What does 2 Peter 3:8 mean?
ESV: But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
NIV: But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
NASB: But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.
CSB: Dear friends, don't overlook this one fact: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.
NLT: But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.
KJV: But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
NKJV: But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Verse Commentary:
In verse 5, Peter indicated that these false teachers deliberately omit the truth about God in order to make their false case that Christ will not return, that there will be no judgment day. Now Peter urges his readers—his dear friends—not to forget something essential about the nature of their God. He is eternal. He is not limited as humans are by the perception of years passing. More specifically, Peter references Psalm 90:4: "For a thousand years in [God's] sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night."

If we took Peter's statement absolutely literally, as modern people, then in God's eyes it's been a mere two days since Jesus promised to return! That, of course, is not the way Peter intends his statement. His point is that God is not bound by counting days from a human perspective. Time does not hold Him. He does not wait or rush in the same sense that mere humans do, locked as we are into minutes and hours and months. What seems like poor timing to us, as limited people, has a plan and purpose known only to God.

As Peter will reveal in the following verses, God will keep all of His promises in His perfect time and motivated by His perfect love.
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 6:38:31 PM
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