Summary: Sermon 24 and the last in a study in 1 & 2 Peter
“But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 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. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. 11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people 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 destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.”
Back in verse 5 of this chapter Peter has exposed the ignorance of the scoffers by saying in reference to their faithless question concerning the Lord’s coming, ‘…when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water”
Now, to show a contrast between their faithlessness and the faithful expectation of the believer, he gives this admonition; ‘But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
Get it? The mockers are deliberate in their ignorance of the past in order to deny the predictions for the future. We are to be deliberately aware of a certain truth, so that we do not lose hope in regards to that same prediction for the future, for which we eagerly await.
What are we to be aware of for our own encouragement and hope? That God does not measure time the way we do. So we cannot use our own assessment of things as a gauge to chart His activities.
How can we say He is late, or He is early? He has made His plan and so certain is the fulfilling of it that the prophets spoke of the final days of earth as though already accomplished.
It is the fool who says “Christ has not come therefore He will never come”
That same fool thinks that because he seemingly got away with sin yesterday he will continue to get away with it tomorrow.
The false teacher preaches his lies, pretending he is speaking for God so silly people will give him their money and their loyalty. And because he got away with it today and has built his little empire and surrounded himself with sycophants who shield him with legal protection and field the hard questions, he thinks he cannot be touched.
But there is tomorrow and another tomorrow after that and another tomorrow after that, and with each passing tomorrow his destruction draws more certain and more near.
Now before we go too far into the text there is a point of error I want to address just so we’re clear on one thing.
I have heard in times past people debating the Creation timeline, saying that the ‘days’ mentioned in the Genesis creation account are really thousands of years. One of the arguments they give for support of that theory is that in 2 Peter 3:8 it says that to God a thousand years is a day and a day as a thousand years.
Therefore when the Holy Spirit inspired the documentation of the creation account He was speaking from God’s point of view.
Beloved, Peter is not telling us there that God doesn’t know how to tell time. He is only making the point that God is not governed by time since He is Eternal and that what is a very long time to us means nothing to the One who exists beyond the realm of time.
The Bible says,
“God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” Gen 1:5 (also see Ex 20:8-11)
If you go to bed tonight and wake up and a thousand years has passed, please call me and I’ll change my theology.
Now let’s get back…
THE LORD’S PATIENCE
Here is further evidence of the ‘backwardness’ of the thinking of the fallen (sinful) mind. The scoffer mocks the Word of God and casts doubt on its validity based on the fact that what it predicts hasn’t happened yet.
If he understood the truth, he would be rejoicing, not mocking, because the very reason for the seeming delay is that God is patient, wanting even that scoffer to repent and be saved from eternal punishment for sin.