Tuesday, September 11, 2007


2 Peter 3:1-10 The Antidote To Scoffers Of The Second Coming

Franklin Roosevelt once said we had nothing to fear but fear itself. He neglected to mention Orson Welles. Because on October 30, 1938, a wave of mass hysteria seized millions of Americans when Welles and his popular Mercury Theatre on the Air presented a dramatization of H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds. He said later that it was the Mercury Theatre's own version of dressing up in a sheet, jumping out of a bush and saying "Boo!" But for listeners who tuned in late, it was a little bit more. It seemed nothing less than a full-scale invasion of earth by hostile Martians As panic spread across the country from Grovers Mill, New Jersey (the first reported landing), hospitals treated people for shock and hysteria. Others gathered in churches in fervent prayer. New York families fled to nearby parks. And Boston families stood on roofs, straining for a glimpse of New York burning.
I guess as a society we are very cynical of anyone making any claims about anything whatsoever.
But there is one claim we must be aware of. It is the claim that Jesus Christ as Lord of lords and King of kings is going to come to judge the ungodly and bless those who follow him. This will not be some Halloween trick. Jesus will not be appearing in a white sheet and saying "Boo!" to the world. This will be the invasion to end all invasions, one that will make Star Wars look like child's play.
But many regard this return of the Lord Jesus with cynicism.
The Secular Mind Albert Einstein said, "I never think of the future It comes soon enough."
3 First, be aware of this: scoffers will come in the last days to scoff, following their own lusts, 4 saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they have been since the beginning of creation.”
Aldous Huxley, the philosopher and atheist, at least was honest about his reasons for attacking Christianity and the scriptures. He wrote, "The philosopher who finds no meaning for this world is not concerned exclusively with the problem of pure metaphysics: he is concerned to prove there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to. . . For myself, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political." This man was an example of one who rejected Christianity so that he might be free to sin.
Where is the promise of His coming?" This query is put in a way that implies that the thing asked for does not exist.
In the Old Testament the prophets faced similar questions in their day. "Where is the God of justice?" asked the evil men of Malachi's day (2:17). "Where is your God?" asked the pagans of David's day (Ps. 42:3). "Where is the Word of the Lord?" asked the enemies of Jeremiah (17:15). "Where is the promise of His coming?"
The mockers of Peter's day were asking, Didn't he say he would rise again? Didn't he say, before he went away, that he would return? It's been 30 years. Where is he?"
Sometimes we Christians are our own worst enemies. How many times do we read of people selling all their possessions, donning white robes and heading for the hills to wait for Jesus, only to return again and admit their calculations were off? I have many accounts in my files of these people who only succeed in making themselves and other Christians appear foolish.
This can confuse us as Christians. And so most people in Australia stick their head in the sand about the second coming. They say “All will continue as it has in the past.”
Live for today. Don’t think about tomorrow.
The liberal commentator Donald Kaul loves the Second Coming as much as he does Newt Gingrich. (not much) In one column in 1991 he mentioned how he was approached by a Christian. He said the pleasant woman handed him a pamphlet. He thanked her, and read: "In the near future, many Christians will suddenly disappear from the Earth."
Right away that got Kaul's attention. Good news always does that to him, he added.
The pamphlet continued: "Such a wonderful event is called 'Rapture,' There will be quite a confusion in the world after Rapture: The families left behind will look for a large number of vanished people. The mass media will be busy with reporting this mysterious
event." Kaul imagined the headlines: "Religious Right Disappears, National IQ Surges."
then added, "But don't imagine that The Rapture will leave the rest of us sinners free to run around and have a good time, unencumbered by the harsh looks, to say nothing of laws, thrown our way by the virtuous. After The Rapture comes Seven Years of Tribulation, which hwill entail drought, hail, war, earthquakes, volcanic explosions, famines, plagues and "big disasters from heaven." Kaul thought this sounded a lot like California. It's interesting that Kaul feels morally restricted by Christians.
Peter himself says a big motivation of the scoffers is that they want to follow their own evil desires.
When these false teachers come along and they attack the Second Coming, Peter is saying, “I want to stir your sincere mind up so that you can meet that attack head on.” And so he says I do this by way of reminder.
1. Reminders from the Old Testament Make Us Watchful
2 so that you can remember the words previously spoken by the holy prophets, and the commandment of our Lord and Saviour [given]through your apostles.
Peter has already reminded them of the Old testament Prophets and their warnings about the second coming. 2 Peter 1: 19 So we have the prophetic word strongly confirmed. You will do well to pay attention to it, as to a lamp shining in a dismal place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20 First of all, you should know this: no prophecy of Scripture comes from one’s own interpretation, 21 because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, moved by the Holy Spirit, men spoke from God.
Peter is now going to tell us what some of these words are. He has reminded us that this is the Word of God. God’s warnings about the coming Judgement must be heeded because it is the Word of God

2. Reminders From The Lord Jesus Christ Make Us Watchful
2 so that you can remember the words previously spoken by the holy prophets, and the commandment of our Lord and Saviour [given]through your apostles.

Next, Peter stirs up the minds of his readers by asking them to remember the word of God spoken through his Son Jesus Christ. The false teachers had denied "the Master who bought them," but that did not make Jesus any less Lord and Saviour, any less the God of creation, any less the Ruler over all of history, past, present and future--including his second coming.
In Matthew 24 and 25 we have what is known as the Olivet Discourse, when Jesus taught his disciples about what would happen at the end of the age. Many false Christs would appear, he said. There would be wars and rumours of wars. Famines and earthquakes would occur. Lawlessness would increase; love would grow cold; there would be great tribulation. Here are his words from Matthew 24:14: "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come."
Then, replying to the disciples' question about the sign of his coming, he said (24:29-31):
"But immediately after the tribulation of those days 'tine sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken,' end then the signs of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the 'Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky' with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angers 'wish a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other."'
Things are not getting better. Jesus will come at a time when the world is at its worst. "Therefore be on the alert," he said to the disciples, "for you do not know which day your Lord is coming . . . the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will." He will return; that is the issue. "When the Son of Man comes in His glory and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne, and all the nations will be gathered before Him . . . and the judgment will begin . . . "
This is not an idea that sprang from the mind of man. No human wisdom was instrumental in bringing this revelation to light. This word came by direct revelation from God through his Son Jesus Christ. God has already told us through his word what will happen at the end. He has not, however, told us when these things will occur. Instead he leaves us with many warnings: be alert, don't be misled, remain faithful. If every word of prophecy concerning Jesus' first coming was fulfilled, be assured that every word of prophecy about his second coming in power and glory will likewise be fulfilled--despite what the mockers say.

3. Reminders From The Creation Make Us Watchful
Then thirdly remember that the world had a beginning, and all things were spoken into being with a word.
5 They wilfully ignore this: long ago the heavens and the earth existed out of water and through water by the word of God.
For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water,
Lanathium.. Lithium a drug to take away memories… for Bipolar.
They are willingly forgetful. They wilfully set aside historical facts which the whole world knew about. Everything has not remained as it was from the beginning. By God's word, the apostle says (and he makes no apology for saying so), heaven and earth were created (verse 5). God spoke and it was so. By his word the heavens and the earth came into being.
Remember this, because if God can speak the world into existence, He can also speak the world as suddenly out of existence.

4. Reminders From The Flood Make Us Watchful
Then fourthly remember God destroyed the world with the flood.
6 Through these the world of that time perished when it was flooded by water.
Again, "by God's word" the blessings he had bestowed on man became the means of man", judgment. In the great Flood, God used the very water which sustained life on earth to destroy all of life. God changed the natural laws and used the blessing of water as a judgment rod upon man. This, too, as Peter says, "escaped their notice." That's amazing. How can you possibly over look the Flood?
Here is another warning from Scripture, this time concerning the second coming of Jesus, in his own words: "For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark. And they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be" (Matt. 24:37-39).

5. Reminders From The Judgement Make Us WatchfulAgain, we read in verse 7, "by God's word" the final judgment will come: "But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men."
Knowing what God has done in history we should have no problem believing everything that God says about the future.
Then Fifthly remember that it is promised that this world will be destroyed by fire, which destroys more destructively, more powerfully, more finally than water.
7 But by the same word the present heavens and earth are held in store for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
We should remind mockers that there is a judgement day coming. We want them to escape it.
We should also remind ourselves regularly that there is a judgement day coming. That will help us keep ourselves in order.
Sometimes God gives us reminders of the temporary nature of this life, and the importance of the eternal.
A close friend of mine, while he was away, with his wife on holidays, returned to find that while he was flying home his house had been destroyed by a fire.
My friend had spent some years in Africa as a missionary, and while on holidays there, had taken to hunting and shooting in a game reserve. He had managed to bring home some trophies.
When they returned home, he stood in the ashes where his living room had been, and looked at the glass eye of a trophy he had hunted. It was obviously irreplaceable.
Tempted to shed a tear in the entry way, not because he was proud of them but because his wife loved them! Gone! All incinerated, just one glass eyeball looking up at him out of the ashes. His wife put it to him: “That’s what God thinks of your treasures!”
The fire illustrated for me the truth of this statement: things don't last. Things are revealed by being dissolved, by being burned up. The things that people put their time and money and efforts into frequently are gone in a flash. Certainly they will be gone when Jesus Christ comes back. Now, that is the point. The knowledge that all these things are going to be burned up some day ought to totally change our perspective on life. What do we give ourselves to, in view of that fact? It ought to change our attitude toward our clothes, our furniture, our houses, our buildings, our land, our cars, all the things that we invest our time and money and effort and thought in. As stewards we certainly ought to take care of them, but Peter's point is: let us not become preoccupied with them, because they are all going to burn up some day. How do we react when a piece of furniture gets gouged, or a favourite dress gets torn? That is Peter's appeal, and that is why he goes on in verses 11 and following to describe our duties, in light of the certain coming of the Lord. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness..

6. Reminders From God’s Own Nature Make Us Watchful
Then sixthly remember that God is eternal by nature.
8 Dear friends, don’t let this one thing escape you: with the Lord one day is like 1,000 years, and 1,000 years like one day.
Then seventhly remember that God has a purpose in his delays.
But didn’t the Lord jesus say He would come quickly?
Revelation 1:1 begins: “The apokalupsis—the unveiling—of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must en tachei”—en tachei: what does that mean? In Revelation 22:6, that same avowal is made: The Lord God “sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must en tachei… .” And then, verse 7: “Behold, I come tachu… .” And then, verse 12: “Behold, I come tachu… .” And then, in verse 20: “Surely—surely I come tachu… .” What does that mean? Tachos is the noun form and it means “swiftness, quickness, speed.” Tachei is the adjectival form; “speedy, quickly.” Tacheos is an adverb, meaning “quickly, speedily.” Tachion is another adverb, meaning “quickly.”
Tachu, the word used here, is an adverb, meaning “quickly, speedily.” “Behold, I come tachu”—quickly, speedily.
Now, if that is an adverb of time, it means He is coming quickly, soon. If it is an adverb of manner—of how He is coming—His coming is speedily, quickly.
It seems that the Lord delays His coming. In the twenty-fifth chapter of the Book of Matthew, there is the story of the bridegroom and the five foolish and five wise maidens. It says that the bridegroom “tarried”—he delayed his coming.
The reason for the writing of the 2Thessalonian letter was that they expected His coming tachu: immediately, quickly. And their people had died—some of their loved ones had perished. And it filled them with consternation and abysmal despair. And that’s why the 1st Thessalonian letter was written: because Christian people had died and the Lord hadn’t returned.
In the sixth chapter of the Revelation, under the fifth seal, he sees the souls of those who had been martyred for Christ. And they ask: “How long, O Lord—how long?”
And He hasn’t come yet. The delay is almost inexplicable to us. That’s why the bitter critics of the Bible say one of two things. Either the Lord Jesus was mistaken Himself—He didn’t know. He misunderstood; Or, second: the disciples misunderstood or misinterpreted. They didn’t know. But, in either case, Jesus made a mistake or the apostles made a mistake, or both.
The answer is found in God, as all answers to all human problems are found in the Lord. Time to God is not time as to us. In that third chapter of the second letter of Simon Peter, he wrote: “A thousand years is but a day to him… .” And in the beautiful Psalm 90, the prayer of Moses, it says: “A thousand years are but a day in your sight, and as a watch in the night.”
And we live by seasons and years and, finally, age and death. We are built and subject to time. We are imprisoned and held by it. But, when you think of time, even for us, it is grossly and immeasurably relative and, ultimately, is meaningless.
Look at it. If there is a mile to travel, a snail looks at that mile and says, “That’s a long time.” A stag or a hound could look at that mile and it’s shorter. A racing car can look at that distance and it’s still shorter. A jet plane can map out that mile and it’s almost in a second. For light, traveling at 186,000 miles per second, it is almost non-existent.

9 The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.

7. Reminders From the Lord’s Parables make Us Watchful

10 But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief; on that [day]the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, the elements will burn and be dissolved, and the earth and the works on it will be disclosed.
Note that word “thief”
Matthew 24: 42 Therefore be alert, since you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this: If the homeowner had known what time the thief was coming, he would have stayed alert and not let his house be broken into. 44 This is why you also must be ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
It’s the same word that Paul uses in 1 Thess 5: About the times and the seasons: brothers, you do not need anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3 When they say, “Peace and security,” then sudden destruction comes on them, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you, brothers, are not in the dark, so that this day would overtake you like a thief.

When He comes, he will come speedily. He will come quickly. The completion of history will be fast: one thing right after another. He comes speedily, quickly, when the conclusion of history arrives, then the events that close history will come speedily—quickly, one after another.
And the reason the Lord speaks to us about that is because He impresses upon us that when the finish—the climax of history—comes, there is no more time to prepare. It’s over.
When the end times come, the events that characterize the end times will follow one another quickly. Always it is that way. There is no time to prepare. The preparation has to be made before. And when the end times come, it is done and over for us. Our preparation must be made now. We don’t have time to prepare when the end times come.
Now, I said, my impression of the Bible, as I read it, is: without exception, all through the Word of God, the impression is made that the coming of our Lord is tachu—quickly, swiftly. The events happen one after another.
For example, in the seventeenth chapter of the Book of Luke, the coming of our Lord is like an eagle that swoops out of the sky. Or, in the twenty-fourth chapter of the Book of Matthew, His coming is like the forked lightning that strikes the earth. Or, in the same chapter, it’s like the flood that burst upon the earth. Or, in the same chapter, the coming of our Lord is like the fire and brimstone that fell on Sodom and Gomorrah—suddenly.
The clock of God is wound but once And no man has the power
To tell just when the clock will stop At late or early hour.
To lose one’s wealth is sad indeed. To lose one’s health is more.
To lose one’s soul is such a loss That nothing can restore

Mankind is divided into two groups of people, those who are in the process of perishing (the ungodly), and those who are in the process of being saved (the godly). Swift, certain judgment is coming. There will be no second chance. Our relationship to Jesus Christ is what will determine our eternal destiny. If we are found among the mockers, then we will inherit hell, torment and isolation. If we receive him as Lord and Saviour we inherit life, blessings, wholeness, peace and fellowship, now and forever. "Be reconciled to God through Christ."

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Free Hit Counter