The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night
The apostle Peter called his reading audience beloved. He said be not ignorant of this one thing that one day with the Lord is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. 2nd Peter 3:8 corresponds with Psalm 90:4 which says, "For a thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night." The Lord is not slack concerning His promise as some people define slackness but is longsuffering to people not willing that any should perish. He desires all to come to repentance.
At this point Peter defines the day of the Lord coming as a thief in the night. This is when the heavens pass away with a great noise and the elements will melt with fervent heat. Then the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up so seeing that all these things shall be dissolved Peter does ask a question. What manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation and conduct?
He then writes looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God so he is encouraging us as His children to look for His return. Peter then continues the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. This verse in 2nd Peter 3: 12 corresponds with Isaiah 34:4 which writes, "And all the hosts of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree." If you desire a verse that corresponds with these two verses in the last book of the Bible then Revelation 6:13 reads, "And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind."
Peter continues to write we as believers in Christ look for new heavens and a new earth because this is the place that dwelleth righteousness. 2nd Peter 3:13 corresponds with Isaiah 65:17 which says, "For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." As you can see many of these verses have corresponding references in the Old Testament. Let me quote the original passage so you can read the text and perhaps make reference to it in this particular study of the Bible.
(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. (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. (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. (11) Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, (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? (13) Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." 2nd Peter 8 - 13.
Obviously if Peter is calling his congregation beloved there was a lot of tenderness and affection coming out of his heart. He had a compassionate concern and a love of goodwill for the ungodly people who refused to believe divine revelation but he seemed to have a distinct respect for true Christians.
If with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years are as one day all things past, present and future are before God. Remember verse eight writes this is the one thing he did not want his reading audience to be ignorant of because it was for their peace of minds and hearts. If this truth was hid from them they would be struggling in their hope and faith in Jesus Christ. "Oh come on why hasn't the Lord returned yet" because time is different in heaven if we were able to compare it to earth. Five years down here could be five minutes in heaven.
We are told that the Lord is not slack concerning His coming because God does not delay beyond the appointed time; however, according to Luke chapter twelve the Bible says Jesus Christ may come in the, second watch or third watch. (37) "Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. (38) And if He shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. (39) And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through." Luke 12: 37 - 39. His coming can be delayed because of these watch periods because of the prayers of Christians pleading before the throne room of God to hold off judging the world.
The rapture and God judging this earth should have happened a long time ago because of the sin level on this earth but there is something about intercession that moves the heart of God. Christians sometimes believe that God stays beyond His appointed time but just because people have set a time does not mean that God does not set another time. Only God The Father knows the day and the hour. (36) "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only." Matthew 24:36. This was a decision made by the Triune Godhead because when Jesus Christ gets the command from His Father the excitement is going to be all the more special.
People may say God is slack but the real truth of the matter is God is long suffering. One of the things God is allowing for His children is to bring more glory to Him in various ways such as getting our hearts right with God and serving Him. God also delays in giving the command to His Son to rapture His children because He desires as many unbelievers to come to Jesus Christ. Could God have any delight in the death of sinners? Of course not because His Spirit is full of sorrow when one of His created creatures is separated from Him.
When God has Goodness and Forbearance for a person or a group of people it is because this is in the nature of God but it is for the purpose of calling sinners to repentance. This is a space of time that God gives them so He will not have to deal severely with an unrepentant heart.
The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night which means that this time period is not only certain but will happen mysteriously fast and at a time when people think not or will be going about their daily routines. This day has not yet come but it will assuredly arrive when the very last sinner comes to repentance at the end of the age of grace. The apostle Paul writes about this in Romans chapter eleven. Then a new dispensation called the kingdom age will be present on planet earth. God The Father has appointed a day and He will keep His appointment. This day will come sudden as a thief in the night at a time when people are sleeping or working secure in their lifestyles. When I use the word "Secure" I do not mean to suggest that a portion of people on earth are not living in suffering. I mean they are in a daily routine. So let me just say the time when people are most secure will be the time of the coming of the Lord. After the rapture of the church which starts the day of the Lord the world will be in complete and utter destruction.
You can go back and read verse ten but Peter continues to write the elements shall pass away with a great noise. He talks about elements and heat. He also writes about the earth and works being burned up. If you are in a secular institution and hear a leader constantly talk about works with no allegiance to Jesus Christ labor hard for God but take the message with a grain of salt. The person doing the preaching is selfish because this individual is not the profitable servant for God but is working for the world.
In the parable of the profitable servants compared to the unprofitable servant in Matthew chapter twenty five Jesus Christ is talking about His children that labor for the kingdom of God or do not labor for the kingdom of God. I know plenty of hard workers but they are laboring for themselves. These are the works that will be burned up as written in 2nd Peter 3:10. This is a consuming fire of all that sin has brought into the world but in the eyes of God it is a refining fire to planet earth.
Do we see the difference between the first coming of Jesus Christ and the second coming of Jesus Christ. It is wise to prepare for the return of the Lord because then it will be a day of vengeance and destruction for anybody that does not take this message to heart. I know plenty of people that know nothing about this subject and do not care. Please do not be one of them because the world is starting to shape in that it is looking like we are very close to the day of the Lord. It is not complicating because all we have to do is read the newspaper or look at the news.
The apostle Peter gets very down to earth in a Godly way in verse eleven by exhorting them to purity and godliness in their day by day life. He writes seeing all these things must be dissolved how holy should we be in order to go up in the rapture and be fit for heaven. There is no sin in this place. Only holiness, righteousness, worship and obedience is in heaven. The joy that will be in our spirits will be undefinable and the love will be a continuing revelation to God and other created creatures whether they be redeemed saints, angels, animals or even hearing the flowers sing praises to God.
We need to understand that this present earth will pass away as we know it so we as believers in Jesus Christ should be looking at what will abide and continue forever. When we look for our Lord to snatch us out of this earth and engage in this practice with holiness and godliness in all manner of conversation (the way we live before God) then our hope in Jesus Christ is earnest in an expectedly watchful matter which is exactly where God desires us to be in life before Him.
True Christians look for the Blessed Hope (rapture) and everything that happens after this event because that is when our relationship and fellowship with God through His Son Jesus Christ in the presence of the Holy Spirit is going to be without any kind of sin. We will always be learning, worshiping and serving in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. This is what God promises to His children so please do not fool around with sin in your life. At the rapture the rules of gravity will apply in that the weight of our sin will hold us down and we will not go up in the Blessed Hope. On the other hand righteous living with obedience before God as we expectantly watch for His coming is assurance that we will go up in the rapture and escape the wrath of God which will come on the whole earth.
We may go through some sort of persecution before the Blessed Hope but are not called to be under the wrath of God if we got redeemed through the shed blood of Jesus Christ and continue to abide in the Son of God as so empathized in John chapter fifteen. In other words there is a difference between the words persecution and wrath.
Do not look for anything that God has not promised because this is presumption but if our expectations are in accordance with the word of God we can not be meant with disappointment because we are not believing in fairy tails but are taking heed to what the Bible says for our lives.
In light of what this passage of Scripture says if you are an unbeliever now may be a good time for you to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of God into your life. In light of the soon return of Jesus Christ it is wise to live a holy and obedient life before God. In the end if you made this decision you will not be disappointed because being in the will of God is the right way to walk in all manner of conversation in Jesus Christ. Remember the Prince of Peace is the one who is coming so live for Him. I hope and pray you just made that all important eternal decision for your life and eternity.
God Bless you,