2 Peter 3

A Look Ahead

"Last Days"

In the last days scoffers will come with scoffing (2 Peter 3:3).

The phrase “the last days” is used in both the Old Testament and New Testament to designate a time of eschatological events. This picture shows an 8th-century BC seal with the name Jeremiah inscribed on it. Jeremiah was one of the prophets who spoke about “the last days.” The seal in this picture did not belong to the prophet but was the seal of another person with the same name. The Hebrew inscription on this seal reads, “Belonging to Jeremiah.”

The Second Coming

They will say, “Where is the promise of His coming?” (2 Peter 3:4)

The promise of Jesus’s return was given by angels at the place where Jesus ascended to heaven (Acts 1:11). This church, the Church of the Ascension, was constructed in the 1870s and 1880s at one of the traditional locations of Jesus’s ascension on the Mount of Olives. The bell tower is 205 feet (62 m) tall.


All things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation (2 Peter 3:4).

The scoffers claim that the world has always operated on natural principles, without supernatural intervention of any kind. In the modern era, this is known as the principle of uniformitarianism. The contention that all things continued on as they always were might have found support in the regular cycle of the seasons, a cycle that the ancients knew well. This mosaic represents the four seasons in the form of women. The figure at the top represents summer; moving counter-clockwise, the viewer encounters fall, winter, and spring. This mosaic is on display in the National Museum of Rome.

Rend(er)ing the Heavens

The heavens will pass away with a roar (2 Peter 3:10).

The heavenly realm is illustrated here by a Roman portrayal of the heavenly bodies. This statue, known as the Farnese Atlas, is the earliest surviving statue to depict Atlas holding up the celestial sphere. The celestial sphere is not a globe of the earth, but an arbitrarily sized sphere to which the various constellations were affixed. This statue is considered a 2nd century AD copy of an original from the 1st century BC. It was photographed at the Naples Archaeological Museum.

Crucible Heat

And the elements will be destroyed with an intense heat (2 Peter 3:10).

One of the most intense forms of heat known to the ancients was the heat produced in a furnace or kiln. Such structures were fueled with charcoal and forced air and could reach very high temperatures. Copper, for example, melts at 1,984° F, and pottery kilns operated at around 2,000° F. This crucible was photographed at the Persepolis Museum in Iran.

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