WHAT THE BIBLE HAS TO SAY ABOUT CREATION
For October 17,2002
2 Peter 3:1-18
With the Lord, one day is as a thousand years
CONTEXT: Chapter 3 of Peter's Second Letter was also written to those who were scattered
throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia,and
Bithynia.(See 1 Peter 1:1) His second letter was written to remind them that both the Prophets and Jesus (through his Apostles) had predicted that scoffers would come in the last days, following after their own passions.
Peter wrote that scoffers will ask where the promised Messiah is. They will say that nothing has changed from the beginning of creation. They are purposely ignorant that by God's word(logos, decree/command) the heavens were created long ago. And, the earth (which was out of the water and in the water) was held together by God's word, logos, decree/
After the creation, "The world that then existed was deluged with water(kataklystheis, a cataclysm) and perished(apoleto, totally destroyed)."
To answer those scoffers, Peter explained the reason for the seemingly long delay since the beginning of creation and the coming of Messiah and the promise of new heavens and a new earth.(2 Peter 3:4, 13; Revelation 21:1) The reason was this: the heavens and the earth which
now exist are kept by the very same word(logos,
decree/command) until the day of judgment and the destruction of ungodly men by fire. Peter told them that God did not measure time as man measures time for "with the Lord one day is as a thousand years".(2 Peter 3:8; Genesis 1:1-2:5; Psalm 90:4) That is, God was not slack in fulfilling his promise as men understand slackness but
was actually longsuffering(being patient). God was giving everyone sufficient time to repent so they would not perish.
Nevertheless, while God is longsuffering, the day of judgment and destruction, the Day of the Lord(kyriou),
will come unexpectedly, "as a thief in the night." The heavens shall pass away and the earth and its works
shall be burned up.(Matthew 24:43; Revelation 3:3) Peter then explained to those who were scattered to Pontus,
Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia how they were
to behave until that day of judgment and destruction. They were to look for the coming day of God(theo) and for
"new heavens and a new earth".(2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1) They were to be diligent so they would be found at
peace and unblemished. Therefore, they were to understand
that God's longsuffering (a long time in man's reckoning) results in salvation.(2 Peter 3:15a) Peter said that the Apostle Paul wrote of such things in his letters also.(Romans 1:18-32)
Finally, Peter said, since they knew all these things, they should guard against being led astray by the lawless
and thereby fall away from their own stable way(stability, strengths).
TEXT: In 2 Peter 3:1, the two English words "foreigners" and "scattered" signify Jews of the
Dispersion who had been scattered from their own region (the Province of Judea, i.e., Israel/Judah) to the area that is now known as Turkey or Asia Minor. Students should refer to a Biblical Map and 1 Peter 1:1 for the geographical locations of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.
In 2 Peter 3:5 and 7, the English word "word" is a translation of the Greek word logos. Depending on context, the Greek word logos and its inflected forms have meanings such as an authoritative utterance, decree, mandate, declaration, command, order, news, tidings, word, work, list or may refer to another substantive such as Christ Jesus. Within the context of 2 Peter 3:5 and 7, logos carries with it a meaning of an authoritative utterance, decree, mandate, declaration, command or order.
In 2 Peter 3:6, the English words "overflowed" and "perished" are translations of the Greek words
kataklystheis and apoleto respectively. Those two Greek words signify a complete destruction.
The Greek word kataklystheis(2620 from 2830) has a meaning of a catastrophic deluge of water. The Greek word apoleto(622) has a meaning of a total destruction.(Cf. Genesis 1:2 which signifies a total destruction) Accordingly, the Great Flood described in Genesis 7:10-24, so-called Noah's Flood, did not cause total destruction. That is, Noah's Flood did not result in a complete
destruction of all of God's creation. The Biblical evidence is that there were at least two of God's creations that were not destroyed by Noah's Flood. They were the Sea Creatures and the Plants with their Seeds. For example, according to Genesis 7:21 and 22, only all flesh that moved on the earth, in whose nostrils was the breath of life, died. These included man(a-dam), birds and animals. Only air breathing creatures perished in what is traditionally called Noah's Flood.
In 2 Peter 3:7 and 13, students should be made aware of the two heavens and two earths that Peter writes of. That is, they are the heavens and earth that are now(in the present time) and the heavens and earth that will come(in the future time). Where does God dwell? Who was with God
before the Creation that exists now(in the present time)? Was there another heaven and another earth before the heavens and earth that exist now(in the present time)? HINT: 2 Peter 3:5 and 6.