The Patience of God

2 Peter 3:3-9

Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

Peter likes the word “lust” a lot, doesn’t he?  It is how he describes the corruption of this world and the enticing sinfulness that tempts us to steer away from our relationship with God.  Peter is warning us here about one of the lies that the enemy tries to convince us of so that we will disbelieve in God.  This is why he uses these words together, that the mockers will be following after their own lusts: they will be mocking because they are trying to convince you to follow them.  Don’t be enticed!

Peter explains the promise of God by discussing the character of God.  This is a method of defense we need to learn.  The more and more we know and experience God, the easier it will be for us to defend the faith and be more secure in it.  Peter’s explanation here is a result of wearing and using the Armor of God, which we would all be better off to adorn and use each day since we are in a spiritual war that never ceases.

As the world worsens, people ask, “so when is this Jesus of yours coming, anyway?”  A big part of this mockery is doubt; they are without the hope of the return of Christ, so therefore they do not believe He is returning anyway.  Because of their unbelief, they mock as if we are waiting on something that will never happen.  However, Peter points out that their lack of belief creates a disability: seeing things with worldly eyes.  You see when we don’t believe in the almighty power of God and his omnipresence we don’t understand that He is not bound by the rules of the earth or the concepts of man.  Here, time is his example.  Peter reminds us that God is not restrained by time; He just always is.  He exists right now at the same time He existed 100 years ago just like He exists 1,000 years from now…at the same time.  Does your head hurt yet?  God transcends all time and space simultaneously.  If He didn’t, then He really wouldn’t be God, would He?

So why does He wait?  Because He wants us all to have the opportunity to be reunited with Him.  To me, this exemplifies His ultimate love for us.  Even if there is just 1 left yet who will believe, He is willing to wait for the time to pass because they are worth waiting for.  We are all His favorite child; we all get first dibs.  I discussed before how we will all have an opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel of Christ and that our duty as believers is to make sure everyone hears and has that opportunity.  This is what He is waiting for; that we have all heard.  This is why nobody will know when He returns, because it is impossible for anyone predict when this will happen.  I mentioned to my wife one time, “can you imagine being the last person to believe that starts the second coming of Christ?”  What would that feel like?  Is it you?

 

Stay strong and maintain hope; He is coming.




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