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Bible Commentaries

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Peter Overview

 

 


CHAP III.

He assureth them of the certainty of Christ's coming to judgment, against those scorners who dispute it; warning them, from the long patience of God, to hasten their repentance: he describeth also the manner how the world shall be destroyed; exhorting them, from the expectation thereof, to all holiness of life; and again, to think the patience of God as tending to their salvation, as Paul wrote to them in his epistles.

Anno Domini 67.

THE apostle informed the brethren, that his design in writing both his epistles, was to bring to their remembrance the doctrines and precepts delivered by the prophets and apostles; because it was the most effectual method of preserving them from being seduced by false teachers, 2 Peter 3:1.—Wherefore, as one of the greatest of these men's errors, was their denying the coming of Christ to judge the world and destroy this mundane system, he desired the brethren to recollect, what the holy prophets anciently had spoken, together with the commandments of the apostles of Christ to their disciples, to prepare for and expect these events, 2 Peter 3:2.—But, lest they might think that Christ was to come to judgment immediately, he told them that in the last days, even before the destruction of the Jewish state (see the notes), scoffers would arise, avowed infidels, 2 Peter 3:3.—who, because Christ's coming was so long delayed, would ridicule the promise of his coming as a mere fable, and from the permanency of the mundane system without any alteration since the beginning, would argue that there is no probability of its being ever destroyed, 2 Peter 3:4.—But to show the fallacy of these reasonings, the apostle observed, that such atheistical persons are wilfully ignorant of Moses's doctrine, that by the almighty and efficacious word of God, the heavens, or firmament, were produced of old, and the earth also subsisting from the water, with which the mass of it was at first covered; till, by the Divine command, it emerged from it, and the liquid element flowed to its appointed channel: and that God ordained that the earth should be nourished and supported by water, which is the life of the vegetable creation, 2 Peter 3:5.—and that the destruction of the old world was accomplished by the same word of God, through his overflowing it with water, 2 Peter 3:6.—Wherefore the world having been once destroyed as well as made by the word of God, there is a possibility that it may be destroyed by him a second time. This conclusion following clearly from the Mosaic history, the apostle did not think it necessary to mention it. But to shew the certainty of the destruction of the mundane system, he assured the brethren and all mankind, that the world is no more to be destroyed by water, but by fire; being defended from deluges, and kept safely to be destroyed by fire at the day of judgment, 2 Peter 3:7.—This argument, being founded on experience, was unanswerable.

The apostle, it seems, foresaw that on account of the day of judgment's being so long delayed, the scoffers would charge Christ with want of faithfulness, or want of power, to perform his promise. He therefore assured the brethren that God's purposes are not affected by any duration whatever. One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. His purposes are accomplished with as much certainty, however long delayed, as if they had been executed the very day they were declared, 2 Peter 3:8.—Further, he assured them that Christ does not delay his coming, either because he has forgotten his promise, or because he wants power to do what he hath promised, but with a view to afford sinners space for repentance, 2 Peter 3:9.—That his coming will be sudden and unexpected, and occasion inexpressible terror to infidels and all impenitent sinners: that the heavens and the earth, and all the works of God and man upon the earth, shall be utterly burnt up, 2 Peter 3:10.—And that, knowing these things, believers ought always to live in a godly manner, 2 Peter 3:11 looking for, and earnestly desiring, the coming of the day of the Lord, in which the heavens being set on fire, &c. 2 Peter 3:12.—But though the world is thus to be burnt, the apostle declared, that he, with all the godly, according to God's promise, expected a new heaven and a new earth, in which the righteous are to dwell, 2 Peter 3:13.—Wherefore he exhorted the faithful, in the expectation of an abode in that happy country, to endeavour earnestly to be found blameless by Christ at his coming, 2 Peter 3:14.

In the remaining part of the chapter, St. Peter informed the brethren, that some of the teachers built their false doctrine on certain passages of his brother Paul's epistles, which they wrested, as they also did the other scriptures, to their own destruction, 2 Peter 3:15-16.—He desired them therefore to be on their guard, that they might not be carried away by the error of these lawless persons, 2 Peter 3:17.—and exhorted them to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom he addressed a doxology; and so concluded his letter, 2 Peter 3:18.

 


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Bibliography Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Peter:4 Overview". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-peter-0.html. 1801-1803.

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