A Thief in the Night

by Bethany

As we saw yesterday, Peter is concerned about false teachers bringing in destructive heresies.  These teachers were so devoted to the present world that they rejected Christ’s Second Coming: “ … mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?’” [1].

Since the Day of the Lord …

The day of the Lord is coming.  The Old Testament prophets spoke of a day when God would vindicate His holy name, bring destruction on His unrepentant enemies, and gather His people into a new kingdom [2].

… will come like a thief …

That day will come unexpectedly and suddenly – “like a thief” [3].  As Jesus warned, “ … be on the alert, for you do not know which day the Lord is coming.  But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into” [4].

… and the earth will be destroyed …

When that day comes, “the earth and its works will be burned up” [5] and “the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat” [6] [7].  Only righteousness will survive: “ … new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells” [8].

… what sort of people should we be?

“Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be …?” [9].  We must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will” [10] and we should be “looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God” [11].

We make ourselves “ready” and “hasten” His coming when we live in “holy conduct and godliness” [12].  When we pursue righteousness, we pursue that which lasts and is not destroyed.  Yet, how much do we think and talk about iPads and blockbusters rather than about the cross and righteousness?

The Lord is holding back the Day of the Lord because He longs for us to repent and receive His righteousness: “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” [13].

Today, how will you spend your time, talk and tithe on things that will last – even into eternity?


[1] 2 Peter 3:3-4 NASB  |  [2] see Joel 2:30ff, Zephaniah 1:14ff, Malachi 4:1ff  |  [3] 2 Peter 3:10 NASB  |  [4] Matthew 24:42ff; see also 1 Thessalonians 5  |  [5] 2 Peter 3:10 NASB  |  [6] 2 Peter 3:12 NASB  |  [7]  Why will God destroy the world, which He created and declared was “good”? In Romans 8:20-21 NASB, Paul wrote, “creation was subjected to futility” and enslaved “to corruption” when humankind fell into sin.  Therefore, creation itself must be transformed.  When Peter writes that the earth will be “burned up” or “destroyed,” however, he doesn’t mean that the fire will annihilate the world.  Rather, according to Peter, it will be like the flood in Genesis, “through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water” (2 Peter 3:6).  Thus, there will be some connection between today’s version of creation and eternity’s version of creation.  |  [8] 3 Peter 3:13 NASB  |  [9] 2 Peter 3:11 NASB  |  [10] Matthew 24:42ff, NASB  |  [11] 2 Peter 3:12 NASB  |  [12] 3 Peter 3:11 NASB  |  [13] 2 Peter 3:9

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