We are accustomed, in the course of daily living, to looking forward to such special days as Birthdays, Anniversaries, Christmas, Easter, Graduation, etc. Even so, there are special days prophesied for the future of this world that must be anticipated.
In the Scripture before us, Peter refers to the “last days” (vs. 3). These are the same last days that he had reference to when he preached to Israel on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:17). These last days are to be distinguished from the “last days” of the Dispensation of Grace mentioned by Paul in 2 Timothy 3:1, 4:3, and 1 Timothy 4:1.
There are three special days that make up the “last days mentioned in our text: (1) The Day of Judgment (vs. 7); (2) The Day of the Lord (vs. 10); and (3) The Day of God (vs. 12). Their relationship to each other is demonstrated in the chart above.
The Day of the Lord is the often-mentioned subject of Prophecy (Joel 1:15; 2:1, 11, 31; 3:14; Zech. 14:1; 2 Pet. 3:10), which is indicative of its importance. This Day covers that period of time which includes The Tribulation (Zeph. 1:14-18), The Revelation of Christ (Zech. 14:1-4), and the Millennial Kingdom (2 Pet. 3:10-13).
During this time, among many other things: (1) The Roman Empire will be revived (Dan. 2:40-45; 7:19-25; Rev. 13:1-10; 17:3-8); (2) Antichrist will rule the world for seven years (2 Thess. 2:1-12); (3) The earth will be judged (Seals: Rev. 6:1-8:5; Trumpets: Rev. 8:6-10:11; Vials: Rev. 1:21); (4) Christ will return in glory to earth (Mt. 24:29-30) and Armageddon will be terminated (Rev. 16:15-16; 19:11-21); (5) The resurrection of Old Testament and Tribulation saints will occur (Jn. 6:39-40; Rev. 20:4); (6) The Gentile nations will be judged (Mt. 25:31-46); (7) The Jews will be restored to their land (Amos 9:15); (8) Christ will reign for 1000 years over the earth (Rev. 20:7-10); and (9) The present Heaven and Earth will be destroyed (2 Pet. 3:10-13).
THE DAY OF JUDGMENT
This is the Last Judgment! This judgment is referred to throughout Scripture as the “Day of Judgment” (Mt. 10:15; 11:22-24; 12:36; Mk. 6:11; 2 Pet. 2:9; 1 Jn. 4:17), and will take place at the Great White Throne (Rev. 20:11). This judgment obviously occurs after the Millennial Kingdom, after the present Heaven and earth are destroyed, and after time has run its course (Rev. 20:5,11). At this Day of Judgment, all those who are spiritually “dead,” whether they be man, angels or demons, will be there. The unsaved will be judged and sent to an eternal doom of suffering (Rev. 20:12-14) because their names were not “found written in the Book of Life” (Rev. 20:15).
THE DAY OF GOD
This is eternity future! (Isa. 65:17; 66:22-24; 1 Cor. 15:24-28; Eph. 1:10; Rev. 21:1-22:5; 2 Pet. 3:12-13). It is a day when God shall rule supremely over all His creation, as He did in the beginning before the rebellion of Lucifer and Adam. In that eternal Day of God, all of God’s programs throughout the ages of time will be reconciled unto Himself and there will be a “new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Pet. 3:13).
Peter’s reference to these three special days is because there were “scoffers” (vs. 3) who were saying Christ would not come back to earth as promised (vs. 4). However, Peter reminds them that God is not off schedule (“slack”). What the scoffers think is “slackness” on God’s part, is really long-suffering. God is giving the sinner time to be saved (vss. 9,15).
Peter warns that when Jesus Christ does come back (at the Revelation), His coming will trigger history’s final explosion (7:10-12), which is a future event related to all three special days. For the unbeliever this means “perdition” (vs. 7). For the believer this means a “new heaven” and a “new earth” (vss. 13-14).