According to 2 Peter 3:11-12:

Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?

We should be "looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God."

What does that mean? How do we do this?


8 Answers 8


My English Standard Version Study Bible offers this explanation with regard to “waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God” in 2 Peter 3:12:

Hastening (Greek speudo, “hurry [by extra effort]”) the coming of the day of God suggests that, by living holy lives, Christians can actually affect the time of the Lord’s return. That does not mean, of course, that the Lord has not foreknown and foreordained when Jesus will return (cf. Matt. 24:36; Acts 17:31). But when God set that day, he also ordained that it would happen after all of his purposes for saving believers and building his kingdom in this present age had been accomplished, and those purposes are accomplished from a human perspective, when Christians share the gospel with others, and pray (cf. Matt. 6:10), and advance the kingdom of God in other ways, they do “hasten” the fulfilment of God’s purposes, including Christ’s return.

As we eagerly anticipate the time of the Lord’s return we do our utmost to share the gospel with others and do all in our power to advance Kingdom interests by living holy lives which points others to Christ.

P.S. I agree this question would fit better on the Biblical Hermeneutics site but I don't know how that can be done.

  • "Hasten" in this context (σπεύδοντας (speudontas)) probably means to urge on (Strong's 4692), or earnestly desire, and by implication, to eagerly await. Note the words from Heb. 10:25b: "[Encouraging] one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. What day? The "day" spoken of here is our last day, the day we each "meet Christ in the air" (1 Thess. 4:17). To us individually, our transcendence from the world into eternity - timelessness - is that day. (Our own physical demise is when we meet the Lord "in the air.") To us personally, it's the end of time.
    – Xeno
    Commented May 11, 2021 at 16:57

We should be "looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God."

What does that mean?

σπεύδοντας, insted of hastening (hurry) can be translated also to desire earnestly. It comes from the heart's desire that Jesus Christ our redeemer come soon and free us from this body of death, to complete His work in us.

For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. (Romans 8:19-23)

So "looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God." could mean "waiting and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God."

How do we do this?

Live doing the works of the Spirit and not those of the flesh.

As Matthew Henry's Commentary describes it

From the doctrine of Christ's second coming, we are exhorted to purity and godliness.

But Colossians 3 makes a better summary of what it is to live in the Spirit, rejecting the works of the flesh.

Live like Christ is coming in the next minute. "Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is." (Mark 13:33)


The Day of the Lord, in general, and the return of Jesus Christ for his own, in particular, are shrouded in mystery. Even Jesus, the Son of God, was willing to defer to his Father in the timing of these events (Matthew 24:36).

The decretive--or Sovereign--will of God assures us that God's plan for the ages will come about and that God will have the final word regarding the when and the how of its denouement. His permissive will, however, gives his volitional image-bearers a degree of latitude in shaping the when of that denouement, though not its how.

Since in the context of 2 Peter 3, Peter is exhorting believers to live holy and godly lives, by implication believers can fail to live up to God's standards for holy and godly living. Is God's decretive will in any way threatened by the spiritual lapses of his saints? No. The Day of the Lord and the return of Christ will proceed according to the Father's plan.

Who is to say, however, that that day is not affected by both our obedience and our disobedience? There are numerous instances in the Old Testament in which God's judgment on Israel for their disobedience was delayed because there were repentance and revival. In other words, God's timetable is affected in some way by our behavior, but exactly how and why it is affected is, again, shrouded in mystery, and mystery, of course, is the third general aspect of the will of God.

Peter gives us a little insight into that aspect of God's will when he says,

8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Our conception and experience of time and its passing are in contrast to God's conception and experience of time. To us, a day is just a day and a thousand years is just a thousand years. To God, a day--as in "The Day of the Lord"--could be a thousand years and a thousand years as a day. As the creator and Lord of time, the Father is sovereign over time, and what takes man a thousand years to build can take God but a day.

By the same token, however, with man, a project or a job which could and should be accomplished in a day can drag on for a thousand years, due to delays, lack of funds, lack of vision, changes of mind, and a myriad of other factors. For an inexperienced handyman, a job he estimates to take a day could wind up taking several days. If the same man had God's perspective, he or she would be able to proceed according to schedule, knowing ahead of time what needs to be done, how it needs to be done, and the potential pitfalls that could delay its completion.

In like manner, God gives us some latitude, according to his permissive will. How much latitude? That will always remain a mystery.

Can God's children hasten or hurry up God's Sovereign will? Yes, they can. Is that hastening process affected in some way by our eagerly awaiting it? Yes, it is. The answer to the question of what hastening means is not and either/or answer but a both/and answer. To hasten is to wait eagerly, and to wait eagerly is to hasten. Exactly how these two parts of the answer are related will have to remain a mystery, I believe.


Most Christians today have adopted a futurist view of Revelation. This is the idea that the predictions made in scripture of the "end times" and "the second coming of Christ" are still future. But the scriptural testimony is that the predictions made in Revelation were fulfilled in the first century, primarily in the events of the Jewish revolt against Rome Circa 70 AD.

Peter's words should probably be seen as an allusion to the words of Jesus. Notice that Luke associates this parable with the second coming of Christ:

Luk 18:1-8 NKJV - Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: "There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. "Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, 'Get justice for me from my adversary.' "And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, 'Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 'yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.' " Then the Lord said, "Hear what the unjust judge said. "And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? "I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?"

Christians today do not grasp the link between the coming of the Son of Man and the cry of God's people for vengeance/repayment for their persecutors because more often than not Christians have been the persecutors rather than the persecuted! But the link goes way back to Moses!:

Deu 32:35, 43 NLT - I will take revenge; I will pay them back. In due time their feet will slip. Their day of disaster will arrive, and their destiny will overtake them.' ... "Rejoice with him, you heavens, and let all of God's angels worship him. Rejoice with his people, you nations, and let all the angels be strengthened in him. For he will avenge the blood of his servants; he will take revenge against his enemies. He will repay those who hate him and cleanse the land for his people."

This reference to "cleansing the land for his people" is also linked to "avenging the blood of his servants" and "repaying those who hate him":

Luk 21:20-22 NLT - "And when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you will know that the time of its destruction has arrived. Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. Those in Jerusalem must get out, and those out in the country should not return to the city. For those will be days of God's vengeance, and the prophetic words of the Scriptures will be fulfilled.

Blood-guilt for the murder of the LORD's servants, the prophets, is said to be being "stored up" by the LORD for a future time:

Deu 32:34-36 NLT - "The LORD says, 'Am I not storing up these things, sealing them away in my treasury? I will take revenge; I will pay them back. In due time their feet will slip. Their day of disaster will arrive, and their destiny will overtake them.' "Indeed, the LORD will give justice to his people, and he will change his mind about his servants, when he sees their strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free.

Jesus said that the generation for whom all this vengeance and wrath was stored up was his very own generation in the first century!:

Mat 23:31-38 NLT - "But in saying that, you testify against yourselves that you are indeed the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Go ahead and finish what your ancestors started. Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell? "Therefore, I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers of religious law. But you will kill some by crucifixion, and you will flog others with whips in your synagogues, chasing them from city to city. As a result, you will be held responsible for the murder of all godly people of all time--from the murder of righteous Abel to the murder of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you killed in the Temple between the sanctuary and the altar. I tell you the truth, this judgment will fall on this very generation. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God's messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn't let me. And now, look, your house is abandoned and desolate.

Paul also spoke of "storing up punishment":

Rom 2:5 NLT - But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.

So we see the day being "hastened" by cries of the persecuted saints and prophets to God for vengeance:

Rev 6:9-11 NLT - When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of all who had been martyred for the word of God and for being faithful in their testimony. They shouted to the Lord and said, "O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you judge the people who belong to this world and avenge our blood for what they have done to us?" Then a white robe was given to each of them. And they were told to rest a little longer until the full number of their brothers and sisters--their fellow servants of Jesus who were to be martyred--had joined them.

Rev 8:2-5 NLT - I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and they were given seven trumpets. Then another angel with a gold incense burner came and stood at the altar. And a great amount of incense was given to him to mix with the prayers of God's people as an offering on the gold altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, mixed with the prayers of God's holy people, ascended up to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out. Then the angel filled the incense burner with fire from the altar and threw it down upon the earth; and thunder crashed, lightning flashed, and there was a terrible earthquake.

Luk 12:49 NASB - "I have come to cast fire upon the earth [IE: the "land" of Israel]; and how I wish it were already kindled!

I could go on endlessly but I thinks that makes the point abundantly clear. The coming day of vengeance is "hurried along" by the cries of the persecuted saints of the first century against their persecutors. It came quickly and is no longer a future event:

Rev 22:20 NASB - He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.


Jesus said that he cannot return until the gospel goes to every last people group.

Matthew 24:14

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations [ethnos/ethnic people groups]; and then shall the end come.

In the 10/40 Window alone, 6400 people groups have still never heard the gospel. The church must fulfill it's purpose (the Great Commission) in order for Jesus to return. North America has had access to the gospel for the past 400 years. Europe has had access to the gospel for 1600 years. Yet the majority of missionaries go to countries that already have the gospel. Only 2% of missionaries actually go to unreached people groups.

When Jesus returns, he overthrows Satan as the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4) and Satan is cast into the abyss (Rev. 20:1-2). So in order to stay in power and continue controlling this world (1 John 5:19), Satan needs to delay Jesus' return. To do that, he needs to keep his hold on the 10/40 Window. And so he ensures Christianity and conversion is illegal there, that Bibles are forbidden, and that Christians are tortured, imprisoned, and killed. And if he can get Americans to be so focused on only evangelizing to their local communities in order to grow their local church, then the missionaries focused on reaching the unreached will remain at 2%, and Satan will stay in power.

To hasten Jesus return, the church must start focusing on those who have never heard. God is being patient so those people groups who have never heard have a chance to accept or reject before Jesus comes to judge everyone.

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    – agarza
    Commented Aug 1, 2022 at 4:40

I believe the answer can be linked back to 2 Peter 3:9.

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” ‭‭ If the Day of the Lord has not yet come because of the Lord’s desire that all would come to repentance, then it would follow that everyone would need the opportunity to come to repentance. How can someone come to repentance if they don’t know they are a sinner or don’t know who God is?

We as believers are tasked with the responsibility to share the Gospel with those who have not heard it. If we rely on others to repent from the natural revelation of God to man (man perceiving God by witness of God’s creation), we put them at a disadvantage. We ourselves received the Gospel that not only lead us to repentance but also enhanced the natural revelation of God to us. Therefore if we are to hasten the Day of the Lord, then His Gospel must be preached to every person on this earth.

I have no doubt that if every Christian was bold to share the Gospel to anyone they perceived might not know it, even unto the ends of the earth, the Day of the Lord would have come already.

  • Welcome to Bible Hermeneutics SE and thank you for your contribution. When you get a chance, please take the tour to understand how the site works and how it is different than others.
    – agarza
    Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 15:47

I think the sense is the same as Heb 11.7:

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. (KJV 1900)

Noah, by his faith, was obedient and condemned the world. So at least the destruction of the world by water was hastened by Noah, and this is the model we are to take for the next eschaton.

That Peter is referencing Noah's condemnation of the world is clear from the context, when he discusses scoffers:

2 Peter 3:5–7 (KJV 1900)

5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

Then in verse 9, Peter says that God is not slack, but is patient to give people time to repent.

Well, if God is delaying so that people have time to repent, what do you think happens when the appointed people do repent?


2Pe 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Firstly - The Day of God is the same thing as the Day of the Lord, 2 Pet 3:10.

Second - the Day of the Lord is not a "one" time event, Lk 17:22.

Lu 17:22 And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it.

The Day of the Lord is a time of judgment. Followers of Christ are disciplined in order that thereafter the discipline can in share in the holiness of Jesus,1 Cor 11:32 and Heb 12:10.

1Co 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. (KJV)

Heb 12:10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

2Pe 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Peter wants his students to "Prevail when they are judged as opposed to being disciplined, Rm 3:4.

Ro 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. (KJV)

2Pe 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

Being diligent in verse 14 is Peters's expanded definition of His use of the word "Hasting" from verse 12.

If Christians are diligent when they are judged or pass under the Rod (Ezekiel 20:37) they progress further into the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is defined as righteousness joy and peace in the Holy Ghost, Rm 14:17.

Mt 25:23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Eze 20:37 And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant:

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