Tuesday 13 May 2014

Bible Book:
2 Peter

“First of all you must understand this, that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and indulging their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since our ancestors died, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation!’” (vv. 3-4)

2 Peter 3:1-7 Tuesday 13 May 2014


A little disconcertingly, human beings have been around for amere 0.004% of the earth's history. It can be hard to remember thatthe world, in fact, does not revolve around us, and was spinning onits axis for 4.5 billion years before we made an appearance. Beingsuch relatively new additions to the planet, it's not surprisingthat we have a slightly squeezed view of history - and what anappropriate length of time would be before Jesus returns. 

Peter, it seems, was speaking into a debate taking place in theearly Church as to whether Jesus was, in fact, going to makeanother appearance in the near future. It's easy to see why theywere becoming impatient: in Mark9:1, Jesus says "Truly, I tell you, there are some standinghere who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God hascome with power."

You may have encountered people on your doorstep (literally) whofirmly believe that Jesus' return and the day of judgement areimminent - that signs like natural disasters are the labour painsof our earth as it prepares for Jesus' return and the creation of anew heaven and a new earth. Perhaps it is equally dangerous to beamong the scoffers who declare that all things have continued asthey were from the beginning of creation, as it is to be amongthose who declare they know the timing of Jesus' arrival. Matthew 24:44 says: "therefore you also must beready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour." Peter'sreminder that God's power is absolute - that the earth was formedfrom the word of God - is a reminder that God's perfect timing is aperfect mystery.

To Ponder

  • Is impatience ever a virtue? Why (or why not)?
  • In your opinion, why wasn't Peter writing to the "scoffers"directly?

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