A Day As A Thousand Years – Christian Eschatology
Second Peter three is a much abused text in the study of Christian eschatology (the end times and last days prophecy). One of the most abused passages in the chapter is verse 8. “But beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” How have the futurists, skeptics and Dispensationalists used this verse? In a word, backwards.
What I mean is that they have used it in exactly the opposite manner as that intended by the Apostle. So, in this writing, we want to show three things. First, we will show that Christian eschatology is a reiteration of Old Testament prophecy. To be more accurate, there is no such thing as Christian Eschatology. Eschatology, properly means the last of something, whether an individual or system. As a system of faith, there is no end to Christianity, thus it has no eschatology. More on this later.
Secondly, we will show that Peter spoke of the time of the day of the Lord in very clear and emphatic terms. There should be no mistake about the “when” or time of fulfillment. We will note this directly from his epistle.
Thirdly, we there is no end to Christianity, i.e. the kingdom of God or the present age.
Christian Eschatology Is A Reiteration of Old Testament Prophecy.
There is no teaching of the end times found in the New Testament which is not already taught in the Old Testament. What is the importance of this point. It means that if the Old Covenant is fulfilled, then all Bible prophecy is fulfilled. That means the preterit view is the correct application of Bible prophecy. Most all expositors are preterists in some of their eschatology.
Paul taught no other things than those which Moses and the Prophets said would come, Acts 24:13-15; Acts 22:16-18; 22-23. All his references to end times prophecy are quotes from the Old Testament. Even 1 Corinthians 15 begins with Hosea 6:1-3 and ends with Hos. 13:14 and Isa. 25:8. This is why he says, “then shall come to pass the saying that is written, “death is swallowed up in victory.
According to the Lord, not one jot or tittle could pass from the Old Covenant until all were fulfilled, (Matt. 5:17-18). If they are yet in force, then animal sacrifices are yet valid.
Christian Eschatology Misunderstands Peter’s Timing of the Day of the Lord
While the scoffers were asking where is the promise of His coming, Peter reminded his readers of what he wrote in “both” epistles. What he referred to was that contrary to the scoffers the day of the Lord would come as promised. To understand his end times message, read carefully 1 Peter 4:5, where God was “about” to judge the living and the dead. In verse seven he said that the “end of all things” had drawn near. Finally, in verse 17, he writes that the time for “the judgment” had come.
Why would he contradict himself in the second letter, especially when he wrote that they received their message from the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven. Even the angels were interested in knowing the time revealed. Christian eschatology has circumvented bible eschatology and placed the end where it does not belong. A kingdom which has “no end” has no eschatology. See Luke 1:32-33.
In addition, Peter cites Isa 28:14-19, to show that God clearly would overturn the lies of the scoffers and through bringing the very judgment they condemned. Take the time to read those verses. They affirm the certainty of the judgment in spite of the lies of the scoffers. Now if the scoffers were saying the promise would not come to pass imminently as the Apostles taught and as the disciples eagerly expected and awaited in the first century (a point which all informed readers of the New Testament acknowledge), then Peter counters their mocking with verse 8-9.
In other words the teaching regarding a day is as a thousand years, does not mean a delay as the scoffers taught, but an imminent impending judgment about to happen, just as Peter taught in the first epistle. It is an abuse to use the verse for a delayed protracted end time, when Peter used it to counter the scoffers mockery and claim that there was a delay.
Christian Eschatology Misconstrues the End
Only a covenant which has an end can have eschatology. The Old Covenant was in its last days about the vanish having become obsolete, (Heb. 8:13). Therefore, the last days belonged to it. Jesus died in the “end of the age” to put away sin. He did not die in the Christian age. It was His death which made the Christian age possible. The church is the eternal kingdom which cannot be shaken, (Heb. 12:28). It is incorruptible, undefiled and does not fade away. “Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Eph. 3:21) A world without end cannot have eschatology, therefore properly speaking, there is no “Christian eschatology.