March 2, 2021 | by: Chris Kiiskinen | 0 comments
This is a promise found in many verses of Scripture. Jesus himself declaring to John in Revelation 22:12...”Behold, I am coming quickly...”. The Bible, especially in the New Testament, reminds us often that Jesus will return.
While this is (or at least it should be) a comforting thought, we can often lose sight of this blessed truth because of things that we see going on around us.
When things are going well for us, it is pretty easy to not consider the return of Christ since, because of the ease and peace of life, we don’t have an urgency for him to hurry up and get back here. But when things are not going so well, many Christians can be heard saying something like, “Jesus, please just come back NOW!”
I’ve been in both of those places. Maybe you have too. I remember as a little boy even praying that Jesus wouldn’t come back too soon as I wanted to grow up and do a lot of “fun things” first, asking God to not send Jesus back until I was “too old to have fun anymore.”
Today, as we live in a sin battered world and what seems to be an ever divided country, it can be a deep yearning for us to see Jesus come back soon. But even as Peter is one who encourages us to remember that Jesus is returning, he also warns us that scoffers will come too. He wrote in 2 Peter 3:1-4...
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."
Sometimes the voices of the scoffers can be not only discouraging, but distracting as well, causing us to take our eyes off of “things above” (Colossians 3:2) and maybe even to have doubts ourselves. It can be difficult to hear those who scoff at the idea of Jesus returning and make fun of or degrade those who would believe such a “crazy” idea. But we must stand firm in truth, rather than give in to the temptation to doubt or wonder if they just might be right.
While it’s true that doubting can bring about fear and uncertainty, I think there is something worse. What is that? Living “unexpectingly”...meaning not expecting Jesus to return soon. This kind of thinking can cause us to be more earthly minded or more nonchalant in how we live.
We may grow quite comfortable in and with this world, which can result in us developing more earthly wants. This can lead us into idolatry as we stop thinking about Christ’s return and heavenly things, and focus more on the here and now, seeking our joy, comfort and satisfaction from worldly sources.
Peter encourages us to fight against this by remembering the truths about the return of Jesus. Later on in the same chapter, in verse 9 he says...
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
Jesus isn’t being slow, but rather patient. He has more sheep to call, more of his children to bring into full adoption. If that is why he has not yet returned, than that should tell us that we still have more Gospel work to do! Don’t let the scoffers blur your vision. We are here for a reason, to be witnesses for Jesus (Acts 1:8) and ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:30), still called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19).
Peter continued on in what he wrote in chapter 3, to say... (From verses 11-18)
“...what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God...be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation...take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
These are excellent reminders to us of how we are to live as we wait patiently for Jesus to come back. As Scripture teaches, no one knows when that day will be, but it will come. It may be in your lifetime, or it may not be. “Soon” will become “now” someday and the trump shall resound and the Lord will descend and we will all say it is well with our souls!
But until then, let the scoffers scoff knowing that their scoffing will one day give way to dread as they discover their error. All manner of sin will be done away with. Eternal life will become fully known. Hope in that! Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, during the good times and bad. He is returning. Live expecting him to!
And as Peter finished his 2nd letter...
“To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. “
Come quickly, Lord!
Chris Kiiskinen is an Elder at Grace Bible Church
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