2 Peter 3:1-9

Talks for Growing Christians

Peter Looks to the Future, and to the Return of the Lord

2 Peter 3:1-9

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Lesson Number 4

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Bible does teach that there was a world wide flood. (2 Peter 3:5-7)
  2. The Bible does not teach a day is a thousand years. (2 Peter 3:8-9)

Practical Application

  1. Don’t test God’s patience.


  1. The apostle Peter’s purpose in writing his two epistles was to stir up the minds of his readers by reminding them of the great truths of the Christian faith. Why was this especially important?
  2. In view of the time of the early believers, why did the apostle want his readers to know the clear teachings of all the scriptures?
  3. Read 2 Peter 3:3-4. Were the conditions described here applicable only in the first century?
  4. What is the position of the skeptic and unbeliever concerning a coming day of judgment?
  5. Did Peter believe in a world wide flood or a global flood?
  6. List the three cosmologies (heaven and earth systems) taught in 2 Peter 3:5-7.


  1. It was important in view of the opposing heresies of false teachers. Remember, Peter’s letters were not just written for believers in the first century, but they are the word of God for believers today.
  2. Peter wanted his readers to know that both the Old Testament and the New Testament clearly taught that unbelief would increase in the last days.
  3. No. They are true for today’s world as well as for the first century.
  4. Skeptics and unbelievers are critics of the Bible, believing that immorality goes unjudged, even in the church. They ridicule Christians who speak of the coming day of judgment and of hell for unbelievers in the future. To them, everything will continue just as it always has.
  5. He believed in a world wide flood.
  6. The three heaven and earth systems: a) There was a heaven and earth situation that God created (see the Genesis 1 account); b) There is a present heavens and earth system that has existed since the time of the flood of Noah’s day (this cosmology will be destroyed by fire in the future); and c) There will come a third heaven and earth system (see Revelation 21:1).


  1. There are critics who oppose Peter’s belief in a world wide flood, by saying that the flood of Noah’s day was limited to a local flood in the Mesopotamian Valley. Dare we believe less than God’s account in Genesis? Dare we believe less than what Peter, an inspired writer, believed? Consider the three cosmologies by listening again to the tape, by reading 2 Peter 3:5-7, and by referring to Q-A #6 in this lesson.
  2. The Bible does not teach a day is a thousand years. See 2 Peter 3:8-9 and Psalm 90:4. Note “as” and “are like.” There are a number of Christians who take these verses out of context, using them to justify the days of creation in Genesis 1 as geologic periods or ages. This is bad hermeneutics. Be clear in your understanding of what the Bible teaches about this.


  1. Unbelief is ruling the day. Does God not care? God is delaying His judgment of the ungodly because He is longsuffering and patient and does not want anyone to perish. He is not slack concerning His promise. Is it possible that you are still in the category of the unsaved? Have you truly received Jesus Christ as your Savior? God wants you to come to repentance. If you haven’t taken that step of faith, do so today. God is longsuffering, but there is a limit to His patience. There will come a time in your life when it’s too late. Don’t test God’s patience.

Key Verses

  • “…be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of the apostles of the Lord and Savior.” 2 Peter 3:2
  • “…scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? …all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3:3-4
  • “…the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” 2 Peter 3:7
  • “…beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” 2 Peter 3:8
  • “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise…but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

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