Thursday, September 05, 2013

2nd Peter 3 - The End is Coming

"This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles." (2 Peter 3:1-2)
Peter is not so concerned that, after his departure, the people will continue to remember him, rather he is concerned that they will remember the word God has spoken, especially those things spoken by the prophets of old and the apostles of new. Christianity is not a religion of opinions but a religion based on the revealed knowledge of God. Previously, God spoke through His prophets; reminding them of what God requires, telling them of things to come, and revealing to them the coming salvation in Jesus Christ. Now He has spoken through His Son and through His apostles. Jesus invested His messages to His apostles who became the teachers of those who would believe; teaching them about Jesus, what He asks of them, His power in their life, and His return to judge the living and the dead. We too would be well counseled to give attention to what they, the prophets and apostles, have said!
"Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 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, 6 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." (2 Peter 3:3-7)
We live in an age that has grown up believing in a philosophy of uniformitarianism, meaning that things have always existed as they are today and will continue to do so into the future. For example, much of our current theories of earth formation and the evolution is based upon these assumptions that the earth's processes have very much always been as they are today and will continue to be so long after we are gone. Even our theories of aging rocks and the earth are built upon the assumption that not much has changed since their creation. This philosophy is nothing new and existed in the day of Peter. However, Peter reminds is that such a belief is not consistent with history. He reminds us that there was a time when nothing existed and, in a moment, all was made. A process spanning days and not millions and billions of years. He also reminds is of the global flood where, for almost half a year, the entire world was submerged under water. The truth is that God has intervened in history in catastrophic ways in the past and will continue to do so in the future. Just because we have not see God move so in our life time does not mean that He will not do so in the future. There will come an end of time, there will be the destruction of the heavens and the earth, and we will inherit a new heaven and new earth where righteousness dwells. The end is coming!
"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." (2 Peter 3:8-9)
Peter is not saying that, when God says one day He really means one thousand years, nor when God says one thousand years He really means one day. What Peter is saying is that time is not the same for God as it is for us. God lives outside the bounds of time, we, however, are bound by it. We should not therefore consider God slow in bring forward His promises as we might count slowness. It may seem like it is taking a long time, because we march steadily through time, but to God, "It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." (James 4:14 NKJV) Moreover, we should realize that, if there is a delay with God, it is not due to His inability to perform what He has spoken, but rather His desire that all might come to repentance and be saved. God is patient, waiting to bring forth His word that all might have the chance to receive salvation. Not all will choose salvation, but God is patient to give all the opportunity of salvation. After this, then the end will come, and it will come, this God has promised. Thanks be to God for His merciful patience towards us.

David Robison

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