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Like a Thief in the Night

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief...”  To modern ears, that sounds like bad news – not to mention a mixed metaphor that depicts God in morally questionable terms.  To the ears of the recipients of this letter, however, it would come as good news (this also happens to be a metaphor Jesus himself uses, in Matthew 24:43).  The church of 2 Peter is struggling to maintain the integrity of its teaching against the competing messages of certain contemporary Greek philosophers, who fault Christians for continuing to wait for their Lord’s appearing.  Not to worry, the author says: the Lord will come when the Lord will come.  The reason for his delay is to allow time for repentance (v. 9); but when that time is up, his coming will be swift and unannounced.  All is still unfolding according to plan: so be patient, and continue to live faithfully.