"As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also other scriptures, unto their own destruction."—2 Peter 3:16.
When these words were written the land of Judea was full of confusion, and many portents indicated its approaching desolation, which was usually spoken of as identical with the "coming of the Lord."
Jesus had said:
"And when ye see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh."—Luke 21:20.
Now Peter wrote this epistle to keep the church in remembrance of the prophecies of the coming event. He refers to those who asked, "Where is the promise of his coming?" (v.4) and added (v.42) "Watch, therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come."
He gives, in similar imagery to that employed by Jesus, the signs of the coming: "The heavens passing away with a great noise, and the elements melting with fervent heat."
Jesus had said: "The stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken."—Matt.24:29. See also 2 Peter 3:10.
He exhorts (v.11) "seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness." Thus they misunderstood, perverted, the words of Jesus and Peter, and so were destroyed in the coming calamities, "before that generation passed;" when, had they understood and obeyed the Scriptures, they would have escaped. Those who misunderstood and misapplied those Scriptures were involved in the general overthrow.
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