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The Day of the Lord

(2 Peter 3:1-13)

Lesson 11 -- first quarter 1998
February 15, 1998

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 1997, Christian Light Publications

Scoffers and schedules.
Do you see?

If you haven't heard them, you have surely heard of them: "We have heard and our parents heard and many generations before them heard that Jesus is coming. Soon. And that the earth is going to be destroyed. And that kind of stuff. Ha. Our children and grandchildren, and their great-great-great grandchildren will say the same thing!" The words may not match exactly, but the attitude certainly does.

Scoffers live by the wrong schedule. Scoffers measure time by their own schedule. They compound their foolish error by living as though God goes by their schedule also. But we don't, do we?

We know God is unchallenged in His sovereignty. We know God makes His own schedule and that's that. We know one day is with Him as a thousand years (though not necessarily exactly a thousand). We know the Lord is not slack concerning His promises. We know what He says will happen. We do, don't we?

We like to think that a clear difference exists between us and the scoffers. Assuming such a difference exists, what difference does it make? Scoffers walk after their own selfish, fleshly desires. To be different we'll need to lay aside our desires and selves. To be different we'll need to live our lives as though we really truly believe that the day of the Lord is at hand.

Let this truth grip you: some scoffers express themselves with their mouths, some scoffers express themselves with their lives. Some scoffers blatantly proclaim their scorn for the promises of the Lord. Other scoffers would never say such things, but their lives scoff just as loudly. Both types of scoffers disregard God and His plans.

"I need special material for this filling, but I won't have any for a few more days. For the time being, I'll put in a provisional filling so you can get along." The dentist then proceeded to fill the tooth, doing his job as best as he could for the need. But he did it knowing the whole thing wouldn't last.

Provisional. That word describes everything in this life. God put many things here for us, so that we can "get along." But He didn't put them here for us to become attached to. He wants us to see them as provisional. The earth and "the works that are therein shall be burned up." Do you see? Burned up! Provisional!

"Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness." See indeed. Either we see or we're blind or we've got our eyes scrunched shut. If we see, godliness and holy living will characterize our manner. If we see, we will refuse all attachment to the stuff of this life. Right? And if we don't see (for whatever reason), we will confuse the provisional with the permanent. Right? Yes!

The Lord is coming! The day of the Lord is at hand! A burning, dissolving time may blaze around history's next bend! I believe the question for me is this: Do I believe this, or will I scoff? I challenge you to evaluate your own life--scoffer or believer, which?

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