by David Brenneman
This is sometimes what's said out loud and sometimes you get it in the heat of the moment from some. People just don't like to hear that the life they have been living isn't where it ought to be or could be. They can't conceive of God not agreeing with how they've lived life so far. They can't conceive of a God who would return and leave 'good' people behind. They don't want to believe that all the 'good' they've done in life, without coming to Christ for salvation, meant nothing. But that's what the Bible says, that's God's Word...that's not mine nor any other preacher throughout the ages. Without salvation in Christ alone for the forgiveness of sins, there is no entry into Heaven, there's no leaving with Jesus when He is prompted by His Father to come get everyone.
2 Peter 3 isn't all that long of a chapter but it's full of so much. Based on the weird dreams I had last night before finding myself in this book and chapter this morning I knew something special was coming. Might be hard for some to swallow but it is what it is. Essentially that's what "you reap what you sew" means.
"Beloved, this is now the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of a reminder, to remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles. Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue just as they were from the beginning of creation.” For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed by being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly people.
But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be discovered. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found spotless and blameless by Him, at peace, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which there are some things that are hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unscrupulous people and lose your own firm commitment, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen." 2 Peter 3 NASB
People will come and go that mock at God. Mock at the idea that there's a God who tells them what is right and true vs what they want to be right and true.
Yesterday we read of the passage that says "The fool says in his heart there is no God".
In today's world people try more than ever to redefine who they think they are. It's being called identifying. Identifying as this or identifying as that. Add to it they are gaining a following in that they are getting legal backing to enforce their choice on others and to make people of faith accept them in this new identity. There's no other reason, legally, that such force of will would be pushed upon the public.
People often don't want to hear of the wrath and judgment of God. Yet it's right there in the Bible.
People often don't want to hear of the Biblical definition of marriage.
People often don't want to hear that good isn't good in the eyes of God in and of itself.
People often don't want to know that doing all kinds of things, even in God's Name, without salvation in Christ Jesus alone, amounts to nothing. Consider it well that such was so important that it's included in the Scriptures before people would try to offer it as an excuse today or at any other part of history. People separated by Jesus between those who had placed their faith and trust in Him alone for salvation from those who didn't...offered such an excuse and it was dismissed by Jesus.
People go about their day thinking it's like any other day. That they must push to get what they want out of it if there's to be a 'good' day. People putting value on status and things of this world rather than into a relationship that matters. A right relationship with Jesus is the key to the door of a life that has meaning and that matters.
In no way, as we read above, is Jesus being slow about His promise to return. The Father's plan was for as many as possible to come to Christ for salvation. It included Christians sharing the good news of the Gospel with others. Person to person. He isn't willing that any should perish but that all would come to Jesus. It's not what He wants, that is to have people separated from Him for eternity, but it's what people choose themselves.
The cross of Christ Jesus brought choice to the table.
Without salvation in Christ Jesus alone...no matter how good you think you are...it's not going to measure up.
It's interesting to note that the only realm of reality, of existence of people, that has the ability to question whether or not God is real or not...is the physical. Every single person who's lived and died...upon death the question is solidly answered. If they die without Jesus as their Savior...they wake up to the reality in Hell that their way of living life, their choices in life, weren't enough to get into Heaven. They wake up to the reality that God is real, that God is God and they are not. They wake up to the knowledge that there's no second chance.
In our world today we are indeed waiting for Jesus to return. We read in 2 Peter 3 of praying for the hastening of that day. It's a two fold prayer. While we indeed pray for others to come to Christ in the here and now, we also long for Jesus to return. We're wanting to come home but we know that while we're here we have the work of the Father God to continue until THAT time comes.
My Friend, please don't take your eternity lightly. Please don't think that fate exists. What exists is choice. That choice is in YOUR hands. That's what the cross of Christ did for you. Gave you a choice to have Jesus take your place in the judgment against you for the sin that's in your life. The Bible says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. To fall short means to miss the mark. When in archery, the only shots that matter the most are the bullseye. In eternity the only bullseye that matters is that you accepted the free gift of Salvation in Christ Jesus alone. The Bible says that there is no name under Heaven by which a man or woman MUST be saved. There's no wiggle room. There's no other way in. Good behavior might work in an early prison release but good behavior amounts to nothing in regards to entry into Heaven.
Living a life that mocks God...a life that refuses to acknowledge the truth of God concerning your life...will never ever get you into His Heaven.
Jesus is indeed coming back, when His Father says it's time.
Jesus will indeed take those who have died in Christ first. Giving them new bodies for those who have already died before the here and now, and taking those who are alive, giving them new bodies as well. Millions will vanish from this world in the blink of an eye. There will be no warning. Nothing to say that something is about to happen. All physical things of those people will indeed be left behind. Massive accidents will happen globally. In this the movie industry has it right.
There will be countless vehicle accidents, plane crashes, construction accidents, unlike any this world has ever seen. That's another view of what the Bible says of it being like the days of Noah. When Noah boarded the Ark of God everyone still mocked Him. He had preached for over a hundred years that a day was coming that was set by God for judgment to come by way of a flood of the Earth. If the world population was similar to today's...8 to 9 billion people died and went to Hell. The Bible says in Genesis that none were found worthy but Noah, his Wife, his sons and their wives.
When Jesus returns what we read of in the rest of the Bible, most notibly in Revelation, WILL take place. My hope is that someone reading this might indeed turn to Jesus and be saved before that day comes. While I pray daily for those I work with and used to work with, I also long for the embrace by my Savior welcoming me home. This world is not my home, I'm just passing through, as the old song goes.
The truth of life often hurts when we find out we've been living it wrong. That our choices amounted to nothing good. That our way wasnt the right way.
Jesus said that those who want to save their life must lose it. Those who lose their life for His sake and th Gospel's sake will find it. Matthew 16:25.
Whether it was the 100 years Noah waited or the now 2,000 plus we've waited...we see God's patience in not being willing that any would perish. He knows full well that billions more will perish in the events of the book of Revelation. Those people, like the people of today, were given a choice.
Romans 1:20-21 says that the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were they thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
My friend...if you're on the fence about believing in Jesus to be saved...realize the fence of doubt belongs to Satan. The one who absolutely doesn't want you finding out the truth of God for yourself. His desire is to have God's throne and he doesn't care who goes to Hell. He's never been there but knows full well what Hell is all about.
Where is Jesus's return? It's quite possible He's waiting on you to come to Him to be saved.
Post a Comment