With the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day. The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard “delay,” but is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:8-9
Think of this as Peter’s last will and testament to the Christian community at a time of transition. Jews and pagans alike are coming into the fold just as those who were in Jesus’ inner circle are dying off, some having being killed as martyrs. How is the church to continue once the original apostles are gone? How should they speak about their faith to the wider world? And why are Christians still waiting for the second coming of Jesus?
The odd thing is that Peter himself may not have written this. Rather, one of his followers is sort of “channeling Peter,” taking it upon himself to teach the community on Peter’s behalf after his death.
The author writes to contest and correct false teachings that he feels lead believers astray. Because Christ has not returned to judge the good and the bad as soon as anticipated, some have interpreted this to mean that God is powerless to judge. But “Peter” argues that we live on God’s time to be judged by God, not on our time to be judged by other people. What we perceive as delay testifies to God’s patience, mercy, and kindness, not weakness. We wait on the Lord, and God will come through.