2 Peter 3:7, “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.”
2 Peter was written to stir up his beloved readers’ sincere mind by way of reminder (2 Pet. 3:1). After all, we are forgetful creatures and need continual reminders about who God is and what He has accomplished for us. Peter begins chapter three by reminding his readers that those who are scoffing about Jesus’ second coming overlook the power of God’s Word. What God speaks and promises will come to pass. Verse seven of chapter three proclaims that God’s word will judge the destroy the ungodly.
God’s Word has power because God Himself is powerful. God’s creative word is sustaining His creation until Jesus’ return with judgment against His enemies. The heavens and the earth are stored up for fire until the day of judgment and the destruction of the ungodly.
For the Christian, the judgment of God against His and our enemies is a comfort. It is a sober reality that God will bring judgment upon those who have not placed their trust in Christ. But, for the Christian who lives a life of suffering in this world (John 16:33; Romans 8:17-18), the truth that God will right all wrongs is a source of comfort.
God’s judgment is an uncomfortable topic. For many mentioning the judgment of God conjures up images of people with signs yelling turn or burn. The Christian has been united to Christ and believes God will judge sinners, but is not gleeful about about this truth. The preacher who can preach on Hell and judgment with a smile on his face and not a tear in his eye has not understood the awfulness of the wrath of God. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
The day of judgment is coming. Peter writes on that the godly will face destruction. Paul in 2 Thessalonians 1:9 writes, “They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.” Unbelievers will face the final wrath of God against their rebellion and be sentenced to an eternity in Hell.
Peter wants his readers to take comfort that the second coming of Christ is certain. He will come back, He will keep His promise to His disciples. When He returns, He will destroy His enemies and the enemies of His people. And this will be accomplished through the word of God.
Passages such as this remind us that we should never take God’s word lightly. God’s word carries the authority and power of God. If we are honest, we should admit that we are far too casual in our relationship to God’s word. We should respond like the Israelites at Mt. Sinai with fear and trembling, but many of us ignore it, acting like we can live life without it. Some people when they study Scripture work hard to make the text mean what they want it to say instead of what teaching what the biblical passage says.
Here are four applications that 2 Peter 3:7 has to teach us today.
We must take serious God’s word. God’s word is how He has chosen to reveal Himself. Without the Bible, none of us would be able to know God. Without the Word, Jesus Christ, we would not know God. God has always worked through His word and will continue to do so until he speaks the word for Jesus to come again. The word of God deserves the same respect and honor that we are to give to the Lord God. You cannot separate God from His word. God’s word possesses the same qualities, perfections as God Himself. If it did not then it would then it would not be the Word of God.
We can take comfort in the certainty of Jesus’ second coming. He will come again. He is a promise-keeping Lord and Savior which is why His word will be accomplished. It may not be in our lifetime, but Jesus is coming again for His bride, which is why we should live in light of this glorious promise of Christ (1 John 3:1-3).
We can have hope in suffering because He will judge our enemies. The injustice and sin of this world will be made right by the just Judge, the Lord Jesus. The Lord is holy and will always do what is right. When we view the judgment of God in this way, we can rightly take comfort that God will judge sinners and avenge the enemies of His people.
We should also work to spread the good news of the gospel. We have this gospel message that teaches us that the day of judgment and destruction can be avoided because of the finished and sufficient work of the Lord Jesus.
God is holy and created the world by the power of His word. He created man, male and female in His image. We belong to God because He created us. The first man and woman rebelled against the Creator resulting in, sin being introduced into the world. Sin separated us from God and the relationship we were created to have with Him. In the context of judgment, God spoke a word of promise that the seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15). The seed of the woman, Jesus Christ, came and defeated sin by His perfect life of obedience through His death and resurrection and did this for those who justly deserve the judgment and wrath of God. Because Jesus was judged by God sinners can escape God’s judgment and live in relationship with their Creator and Father, God.
We know and are certain of this because God has revealed it in His word. Praise God for His revelation of the gospel. May He give us the strength and boldness to declare to a world heading for judgment that in Christ alone there is hope for sinners.