‘2 Peter 3:1 (NKJV) Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), 2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, 3 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.” 5 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 perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 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. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation-as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
In the above passage of Scripture, the Apostle Peter addressed several things that are quite relevant even in our day. Then, as now, some scoffed at the idea of Jesus returning to the world. One thing to keep in mind is that God’s idea of “soon” is not necessarily the same as our idea of it. A thousand years is as a day, and a day as a thousand years to the God who has lived forever. The second thing to keep in mind is that God quite famously judged the world once before, in Noah’s time, even though the ungodly of that day gave no heed to the preacher of righteousness who warned them to prepare for the judgment that was coming. It is sadly similar today. So many give no second thought to the reality that we all will stand before God in the final judgment, to give an account for the lives we have lived. Thirdly, the really remarkable thing in this passage is that God is patiently putting off the final day, giving sinners more time to repent. How much time do they need, one wonders? I for one thank God that He gave me time and opportunity to repent, and that He saved my soul and set me free from enslavement to alcohol that I had so foolishly gotten myself into in my early 20s. The fourth thing that stands out in this passage is that, in light of the coming destruction of this present world by fire, we ought to live holy and godly lives, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God. We are further exhorted to live blameless and spotless lives for God. How stunningly different is this exhortation to the typical ‘greasy grace’ ‘grace covers everything regardless of repentance’ concepts commonly taught in our day. To hear some tell it, we positively can’t obey God for more than maybe a millisecond. To hear some, we can never ever be “blameless” or “spotless” or “holy” in this life, because of the supposedly sinful nature we all have, which basically makes sinning out to be virtually automatic, as if sin has more power than the Holy Spirit who lives within the believer! If the inspired Apostle Peter thought that was the case, he certainly never intimated such an excuse or inherent handicap in the above passage or anywhere else. Peter even warns us in this passage to beware lest we fall from our own steadfastness in Christ, and become led astray by the error of the wicked. This world is quite obviously not perfect, but those who truly love God and follow Him with all their heart look forward to the perfect world that is to come, wherein dwells righteousness. There shall be no sin there. All sin and all sinners shall then have been cast into the Lake of Fire, as Rev. 20 reveals. God is graciously giving you and me more time to repent. I urge you, by the mercies of Jesus Christ, avail yourself of the opportunity He has given you to repent before it is too late for you.’
Source: John Earp (facebook). The above first appeared May 18, 2017 in the “Preacher’s Corner” column of The Jal Record, the local newspaper for Jal, New Mexico.