Some say that the day of the Lord has come; mockers say it won’t come; and multitudes live as if they didn’t expect it. But that great day will come and God wants both scoffer and saint to be reminded of it, as the context of 2 Pet. 3 indicates.
In the first place the scoffers are shown to be wrong in concluding that “all things continue as they were from the creation” (v. 4). They willfully forget that day in history when God interrupted the routine of a sin-filled world with a great flood. No, all yesterdays are not the same. God wants all men to remember the one that was different and why. Let it be a reminder that all tomorrows will not be the same either. Even now this old world is moving closer to a second and final interruption; the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men (v. 7); the day of the Lord.
Something else that men need to be reminded of is that God is not limited to man’s concept of time. “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night” (Psa. 90:4). Not that God does not recognize the difference in man’s days and years, but that the passing of time does not in any way affect His purposes. Gospel preaching rightly stresses the promises of Christ’s second coming. Any apparent delay in that coming is not to be construed as slackness, but rather as longsuffering. What appears to some as a divine defect is actually an expression of divine grace! God waits. All the yesterdays plus whatever tomorrows may remain for all man say, “God waits.” He waits in our day as He did in the days of Noah (1 Pet. 3:20). He waits for men to turn to Him in repentance (v. 9) and be saved.
God’s longsuffering is man’s opportunity; redeemed, his salvation.
Accordingly, there is a correlation between the day of the Lord and this day which every man needs to recognize. Knowing of such a day ought to make a difference in the way I live today. This is exactly Peter’s point in v.11: “Seeing that these things are thus all to be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy living and godliness”. Continual awareness of that day and its significance should prompt a manner of life befitting prepared people. It would encourage a better attitude toward God and His word, the kind essential to humility. “Looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God” revives and perpetuates hope within the Christian; the kind of hope that serves as “an anchor of the soul” (Heb. 6:19). Those who “look for these things” (v.14) are characterized by a spirit of diligence in making their calling and election sure (1:10), avoiding sin and seeking after peace with both God and man.
Finally, “knowing these things” (v. 17), Christians are warned to be on guard against the influence of the wicked, those unconcerned about the Lord and His return. Beware lest they hinder our preparation for eternity. Then, “grow in grace and knowledge”; appropriate every blessing in a way that honors God; learn more of His word, applying it to every circumstance of life today — and thus look for that great day!