“They will say, ‘Where is this coming he promised?
Ever since our fathers died,
everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.’”
2 Peter 3:4 (NIV)
The title for our devotional today is an expression that has been on the lips of people for generations.
When a particularly slow moving person is seen, these words can easily slip out as an effort to describe a person’s dreadfully slow way of acting.
Some people who do not frequent church mock the promise of Jesus returning to this world by using such an expression or commenting as our verse suggests.
However, it is not just people who do not go to church who wonder about the slowness of Jesus to fulfill His promise to return. I have often been out for some lunch with a friend of mine. He lives alone and is lonely since his wife of many years left for heaven. All he seems to want is for Jesus to come and take all of His people home to be with Him forever.
Often believers in Jesus will express a longing for eternity to come and bring an end to this poor sorrowful world. No one can be blamed for having a desire to be with Jesus and away from the tragedies of this life. But what do we say when someone mocks us for even believing that Jesus will come again?
Peter, in the passage from which we get our verse today, has several suggestions as to how to respond when asked such questions. He starts with saying that the scoffers have forgotten that the worlds exist by the creative word of God. Then he follows with the reminder that God’s word of judgment caused the natural elements to flood the world in punishment for sin in Noah’s day.
Peter then goes on to address believers and tells them that God’s time is not ours. God sees a thousand years like a day. Many Christians who are philosophers remind us that time only measures the physical world. God is outside of time and so His eternal perspective is unlike our time limited horizon.
Then Peter says that God delays His return because He is giving people time to turn from their own ways to come to Him. Just as God gave Noah’s generation time to repent—while Noah was building the ark—so God now is extending the day of grace in order to give people time to repent.
But people in our day ignore the amazing grace of God and go on pursuing their own selfish interests. They spurn the kindness and goodness of their Creator. What Peter wants is for Christians to endure the hardships of this life while God goes on calling people to Himself. The day will surely come in which God brings down the curtain on our little stage of life and eternity will be ours forever.
Those who have voted by their actions in this life to be separate from God shall have that forever. Those who have sought the Lord in this life shall have eternal bliss and joy. May my readers be among those who patiently wait for the Lord to come. God is not slow by His standards. He Who promised shall come.