2 Peter 3

Men may break off outward sins and profess religion without becoming holy. But they will be extremely apt to go back again; and when they do, they prove that they never had true religion, or were made "partakers of the divine nature." They never had a change of heart, or were "born of God." Ministers of the gospel should labor not only to communicate a knowledge of its truths, but to lead all so to remember them as to act habitually under their influence. The last days; see note to 1Ti 4:1. The promise of his coming; fulfilment of the promise that Christ would come to judgment.

All things continue as they were; this assertion of the scoffers was false, as the apostle proceeds to show. Infidels and scoffers at religion are evidences of the truth of the Bible. It foretold that they would come and act out their wickedness, and by doing it they fulfil the Scriptures. Thus the wickedness of men illustrates the truth of God.
Standing out of the water and in the water; rather, consisting out of water and by water. the reference is to the chaotic watery mass out of which the earth was formed, Ge 1:2. At the command of God it rose out of this, and took its form of dry land; so that it consisted out of water, and by means of water. The world--perished; and as it had once been destroyed, it would be destroyed again; not as before with water, but with fire. The same word; that command or power of God by which the world was created. Verse 2Pe 3:5; Ge 1:1-10. The same power of God which created the world keeps it in being, and will keep it till the time appointed for its dissolution. A thousand years as one day; in comparison with eternity, and as to the certainty of what God has declared. What he has determined to accomplish a thousand years hence, is just as sure as if he had determined to accomplish it to-morrow. Compare the words of Moses: "A thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past." Ps 90:4. His promise; of a future judgment, when he will save his people and destroy their enemies.

Count slackness; impute slackness to him, because he waits so long before executing his threatened judgments.

Long-suffering; by waiting so long before he brings destruction on the wicked, he shows his desire that they should repent and be saved. By continuing men in life, offering them the gospel, and beseeching them to embrace it, God shows that he is unwilling they should perish, and would delight in their repentance and salvation.
The day of the Lord; when he will come to judgment.

As a thief; suddenly, unexpectedly.
As this world with all it contains is to be burnt up, none should place their hearts upon it, or seek it as their chief good; but all should place their affections on things above, and lay up their treasure in heaven. Hasting unto; preparing for and earnestly desiring the salvation which will be given to God's people. His promise; Isa 65:17; 66:22; Re 21:1. The "new heavens and the new earth" promised by God, is that state of perfect holiness and bliss into which, after the Judgment, God will receive his people; and for which the highest holiness and bliss on earth are but a preparation and a foretaste. The long-suffering of our Lord is salvation; his delay to come to judgment is designed not to show that he will never come, but to give men opportunity to secure their salvation.

Hath written unto you; you believers. We need not understand any particular church, since this epistle is general. The writings of Paul contain abundant notices of the second coming of Christ, and exhortations to wait for it in patience. See especially 1Th 4:13-18; 2Th 1:5-10; Heb 10:35-39.
These things; Christ's coming to judgment, and the necessity of diligent preparation in order to meet him in peace.

Unlearned and unstable; ignorant persons who have no settled principles, and do not love the truth, which reproves their sinful lives.

Wrest; pervert, misunderstand and misapply. As ignorance of the Scriptures greatly increases the danger of their perversion, and enables false teachers the more to delude and destroy the people, the Bible should be universally circulated, and all persons encouraged daily to read it--with earnest prayer for the teaching of the Holy Spirit, that they may rightly understand it, and by believing and obeying it be made wise to salvation.
Grow in grace; increase your knowledge of Christ, and your likeness to him. The grand safeguard against the seductions of error, and the most powerful means of increase in holiness, is increasing knowledge of Jesus Christ; that experimental knowledge which is obtained under the teaching of the Holy Ghost by daily searching the Scriptures, and which prepares us to unite with saints on earth and in heaven, saying with the heart, "To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen."
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