The Christians addressed in 1 Peter lived mainly in the northern provinces of Asia Minor bordering the Black Sea (1 Peter 1:1). These were places that Paul had not been allowed to enter (Acts 16:7-8), but that Peter had helped to evangelize, most likely with John Mark as his assistant (1 Peter 5:13).
Purpose in writing 2 Peter
It seems that Peter wrote the letter known as Second Peter only a year or so after he wrote First Peter, and that he sent it to the same people (cf. 2 Peter 3:1 with 1 Peter 1:1). It seems also that Peter was in prison, most likely in Rome, and expected to be executed soon (2 Peter 1:14-15). When he heard that false teachers were moving around the churches causing trouble, he promptly sent off this short but uncompromising letter. The main error that Peter opposed was the claim by the false teachers that, since faith alone was necessary for salvation, Christians could live as they pleased. Immoral practices were not wrong for those who had gained a higher knowledge of spiritual things, and in fact were evidence that they had gained true freedom (2 Peter 2:1-3). (Concerning the similarities between 2 Peter and Jude see JUDE.) The other error of the false teachers was their mockery of the return of Jesus Christ.
Contents of 2 Peter
Peter counters the false teaching about Christian behaviour by showing that when people are saved by faith, their lives are changed in the direction of virtue, morality, self-control, godliness and love (1:1-15). God’s power to change lives is a fact to which Old Testament writers and New Testament apostles bear witness (1:16-21). Then, in a strong denunciation of the false teachers, Peter describes their immoral character and announces their certain punishment (2:1-22). As for Christ’s return, it also is certain, and the scoffers are only deceiving themselves (3:1-7). Any apparent delay in his return is for the purpose of giving sinners the opportunity to repent and escape the coming judgment. Christians likewise must be ready for his return, for they too are accountable to God (3:8-18).