2 Peter 3:7-8 Commentary

To go directly to that verse

2 Peter 3:7 but the present heavens and earth by His word are (3PPAI ) being reserved (RPPMSN ) for fire, kept (PPPMPN ) for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men . (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: Hoi de nun ouranoi kai e ge to auto logo tethesaurismenoi (RPPMSN) eisin (3PPAI) puri, teroumenoi (PPPMPN) eis hemeran kriseos kai apoleias ton asebon anthropon

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. 

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:

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

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away. (Mt 24:35)

Luke reminds us that

no Word from God shall be void of power (Lk 1:37ASV).

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."

The writer of Hebrews says Jesus holds all things together by the Word of His power. (Heb 1:3-note, cf Col 1:17-note)

Do you really believe that God's Word is this certain,
this powerful and this effective?
Do you show it by treasuring it in your heart
so that you may not sin against Him
(Ps 119:9,11)?

There is no fear of judgment for the one who judges himself or herself according to the Word of God.

Related Resources:

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

thesauros is found from Hesiod onwards. Its etymology is uncertain, and it is probably a technical loan-word. It means:

(a) a treasure chamber, a storage room, granary, strong-box;

(b) treasure. 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. 2 Ki 12:10).

Thesaurizo is used similarly in the sense of storing up treasure, or putting it in safe keeping.

Mandaean Gnostic literature made use of the concepts of the treasure-house and the treasure of life and light from which the soul takes its rise, and to which it may return after it has experienced salvation (cf. W. Foerster, Gnosis: A Selection of Gnostic Texts)…

In later Judaism good works, e.g. alms giving, are a treasure which is stored up as a reward in the world to come, while the interest is enjoyed in this world as well (cf. Tob. 4:8ff.; 2 Esd. 6:5ff.; 7:77; Tosefta Peah 4:18; SB I 430). “All that Israel lays up in the form of fulfilments of the Law and good works, it lays up for its Father in heaven” (Deut. R. 1 on Deut. 1:1; cf. F. Hauck, TDNT III 137; SB I 431).

The rabbis sometimes spoke of the treasure from which the scribe draws and of the treasure house of eternal life, i.e. the place where the souls of the dead are stored up, or the “bundle” in which they are “bound” (cf. 1 Sam. 15:29; F. Hauck, ibid.; SB II 268; III 803). (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan)

The verb thesaurizo is used similarly in the sense of storing up treasure or putting it in safe keeping.

John MacArthur adds that…

The Greek also carries the connotation of stacking or laying out horizontally, as one stacks coins. In the context of this passage the idea is that of stockpiling or hoarding, and therefore pictures wealth that is not being used. The money or other wealth is simply stored for safekeeping; it is kept for the keeping’s sake to make a show of wealth or to create an environment of lazy overindulgence (cf. Luke 12:16-21). (MacArthur, J: Matthew 1-7 Macarthur New Testament Commentary Chicago: Moody Press)

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…

Matthew 6:19 (see note) "Do not lay up (present imperative + a negative = command to stop action already in process) for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. (The saying is true… You can't take it with you!)

Matthew 6:20 (note) "But lay up (present imperative = make this the habit of your life! Don't be stingy!) for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal

Luke 12:21 So is the man who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."

Romans 2:5 (note) But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God (Comment: The one who remains unrepentant is steadily storing up wrath. There is an interesting ironic contrast for on one hand Paul has just referred to the riches of God's kindness, forbearance and patience [see note Romans 2:4] on which the Jew is in fact presuming, and, on the other hand, with the Jewish conception of treasure stored up in the world to come as a reward for good works - see the preceding discussion in the NIDNTT re Judaism and "works".)

1 Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of every week let each one of you put aside and save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come. (These instructions on storing up refer to the collection for the poor of Jerusalem)

2 Corinthians 12:14 Here for this third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you; for I do not seek what is yours, but you; for children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. (In context Paul is speaking of his forthcoming visit and his determination not to be a burden to them. He regards himself as their father, and hence is under obligation to support them and not vice versa.)

James 5:3 Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure! (Comment: James speaks of judgment which awaits those who are preoccupied with temporal, earthly treasures. The irony is that while these people thought that they were storing up treasure, they were, in fact, storing up wrath as described in Romans 2:5)

2 Peter 3:7 (note) But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

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.

2 Kings 20:17 'Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and all that your fathers have laid up in store to this day shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,' says the LORD.

Proverbs 2:7 He stores up (Hebrew = tsaphan = hide, treasure, store up; Lxx = thesaurizo) sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,

Amos 3:10 "But they do not know how to do what is right," declares the LORD, "these who hoard up (Hebrew = 'atsar = store up, save, lay up; Lxx = thesaurizo) violence and devastation in their citadels."

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…

Figuratively, fire is a symbol of Jehovah's presence and the instrument of his power (Exodus 14:19; Numbers 11:1,3; Judges 13:20; 1Kings 18:38; 2Kings 1:10,12; 2:11; Isaiah 6:4; Ezek. 1:4; Revelation 1:14, etc.).(cf Ge15:17-18). (Click ISBE article)

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

Seek the Lord and live, lest He break out like a fire in the house of Joseph and devour it (Amos 5:6)

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

But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap (Mal 3:2)

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:

Kept (5083) (tereo [word study]) means to keep in view, watch over, guard.

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…

And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. (see note Revelation 20:11)

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?


(See God's Plan for the Ages)



"The Bema" Seat - Only Believers appear here to be recompensed for their deeds in the body whether good or bad

Scripture is not absolutely specific regarding the timing of this event so dogmatism is best avoided. With that caveat, it appears that this event probably occurs during the 7 year period preceding the millennial reign of Christ during the time period best known by the popular term "The Tribulation" (actually a misnomer as discussed above)

Ro 14:10, 11, 12
2Co 5:10
1Co 3:12,13,14,15 Rev 22:12


Refers primarily to Gentiles - Sheep ~ Believers who enter Messianic kingdom & Goats ~ Unbelievers commanded to depart to the "eternal fire" (Mt 25:41)

At the end of the 7 year period described above Christ returns as Conquering King (Rev 17:14, 19:11ff) and apparently at the inception of the establishment of His Millennial kingdom.

Mt 25:31-46, 41


"All" Israel will be saved (Ro 11:26ff) which refers to "all" of the 1/3 who believe (Zec 13:8, 9) the "new" covenant (Jer 31:31)

The judgment appears to coincide with the end of the last three & one-half year period of Daniel's 70th week (Da 9:27), the time Jesus called "The Great Tribulation" (Mt 24:21) & Jeremiah referred to as "time of Jacob's distress" (Jer 30:7)

Ezek 20:33-41
Ro 11:26ff
Zech 13:8, 9
Jer 31:31, 32, 33


The "final" judgment when all unbelievers (spiritually dead) will stand before the throne & be judged according to their deeds (Rev 20:12). All whose names are not found written in the book of life will be thrown into the lake of fire = the second death (Re 20:14, 15)

Revelation 19, 20 & 21 when interpreted literally lay out a very logical chronology: The return of Christ defeating the antichrist (Rev 19:11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21), Satan bound 1000 years (Rev 20:1, 2, 3), Christ & His saints reign on earth during the 1000 years Satan is bound (Rev 20:4, 5, 6), Satan leads & is defeated at the last rebellion at the end of the Millennial reign (Rev 20:7, 8, 9, 10). "Earth & heaven fled away & no place was found for them (Rev 20:11) corresponds to Peter's description of the "present heavens & earth" being destroyed with fire & is followed by the appearance of the New Heaven and Earth (Rev 21:1) which implies the old order was removed between Re 20:10 and Re 21:1 - Peter fills in the details in 2Peter 3 explaining how the first heaven & earth "passed away"

Rev 19-21

Note that this chart is an overview and is not an exhaustive compilation of relevant Scriptures

Related Resources:

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:

All hope abandon, ye who enter here" a fitting summarization of the meaning of "destruction.

Ben Franklin who probably was not a believer still had some fear of the Lord writing…

Even in this age of inflation, the wages of sin remain the same.

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

"certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ." (Jude 1:4)

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

for while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly" (see Ro 5:6-note) and for the one who "believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness" (Romans 4:5-note)

John MacArthur writes that the lifestyle of the ungodly

is inevitably empty, vain, and void of substance. The life of an unbeliever is bound up in thinking and acting in an arena of ultimate trivia. He consumes himself in the pursuit of goals that are purely selfish, in the accumulation of that which is temporary, and in looking for satisfaction in that which is intrinsically deceptive and disappointing. The unregenerate person plans and resolves everything on the basis of his own thinking. He becomes his own ultimate authority and he follows his own thinking to its ultimate outcome of futility, aimlessness, and meaninglessness—to the self–centered emptiness that characterizes our age… The second characteristic of ungodly persons is ignorance of God’s truth. Their thinking not only is futile but spiritually uninformed… Fallen mankind has a built–in inability to know and comprehend the things of God—the only things that ultimately are worth knowing… the ungodly are unresponsive to truth (cf. Isa 44:18, 19, 20 1Th 4:5-note). Just as a corpse cannot hear a conversation in the mortuary, the person who is spiritually “dead in [his] trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1-note) cannot hear or understand the things of God, no matter how loudly or clearly they may be declared or evidenced in his presence… The knowledge that the ungodly person hates is not practical, factual knowledge. On the contrary, he prides himself in how much he knows. (MacArthur, J: Ephesians. Chicago: Moody Press)

The attitude of the ungodly man or woman "is nowhere more clearly exposed than in the popular admonition to do one’s own thing. Man’s “own thing” is sin, which characterizes his whole natural being. Self-will is the essence of all sin. Although Satan was responsible for their being tempted to sin, it was the voluntary placing of their own will-s above God’s that caused Adam and Eve to commit the first sin." (MacArthur, J: Romans 1-8. Moody)

2 Peter 3:5-7
Admire the power of God’s Word., It was by the Word of God that the heavens were made, by the Word of God that the earth was drowned, by the Word of God that it has been preserved ever since, and will be preserved until, by that same Word, fire shall come to devour all the works of men. As surely as Noah’s flood came, so surely shall there be a burning up at the appointed season: “The heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire?
Ignorant that there has been one great interposition of God to avenge the insults to his holy law, and to overturn the rule of sin: “For this they willingly are ignorant of,”
There will come a second interposition; we know not when, but assuredly it shall come; and if the visitation tarry, we must wait for it; for it shall come, it shall not rely tarry, however long it may seem to be delayed.

2 Peter 3:8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice (3SPAM), beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: En de touto me lanthaneto (3SPAM) humas agapetoi, hoti mia hemera para kuri os chilia ete kai chilia ete os hemera mia.

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. 

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:

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

"this one thing, let it not keep escaping your notice".

Peter wants to make sure they do not overlook the critically important truth that follows as did Jesus in His instruction to Martha that…

only a few things are necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Lk 10:42, cp Lk 10:38, 39, 40, 41).

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…

When we forget about who God is we cannot apply who God is to our lives.

Peter once again is appealing to their memories as picked up by the NLT version

"But you must not forget, dear friends".

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).

"Stop letting this one fact escape or be hidden from your notice."

"Stop allowing this truth to be hidden from you"

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:

Then why the delay? The promise of Christ’s coming and the judgment of the world has been around for centuries, and it is yet to be fulfilled. Has God changed His mind?

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.

Wiersbe - Not only were they (the mockers) ignorant of what God had done in the past (2Pe 3:5-note), but they were also ignorant of what God was like (Isa 46:9). They were making God in their own image (Ro 1:23-note) and ignoring the fact that God is eternal (Dt 33:27). This means that He has neither beginning nor ending. Man is immortal: he has a beginning but not an ending. He will live forever either in heaven or hell. But God is eternal, without beginning or ending (Rev 21:6-note, Re 22:13-note), and He dwells in eternity. Eternity is not just “extended time.” Rather, it is existence above and apart from time… Since a thousand years are as one day to the Lord, we cannot accuse Him of delayed fulfillment of His promises. In God’s sight, the whole universe is only a few days old!" (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)

Richison has some excellent thoughts on why believers forget important truth…

How can people learn truth and proceed to quickly forget what they learned? There are a number of reasons for this. Some people never truly learned the principle in the first place. They are ignorant of the principle. In this case, application is not the issue, but they have not formed clear enough principles to apply truth to their experience.

In another situation people know the principles of God’s Word but they operate on false criteria such as emotion as their primary operating principle. We all have emotions but the point here is that we can use our emotions falsely. Emotions should be the result of principle rather than the cause of principle. If we live out principle, pertinent emotions should follow. Emotions get out of whack when we live inherently in emotions without principle.

Some people use emotion as the criterion of their soul. Eventually they base their whole evaluation of the Christian life on how they feel. This leads to psychological hedonism and keeps people from applying God’s truth to experience. Some people try to solve their problems by tantrums. They blow their cork and exhibit childish behavior. This is living by manipulation. Emotions rule in this situation. When this happens, we become slaves to emotions. This destroys the Christian life. We cannot absorb and apply God’s truth in this environment.

If we stay out of fellowship long enough, this will also destroy our capacity to apply God’s truth to experience. We eventually lose conscious awareness of God’s principles because we do not think that those principles work anymore. The longer we stay in this situation, the more deprived we get. This is one problem of “forgetting” in this verse.

Another problem that comes from “forgetting” is displaced orientation. When we fail to categorize God’s Word into proper principles for living, we live fragmented lives. We all need standards of conduct. Much Bible preaching today strictly revolves around inspiration and not teaching. No wonder people cannot apply truth to experience—they only see one issue at a time! They respond to one inspiration after another and not to the whole counsel of God. They fail to categorize God’s principles in order to structure their entire life around God’s philosophy of life.

Failure to orient to God’s Word as integral principles for living is like throwing all our clothes into one big pile. When we want to wear a certain combination, we must dig through the pile until we find things that match. By the time we do this spiritually, we may end in spiritual disaster. This is a problem of categorization of God’s Word for our lives. If we hang God’s principles into categories, we can sort out what we need at the time we need it. We no longer have to say, “I wonder where that principle can be found in the Bible for my life.”

Many people do not apply truth to their lives because other things distract them from the principles of the Word. Learning and applying principles to experience requires discipline. It does not come with casual Christianity. If we put learning God’s Word on the outer edge of the periphery of our lives, we will not live out the Bible in our lives. (Verse by Verse)

Not so in haste my heart!
Have faith in God, and wait;
Although He linger long,
He never comes too late.

He never cometh late;
He knoweth what is best;
Vex not thyself in vain;
Until He cometh, rest.

Until He cometh, rest,
Nor grudge the hours that roll;
The feet that wait for God
Are soonest at the goal.

Are soonest at the goal
That is not gained with speed;
Then hold thee still, my heart,
For I shall wait His lead.

Lappin's Sermon Outline - A FAREWELL WORD FROM PETER

“But forget not this one thing, beloved, 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 count slackness; but is longsuffering to you-ward, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”—2 Pet. 3:8, 9.

  INTRODUCTION.—Peter, now old and about to die (chap. 1:14). writes from Babylon to the disciples in Asia Minor.
    Here he would show that

            I.      God takes time. He does not reckon as men do. To Him a thousand years are as a day. He has time—all time. Verse 8.

            II.      God’s promises may be long in fulfillment (as seems to men limited by time), but they are all fulfilled finally. Verse 9a.

            III.      God’s love for man endures. He is patient. “He is not willing that any should perish.” Verse 9b.

Henry Blackaby - There’s been endless speculation about Jesus’ Second Coming. Hundreds of books predict when it will be and what it will be like. Speakers travel across the globe sharing their insight into this intriguing event. Some have immersed themselves in the topic, trying to unlock the mystery of Christ’s return. Many calculated an exact date when the trumpet would sound and Jesus would come in glory. The given date came and went, and it was back to the drawing board! Members of some religions have been so sure the Second Coming would happen immediately that they quit their jobs and waited for him on their rooftops or on hillsides. Later, they were lining up at employment agencies. It’s a fascinating subject. In fact, Christ’s return has mesmerized people since his resurrection. Even in Peter’s day, people were spending a great deal of time speculating on the subject.
Peter had three things to say about the matter. First, he pointed out that God’s timing is not like ours. A thousand years is like a day to God. That means Jesus walked the earth only two days ago! Second, Peter noted that Christ’s return will be as sudden and unexpected as a prowler sneaking into a house under cover of darkness (Luke 12:40). Thieves don’t tell you what time to expect them! Therefore, there’s no point in trying to determine exactly when Christ will come. In fact, the Bible says even Jesus himself did not know when the Second Coming would be (Matthew 24:36).Third, Peter said Christ will come in dramatic judgment, with fire, and the world will be no more. Every secret and every sin will be laid bare. On that day, according to the apostle Paul, believers and unbelievers alike will all bow in humble worship to the King of kings (Romans 14:11).
How does all this relate to us? Rather than wasting our time on endless speculations about Judgment Day, we need to understand one thing: it is coming, and it will be like nothing we could even imagine! Let’s live each day in such a way that no matter when Christ returns we’ll be ready.

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:

Bengel said…

As to a very rich man a thousand sovereigns are as one penny; so, to the eternal God, a thousand years are as one day.

Adam Clarke wrote…

All time is as nothing before him, because in the presence as in the nature of God all is eternity; therefore nothing is long, nothing short, before him; no lapse of ages impairs his purposes, nor need he wait to find convenience to execute those purposes. And when the longest period of time has passed by, it is but as a moment or indivisible point in comparison of eternity. This thought is well expressed by PLUTARCH, Consol. ad Apoll.: "If we compare the time of life with eternity, we shall find no difference between long and short.

Peter apparently is quoting from the Psalmist who records…

For a thousand years in Thy sight are like yesterday when it passes by, or as a watch in the night. (Psalm 90:4) (Spurgeon's note)

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…

one day IS a 1000 years and a 1000 years ARE one day.

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…

Though this passage—and Ps. 90:4 upon which it is based—is sometimes implausibly cited in support of the theory that when a “day” is mentioned in biblical prophecy a literal thousand years is meant, Peter’s point is to assert that God is sovereign over time and that His perspective on time differs radically from ours.

Richison comments that believers…

need to focus on the principle of God’s essence. His essence does not operate on human timetables. He operates on His own timetable. We need to be patient in our understanding of how God operates. We should understand that God will fulfill His promises in His own good time. (Verse by Verse)

A B Simpson writes that…

The apostle lays down a great principle with regard to our calculations of dates and chronologies. "Beloved," he says, "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." (2Pe 3:8) That is, we cannot fix the date of the Lord's coming by our chronometers or chronologies. It is fixed rather by spiritual conditions. One of our days may hasten it a thousand years, and one of our decades may mean little or nothing to bring it near. (A. B. Simpson. Christ in the Bible -- 1 & 2 Peter)

Jameison & Fausset have a unique comment on God's timelessness:

God’s aeonologe (eternal-ages measurer) differs wholly from man’s horologe (hour -glass). His gnomon (dial-pointer) shows all the hours at once in the greatest activity and in perfect repose…

God’s delay in fulfilling His promise is not, like men’s delays, owing to inability or fickleness in keeping His word, but through “long-suffering.”

New Bible Commentary adds that this passage in 2 Peter is actually…

Quoted by some as an argument from universalism, (but) this verse in fact teaches the opposite. It shows that after the second coming, ushering in God’s judgment, there will be no further opportunity for repentance.

O God, Our Help in Ages Past
Isaac Watts

A thousand ages in Thy sight
Are like an evening gone
Short as the watch that ends the night,
Before the rising Sun.

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…

now turns to speak to the godly; and he reminds them that when the coming of Christ is the subject, they were to raise upwards their eyes, for by so doing, they would not limit, by their unreasonable wishes, the time appointed by the Lord. For waiting seems very long on this account, because we have our eyes fixed on the shortness of the present life, and we also increase weariness by computing days, hours, and minutes. But when the eternity of God’s kingdom comes to our minds, many ages vanish away like so many moments.

Jesus is coming to earth again; what if it were today?
Coming in power and love to reign; what if it were today?
Coming to claim His chosen Bride, all the redeemed and purified,
Over this whole earth scattered wide; what if it were today?

Faithful and true would He find us here if He should come today?
Watching in gladness and not in fear, if He should come today?
Signs of His coming multiply; morning light breaks in eastern sky.
Watch, for the time is drawing nigh; what if it were today?

 Question 36 What does it mean that with the Lord a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day (2 Peter 3:8)?

It means there is no relationship between what we think of as time and the schedule God operates under. It doesn’t mean that days in heaven last a thousand years. By using a small number and a large number Peter set up a contrast to warn us against any attempt to concoct time tables for divine activity. We cannot unravel the mystery of the end time and its date by understanding some detail of biblical chronology because God does not use our time scale. (O'Brien - Today's Handbook for Solving Bible Difficulties)

2 Peter 3:8
You are in a hurry; you do not understand the infinite leisure of the Eternal One. The wondrous system of divine grace seems to have hardly room and scope enough in the few years that men give to it by their prophetic calculations; but God’s prophecies are being fulfilled to the very letter. It may be that the length of time for their accomplishment will be far greater than any have imagined, yet to God it shall still be a very little while. “One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” We cry, “How long? how long?” Yet, according to God’s reckoning, it is but the day before yesterday that Christ died, and only about a week ago that Adam was expelled from Eden. A thousand years is, after all, a very brief space of time. If it be measured by our life, it seems long; but what is the life of a man? Measured other ways, — and there are many other modes of measurement, — it grows even longer; but measured by the eternity of God, it is a vanishing point altogether, there seems to be nothing left of it.
There are no years to him; there are no days to the great Ancient of days. A thousand years must seem to be a mere speck in comparison with his everlasting existence,— as a dream when one swarth, it has swiftly passed away; but God still remaine

2 Peter 3:8 Money; Perspective; Time
The apostle Peter writes: “But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day” (2 Peter 3:8 NRSV).
An economist who read this passage was quite amazed and talked to God about it. “Lord, is it true that a thousand years for us is like one minute to you?”
The Lord said yes.
The economist said, “Then a million dollars to us must be like one penny to you.”
The Lord said, “Well, yes.”
The economist said, “Will you give me one of those pennies?”
The Lord said, “All right, I will. Wait here a minute.” --John Ortberg

The Time Machine

Read: Revelation 21:1-4 

With the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. —2 Peter 3:8

In 1896, H. G. Wells published a book titled The Time Machine, an imaginative tale of a scientist who builds a machine that can transport someone through time. The time traveler is preoccupied with the future, not the past. Like many scientists, he believes “progress” will enable the human race to build a better world. Yet in Wells’ book, this science-fiction story does not have a happy ending.

The protagonist travels millions of years into the future. There the world has grown cold and dark. As a bleak snow falls, he sees the last remnants of life awaiting extinction. Thoroughly sickened by the twilight of life on our planet, the scientist returns to the time of his origin to report his anguish.

The biblical view of the future is very different. It tells us that God is Lord over time itself: “With the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8). We can be optimistic about the future because God will replace our world with a new one. In that new heaven and new earth we will experience blessed fellowship with our Creator for eternity (Rev. 21:1-4). Even now, Jesus is preparing a place for those who love Him (John 14:1-3), a place where “there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying” (Rev. 21:4).

If God has made this world so fair,
Where sin and death abound,
How beautiful beyond compare
Will paradise be found! —Montgomery

Jesus is preparing a place for us and preparing us for that place.

By Dennis Fisher (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

2 Peter 3:8 One day is with the Lord as a thousand years.

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)

… In her book Tramp for the Lord, Corrie ten Boom tells of speaking before a group of young theologians on the Second Coming of Christ. A brash young student challenged her: “For two thousand years,” he said, “Christians have believed this myth. Can’t you understand all this talk is nonsense?” Tante Corrie, a stubborn old Dutch woman in her eighties, smiled and said: “Thank you, young man, for proving that Jesus is coming to this generation. The Bible says that the generation who will see His return will hear scoffers such as you. You, my young friend, are one of ‘the signs of the times.’ ”

Lack of Attendance
During one service I was complaining to the Lord about the lack of attendance: "Lord, attendance is just not what I'd like it to be."
This was the Lord's response: "My son, attendance is not what I'd like it to be in heaven.
That was the last time I complained to the Lord about lack of attendance. 

See: 2 Peter 3:9


2 Peter 3:9

2 Peter 3:9


2 Peter 3:10 2 Peter 3:10

The Day of the LORD

The Day of the LORD

Comparison of 3 Divine Days LORD Christ God

Comparison of 3 Divine Days LORD Christ God