2 Peter 3:12 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Peter 3:12, NIV: "as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat."

2 Peter 3:12, ESV: "waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!"

2 Peter 3:12, KJV: "Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?"

2 Peter 3:12, NASB: "looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!"

2 Peter 3:12, NLT: "looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames."

2 Peter 3:12, CSB: "as you wait for the day of God and hasten its coming. Because of that day, the heavens will be dissolved with fire and the elements will melt with heat."

What does 2 Peter 3:12 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This completes a thought begun in verse 11. Peter asked a probing question: Since God's judgment on the earth is coming and everything will destroyed by fire, how should Christians live today before that judgment arrives? The false teachers were asking the opposite question: Since there (supposedly) is no judgment, why not sin? To the deceivers, Christians would then be "free" to indulge in sexual immorality.

Peter insists that the judgment will come. The destruction will happen. Knowing that this is true should change how we choose to live now. In verse 11, Peter wrote that we should lead holy and godly lives. Now he finishes the sentence by saying we should live this way in anticipation of the day of God's judgment. It makes sense that we would anticipate the return of Christ. It's not that we long for the destruction of everything in fire, but we do long for Christ to come and make all things right. We long for justice. We long for all to see His glory.

And, according to English translations, we live holy lives in order to "hasten" that day of judgment. It's difficult to grasp exactly what Peter means by this. He describes our choice to lead holy lives using the Greek word speudontas, which can mean "quickly," "make haste," or "to speed up." However, the same word can also mean to deeply desire something. We can't use this verse to claim that our effort will actually cause that day to arrive more quickly. After all, God's timing is not our timing. And yet, in some sense, God's perfect timing for the return of Christ and the following judgment is connected to the holy lifestyles of His people. Peter means for us to be motivated by that truth.

The verse concludes by restating what Peter wrote in verse 10: The day of the Lord will bring the destruction of the heavens—meaning the sky, not God's heaven—by fire. The elements or heavenly bodies will melt. In any case, everything will be destroyed (v. 11).