Amplified: But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been stored up (reserved) for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly people. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: But by the same word the present heavens and earth are treasured up for fire, reserved for the day of judgment and the destruction of impious men. (Westminster Press)
KJV: 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.
NET: But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, by being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. (NET Bible)
NLT: And God has also commanded that the heavens and the earth will be consumed by fire on the day of judgment, when ungodly people will perish. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: but the present heavens and earth are, also by God's command, being kept and maintained for the fire of the day of judgment and the destruction of wicked men. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: But the present heavens and the earth by the same word have been stored with fire, being kept so guarded with a view to the day of judgment and misery of men destitute of reverential awe towards God. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: and the present heavens and the earth, by the same word are treasured, for fire being kept to a day of judgment and destruction of the impious men.
BUT THE PRESENT HEAVENS AND EARTH BY HIS WORD ARE BEING RESERVED FOR FIRE : Hoi de nun ouranoi kai te ge to auto logo tethesaurismenoi (RPPMSN) eisin (3PPAI) puri: (See articles on fire - Easton's Bible Dict, ISBE, Torrey's Topic "Fire") (2Peter 3:10; Ps 50:3; 102:26; Is 51:6; Zeph 3:8; Mt 24:35; 25:41; 2Th 1:8; Rev 20:11; 21:1)
Remember that Peter is addressing the mockers who say that things will never change. He has presented the historical truths they willfully ignore that by the Word of God two great past cataclysmic events have occurred -- the Creation of the heavens and the earth and the destruction of the world by the Genesis flood.
But (1161) (de) contrasts the flood judgment with the fire judgment (see discussion on importance of terms of contrast in the observation phase of Inductive Bible Study) The fact that one cataclysmic judgment has taken place in history is clear indication that God can intervene again with fire if He so chooses. It is interesting that although other passages allude to the fiery demise of planet earth, 2 Peter provides the only specific NT description of this future event (2Pe 3:7; 10; 12-see notes 2Pe 3:7; 10; 12).
Robertson says Paul contrasts the "now heavens" over against the "then world' of verse 6.
The present (3568) (nun = now) heavens (3772) and (1093) earth" points to the present cosmic system as we know it today and which has existed since the Genesis flood. Prior to the flood, the cosmos was different, as testified by the long life span (~900 years) of pre-flood man compared to post-flood man (~70 years).
By His Word (3056) -- God made the earth and "by His Word" he sustains the heavens and earth we now live in until He determines it is time to intervene with fire the final cataclysmic event. Here Peter says the Word which created, now keeps the heavens and earth stored up for this fire. Clearly Peter wants his readers to understand that the world and all that is within it from beginning to end is dependent upon the omnipotent Word of God. Jesus presented a similar prophecy when He said
Luke reminds us that
This prophetic word is sure (2Pe 1:19-note) so we can be sure that this prophesied fiery destruction will come, but not until God say's "Let it come."
Do you really believe that God's Word is this certain,
There is no fear of judgment for the one who judges himself or herself according to the Word of God.
Being reserved (2343) (theaurizo [word study] from thesaurós = treasure, deposit = place where something is kept = treasure box, chest, storehouse, storeroom. English = thesaurus, a treasury of words) means to lay away, to to amass or reserve, to store up or treasure up goods for future use. It can mean to hoard. The idea is to lay up or store up something to keep it safe. Most of the uses in Scripture are literal storing up but there are some uses that are figurative such as storing up of wrath (Romans 2:5-note)
The root word thesauros in secular Greek means: a treasure chamber, a storage room, granary, strong-box or a treasure per se. Even at a very early period temples were built with treasure chambers, where gifts and taxes in kind and money could be stored. The practice appears to have spread from Egypt to Greece. Collecting boxes were also known (cf. 2Ki 12:10).
NIDNTT writes that the root word
The verb thesaurizo is used similarly in the sense of storing up treasure or putting it in safe keeping.
John MacArthur adds that…
God is holding the earth "by His Word" on a divine "layaway plan" so to speak.
The perfect tense speaks of the duration or permanence of this divine "reservation". It is as if this "reservation" was made at some point in time in the past and is still "reserved", under girding the truth that it will come to pass in God's perfect timing regardless of how much unbelievers scoff at its delay.
Paul uses thesaurizo in (Ro 2:5) to describe men "storing up wrath" for themselves. Peter says that God is storing up the world for revelation of His righteous wrath. Peter explains "reserved for fire" in the following passages (v10-13) (remember that the golden rule of accurate interpretation is context rules).
There are 8 uses of thesaurizo in the NT…
The Septuagint (LXX) has 9 uses of thesaurizo (2 Ki. 20:17; Ps. 39:6; Prov. 1:18; 2:7; 13:22; 16:27; Amos 3:10; Mic. 6:10; Zech. 9:3; Matt. 6:19f; Lk. 12:21; Rom. 2:5; 1 Co. 16:2; 2 Co. 12:14; Jas. 5:3; 2 Pet. 3:7) and is used both literally and figuratively.
Fire (4442) (pur) as Peter uses it refers to literal combustion of flammable materials and thus pictures a radical purging of the heavens and earth of sin and the ungodly. No wonder they mock their frightening future fate as "fiction".
Easton's Dictionary states that…
There could not be a better metaphor for Jehovah than fire, which is immaterial, mysterious, but visible, warming, cheering, comforting, and finally also terrible and consuming. God for example is described as a "consuming fire" (Ex 24:17 Dt 4:24 see He 12:29-note, cf He 10:27-note).
Numerous references to fire in the Bible emphasize God’s judgment on wickedness and unbelief.
The prophet Amos warned Israel
In the NT, eternal damnation is pictured as an everlasting fire (Rev 21:8-note). Fire from heaven is described as an instrument of God’s wrath to crush the satanic rebellion (Revelation 20:9-note; Re 20:10-note).
The prophet Malachi describes the return of the Lord Jesus in terms of fire
Although this event (His second coming) is 1000 years prior to the fiery destruction of the universe that will occur at the end of the Messiah's 1000 year reign on earth (according to a literal interpretation of the chronology of the events in Rev 20-21). God put the rainbow in the sky as a sign of His covenantal promise that He would never destroy the world again by water (Ge 9:13). Peter says that in the future, God will destroy the heavens and the earth by fire (cf. Da 7:9,10; Mic 1:4; Mal 4:1;Ps 97:3)
KEPT FOR THE DAY OF JUDGMENT AND DESTRUCTION OF UNGODLY MEN: teroumenoi (PPPMPN) eis hemeran kriseos kai apoleias ton asebon anthropon: (Torrey's Topic Day of Judgment) (2Pe 2:9; Mt 10:15; 11:22,24; 12:36; Mk 6:11; 1Jn4:17) (Ro 2:5; Php 1:28; 2Th 2:3; 1Ti 6:9; Rev 17:8, Rev 17:11)
Tereo is used 4 times in 2 Peter, each time in connection with the judgment of the ungodly (2Peter 2:4, 2:9, 2:17, 3:7). But as the water of the pre-flood world was under the control of God, so the fire of the present age is kept preserved (in restraint) by that same word.
Day of Judgment - When does this day occur? Comparing other Scriptures it is clear that the present order of things (physical and spiritual) will be forever destroyed at the end of the 1000 year reign of Christ, which will also mark the end of the period known as the Day of the Lord which will be more fully discussed in the notes below on (2Pe 3:10 [note]). Judgment (see krisis below) as in most of the Scriptural uses refers to a distinction made between good and evil, right and wrong. Peter is referring to a "day" when the world will be destroyed (and separated) by a "judgment of fire".
Judgment (2920) (krisis) refers to a distinction, a separation or a discrimination. This root is seen in many English words, including "crisis" (a decisive time when judgment must be made) and "critical" (a decisive point at which judgment is seen). In early Greek krisis was related to the supposed activities of the gods, who were guardians of rights and customs. They judged those actions which conflicted with their rights or customs. If people violated these basic rules of life, it was believed that the gods would punish (or judge) either the violators or their children. When the word was taken up in the Septuagint Greek OT it took on a Hebrew flavor. In the OT it was Jehovah God Who judged between right and wrong using His holy law handed down at Sinai as the standard for judgment. The NT uses the noun and verb forms referring to judgment about 150 times.
From the table below summarizing the major end time judgments it is clear (maybe it's not that clear to you initially but study the Scriptures and it will become quite clear) that the present heavens and earth will "flee away", John writing…
Note that this chart is based upon a literal interpretation of the Scriptures, including acceptance of a future 7 year period corresponding to the "70th Week of Daniel" ( Da 9:24, 25, 26, 27see notes Da 9:24 25 26 27), commonly referred to as the "Tribulation". Note that Scripture never specifically designates this 7 year time period as the "tribulation". Jesus however did indicate that the last three and one-half years of this 7 year period would be a time of Great Tribulation (Mt 24:21). Note that this last 3.5 years also corresponds to the OT reference by Jeremiah to the "Time of Jacob's Trouble" (Jer 30:7, cf Da 12:1-2).
The Day of Judgment is both comforting and discomforting. It comforts those who know that God will make all wrongs right. On the other hand the Day of Judgment should be terribly discomforting to those who engage in wanton sins such as Peter described in Chapter 2 and surely they must know that one day they will pay for their dastardly deeds.
The famous preacher Robert G. Lee once delivered what has come to be one of the most famous sermons of the 20th Century entitled Payday Someday and in each of literally thousands of times he preached this truth around the world, many turned to Christ.
If you are reading these notes and you do not know Christ as your personal Savior and Lord, I would encourage you to read (or listen to) Dr. Lee's sermon at the above link and then if you're still unconvinced to follow that "appetizer" with Jonathan Edward's "entree" at the following link. God used Jonathan Edward's to ignite revival in his church and throughout New England with the famous sermon entitled Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.
Peter would have this solemn sure (by His Word) truth about judgment cause all saints to discipline themselves to live godly and holy lives until the Lord shall come again. My brother, my sister, how are you doing?
Destruction (684)(apoleia [word study] with 4/18 NT uses in 2 Peter derived from apo = marker of separation, away from + olethros = ruin, death but not annihilation) refers to the state in this case of the ungodly in which their life is "ruined" and is no longer usable for its original intended purpose. The ungodly are not annihilated and there is no reprieve once the righteous Judge renders His perfect judgment. If this tragic truth does not stir you deep within your innermost being to share the good news with those around you, then perhaps you really don't believe that it is literally true. The ungodly will experience the judgment of God as a day of destruction, not an extinction of existence or annihilation but an everlasting state of torment and death (physical and spiritual). They will be delivered up to eternal misery, and suffer the loss of everything that makes human existence worthwhile!
Apoleia - 18x in 17v - Matt 7:13; 26:8; Mark 14:4; John 17:12; Acts 8:20; Rom 9:22; Phil 1:28; 3:19; 2 Thess 2:3; 1 Tim 6:9; Heb 10:39; 2 Pet 2:1, 3; 3:7, 16; Rev 17:8, 11. NAS = destruction(13), destructive(1), perdition(1), perish(1), waste(1), wasted(1)
In Dante's "Inferno" he affixed the following inscription over the gates of hell:
Ben Franklin who probably was not a believer still had some fear of the Lord writing…
Ungodly (765) (asebes from "a" = without or devoid of + sébomai = to worship or to venerate which speaks of an attitude of reverential respect and of honoring and admiring another profoundly and respectfully) (See study of related word asebeia) describes those who violate the "norm" expected of one in a proper relation to God. They are destitute of reverential awe towards God. Webster defines "ungodly" as "denying or disobeying God".
Asebes - 9x in 9v- Rom 4:5; 5:6; 1 Tim 1:9; 1 Pet 4:18; 2 Pet 2:5f; 3:7; Jude 1:4, 15. NAS = godless man(1), ungodly(6), ungodly persons(1).
Asebes describes the person without reverence for God, not by merely being irreligious, but by acting in contravention of God’s demands. Clearly "ungodly" is an apt description of all who are unsaved.
The ungodly man or woman is the one who has little or no time for God in their life. They have deceived themselves into believing that they can rule God out of their affairs and their thinking even though God is the greatest Being in the universe, the One Who makes sense out of life, the One around Whom all of life revolves and without Whom no creature could even take a breath. To eliminate such a Glorious Being from one's thinking is what it means to be ungodly.
Ungodly means want or lack of reverence or piety toward God (which speaks of one's heart attitude) and thus living without regard for God and in a way that denies His existence and right as Supreme Ruler and Authority (which speaks of one's actions emanating from one's attitude). Asebes suggests a disregard of the existence of God, a refusal to retain Him in knowledge and a habit of mind leads to open rebellion. It is a general reference to all that is anti-God.
Jude writes that the ungodly will infiltrate the true church of God, for even in his day
Ungodly is one of Jude’s favorite words. While these men claimed to belong to God, they were, in fact, ungodly in their thinking and their living. They might have “a form of godliness,” but they lacked the force of godliness that directs one's thinking and actions "Godward". It is a basic principle, that doctrinal deviation often accompanies and often justifies ethical and moral sin. Their lack of reverence for God was demonstrated by the fact that they infiltrated the church of God to corrupt it and gain riches from its people.
The Bible declares that there is hope even for the ungodly
John MacArthur writes that the lifestyle of the ungodly
Amplified: Nevertheless, do not let this one fact escape you, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: Beloved, you must not shut your eyes to this one fact that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. (Westminster Press)
KJV: 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.
NET: Now, dear friends, do not let this one thing escape your notice, that a single day is like a thousand years with the Lord and a thousand years are like a single day. (NET Bible)
NLT: But you must not forget, dear friends, that a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: But you should never lose sight of this fact, dear friends, that time is not the same with the Lord as it is with us - to him a day may be a thousand years, and a thousand years only a day. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: But this one thing, stop allowing it to be hidden from you, divinely loved ones, that one day in the sight of the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: And this one thing let not be unobserved by you, beloved, that one day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day;
BUT DO NOT LET THIS ONE FACT ESCAPE YOUR NOTICE BELOVED: Hen de touto me lanthaneto (3SPAM) humas agapetoi: (Romans 11:25; 1Corinthians 10:1; 12:1)
Wilmington's Bible Handbook has an interesting title for 2 Peter 3:8-13
"From mercy to meltdown to Millennium."
Beloved (2Pe 1:17, 3:1, 8, 14, 15, 17) - He again addresses his readers as "loved ones" or as some versions render it "dear friends".
Beloved (27) (agapetos from agapao = to love, agape = unconditional love borne by Spirit - Gal 5:22-) means beloved, dear, very much loved. Agapetos is love called out of one’s heart by preciousness of the object loved. Agapetos is used only of Christians as united with God or with each other in love.
But (de) suggest that Peter will now offer a contrast… something different from what has preceded needs to be said. Having dealt with the bogus argument of the mockers, Peter now offers instruction regarding the Lord's return, for with the passing of the years some of his readers may have become discouraged and had their hopes of His return dimmed. Peter now gives his readers needed truth regarding the delay in the expected return, beginning with the true explanation concerning the apparent delay. He again addresses them with the affectionate "beloved" (not "friends" like translated by the NIV).
The word order of the Greek emphasizes "this one fact" reading literally
Peter wants to make sure they do not overlook the critically important truth that follows as did Jesus in His instruction to Martha that…
Peter wants his readers (who will surely be faced with taunts from the scoffers) to remember that God is in control and He is always on time. Scoffers would attempt to make us believe that God has fallen asleep or He is inept or He does not keep His promises. To pay attention to such lies would hardly undergird our faith, and so Peter calls for focused attention.
Escape… notice (lanthano = to be hidden from) is the same verb Peter used in (2Pe 3:5-note see there) but here gives his readers a negative command. Believers are not to forget the truth that surround the Second Coming of Christ. As Richison aptly puts it…
Peter once again is appealing to their memories as picked up by the NLT version
The present imperative is a command to continually do this and with the negative particle (not = Greek word me) he is forbidding the continuance of an action or state that was already going on among the saints (i.e., some were already forgetting the truth he will now remind them of).
The scoffers were willfully ignorant (culpable ignorance - see note 2 Peter 3:5) but believers are not to forget.
His readers needed to understand why God had delayed for what seemed like a long time. Otherwise their confidence in God's Word and His promises might be shaken and they might fall from their steadfastness, especially as they listened to the persuasive pseudo scientific arguments. The scoffers may have been "getting to" some of the saints, pressuring the questions with questions like:
That's why Peter says stop being ignorant of the truth he now reminds them of -- that truth is that God's timetable is not the equivalent of man's. God does not view time as we do. Christians must be careful lest the propaganda of the scoffers distort their thinking.
The scoffers forget (see note 2 Peter 3:5) and argue that the Second Coming has not occurred after so many years of delay and therefore will not occur. The beloved of God should recall the principle Peter reminds them of in Ps 90:4.
Man sees time against time, but God sees time against eternity. God is above time, for His "time line" has no beginning or end, compared to man's which now lasts some 70 years plus or minus. God is not bound by or limited by time as is man. Time is determined by the relation of the sun to the earth, and God is not limited by this relationship. "In the beginning… " in Genesis 1:1 is the first tick of the clock of time which has been ticking ever since.
Richison has some excellent thoughts on why believers forget important truth…
THAT WITH THE LORD ONE DAY IS AS A THOUSAND YEARS AND A THOUSAND YEARS AS ONE DAY: hoti mia hemera para kurio hos chilia ete kai chilia ete hos hemera mia:
Adam Clarke wrote…
Peter apparently is quoting from the Psalmist who records…
Keep in mind that the context of this verse in Psalm 90 is a reference to man's life, which in the pre-flood era lasted almost 1000 years (Methuselah lived to age 969 years).
Some commentators suggest that Peter's (and the psalmist's) statement argues against pre-millennialism and a literal 1000 year reign of Christ (see Millennium 1 ; Millennium 2; Millennium 3). They argue that 1000 years is not to be taken literally, reasoning that here in Peter it is merely a comparative time reference. The 1,000 years in Revelation 20:1-6 is repeated (Six times in six verses!) and is not in the grammatical construction of a simile as it is in Peter's usage (remember that a simile is a figure of speech that expresses the resemblance of one thing to another of a different category, usually introduced by as or like - cf Peter's statement -- "as a thousand years… as one day… "). Those who use Peter's use of thousand to refute John's literal use of thousand is in essence "putting words" in Peter's mouth to use a modern saying! We need to be intellectually honest, and see what Peter did not say. In short, Peter did not say…
In contrast the apostle John did say "THE 1000 years" (Re 20:1; 20:2; 20:3; 20:4; 20:5 20:6-see notes Re 20:1; 20:2; 20:3; 20:4; 20:5 20:6). In the original Greek text, the specific article "the" is present ("ta chilia" where ta = "the" and "chilia" = thousand). Thus this verse in Revelation is most naturally, normally and literally read as signifying THE ("the" very specific) 1000 year period irregardless of what amillennial "scholars" maintain! As an aside, many who do not accept a literal millennium argue that this is the only place in Scripture where such a time period is mentioned and if it is so important why would God mention it only in one section? They are correct that this section of Revelation 20 is the only place the specific length of time of the Messianic Kingdom is mentioned, it is hardly the only Scripture that refers to this period, for there are scores of Old Testament passage that describe the character (as opposed to the length of time) of this glorious period of human history. See Millennium Part 3 for a description of the Messianic Kingdom, and see if this blessed hope does not encourage you to press on in your faith, laying aside the old and putting on the new character of Christ in your day by day walk. Prophecy is given to encourage our sinking, failing hearts (which looking around the events and morals, etc of this world will do to our outlook), and to build us up and equip us to run the race with endurance. Prophecy was not given primarily to satisfy your curiosity about the future which is too often the primary effect study of the study of eschatology.
Peter uses thousand to picture any long period of time as contrasted to a very short period and therefore does not convey a precise mathematical significance. God is not limited to our time schedules to fulfill His purposes. Peter is not saying that the Lord is timeless (which of course He is) but that His relation to time must never be confused with our relation to time. For example, a 24 hour day seems relatively short to us (depending on what kind of "day" you are having!) while a thousand years is a very long time. With the Lord a 24 hour day is no different than 1000 years and vice versa. Whether it is a day or a thousand years as we count time, both are really the same with the Lord. Neither hampers nor helps Him.
Even the Reformation Study Bible agrees that this passage is often misinterpreted and misapplied…
Richison comments that believers…
A B Simpson writes that…
Jameison & Fausset have a unique comment on God's timelessness:
New Bible Commentary adds that this passage in 2 Peter is actually…
The fundamental thought is that God is sovereign over time and that His perspective on time differs radically from ours. Men have a limited perspective and cannot understand God’s time-table (cf Habakkuk 2:3). Men view history in terms of days and years, but to God, time is always "present tense". Several decades seemed to the early Christians a very long time to wait for the return of Jesus. Peter implies that this is a very short time from God’s perspective. God is never in a hurry, because He is never late. He has not missed an appointment yet! Since time is purely relative with God, He waits patiently while human beings stew with impatience. While God works in time, He is not limited by time. When Jesus presented Himself as the sacrificial Lamb on the Cross on a single day in time, this one day had impact on all eternity, past, present and future!
John Calvin has some wise advice observing that Peter…
F B Meyer - Our Daily Homily
There is no succession of time with God: no past, no future; He dwells in the eternal present, as I AM. As we may look down from a lofty mountain on a stream in the valley beneath, tracing it from its source to its fall into the ocean, and feeling that each part of it is equally distant from the spot where we stand, so must time appear to the Eternal; who was, and is, and is to come.
One day is as a thousand years. — He could do in a single day, if He chose, what He has at other times taken a thousand years to accomplish. Do not say that He will require so long to do this or that — to restore or convert the Jews; to introduce the millennial age; to undo the effects of the Curse, and fill the years with blessing. Do not say that He must have as long to make the second heavens and earth as the first. Do not say that the overthrow of the empire of darkness, and the conversion of multitudes to God, can only be achieved by the processes which are now in vogue. All this could be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye; and between sunrise and sunset God could effect the work of a thousand ordinary years.
A thousand years as one day. — Periods that seem so long to our finite minds are not so to God. A thousand years in our reckoning is but a day in his. You say it is nearly two thousand years ago since Jesus died, or at least that we are in the evening of the second thousand. But in God’s reckoning, the Cross, the Grave, the Resurrection, took place in the morning of yesterday. Take wider views of God’s horizon; believe in his mighty march throughout the centuries; He takes up the isles as a very little thing, and the centuries are the beats of the minute-hand. (Meyer, F. B. Our Daily Homily)
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