Contact: David Parham 940-322-4343

Website: Internet Bible Studies

II Peter Menu

















Ball23A0.gif (3556 bytes)


II Peter Chapter 3

Memory verses for this week:   John 14:26  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.


Introduction:  In Chapter 2, we learned a lot of lessons from the past that we can use in our daily lives.   We found there have always been false prophets, and that we will encounter more as time draws near the time of the tribulation.  We discussed ways to tell who these false teachers are.   This week we get into Chapter 3 as Peter warns of the scoffers who will come in these last days.


I.  The Purpose of the Second Epistle

2 Pet 3:1  This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:

2 Pet 3:2  That ye 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 Saviour:

Peter declares that he stirred up the minds of his hearers in both the first and second epistle he wrote to them.   He did this by stirring up their minds of remembrance.  We mentioned last week that even if we are familiar with the doctrines and commandments, we become even more wise and better able to use the bible when we continually go over them and reaffirm them in our minds.   This was important to those in Peter’s day to whom this was written, and it is important to us today also.  If we do not remember the things we have learned and store it in our hearts, we will not be able to live the victorious Christian life God desires for each of us.   King David said he hid the scriptures in his heart that he might not sin against God.

Psa 119:10  With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.

Psa 119:11  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Psa 119:12  Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.

In Verse 2, Peter calls upon them to be mindful of the words of the prophets about the scoffers who would come in the last days.  These prophets of old were men of God that spake as the Holy Ghost moved them.  Peter urges them to remember the words of the prophets and the apostles.

2 Pet 1:21  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.


Jude 1:17  But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Jude 1:18  How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.

2 Pet 3:3  Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

These that would come in the last days were those who would scoff and make light of the promises of God.  Rather than living for the Lord, they would live for this life here on earth in sin following the lusts of the flesh.

Matthew Henry had some good points on Verse 3 in his commentary.

To quicken and excite us to a serious minding and firm adhering to what God has revealed to us by the prophets and apostles, we are told that there will be scoffers, men who will make a mock of sin, and of salvation from it. God’s way of saving sinners by Jesus Christ is what men will scoff at, and that in the last days, under the gospel. This indeed may seem very strange, that the New-Testament dispensation of the covenant of grace, which is spiritual and therefore more agreeable to the nature of God than the Old, should be ridiculed and reproached; but the spirituality and simplicity of New-Testament worship are directly contrary to the carnal mind of man, and this accounts for what the apostle seems here to hint at, namely, that scoffers shall be more numerous and more bold in the last days than ever before. This is what is mentioned as a thing well known to all Christians, and therefore they ought to reckon upon it, that they may not be surprised and shaken, as if some strange thing happened unto them. Now to prevent the true Christian’s being overcome, when attacked by these scoffers, we are told,

I. What sort of persons they are: they walk after their own lusts, they follow the devices and desires of their own hearts, and carnal affections, not the dictates and directions of right reason and an enlightened well-informed judgment. This they do in the course of their conversation, they live as they list, and they speak as they list; it is not only their inward minds that are evil and opposite to God, as the mind of every unrenewed sinner is (Rom. 8:7), alienated from God, ignorant of him, and averse to him; but they have grown to such a height of wickedness that they proclaim openly what is in the hearts of others who are yet carnal; they say, "Our tongues are our own, and our strength, and time, and who is lord over us? Who shall contradict or control us, or ever call us to an account for what we say or do?’’ And, as they scorn to be confined by any laws of God in their conversation, so neither will they bear that the revelation of God should dictate and prescribe to them what they are to believe; as they will walk in their own way, and talk their own language, so will they also think their own thoughts, and form principles which are altogether their own: here also their own lusts alone shall be consulted by them.   [1]

II.  Forgetting the Past and Denying the Future

2 Pet 3:4  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 the creation.

2 Pet 3:5  For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

These scoffers deny the coming of the Lord.  They argue that all things continue as they have been since the beginning of creation.   These scoffers insist that there is no evidence whatever in the history of the past or in conditions at the present time that indicate the fulfilling of any prophetic declarations.   Peter says they are willing ignorant of the things of God while some have great worldly wisdom.   If I am going to be wise, I’d choose to be wise towards God any day than to be wise in the ways of the world.  The world’s fashions pass away day by day, but God’s truth and righteousness endure forever.

1 Cor 7:30  And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;

1 Cor 7:31  And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.

These that deny God forget that the world was restored by the word of God.

Gen 1:1  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Gen 1:2  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Gen 1:3  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Gen 1:4  And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Gen 1:5  And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.


….   Gen 1:26  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Gen 1:27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

2 Pet 3:6  Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

2 Pet 3:7  But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

These scoffers that come in their own lusts forget that God brought judgment upon the world in the days of Noah.   They ignore this great judgment that fell upon the world … and they claim that everything continues as it did from the beginning.  The same God who spoke the words that all flesh would be destroyed has said that this present heaven and earth are being kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

Gen 6:17  And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.

In the book of Job, we have the record that says these men before the flood were cut down out of time.  They said for God to depart from us.

Job 22:15  Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden?

Job 22:16  Which were cut down out of time, whose foundation was overflown with a flood:

Job 22:17  Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them?

III.  The Day of the Lord

2 Pet 3:8  But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

We are not to be ignorant of God’s time as these scoffers were.  A thousand years may seem like a long time to man, but one day is with the Lord as a thousand years , and a thousand years as a day.   This means time has no power over God.   Time is no limitation to God.  A thousand years in God’s sight is as yesterday.

Psa 90:4  For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

J. Vernon McGee said this about the destruction of the heavens and earth.  I thought his comments were good on both verse 8 and verse 9 and want to share both of them with you.

Now it is obvious that the destruction of the earth and heavens will take place during the Day of the Lord, which is an extended period of time including the seven years of tribulation and the one thousand years of the millennial Kingdom. When the Lord Jesus returns to the earth at the end of the Great Tribulation period and establishes His Kingdom here, He is going to renovate this earth—but that will not be a permanent renovation. Not until after the Tribulation and after the Millennium will the dissolution of the earth and the heavens (of which Peter speaks) occur. So you see, my friend, even if the Rapture should take place tomorrow, it still would be a thousand and seven years before this destruction.  [2]


2 Pet 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

J. Vernon McGee had this to say about my favorite verse in the bible.

God is long-suffering; He is patient; He is not rushing things. After all, He has eternity behind Him and eternity ahead of Him. He doesn’t need to worry about time! To Him a thousand years is as one day and one day is as a thousand years. But the point is that the final judgment, the dissolution of the earth and the heavens, is coming. In the meantime, He is giving men everywhere a further opportunity to repent and turn to Himself. This is the reason you and I need to get the Word of God out. It is the only thing that can change hearts and lives. It is by the Word of God that folk are born again—as Peter said in his first epistle, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1 Pet. 1:23).

“Not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” It is not God’s will that you should perish. One of the reasons that you have been reading this book is simply because God does not want you to come into judgment; He wants you to pass from death unto life. And you can do that—you can turn to Him and receive the wonderful salvation that He has for you.

Do you know that you cannot keep God from loving you? You can reject His love, but you cannot keep Him from loving you. Neither can you keep it from raining, but you can raise an umbrella to keep the rain from falling on you. Also, you can raise the umbrella of indifference or the umbrella of sin or the umbrella of rebellion so that you won’t experience God’s love, but you cannot keep Him from loving you. [3]


2 Pet 3:10  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

The day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night and at the close of his day (which will be a thousand years), great judgment will be brought upon the earth.  All works will be burned up as God renovates the earth with fire.

Rev 20:9  And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

2 Pet 3:11  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

2 Pet 3:12  Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

2 Pet 3:13  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

When we realize that these things are going to come, it makes us realize how we need to be serious about our work for the Lord.  And we need to be about our days with people who love the Lord and care about others.   Our thoughts ought to be on things above and not here down below.  We need to get out of horizontal thinking, and get our minds in a vertical thought process.  Things down here are going to be dissolved away, but the things of God shall endure forever.   We have a promise from God that we will enter into a new heaven and earth where dwells righteousness.  This will be after God cleanses it with fire.  Some believe that the term new earth speaks of a different place than this world, but God has clearly said he was renovating the earth with fire.

The allusion here seems to be to two passages in Isaiah, in which a promise of this kind is found.

Isa. 65:17: “for, behold, I create new heavens, and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.”

 Isa. 66:22: “for as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord,”  

In Revelation, John says he had a vision of the new heaven and the new earth which was promised:

Rev 21:1 “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea.”


2 Pet 3:14  Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

Seeing that these things are to come upon the earth, what kind of person should we be?  I believe it will inspire all of us to be more like Christ, who was the one who was without spot or blemish, and in whom to fault could be found.

When we were saved, the bible says we became a new creature in Christ.  Yet it was not a new soul we received, but our soul was cleansed and brought to life.   Same is true about the new earth.  God makes the current earth a new earth by fire.

2 Cor 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

IV.  A Final Warning

2 Pet 3:15  And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

2 Pet 3:16  As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

2 Pet 3:17  Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

2 Pet 3:18  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

We are to stay fixed with our eyes on Christ when we are saved.  A person who does not hang in for the long haul is not truly worthy of salvation.   But thank God, He will never give up on us even if we are slack in our faithfulness.

Luke 9:62  And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

In verse 17, we are told to “BEWARE”.  His is a word of warning that we need to be aware of what can befall us if we don’t stand strong in the strength of the Lord.  And Verse 18 tells us to “GROW”.  Every Christian should continue to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.   How do we do this?  We continue to read the bible every day, and we study.

2 Tim 2:15  Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


Internet Bible Studies are prepared and distributed free of charge.  The lessons may not be sold without consent.   If you have questions or wish to discuss the lessons, or possibly need help in finding Jesus Christ as your Personal Lord and Savior, contact David Parham at 940-322-4343.


Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


e-mail at:



Practice Random Acts of Kindness.  Each act spreads, and many will be blessed.