2 Peter 3:4 They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation."
Pastor John MacArthur, near the end of a graduation address at The Masters Seminary, said: “Do you know what it takes to be successful in life and ministry? Show up on time and listen to your boss.”
A skeptic would have said, “Well, you need to tell that MacArthur guy that his own God is late. Where is he at? Shouldn’t he have been here by now?”
The real reason they question the return of Jesus Christ is because they have a lifestyle that they know is heading to serious judgment. The moment they concede the Bible is literal and the future return of Jesus Christ is real, is the moment they face the fact that when I face Him I am going to lose.
They try to minimize any thought of the return of Jesus Christ by saying, “they have been saying this for years.” Everything just continues as it always has. They go clear back to “the fathers” which could refer clear back to Adam and include every other believer they know who has died. Their idea is all kinds of people have been saying the world is going to end in judgment since way back in time and nothing has really changed. We have just progressed along and there is nothing we need to worry about.
God’s timing is rarely our time. God's name is Redeemer, his timing is Swiss and he does all things well, not necessarily painlessly, but well. Do you trust Him today—even when people question it?
Father, when others mock and ridicule you for not coming back on their time and terms, please give us patience, love, and boldness to share your Gospel. Jesus, for grace to be gentle and kind, bold and daring, and for wisdom and timing, we trust you today. In Jesus' name. Amen.
2 Peter 3:5 "But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water."
Peter says apparently you have missed something in your Bible reading. You have obviously “neglected” to see something in the Word of God, starting in chapter 1 of the book of Genesis. You may know that you are in the presence of a God-mocker when he attacks Genesis.
Peter says they have apparently forgotten about a couple of episodes that featured a lot of water. God, by His Word, spoke the heavens and the world into existence out of water (Genesis 1:6-10). There was water above and water below and God gathered up the waters and set boundaries for where water would be (Job 38:8; Proverbs 8:29; Jeremiah 5:22).
It is like Peter says: “Not only have you forgotten about God’s power in creation, but you have also forgotten that God spoke something else into existence and used water again. Things have not just continued along from the beginning of creation. You have apparently forgotten about Genesis 6-9 which describes a worldwide flood.
What these leaders forget is that there was a literal time in past history when God got fed up and destroyed the whole world by a flood. In other words, this world has not just continued on without any judgment of God. There was a major judgment and there is coming one even worse than this.
Peter wants God’s people to know that God is the Creator and God is the Judge of His creation. This is the message of the book of Romans, too: The God who is too obvious in creation to be denied as Judge is also far too gracious in Christ to be defeated as Savior.
Creation is groaning for redemption. As are we. But we won't find it in our anger. Only in the peace that passes understanding— Christ himself. So, let's do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with the God who is sovereign over all things. It's our only way "out."
Father, help us to remember your faithfulness in the past as well as the present. All things that were written in the past were meant to encourage us in the present—even the hard things of floods and such. Thank you, Lord, that you take sin seriously—and you took ours so seriously that Jesus took all the wrath we deserve. We praise you that nothing changes you. You are the holy God. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
2 Peter 3:6 "By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed."
This is a short verse, but I just want to say a few things about the judgments of God.
1. All roads lead to the same place: the judgment seat of God (Rom. 14:12; Heb. 9:27). Whether you live in a sprawling urban complex, the quiet suburbs, or the distant rural area, we will all stand before the living God. Peter’s first letter (4:17) reminds us: “For it is time for judgment to begin with God's household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?”
2. Mercy is NOT getting what we DO deserve—God's judgment. Grace is getting what we DON'T deserve—God's love. Any judgment of God—both temporal and eternal—fits this bill. In mercy and in judgment, God always acts to uphold and vindicate the glory and honor of his name. ""... that day when, according to my gospel, God judges ..."" (Romans 2:16). The gospel includes judgment. Part of the good news.
3. If we have a small sense of the judgment of God against us, we will also have a small sense of the mercy of God in Christ. When we feel irritation at the thought of God's judgment of us, that moment is our most arrogant, putting us above God. Real repentance is taking God's side against yourself: ""... so that You may be blameless in your judgment"" (Psalm 51:4).
4. God’s judgment never ends for those without Christ…but for those in Christ, our trials do. You have no privacy, no seclusion. None. ""God will bring every secret thing into judgment, whether good or evil"" (Eccl. 12:14). God's condemnation of sin is ultimately revealed in the final judgment, when the unrepentant sinner is exposed, weighed, and exiled to hell.
5. On Judgment Day, even the damned will declare: ""God is just!"" He will be exalted in judgment and prove Himself holy in righteousness (Is. 5:16). Why are men unmoved by future judgment? 1) Seared conscience; 2)Self-righteousness; 3)Low view of God; 4) Theme is rarely preached in pulpit.
Heavy enough for you? Christian, remember the Gospel: Christ bore His people's sin before the judgment bar of God. There He stood unprotected & vulnerable to every recourse of divine judgment. On Calvary, Jesus came to know the terrifying sound of judgment’s trumpet as He hung in the shadow of God’s unbearable frowning countenance. Oh, what a God!
"Father, today's verse, though short, reminds us even in brief what you said about judgment. Lord, help me to remember that you quenched the judgment due upon my head by dying on the cross for my sin. There is nothing that separates us from the love of God in Christ, your Son. You are the worthy one. Be glorified today! We love you - we praise you. In Jesus' name. Amen."
2 Peter 3:7 "By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly."
" If you knew that something terrible was going to happen, what would you do? Would you warn others? Would you keep it to yourself? What if no one believed you? Or, perhaps, only a few did?
Welcome to the dilemma of the Christian in every day, age, and culture. The world doesn’t know—or, to some degree—refuses to acknowledge that the present heavens and earth are heading to a worse future judgment. Right now, we are being “reserved for fire.”
Peter says the same God that used water for judgment has another judgment stored up that He will speak into existence. There is another future judgment coming in which God is not only going to judge the earth but heaven too.
This won’t be another water judgment; this will be a fire judgment. There is coming a future judgment of fire in which God will burn up the heavens and the earth and all ungodly people. There is a verse of Scripture in Habakkuk 2:3 which states exactly the same time principle. Time is moving toward God’s goal and He won’t fail to bring His judgment to pass.
Now I want you to think for a moment about the different kinds of fire that God has available. There is fire that can burn wood; there is the electrical fire of lightening; there is fire that burns the sun; and, there is the unquenchable fire of hell. God has a lot of fire to work with and He says there is coming a day in which He will destroy the heaven and earth and ungodly people with His fire.
Yes, it is really true and you can build your life on it: God really is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow (Heb. 13:8). God is the One who was, and is, and is to come, never changing in His person, attributes, purposes, word, and judgments, forever the same. Why won’t you trust Him today?
Father, your word is sure. In a world of false teaching that denies today's devotional, may we be reminded of the objective standard of your Word, character, and ways. You are the everlasting God! We can trust you! You gave your all for us so that we might find our all in you. Help me by your grace and Spirit to do this today. In Jesus' name. Amen.
2 Peter 3:8 "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."
Today’s verse outlines what we need to remember about God’s eternal calculation of time. Peter begins by saying past judgment has escaped the mockers’ notice (3:5). Yet, don’t let God’s timing of things escape your notice. We need to notice how it is that God calculates time. Never forget this: Delay from our perspective (prayers, Christ’s return, etc.) is really no delay from God’s perspective. It is all part of the plan.
Now there are two specific time realties that God wants us to understand here, I believe Before we look at these points, we need to observe that Peter doesn’t say “a day is a thousand years” or “a thousand years is a day.” What he says is, with God it is “as” or “like” this. This is important because there are those who try to suggest that the “day” in Genesis 1 isn’t a real 24-hour day, but millions of years. The Apostle Peter says this in the context of the mocking of the return of Jesus Christ.
Reality 1: With the triune God, one day to Him is as a thousand years to us. The time clock started ticking at Genesis 1:1—and it is still ticking to this very hour. Time to God isn’t what it is to us. To us humans, a day seems short and a thousand years would seem to be a long time. To God, though, a thousand years is short. When it comes to the matter of time in regard to the eternal God, we mustn’t be confused about this. God can do in one day what we couldn’t do in 1,000 years. We have not been able to fix this world in 2,000 years, but God can take care of it in one or two days—or less.
Reality 2: With the Lord, one thousand years to us is as one day to Him.
Psalm 90:4 (KJV) says, “For a thousand years in Thy sight are like yesterday when it passes by, or as a watch in the night.”
Peter says, “I want you to know that when it comes to the return of Jesus Christ, a long time to us is not a long time to God.” Since it has now been about 2,000 years since Christ ascended into heaven, when Christ returns, from God’s perspective, it will be like the day before yesterday.
You may be reading this today and you are a believer and you were involved in some sin five, ten, or twenty years ago and you never did face it and you never did try to make it right or resolve it. And, humanly, you just assume because you have forgotten it, so has God. Keep this in your mind: God doesn’t forget and even though it may have been twenty years ago. No, to Him it was like a couple of hours ago.
If you aren’t a believer in Jesus Christ (thanks for joining us!), you need to know that when it comes to your sin and your guilt, time makes absolutely no difference at all. When Jesus Christ returns, it will be like He was only gone a couple days. But when He judges, one day of judgment will mean an eternity for those judged.
A hundred years, a thousand years is short compared to eternity. Eternity leaves every age infinitely behind. Are you prepared in Christ?
Father, on your schedule, all things will be beautiful and all things will be made new. Make your time frame ours. Please, we beg you! At just the right time you died for sinners such as. Come, Lord Jesus, come! In your name. Amen.
2 Peter 3:10 "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare."
When will Jesus come back? As I write this, today was predicted by a popular Christian author to be the day that Christ returned. I was so relieved to awaken this morning and discover the heretic was wrong who predicted the world would end today. Ok, I wasn't really relieved; in fact, I didn't give it a second thought. Although about Jesus' return: We would all do well to consider it will happen one day...
Unfortunately, the fact that he was wrong won't stop people from believing the next false-prophet who ignores the words of Jesus who said that NO ONE knows the day or the hour. The world didn't end today, but neither will the parade of false prophets who deceive the gullible. They will continue until Jesus returns to shut the mouths of liars.
One thing more certain than death and taxes: Christ is coming again…Seriously. Literally. Gloriously. Historically. Factually, Bodily, Supernaturally. Etc.
I think we get the point together: Jesus is coming back - on His timetable, not ours. Waiting on God’s promise creates hope & humility. Humility--b/c this type of waiting cannot ever outrun God to find the assurance of Jesus’s return in a hidden code, clue, or connection with today's events separate from God himself. This brings us to a bigger reality that we don’t & can’t make it happen--it is absolutely up to God. This humbles us....or should.
Whether you are a pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, or post-tribulation return person, all true Christians should agree on the Gospel. The creation story bows before the Gospel. The Law and prophets point to the Gospel. The Second Coming stands in the shadows of the Gospel.
We’re called to trust the promise of Jesus’ return, not the timing (as many of you have so well-said). The gentlemen who predicted today was going to be the end has recanted or pushed it back—if I understand correctly. As Peter states here, Jesus will come like a thief in the night, not an algorithm.
People get obsessed with the end times and crazy about date setting when they get bored and lose focus on / with the gospel. This is unnerving and unconscionable.
For those of you who might say, ""God can't be real; he hasn't fixed everything in the world just yet"" or for those who might say of themselves, ""God could never forgive me. I've done too many bad things, etc.,"" let me remind you what God has said. ""
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance"" (2 Peter 3:9). God's promises will always come to pass and you can be forgiven.
Do you know him?
Father, we know not the day or the hour. But we do know that you know. That is enough for us. Let us look forward to your coming - but not set dates. Let us be on mission - but not forget you are the Lord of the harvest. Thank you that you came once and you will come again. Lord, you are good. In Jesus' name. Amen.
2 Peter 3:11 "Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives."
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives
There is no doubt in Peter’s words that 1. Jesus will return and 2. He will judge the world as described in 3:10. Like Peter, Paul said something similar: ""The last enemy to be destroyed is death"" (1 Cor. 15:26). Death is not a friend, not a natural part of the circle of life. Jesus hates it. Death is an enemy. It's the last enemy to be destroyed, but it will be destroyed!
The logical question Peter asks, then, is this: “If this is true, what are we to do?” His answer: Our purpose as a redeemed people is to live as a holy people. And, as we have already seen in this short book of Second Peter, everything we need for a holy life is given out of the holiness of Jesus Christ (see 1:3-11)!
I tried most my life to measure up in the eyes of others. But my worst critic was me. Then the holy God of wrath set his love on me. Our perfectly holy and all-good God is not ""too clean"" to mess with messy people or ""too good"" to do good to bad people. In his holy power, God is pleased to make unpleasing people pleasing to himself—all by the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of his son, Jesus Christ.
Is what Peter saying impossible? Sort of! It's impossible for you to live as Christ lived, impossible to pay what he paid, impossible to defeat he what defeated. Your hope? Grace! Trust him today.
Father, it goes without saying that we can't live this verse out without your help. We need your grace. Remind us of the coming judgment and how we ought to live in light of it. Help our focus to be the focus of holiness and grace. We pray that your Spirit guide us and lead us today to that end. In Jesus' name. Amen.