2 Peter 3: Preparing for His Coming
Having spent 2 Peter 2 talking about the need and certainty of God’s coming judgment, he spends 2 Peter 3 outlining the nature of that judgment in more detail (2 Peter 3:1-10) and admonishing his listeners to live in the light of Christ’s imminent return (2 Peter 3:11-18).
Waiting for Jesus
Two thousand years have passed (more or less) since Peter admonished his listeners to be patient and wait expectantly for the return of Christ. Even then, just a couple generations (at most) since the Resurrection, there were those already giving up hope. Is he ever going to come back? Where is the promise of His coming? Nothing has changed. Peter says that they were wrong two thousand years ago, but…it’s been two thousand years. What should we expect?
Nearly every generation has believed itself to be living in the End Times. Christian sects have proclaimed Christ’s return in nearly every century since his ascension. Christians in every century have looked forward to the return of Christ. There’s a reason Left Behind was so popular.
Peter tries to change the conversation. The conversation shouldn’t be “When is Jesus coming back?” but “What can I do here until he does?” There was approximately 1600 years minimum between the spiritual apocalypse of the Fall and the physical apocalypse of the Flood. Therefore, do not be surprised if Christ’s return is well into the future. After all, “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8).
How long we wait does not matter. What does matter is what we do with the time we are given.
Peter is less concerned about the return of Jesus and more concerned about his listeners receiving him in fullness now. While we should certainly long for the coming final salvation, we cannot ignore the work of salvation that Jesus is working in us now. His central question he leaves with his listeners is this:
Therefore since all these things will be destroyed like this, what kind of people ought you to be?
You cannot properly long for the Lord in the sky if you do not long for him in your heart. You cannot truly wait on the Kingdom of God unless you are daily serving as its ambassador. You cannot sincerely declare the return of the King unless he’s first shown up in your own life. Yes, the Kingdom of God will one day come in fullness, but until that time comes, continue to develop the Kingdom of God here on earth.
Father, may our hope for the future not overshadow our duties of the present. Keep us from being so heavenly minded that we become of no earthly good. Empower us to develop your kingdom here on earth in this present age.
Why do so many Christians have an infatuation toward the End Times?
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