Where Is the Promise of His Coming?
NOTE: This weeks study will be in three parts. Saturday Morning at 8 am and 8 pm and Sunday morning at 8 am. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog.
II Peter 3:1-18
Peter continues writing about his concern that false teachers will have on the Christian community. So in II Peter 3:4 Peter warns that in the last days, scoffers will come.
What are these scoffers saying? They are saying “Where is the promise of his coming?” This is not a new question, for before Christ was born many were saying the same thing. “Where is this promised Messiah?” They further drive their challenge home saying, “Christ said he would return again, but here we are, living in a world that is the same as it has always been. From creation, or from the time the world evolved, until today, nothing has changed.”
In Peter’s time, when this teaching began to creep into the church, many of those who strongly believed and expected the Lord to have returned had already passed away. They died without ever seeing this promise of Christ fulfilled.
Peter’s Response Regarding False Teachers:
II Peter 3:5-10
Peter first responds to these teachers by reminding them that this is just not true. For the world has not continued unchanged since Creation. During the great time of wickedness a great change had occurred when God destroyed the world with a great flood. Peter points out that the world was standing in water, it perished ceased to exist as it was flooded with water. But these heavens and earth which were done away by the flood are now sustained by the power of God.
Peter draws our attention back to Sodom and Gomorrah by saying that the whole region in which these two cities occupied were judged by fire and that the fire forever destroyed what was there. It was a way for Peter to say, the earth was judged and destroyed by water, and the cities that were destroyed by fire are an example to us what will happen when next the whole world is judged. It too will be cleansed, not by water, but by fire as those two great cities were judged.
Peter then turns to the perspective of God regarding time. Peter draws the attention back to the prayer of Moses as recorded in the Psalms. “For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night” (Psalm 90:4). Peter modified it slightly by saying; “With the Lord a day is like a thousand year, and a thousand years are like a day” (II Peter 3:8). A short time from the perspective of God may seem like an eternity to us. Moses liked it to a “watchman keeping watch in the night.” When one keeps watch in the night, the hours seem to drag by, but when keeping the same watch during the day and same time period seems to fly on by. For God who has been from eternity and will continue throughout eternity, time has a different concept. As Moses stated in Psalm 90:10 “The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” For you and me, a life time of 70 years seem like a long time, but when compared to eternity it is only spec of time. God tells time differently than us.
Peter further points out that when Jesus does return it will be a time when He is not expected. Peter restated the words Christ used many years before, “The day of the Lord will come as a thief (II Peter 3:10 cf. Matthew 24:43, 44; Luke 12:39, 40). Paul also used similar language in I Thessalonians 5:2. It would seem Christ, Peter and Paul all wanted us to realize that Christ’s second coming will come and will come at a time appointed by God the Father, it is therefore out responsibility to be ready for whenever the time God has appointed will happen.
Why is this important? Because, for us, time may end sooner than we think as we fall asleep in Christ, awaiting the day of His coming.
But both Peter and Paul want us to fully understand the words of Christ that although he comes as a thief, at a time only God knows of, His coming will not be done in secret. For as Peter says the heavens will melt away. If the heavens are to melt away, it would seem to me, all eyes would be fixed upon this great event. Therefore every eye, will see him come in Clouds of Glory.
The Second Coming of Jesus will be unannounced and unexpected, but everyone will know about it when it happens!