All Should Come to Repentance

2Peter 3:7-10 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. 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. 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. 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. 

‘Which are now, by the same word are kept in store’ the present heavens and the earth, as restored to a second perfect state in the days of Adam (Gen. 1:3-2:25; Ex. 20:11).

‘Unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men’ this is the 6th New Testament prophecy in 2Peter that is unfulfilled. This proves that the time of the renovation of the heavens and the earth by fire of 2Peter 3:10-13 will be at the time of the great white throne judgment at the end of the Millennium (3:7; Rev. 20:11-15).

‘The one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day’ that with God, a thousand years is like a day and a day like a thousand years. He inhabits eternity and is not subject to time to get His work done before death as is the case with us (3:8-9; Isa. 57:15; Eph. 3:11).  

‘But is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance’ this shows us why God has delayed so long in putting down all rebellion and in tolerating His enemies to continue their evil designs. The Lord is not slack concerning His promises but is longsuffering to all men, wishing that all would come to repentance (3:9; 1Tim. 2:4; Rev. 22:17).

‘The day of the Lord will come …’ this is the 7th and last New Testament prophecy in 2Peter that is unfulfilled. The day of the Lord is the Millennium, from the second coming to the rebellion of satan at the end of that period (Rev. 19:11-20:10). The day of the Lord cannot come until the Lord comes to reign (Isa. 2:12; 13:6, 9; 34:8; 61:2; 63:1-6; Jer. 46:10; Ezek. 30:3; Dan. 2:44-45; 7:13-14; Amos 5:18; Joel 2:1-32; Oba. 1:15; Zeph. 1:8, 18; 2:2-3; Zech. 14:1-21; Mal. 4:1-6; Matt. 24:29-31; 25:31-46; 1Thess. 5:2; 2Thess. 1:7-10; 2:1-12; Jude 1:14; Rev. 19:11-21; 20:1-10).

‘As a thief in the night’ this expression is used only in 2Peter 3:10 and Revelation 3:3; 16:15. Each time it refers to the day of the Lord coming as a thief, except Revelation 3:3 where it refers to judgment on the local congregation of Sardis. Christ’s coming is also referred to as a thief (Matt. 24:43; 1Thess. 5:2-4).

‘Which the heavens shall pass away’ in the day of the Lord the renovation of the earth will take place – not at the beginning of it, but at the end (3:7; Rev. 20:7-15).

‘Pass away’ – Change [Greek: parechomai] pass away; pass from condition to another. It never means annihilation. Passing away of the heavens and the earth (3:10; Rev. 21:1), or the changing of them, like old things passing away and all things becoming new at the new birth (2Cor. 5:17). It means they will be: Purified by fire (3:7, 10-12); delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God (Rom. 8:21); changed to a new state (Heb. 1:10-12); re-created or renewed to their original perfection (Heb. 12:25-28; Isa. 65:17; 66:22-24; 1Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1); cleansed of all the curse and its effects (Rev. 22:3).

‘Great noise’ [Greek: rhoizedon] a rushing sound; swish; illustrating the length and suddenness of the renovation. ‘Elements’ [Greek: stoicheion] translated “element” (3:10, 12; Gal. 4:3, 9); “rudiment” (Col. 2:8, 20); and “principle” (Heb. 5:12). It has reference to the principles or basic elements of the present world system of evil spirits, sinful and fallen nature, germs, corruptions, and all elements by which people corrupt themselves.

‘Melt’ [Greek: luo] to lose. Translated “melt” (3:10); “dissolve” (3:11-12). Here it means the loosing of the heavens and the earth from the curse by fire, not their annihilation. ‘Fervent heat’ [Greek: kausoo] burning heat (3:10, 12). ‘Earth’ [Greek: ge] the ground (3:10).

‘Works’ [Greek: ergon] works, toil, deeds, labour, and acts of man. It is used of religious works as well as other kinds of work. ‘Burned up’ [Greek: katakaio] to burn down to the ground; wholly consume with fire. It has reference to the things of earth and of man that need to be removed, so that the things that need not be moved may remain eternally (Heb. 12:25-28).

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