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Doubting the Tribulation

2nd Peter 3:5

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Question:  Could you please explain what is meant in 2nd Peter 3:5?

Response:  Peter is here making reference to the fact that many of his contemporaries (and many people today) have convinced themselves that the Tribulation "can't happen to me".  Just because things seem to be swimming along normally, however, this cannot be taken to mean that God is not advancing His plan and that there will never be a time when He calls the world into judgment. For just as He unleashed the great flood on an unsuspecting world (they would have known about the coming judgment if they had deigned to know Him), so also, when the Tribulation and its attendant judgments come, the world of that future time will be completely surprised. Indeed, the world on the brink of that coming cataclysm will in the hardness of their hearts even have to the temerity to mock the Lord in this respect (cf. the preceding verse, 2Pet.3:4: "Where is that "coming" He promised?")! Here is the way I translate verses 5-6 in "Coming Tribulation" (part 2B):

But something escapes their notice in asserting this (i.e., that God's judgment will never come), namely, that there were heavens long ago too, and an earth, which was [re-]established out from under water (i.e., the "waters below" collected into seas) and through [the midst of] water (i.e., the "waters above" separated from the "waters below") by the Word of God - [and that it was] through these two [sets of waters] that the world of that time (i.e., in Noah's day) was deluged by water [from above and below] and destroyed.
2nd Peter 3:5-6

Here is the link for that section of Coming Tribulation part 2B where the "waters above and below" are discussed with this verse: The Heavenly Sea: 2nd Peter 3:5-6.

The world was originally destroyed by being covered by frozen waters (Gen.1:1 with 1:2), and then again by the unleashing of the upper and lower waters (Peter is making both points here). So since we have it from scripture that swift and total judgment can come from the Lord at any time, it is pure folly to assume that the Tribulation will never come just because it may seem unlikely from our human perspective or may seem a long time in coming the way we may calculate things from our limited human point of view. The ears of the person who truly seeks God will ever be open to His truth, and his eyes will ever be vigilantly watching for all that God is doing on the earth. So, instead of scoffing, we should ever be praising God for His mercy in delaying that day, even as we keep watching for its appearance, knowing that on the other side of that great day of Tribulation our Lord will return for us, and thus shall we ever be with Him.

But you, brothers, are not in darkness that the day [of the Lord] should catch you like a thief. For you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness. So let us therefore not sleep like the rest [of unbelieving mankind], but be awake and alert.
1st Thessalonians 5:4-6

You will find more at following links:

Preparing for Tribulation

Code of Conduct for the Tribulation

How to Prepare for the Tribulation

The End Times and Motivation

A Brief Christian Code of Conduct for the Tribulational Great Persecution

Coming Tribulation part 7:  Preparing for Tribulation

In anticipation of all the blessed things to come in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.


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