most popular Christian books of the 1970’s was Hal Lindsey’s “The Late, Great Planet Earth. Since then, there have been a whole host of other popular literature published regarding the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, otherwise known as the Day of the Lord. One of the most popular in the 1990’s was the Left Behind series by Dr. Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins.

The phrase Day of the Lord refers to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ in power, might and glory (Isaiah 13:9-13; Joel 1:15; 3:14; I Thessalonians 5:1-2). It is the time of God’s divine intervention and judgment upon the sinful and fallen world.

It was an expression used by OT prophets (as early as the eighth-century bc prophet Amos) to signify a time in which God actively intervenes in history, primarily for judgment. Thus “the day of the Lord” is also called “the day of the Lord’s anger” (Zephaniah 2:2).

The Day of the Lord is used in the OT not only to speak of a past judgment (Lamentations 2:22) but also to refer to future judgment (Joel 2:1–11). Ultimately, though, the term refers to climactic future judgment of the world (Joel 3:14–21; Malachi 4:5).

The Tyndale Bible Dictionary explains that, “Often, prophecy of a near-future event and an end-time prophecy are merged—the immediate judgment being a preview of the final Day of the Lord. The prophecy of Isaiah against Babylon is an example (Isaiah 13:5–10). Jesus combined events described there with other prophecies to explain his second coming (Mark 13:24–37). Another example is Joel’s prophecy of the Day of the Lord (Joel 1:15–2:11). Though the prophet initially spoke of God’s judgment on Israel by a locust plague, that judgment prompted further pronouncements about a final Day of the Lord far beyond Joel’s time (2:14–17, 31). That Day of the Lord extended even beyond the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost predicted by Joel’s prophecy (Joel 2:28–32; Acts 2:16–21; Revelation 6:12–13). The NT uses the term exclusively to mean the end time.”

“The final Day of the Lord is characterized in the Bible as a day of gloom, darkness, and judgment. Associated with God’s judgment is language depicting changes in nature, especially a darkening of the sun, moon, and stars (Isaiah 13:10; Joel 2:31; 3:15; Matthew 24:29; Revelation 6:12). Nations will be judged for their rebellion against God’s anointed people and king (Joel 3:19; cf. Psalm 2). Israel is counseled not to be eager for that day, because it will also include judgment on the chosen nation (Amos 5:18–20). But the prophets promise that a believing “remnant” will be saved by looking to the Messiah they once rejected (Joel 2:32; Zechariah 12:10). Following the judgment, the future Day of the Lord will be a time of prosperity, restoration, and blessing for Israel (Joel 3:18–21).”

“The more explicit NT expressions—“the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:8), “the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Corinthians 1:14), and “the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:10; 2:16)—are more personal and more positive. They point to final events related to Christian believers, who will not experience the wrath of God (1 Thessalonians 5:9). When the Day of the Lord comes, the earth will be renewed and purified through a judgment of fire (2 Peter 3:10–13). In the book of Revelation the final purging seems to come after the Millennium—that is, the 1,000-year reign of Christ (Revelation 21:1).”

Another familiar image associated with the coming Day of the Lord is that it will come like a thief. The idea of a thief (κλέπτης; kleptes) is used with respect to an individual who does not announce his intended arrival. He comes secretly and suddenly, often when he is least expected. Jesus used this simile to communicate how unexpected His arrival would be (Luke 12:39-40). Jesus’ arrival will not only be sudden but also catastrophic.

When Jesus does return, the physical universe will feel the effects. The language Peter used is similar to the Old Testament and of Jesus (Isaiah 34:1-4; 64:1-4; Matthew 24:29-31).

Heavenly bodies could refer to (1) elements which make up the world such as the earth, fire and water; (2) astronomical bodies such as the sun, moon and the stars; or (3) angelic beings who have delegated power over nature. Most scholars favor #2.

It is at this time that the fallen world’s works will be exposed (εὑρεθήσεται; heurethesetai) or found to be what they truly are. It is these works that form the basis of God’s judgment upon unbelievers (Revelation 20:11-15).

Dr. John Walvoord explains that, “In the catastrophic conflagration at the end of the Millennium, the heavens (the earth’s atmosphere and the starry sky, not God’s abode) will disappear with a roar, which in some way will involve fire (2 Peter 3:7, 12). The elements (stoicheia, either stars or material elements with which the universe is made) will be destroyed by fire (and will melt, v. 12), and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare (eurethēsetai). This Greek word could mean that everything will be exposed for what it really is.”

The Day of the Lord is coming. It is sooner than it has ever been. Endeavor to share the gospel with those who are in need of Christ’s righteousness by grace alone, through faith alone in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone.

Soli deo Gloria!  







2 Peter: Any and All.

8 “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”  (2 Peter 3:8-9)

When studying any portion of Scripture, it is vitally important to not overlook the context of a particular passage. This means that the student of Scripture must never ignore the genre of the passage. Is the verse part of the Old Testament or New Testament? Is it a portion of Hebrew poetry or wisdom literature, history or prophecy? Is it a part of a New Testament Epistle, one of the four gospels or apocalyptic literature? Knowing the particular genre will be of tremendous help in understanding the meaning of the passage.

There must also be an understanding of the grammatical context. Are there any figures of speech used by the author which must be correctly understood? What are the similes or the metaphors being used? What about repetition or exaggeration? These questions the Bible student must be aware of and must be prepared to answer.

Additionally, we must also understand what the historical context is in which the human author wrote the biblical passage? What has occurred, is occurring or will occur in the lives of those in the text along with the author of the text? Was the author writing to the Jews or to a Gentile church? What nation was in political power: Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece or Rome?

One of the most common tendencies people have is to take a verse of Scripture out of all three of its contexts and make it stand alone as if the verses before or after do not matter. This is done more often than we probably care to admit and unfortunately, with confident assertion that doing so is a proper method of biblical interpretation. Not so!

Take 2 Peter 3:9 for example. The text reads, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” Let’s examine this verse in detail to see not only what it says, but also what it means.

The phrase, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness,” refers the reader immediately back to the eight preceding verses which began Chapter Three. The word slow (βραδύνω; bradyno) means to hesitate or delay. The Apostle Peter was saying that the Lord Jesus was not hesitating or delaying to fulfill the promise of His returning to earth in power, might and glory. Unfortunately, the context indicates that false teachers, or apostates, were saying that very thing.

It is then that Peter indicated why the Lord had yet to return to the earth as He had promised. Please note that the historical context in which the apostle wrote this epistle was just some 30 plus years after Jesus had ascended. We are studying this same text close to 2,000 years since Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. It is striking how much more pertinent this verse is regarding why Jesus has yet to return.

The reason the apostle gives for the seeming delay of Jesus’ return is answered by the latter portion of verse nine. “…but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” The word patient (μακροθυμέω; makrothymeo) means to exhibit internal and external control. It also literally means to be slow.

The false teachers mock the Lord’s failure to return as a sign that His slowness or delay in returning is because He never intended to fulfill this promise. The Apostle Peter said that Jesus patience, or slowness, to return is directed towards the church. The personal pronoun “you” refers us back to the noun “beloved” (2 Peter 3:1). The word “you” refers to the saved, or the people of God. The Lord patiently endures the endless mocking by false teachers (Romans 1:18-32) while at the same time He is calling, regenerating and redeeming His own.

The Lord’s delay in returning is not due to impotence on His part, but rather because He is not wishing (βούλομαι; boulomai), wanting, desiring, or purposing that “any” of those He is calling, regenerating and redeeming by His own will perish (ἀπόλλυμι; apollymi) or be ruined or destroyed. Rather, all those who God intends to call, regenerate and redeem should reach (χωρέω; choreo) or advance to repentance (μετάνοια; metanoia) which means conversion unto saving faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Dr. R. C. Sproul explains that, “The repentance in view, for the sake of which God delays judgment, is that of God’s people rather than the world at large. God is not willing that any of His elect should perish (John 6:35-65). In the context of this epistle, the “any” of this verse refers back to the “us” of 1:3, indicating that Peter is talking about the elect, those whom God has granted everything necessary for life and godliness. The verse (2 Peter 3:9) is not teaching that God wants everyone to be saved such that He is frustrated by the fact that not everyone is saved, and it is not endorsing a universalism that says everyone will be saved in the end. God has an elect people whom He has purposed to redeem and who will therefore be saved, for no purpose of His can be thwarted (Romans 9:1-29; Job 42:2). The Lord does not delight in the death of the wicked, but His eternal purposes are not overturned and He is not thrown into depression when people reject His gospel (Ezekiel 18:32; I Timothy 2:1-4).”

 We can take great comfort in knowing that those whom God has purposed to save, He will save (Ephesians 1:3-14). Let us also take great care in rightly dividing the truth of God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:15).

Soli deo Gloria!





2 Peter: Come, Lord Jesus.

8 “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”  (2 Peter 3:8-9)

It is easy to overlook the obvious. I came across this observation from a college professor. Perhaps, you can relate to her observation as I can.

“A few months ago, I was rushing across campus worried that I would be late for teaching a class. I wanted to check the time, but my phone was buried in my backpack, and I was carrying too many books to get my arm in a position to see my watch. Just then, the bells in the campus’ bell tower chimed, and I relaxed. It was 15 minutes before the hour. As a gesture of appreciation, I looked up at the bell tower and saw its clock face. There was the time staring right back at me. I’d been teaching at the college for 21 years, yet this was the first time I realized that I could tell the time on campus simply by looking up.”

“Was I uncommonly unobservant? Curious, I asked my colleagues and students if they knew of a way to tell the time while outside on campus without checking their phone or watch. Few mentioned the bell tower’s clock, and many laughed with surprise when I pointed it out. Our bell tower was built in 1897 and is located right in the center of the campus. I bet most students consulted its clock 100 years ago. Have we become so wed to our personal devices that we’ve forgotten how to look around and use external cues? Technology provides us with great information but so do our own eyes and brain.”

We often tend to overlook, or fail to observe, that which is right before us. It may be a friendship, a gentle touch given by, or to, a loved one, a task needing to be done, or a word of encouragement needing to be given. We overlook what we could and should do and proceed on our life’s path until later when we realize what we could, and should, have done.

Peter was all too aware of this tendency of humans: saints and sinners. In fact, with respect to the soon return of the Lord Jesus Christ, the apostle stated, “But do not overlook this one fact.” The word “overlook (λανθάνω; lanthaneto) means to not remember, to forget or to escape notice. What fact, of truth, are believers never to overlook?

Peter answered by saying, “…that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” Peter wanted believers to not overlook the truth that while Jesus’ return to earth in power, might and glory from a human perspective seems long overdue, in His perspective it has only been a couple of days since His ascension (Acts 1:1-11).

We should never forget what the angels promised the disciples. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).

Believers may rest assured, and unbelievers would be well to take heed, that Jesus Christ will one day return in the same way as He departed: visibly, gradually, in the air and with the clouds (Acts 1:9-10; Daniel 7:13; Zechariah 14:1-4; Matthew 24:30; 26:64; Revelation 1:7; 14:14; 19:11-21).

As the Apostle John stated in Revelation 22:20, “He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”  

Let us live for the Lord today in obvious recognition of His soon return.

Soli deo Gloria!






2 Peter: Judgement Day!

But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the Day of Judgment and destruction of the ungodly.” (2 Peter 3:7)

One of my good friends ended our friendship over the subject of the wrath of God and the Lord’s judgment upon the wicked. He placed great emphasis upon the love of God whereupon there was no room in his thinking to even consider God’s wrath. This was, and is, in spite of the clear teaching of Scripture, such as Romans 1:18-20, the Book of Revelation and today’s text from 2 Peter.

My friend did not necessarily mock or scoff at the idea of God’s Day of Judgement. Rather, he outright rejected the very idea of it. He could not reconcile within his mind the attribute of a loving God with that of a condemning God. Yet, this is the truth that the Apostle Peter is setting forth in 2 Peter 3:7.

Peter articulated that as God formed the heavens and earth by the means of water by His spoken word (Genesis 1-2; Psalm 33:1-6; Hebrews 11:1-3; 2 Peter 3:1-6), by the same spoken word God will bring judgment upon the existing heavens and earth by the means of fire. This judgment is being kept (τηρέω; tereo), guarded, and retained until the Lord’s Day of Judgment.

The Day of Judgment (ἡμέρα κρίσις; herema krisis) is the period of time which God has set aside to bring judgment upon unrepentant sinners. The Day of Judgment will include the destruction (ἀπώλεια; apoleia) or ruination which belongs to the ungodly, or those who have no regard for God and His righteousness.

Dr. John MacArthur writes, “The present world system is reserved for future judgment, which will come by the word of God just as creation and the flood came. God will speak it into existence as well, after the present order is again destroyed. Humanity, since the flood, lives in the second world order. One of the obvious differences between the two world orders is that people live 70 years in the present world, not 900 years, which was a common age of pre-flood human beings. And Peter was making the point that there is a third form of the heavens and earth yet to come following another cataclysm.”

God put the rainbow in the sky to signify that he would never destroy the world again by water (Gen. 9:13). In the future, God will destroy the heavens and the earth by fire (cf. Isa. 66:15Dan. 7:9–10Mic. 1:4Mal. 4:1Matt. 3:11–122 Thess. 1:7–8). In the present universe, the heavens are full of stars, comets, and asteroids. The core of the earth is also filled with a flaming, boiling, liquid lake of fire, the temperature of which is some 12,400 degrees Fahrenheit. The human race is separated from the fiery core of the earth by only a thin 10-mile crust. Far more than that, the whole of creation is a potential firebomb due to its atomic structure. As man from atoms creates destructive bombs that burn a path of death, so God can disintegrate the whole universe in an explosion of atomic energy (see notes on 2 Pet. 3:10–12).”

 In conclusion, Dr. MacArthur states that, “The earth waits for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. The godly will not be present on earth when God speaks into existence the judgment by fire (cf. 1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9).” 

What an incentive for believers in Christ to share the gospel with the lost. Always remember that at one time, we were included in those who the Bible calls the lost. Take time today to thank God for His grace and mercy which are received by faith alone in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone.

Soli deo Gloria!