Reading the Word
2 Peter 3:1–7 (ESV)
1 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, 3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7 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.
Understanding the Word
Here we find a word of encouragement from the Apostle Peter. He reminds his readers that Christ has promised to return. In every generation, unbelievers have scoffed at this teaching. They point out the fact that it has been so long and yet there has been no return. Unbelievers say this as if it negates the Christian hope.
Peter reminds us that the promise does stand. Christ will return to judge all of creation just as God judged the world through a flood in the days of Noah. The difference being the means of judgment.
Applying the Word
In these verses we find the hope of believers and the reason so many reject the word of God: the promise of justice. For unbelievers, this promise condemns them of their sin and serves notice that they will answer for everything they have done in life. The response is to reject such a notion and reject God the Creator as judge.
For believers, the return of Christ in judgment is the hope that all of the evils of this world will not go unpunished. Justice will have its day. God’s name will be honored. May we look forward to that day as we seek justice and righteousness even now in our own lives.
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