2 Peter 3:3

New Testament

1 Dear friends, this is already the second letter I have written you, in which I am trying to stir up your pure mind by way of reminder: 2 I want you to recall both the predictions foretold by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles. 3 Above all, understand this: In the last days blatant scoffers will come, being propelled by their own evil urges 4 and saying, “Where is his promised return? For ever since our ancestors died, all things have continued as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For they deliberately suppress this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago and an earth was formed out of water and by means of water. 6 Through these things the world existing at that time was destroyed when it was deluged with water. 7 But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, by being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

Sanhedrin 97b

Babylonian Talmud

The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the phrase “And it declares [veyafe’aḥ] of the end, and does not lie”? Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani says that Rabbi Yonatan says: May those who calculate the end of days be cursed [tippaḥ], as they would say once the end of days that they calculated arrived and the Messiah did not come, that he will no longer come at all. Rather, the proper behavior is to continue to wait for his coming, as it is stated: “Though it tarry, wait for it.” Lest you say we are expectantly awaiting the end of days and the Holy One, Blessed be He, is not awaiting the end of days and does not want to redeem His people, the verse states: “And therefore will the Lord wait, to be gracious to you; and therefore will He be exalted, to have mercy upon you; for the Lord is a God of judgment; happy are all they who wait for Him” (Isaiah 30:18).

 Notes and References

"... The Second Coming of Christ has been made postponable and conditional upon human action of various kinds. The translation of 2 Peter 3:12 is favored that reads, “waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God.” The Lord delays his coming out of mercy: “The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish” (2 Peter 3:9). The development of genuine godliness becomes almost a prerequisite for the Day of the Lord, as is also the completion of the missionary task (Matthew 24:14). A common expression of Adventist piety is “Let’s finish the work so the Lord can come.” It is hard to imagine a sentiment more out of tune with the emphasis on divine sovereignty that is characteristic of apocalypticism. It looks like classical prophecy in an apocalyptic disguise. Nevertheless the paradox is sometimes felt, and indeed it is one that has been felt ever since the first century. How serious is it, and how can it be resolved? (Whether the messianic redemption will come at a predestined time or can be hastened or delayed by Israel’s behavior was the subject of a classic debate between R. Eliezer b. Hyrcanus and R. Joshua b. Hananiah in Talmud Bavli Sanhedrin 97b ff. The issue is also the subtext of 2 Peter 3) ..."

Johnston, Robert M. Apocalyptic and Free Will (pp. 32-41) Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, 2011

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