Peter’s last recorded words (2 Peter 3) highlight the importance of memory and the danger of ignorance.
A person can’t remember something he is ignorant of. But when a culture is “willingly… ignorant” (3:5), its new generations suffer from a corporate amnesia. Peter stirred up the corporate memory of humanity, recalling in history the power of “the word of God” to create and to destroy.
Jesus, the incarnate Word, had pointed Peter to the earlier writings of the Word that predicted the power of Messiah’s unselfish love—the principle of giving, not taking, of humbling, not exalting self (Luke 24:44-48).
Embracing this testimony of Jesus enabled Peter to deny his “own lusts” and leave the rank of “scoffers” (3:3), fully embracing “the promise of His coming” (3:4; see Genesis 3:15; 22:17, 18). He had seen this promise fulfilled in the coming of Messiah and of the Spirit (Acts 1:4; 2:33, 39; compare with Galatians 3:14). Peter had experienced Pentecost!
Drawing more from musty memories, Peter focused on the promise of a future coming—“the day of God” (2 Peter 3:7, 8, 10, 12). Then God’s power that created the heavens and the earth will recreate them with such energy that what He bound up in the beginning will be loosed with noise and heat, burning up the godless principle and its products, including their source, the ungodly—those Christ died for, but who turned that grace into unbridled lust (Roman 5:6; Jude 4; Romans 5:20 to 6:1; 2 Corinthians 6:1).
A person can’t remember something he is ignorant of.
We believe that Day has begun in one sense—the final call to repentance launched the Advent Movement, becoming rooted in the Most Holy Place of the temple in heaven and the beginning of the events pictured especially in the last half of Revelation.
Peter’s message for us is clear. God is not slow with His promise wrapped up with “the Day.” If things seem slow, it’s actually His suffering long with humanity, not desiring ruin for any, rather repentance for all. Since the godless will perish, we should be godly, living in the unselfish passion of God’s will, expecting and speeding the unfolding of the Day—repenting and calling others to repentance.
You are loved. Move quickly to be found in Him—spotless, blameless, in peace. Count the longsuffering of our Lord salvation. Beware lest lawless delusions destabilize you. In the security of His love, grow in grace and knowledge of Him.
To Him be glory now and unto the Day of eternity!
Fred Bischoff became involved in Adventist history while working as a preventive medicine physician in southern California for Kaiser Permanente and serving on the clinical faculty, School of Medicine and School of Public Health, Loma Linda University. He found his greatest joy in exploring and explaining "the simplicity that is in Christ" in relation to history and prophecy, which culminate in the Adventist mission.