The pressing message Peter wants to get across is that the promise of Christ’s coming is sure because it originates from the God who never balked on one promise He’s made. Peter also pushes the importance of holy conduct, righteousness fitting for a divine being, in light of the manner in which the world will be judged and made new (or perhaps, renovated). Eschatology is supremely important for ethical behavior. The very attack on the promise of Christ’s coming by the pseudo prophets fits with their vile behavior. Their cancerous and infectious conduct must be avoided as must their teaching when it comes. The very fact that they do not expect Christ to come back at all renders them unprepared when he comes like a thief to judge them. Not only is righteous behavior fitting for judgment day it is proper in light of the manner the world is judged. The cosmic system is decimated with fire and deafening tumults that should only lead to fear of God. The godliness brought forth by the saints carries with it another important element. They must be patient as they wait for this day. Peter hints that there may seem to be a delay but that is only because God is bringing in all those who will repent. The patience of God turns out to favor only those who produce repentance for the unrepentant are only lulled by willful forgetfulness into not expecting judgment and eternal punishment. The faithful adhere to ancient promises and recall times when God produced a previous day like the day of the Lord (i.e. the Flood) and the unfaithful forget. Peter has reminded the readers several times concerning this certain outcome and has in place reminders from other people when he departs. The present world and the righteousness produced in keeping with the gospel only prepares believers for the new world where only the righteous are allowed in. The door of history will only close on the ungodly while a new era will begin for those who stayed true to Christ.
Religious deception is prevalent in the world. It pulls the wool over the eyes of so many. This is especially true when we gradually become more removed and distant from the Bible and our Christian heritage. Skeptics and skepticism arise even in our day where God is put on trial and commanded to prove Himself real and present with physical means. Second Peter has a message for everyone neighboring these bombastic ideas. It is a call to remember. It is a plea to recall the promises God fulfilled in the past and how valid that makes His word in the present. Sin has so infected us that we desire to be tickled by the Mayans and 2012 than to be alarmed at how the Flood of Genesis 6-9 foreshadows a future flood of judgment. When the truth speaks we entertain so much doubt but when the latest theory arises we invest much time and effort to entertain it as a possibility. It seems the missing ingredient is faith: faith in God’s word and the certainty of its’ execution no matter how long the delay. All of us wrestle with the delay of justice at some point in our lives. It is at those points that we need to turn to the sure words from God’s lips which point us to moral excellence and endurance. There will be a reckoning for both parties, those who wait for God in holiness and those who disbelieve and indulge. This is a theme in 2nd Peter.