Lesson 13 -- fourth quarter 2009
November 29, 2009
© Copyright 2009
Today -- how can I "be mindful of the words which were spoken before"? (2 Peter 3:2).
If I live after my own selfish desires, how am I different from Last Days Scoffers?
Does it matter to me that "the works that are therein shall be burned up"? (2 Peter 3:10).
Given the facts of this passage, what manner of person am I (and will I be)?
"Wherein dwelleth righteousness" (2 Peter 3:13) -- which of the things I do now will be unavailable to me then and there?
A long time ago, as we measure time, God made clear that He would bring a dreadful judgment on this planet and all created matter. He warned that He would utterly destroy all this with intense fire. But hundreds, thousands, of years have passed. Still time and the world continue. We know He has not forgotten. We also know that He has not discovered He is incapable of fulfilling His threat. So what is He waiting on? To what purpose this lengthy delay?
As the father waited for the return and restoration of the prodigal, so the Lord waits for more people to repent and accept His redemption. He willingly endures much mockery and scorn because of this delay. He suffers the sin of man for the sake of man. He is longsuffering because He also is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).
Even so, the day will come when His loving longsuffering will give way to His just judgment. And in that day, millions will surely think that He came too soon. Their suffering will be long because their judgment will be unending.
So what are we waiting on? Knowing that "the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation" (2 Peter 3:15), knowing that "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:10), and knowing "the terror of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:11), what are we waiting on?
Just as the Lord warns and calls the wicked, so He calls and warns the righteous. Listen and take heed! "I have made thee a watchman... therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand" (Ezekiel 3:17,18).
Recently, as He measures time, God made clear that any day He would bring time to a crashing conclusion. That will be a great day of reckoning and judgment. On that great and terrible day of the Lord, the earth shall burn away, the heavens shall be dissolved, and the elements themselves shall melt.
Do you believe it? If you don't, it doesn't make any difference -- it will happen anyway. If you do believe it, does it make a difference...in how you live? Or as God puts it in 2 Peter 3:11, "What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness...?"
My life proves (or disproves) my faith in God's pronouncement. I can say I believe, but if that doesn't lead me to holy, godly living, then I really don't believe. You see, those who "look for new heavens and a new earth" (2 Peter 3:13) will live their lives here and now striving diligently by the grace of God to "be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless" (2 Peter 3:14).
"When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8). Yes! And may He find it in me and in you.
This concludes my comments based on the passage for the International Bible Study. To read my comments on the alternate lesson developed by Christian Light Publications, click here: The Excellence of Godly Women.
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