Monday, October 28, 2019

2 Peter, Day 11: 2 Peter 3:1-7 - Will Jesus Really Come Back?

Will Jesus Really Come Back?

This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
- 2 Peter 3:1-7, ESV

Let's face it: Much of what we believe as Christians is totally nonsensical to the world around us. This forces us to decide, on a nearly daily basis, who we will believe, our God or the world that rejects Him and His truth. One of the areas where this dividing line between God and the world is very clear is the doctrine of the Second Coming of Christ. If you tell certain people that you believe Jesus is coming again to judge the world and usher in the new heavens and the new earth, they're liable to look at you like you're talking about little green men from Mars coming to earth to destroy us. In fact, in their mind, they might think a Martian invasion to be the more likely scenario. 

So, is Jesus really coming again? Peter encourages us - he stirs us up by way of reminder - to remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the words of our Lord Jesus Himself, passed on through His apostles: Yes, Jesus is definitely coming again! The prophets of old foretold both Jesus' first coming and His second coming. Some of the most beautiful and powerful pictures of the Second Coming of Jesus are in the psalms, including Psalms 2, 24, 72, and 98. These psalms celebrate the worldwide reign of King Jesus over the nations, His glory covering all the earth.

When Jesus was here, He Himself was even more clear about His Second Coming. Some of the longest and clearest teachings of Jesus about His Second Coming are in Matthew 24:3-25:46, Mark 13:24-37Luke 12:35-48. Altogether, we could turn to dozens of passages of Scripture that either explicitly or implicitly teach that Jesus is indeed coming again to judge and to reign forever. 

The clarity of Scripture does not keep people from scoffing and ridiculing Christians for their hope, however. Peter says that, when they do so, they are deliberately forgetting that God created everything by His powerful word and that He certainly has the power and right to bring all of His creation into judgment. God never breaks His promise, and His word is powerful indeed. 

It's a helpful reminder to us that whenever people ridicule some aspect of the Christian faith, it's not really just that particular truth they find ridiculous. No, they deliberately reject and deny just about everything God has revealed. Their problem is much greater than a few teachings they think are far-fetched. They deny God the Creator and His powerful, unfailing word. 

Of course, people have good reason for wanting to deny, forget, or suppress the truth about God. Knowing God is real, that He has created everything, and that He will judge everyone is something unbelievers desperately want to believe is not and cannot be true. After all, the day of Jesus' coming is "the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly." But for us who long for His Coming, this day will be the fulfillment of all of our hopes and our full and final salvation. 

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