2 Peter 3:8-9
8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 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.
I was talking to my eldest daughter the other day about how cool I thought it would be if Jesus would come back to Earth in our lifetime. She seemed to share my excitement but she also was a little un-settled about the prospect. Sometimes it is easy to forget the zeal I had as a teenager looking forward to the road ahead of me. College, marriage, parenthood, and a whole litany of unexperienced things await her in the years to come. Honestly, I am looking forward to watching her and the rest of my kids take the journey through life, but a large part of me is ready to see Jesus return.
In today’s verses the Apostle Peter is instructing us about the return of Jesus. Possibly written between 64 A.D and 67 A.D., Peter is trying to help the church deal with skeptics who are doubting whether or not Jesus will return. It had been 30 years since Peter had seen Jesus ascend into heaven and it had been 30 years that Peter had been preaching His return. Now close to 2000 years later we still await for Jesus to come back. Even as believers, isn’t it easy to wonder about why He hasn’t returned? Peter helps us with this. He points us back to one of the basic facts of our existence which is God has plan and that we are limited in the way we understand that plan. He explains in verse 8 that our concept of time and God’s concept of time is very different. In verse 9, he reassures us that God is not slow to act, but that God is patient, “not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance”. How easy is it for us to get wrapped up in our own situation that we forget that God is working in the lives of others and has been throughout history? What if Jesus would have comeback the day before our conversion or what if He returns before our children are in Christ?
So what is the take application? Peter gives us a practical application in verse 14. He exhorts us to live expectantly for the Lord’s return. He challenges us, “to be found by him without spot or blemish”. Just writing this the image of a bachelor party popped into my head. I think the prompting is to say that the goal of this life isn’t to have a party where we can indulge in all manners of worldliness and debased behavior and then put on our white and pure marriage garments, but rather dress now in our garments of purity and commitment and wait patiently for our eternal marriage to Jesus who is on His way.
Heavenly Father, thank you God for your plan. Thank you God that you reveal it to us in a way that we can practically live it out. Father help us with our doubts and transform our thinking so that we may better understand you. Forgive us the selfishness we sometimes feel in regard to our conversion. Give us a heart for all of your creation. Strengthen us today Father and empower us to persevere with patience as we await our eternal union with you. Thank you for you many blessings. In Jesus’ name. Amen.