He promised to come, didn’t he? Where is he? (v4)
In Peter’s time as now, people laughed and scoffed at the believers who held on to the promise that Christ will return. They firmly believed that his return was imminent – if that was the case 2000 years ago, how much more so is it now?
Life appears to be carrying on as it always has, but we only have to look at our news on the TV and watch events around the world to see that things are changing. Evil appears to be gaining dominion, but we know that God is sovereign and will only allow it to progress so far before he steps in to destroy. As we saw in chapter 2 with Noah and Lot, there was a limit to what could be borne.
They purposely ignore the fact that long ago God gave a command and the heavens and the earth were created. The earth was formed out of water and by water, and it was also by water, the water of the flood, that the old world was destroyed (v5-6) But the heavens and the earth that now exist are being preserved by the same command of God in order to be destroyed by fire. They are being kept for the day when the godless people will be destroyed. (v7)
It amazes me that there are many movies showing “end times” and “apocalypse” yet they miss the whole point. The world seems to believe that the earth will be destroyed but fail to see the need to repent and look to Christ’s return.
I’ve just looked up the word apocalypse and found that it’s original Greek meaning is “uncovering”. The unveiling of something – therefore this fits the description that it means the unveiling of Christ. We saw in our studies of Hebrews that the curtain of the Temple was torn in two when Christ died and that he then ascended through the heavens out of our sight in the same way that was represented by the Priests going behind the curtain into the Holy of Holies. In the same way, Christ has promised to return and we shall see him as he tears apart the curtain of heaven to be revealed in all his glory.
There is no difference in the Lord’s sight between one day and a thousand years; to him the two are the same (v 8)
I found this much easier to understand once I got my head around the thought that God is outside of time – He created time on the first day, it didn’t exist before then and so does not exist in the heavenly realm. It is only our human state that has the concept of time while on earth. It is so encouraging to know that before you ask God for anything, he has already dealt with it because he is not constricted by our timescales. An unexpected bill is met by a tax rebate which just “happens” to land on your doormat on that day. Hubby and I discuss buying something but decide it is too expensive – a voucher “mysteriously” appears. In a coffee shop debating whether we can afford to treat ourselves to a piece of cake – a stranger gives us their vouchers for free drinks that they can’t use. An emergency trip to the hospital means a large car parking expense, the ticket doesn’t work in the payment machine, so the attendant lets us out for free. The list is endless in how God provides in not just the big things but he loves to lavish those little blessings on us too. Each day brings a new blessing if you keep your eyes open and on him.
The Lord is not slow to do what he promised, as some think. Instead he is patient with you, because he does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants all to turn away from their sins (v9) But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. On that day the heavens will disappear with a shrill noise, the heavenly bodies will burn up and be destroyed, and the earth with everything in it will vanish(v10)
God is so gracious and patient with us that he wants to give us time and a chance to know him, but the clock is ticking. Even the world has the Doomsday clock which started off in 1947 as an image of how close we are to destruction or global catastrophe. It is currently set earlier this year at 3 minutes to midnight. This mainly focuses on political an climate issues but if we consider what God says – I think we may have moved even closer. So:
What kind of people should you be? Your lives should be holy and dedicated to God, as you wait for the Day of God and do your best to make it come soon.(v11-12)
We are to spread His word and pray for His coming – world events nearly 40 years ago were enough for me to realise that I was not ready for his coming and I chose to try and live my life in obedience to Him – are you ready?
But we wait for what God has promised; new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will be at home (v13)
God has promised so much to us
But you, my friends already know this. Be on your guard, then, so that you will not be led away by the errors of lawless people and fall from your safe position.(v17)
Again we return to the warning to be watchful, not only for our Lord’s coming, but for anything that may hinder us or cause us to stumble in our journey.
But continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be the glory, now and forever! Amen. (v18)