Scoffers and Saints
A devotional thought from Afshin Ziafat for “The Consummation”
2 Peter 3:11-13: “Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, it is clear what sort of people you should be in holy conduct and godliness as you wait for and earnestly desire the coming of the day of God. The heavens will be on fire and be dissolved because of it, and the elements will melt with the heat. But based on His promise, we wait for the new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will dwell.”
In Peter’s second epistle, he warns his readers that many scoffers will arise in the last days who will question the promised coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Their reasoning will be that things seem to be continuing as they have been since the beginning of creation. Peter reminds us that the Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise but that His delay is due to His patience. The Lord desires all men and women to reach repentance, but there will be a day when it is too late, and this day will come suddenly life a thief.
In the day of the Lord, the heavens and earth will be dissolved and melt away. Armed with this knowledge, how are Christians to conduct their lives? There are some who spend their time running after speculations about the end times or trying to figure out the time of the Lord’s return. Some assume His coming is a ways off and therefore feel no urgency. But Peter urged his readers not only to pursue lives of holiness and godliness but to actually hasten the Lord’s coming as they do so. Does this mean that we can affect the time of the Lord’s return?
Rather than seeing this teaching as our determining God’s predetermined plan, it is helpful to remember that God has ordained the return of Christ to occur after His purposes for believers and the building of His kingdom are accomplished. Therefore, as we engage in pursuing personal holiness and sharing the gospel, we are actually “hastening” Christ’s return.
Pause and Reflect
• How does the fact that God desires all people to reach repentance change the way you conduct your life?
• How can you be involved in “hastening” the return of the Lord?