Read 2 Peter 3.
A key promise of our faith is that Christ will return and he will do so “soon.” Yet it has been over 2000 years since Christ was born, so where is the return he promised?
That skeptical question has been thrown at us in each passing generation since the original disciples of Jesus lived. Here in 2 Peter 3 Peter warned us that we would face it, too. Peter called the people who asked this question “scoffers” (v. 3) and accused them of “deliberately” forgetting the creation of the earth and the flood that destroyed everyone except for Noah and his family (vv. 5-6).
Even though they “deliberately forget” these things, Peter urged us not to “forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” Although it is true that many generations have passed since Christ lived, that is evidence of God’s mercy, not that he doesn’t exist or keep his promises. As Peter said in verse 9: “…he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” It is God’s saving grace, his abundant mercy, that has led to such a long (from our perspective) time between the two comings of Christ. However, Jesus will come and, when he does, people will be surprised (v. 10a) and everything will be destroyed (v. 10b).
If you lived in a house that was going to be razed to the ground any day now so that a new road could be built through it, would you spend much time repainting the trim outside?
Would you save up to replace the old carpeting with wood floors?
Would you care if there were cracks in the sink?
Of course not.
Given that this world, as we know it, has been condemned and slated for destruction by God, “…what kind of people ought you to be?”
Should we waste massive chunks of our time each week watching television?
Should we obsess over our handicap in golf or work 100 hours per week to make as much money as possible?
Verse 14 advocates a different way to spend your life: “…since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” We may live out our entire lifespan on this earth but, when measured against thousands of years, 70-90 years seems like very little. Wouldn’t be wise to be careful about how we spend the precious life we have from God?