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A Hopeful People

Notes & Transcripts

The Day of the Lord Is Coming

This is my second letter to you, dear friends, and in both of them I have tried to stimulate your wholesome thinking and refresh your memory. 2 I want you to remember what the holy prophets said long ago and what our Lord and Savior commanded through your apostles.

3 Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. 4 They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.”

5 They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. 6 Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. 7 And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.

8 But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.*

11 Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, 12 looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. 13 But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.

Daily reading through 1 and 2 Peter this month of November has been such a blessing! I would have to say that this season in the Scriptures has been my richest ever. I hope it has been a blessing for you too.

Did everyone have a good Thanksgiving? With only four weeks left until Christmas I am beginning to feel the season. Speaking of season according to our lesson in Peter we are in the season just before Christ’ return. Parousia ( Par–oo–see–uh) is the Greek term for "coming" or "appearing" and this word is mentioned about 24 times in the New Testament.

In reference to the parousia Peter says,

3 Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. 4 They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.”

What is a scoffer? For example, a scoffer is someone that says “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”

Therefore, Peter points out

5 They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. 6 Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. 7 And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.

Thus the scoffers question, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised?”

The irony of all this is the very scoffer! For it is God’s love for them that is causing the delay of the parousia.

2 Peter 3:9 (NLT)

9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.

John Piper put it this way, “The tragic irony is that the false teachers take God's patience, which is giving them an opportunity to repent, and turn it against God as an evidence that Christ is not coming.”

Picture in your minds an image of God in this account of when humanity fell into the throes of Satan.

Genesis 3:8, 9 (NLT)

8 When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man* and his wife heard the LORD God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the LORD God among the trees.

9 Then the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”

Randy Garris tells how a preacher asked his homiletics class to write down an extrapolation of what they thought God’s tone was when God asked, “Where are you?” Then all the preacher boys were asked to stand and share what they had written. Some said with a curious voice “Adam, Adam where are you,” others spoke with a serous voice “ADAM, ADAM, WHERE ARE YOU;” however, those who spoke with a tear running down their cheek and with the plea of a father, “Adam, Adam where are you” they were the ones who knew something of the Father’s love for the scoffer, skeptic, and the seeker.

2 Peter 3:9 (NLT)

9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.

Please allow me to share how I believe God has spoken to us in 1 and 2 Peter.

In 1 Peter 1:16 God tells us “be holy, because I am holy.” Our penitence and obedience is what God requires. We are told to live holy and godly lives throughout the Scriptures. Remember, from the Christian virtues? Along with faith, add moral excelence; and add to moral excelence, the knowledge of Christ; and add to the knowledge of Christ, self control; and add to self control, perseverence; and add to perseverence, godliness; and add to godliness, brotherly kindness; and add to brotherly kindness, love.

The next lesson is found in 1 Peter 2:9.

Thus all of us are priests in the sense of bringing people who are outside the kingdom into the kingdom through Jesus Christ.

Our objective is to help other people see how precious Christ is (1 Peter 2:4).

Friend, living godly lives in anticipation of the parousia in not enough, we must also speed it’s coming!

And how do we speed this coming (2 Peter 3:12)?

We do so by understanding the season. We are in the season of God’s patience (2 Peter 3:9).

Let's pray.

Father, put us in the way of Sally, Massa, Pua, so that they may see our holy and godly life and be led to give glory and honor to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

In the November edition of Devotions there is a story called, For Us: Two Hours Less

“Does the reality of Jesus’ return sometimes lose its grip on our expectations? It’s not true for Heather Widdis of Jenison, Michigan. Heather, wanting her wedding to be a picture of the church’s wait for the return of Christ, chose not to know the day of her wedding! The event’s planning was done for her by family.

Heather was only told the month of the year (to represent the season). And for practical purpose, she had to be told about what time each day to be ready. After the invitations were sent to the guests, and the secret could accidentally slip out, Heather and her bridesmaids began staying together in her new home. By the activity and the excitement, Heather knew the time was close. Then one day while Heather and her bridesmaids were having their morning devotions, her bridegroom, Dan, left his father’s house and arrived with the sound of a trumpet. Dan told Heather that he would return in two hours to take her to the wedding. She didn’t have much warning—but more than we will have.”

I like this story because it helps sum up our lesson. Life is short and we should always be ready for Christ’ return. Furthermore, we all have a job to speed Christ’ coming. After all what good is a car without gasoline, what good is a wood stove without the wood to put into it for heat, what good is a pin without ink, and what good is a Christian unless he or she is rescuing the perishing. Like the old time hymn writer Fanny Crosby’s song goes “Rescue the perishing, Care for the dying; Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.”

2 Peter 3:14 (NLT)

14 And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.

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