If you knew Jesus was coming back for His church tomorrow, how would you live today? Would it change your priorities or your expectations?
The main reason I started this Bible blog almost five years ago, was to get people interested in reading God’s Word. Whatever trade or line of vocation you are in, did you study for it? Are you a Christian? Do you study God’s Word to learn of Him and learn how to walk in that newness of life? No one becomes a doctor of medicine without the many years of preparation and study in order to enter that field. Anyone who hopes they can just wake up one day with all the knowledge they need to be equipped to function as a Christian without prayer and study are badly mistaken.
The Bible gives us solid expectations as Christians. Studying God’s Word reminds us that heaven or hell is before us and the choice is ours that will decide our eternal destiny.
So with Christ’s imminent return, how should it affect our lives as a Christian?
2 Peter 3:1-14, gives us a clear instruction of how to live in the light of God’s promises. Peter reminds us to be mindful of the words that were spoken before by the holy prophets (2 Peter 3:2). He didn’t want us to forget what scripture has taught us, because in these last days, we are going to need them.
2 Peter 3:3, 4 – Knowing this first: That scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, (4) and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”
Mockers of God’s Word and promise of Christs’ return say, “Well where is He? People have been saying that for centuries, so I don’t believe He’s coming.” A mocker is not the same as a doubter. Mockers don’t want facts, they only want to despise and make fun of the things of God. Verse 3 tells us why mockers attack the truth – because “they follow after their own lusts.” They don’t want their sinful life being exposed by the truth of God. But the moment God’s truth challenges their lifestyle and sin, they lash out to whomever brought God’s truth. They don’t believe that God is the Creator or that He is in control. They will accuse you of “Judging them!”
Peter shows the evidence in verses 5 and 6 – for this they willfully forget: That by the Word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, (6) by which the world that then existed perishing, being flooded with water (Genesis 7:11).
In Genesis 1, “And God said,” nine times. When God speaks everything He commanded came to pass. God never has to correct or retract what He has said, because it is impossible for God to lie. God keeps and brings to pass every promise He has made. It’s as good as done!
God entered history not only at Creation, but also when He destroyed the world in the flood of Noah showing His judgement (2 Peter 3:6)
2 Peter 3:7 – But the heavens and the earth which now exist are kept in store by the same word, reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men (destruction).
Are you holding on to a promise from God and wondering, “Is it ever going to happen?” Keep in mind, God is outside of time. Maybe God through His divine purpose for your life has decided not to give it to you all at one time. Do you feel like the unjust keep winning while the Christians are pushed aside?
Read verse 9 of chapter 3 – The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. God wasn’t quick to wipe us out before we came to Christ, He waited with long-suffering. He does the same for others.
So don’t get discouraged or frustrated when the deliverance or promise doesn’t come quickly. 2 Peter 3:8 – But beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
When we start complaining and questioning God’s timing, we become like the mockers who say, “It’s never going to happen!” God’s timetable does not match our desires or expectations. We must keep in mind: There is preparation that has to be done for every answered prayer, either in us or the surrounding circumstances. Don’t misunderstand , there are instantaneous miracles though.
God may place a calling, vision, or dream in you, twenty years ago, but it hasn’t come to pass yet. God has to get believers prepared and ready for the blessing. Our focus should always be; God said it, He will bring it to pass.
There are many, still, that God is waiting on for His plan of redemption. When the last person is saved, (and only God knows who that is) and has been brought to faith in Jesus Christ, then the trumpet will sound and Christ will come for His church.
2 Peter 3:10 – But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent hear; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
Remember the promise to Abraham? That promise didn’t happen for 20 years after God gave it. Remember that God told Noah He was going to destroyer the earth with water? Noah spent 120 years preaching God’s coming judgment and men scoffed at him, until it happened.
Abraham believed God and God counted it to him as righteousness. Noah held on to God’s command to build the ark for 120 years and it came to pass. His faith affected his feet and hands.
God had redemption in store for the people of Nineveh, but it didn’t happen until the prophet Jonah got with the program, then the entire city repented.
We have to be responsible for the promise we are expecting to happen. Are you waiting on a godly husband or a godly wife? Then you yourself must be prepared to be godly. Believing what God says and acting on it, will bring it to pass.
So what sort of people ought we to be with heaven in store for our eternal destiny? Holy and godly! Let our view of eternity affect how we live today. Live today as we some day will in heaven. We shouldn’t get so wrapped up in possessions and success that we step on others to achieve it. Our lives should model that of Christ and that dear friends is why we need to know what scripture says. Don’t be caught unaware when this world turns evil into saying it’s good, because the Bible already warned us what it was going to be like in the last days.