What does 2 Peter 3:7 mean?
ESV: But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
NIV: By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
NASB: But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly people.
CSB: By the same word, the present heavens and earth are stored up for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
NLT: And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.
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.
NKJV: But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
Verse Commentary:
Peter is in the process of answering a deceptive idea. False teachers are working among the Christians, disputing the future return of Christ. They mistakenly suggest that because so much time had passed since Jesus had left, He must not be coming back to disrupt the world, be revealed as God, and to judge the sins of humanity.

Peter exposed the holes in their teaching in prior verses. One error is the thought that since the world mostly goes along in the same, natural way, that it always will. Of course, God created the world, so He can disrupt it whenever and however He chooses to. He can alter the natural processes He designed at any time. Also, God has already done so in a huge way with the flood of Noah, destroying with water nearly all life on earth in judgment of the sins of humanity.

Now Peter reveals that God will bring destruction on the earth again, this time with fire. With the same Word he used to create the heavens, He will destroy them on the day of judgment along with all of ungodly humanity. The false teachers are dead wrong, Peter insists. Christ is returning. Judgment is coming.

In the next verse, Peter will address the issue of God's timing.
Verse Context:
2 Peter 3:1–13 includes Peter’s dismantling of the arguments of the false teachers. They will scoff because Christ’s promised return has not yet happened, and the world continues on as if nothing will ever change. Peter reminds Christians that God made the world and Noah’s flood is evidence that He is willing to alter it in order to bring judgment on the sins of humanity. In the coming judgment, everything will be destroyed and laid bare with fire. Christians look forward to the new heavens and earth which will come after.
Chapter Summary:
Peter dismantles the arguments of false teachers working to mislead Christians in the early church. He counters their idea that since Jesus has not yet returned, He must not be coming. Peter reminds His readers that God created the world. The flood of Noah's day is evidence that He is willing to bring judgment on the earth for sin. God is not late, He is patient and merciful. But the day of the Lord will come eventually. Everything will be destroyed. A new heaven and earth will be established. Christians should live as if that’s true.
Chapter Context:
After thoroughly condemning the false teachers in chapter 2, Peter now dismantles their arguments. These deceivers scoff that Christ has not returned as promised. We should doubt Christ's return, they say, since the world goes along as it always has and always will. Peter reminds his readers that God is the one who made the world. Noah’s flood is evidence of His willingness to alter the course of nature in order to bring judgment on humanity for sin. Christians should be looking forward to the new heavens and earth, rejecting false teaching, and leading holy lives.
Book Summary:
Apparently written shortly before his death in the AD 60s, 2 Peter may have been written to the same audience as 1 Peter, which was Christians scattered by persecution. Peter writes this letter to encourage Christians to live out the purpose of their lives in Christ. He warns readers to beware of teachers who claim to be believers, but present a false version of Christianity. And, Peter calls on all Christians to eagerly watch and wait for the return of the Lord.
Accessed 5/18/2024 7:10:39 PM
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