PREPARE THE DAY OF THE LORD!(2Peter 3:8-13) Sept. 26, 2021
Did you have a good time on Chuseok holiday last week? Did you also do Bible writing for 2Peter? The book of 2Peter tells us about the lesson of Jesus' 2nd coming. Today's chapter 3: consists of two parts; first part (v.1-10) gives a warning to those who scoff at Jesus' 2nd coming. Second part (v.11-18) teaches us how to live our lives in this last days. And today's passage 3:8-13 show us who God is and how we can prepare for the day of the Lord.
There are many anti-christs who deny Jesus nowadays you know. In the time of Peter, there were also many false prophets among the people. They misled the believers to death by distorting the truth. And they promoted immoral epicureanism to the believers. Epicureanism is a theory that we had better enjoy life, having fun.
According to v.3-4 of this chapter, they are those who follow their own evil desires. They say, "Jesus promised that he would come again, but where is he? Our ancestors have already died, but everything is still the same as it was since the creation of the world." There are still many people who say so among us. Of course, their lives are ungodly. Today's passage shows us two answers for such people.
1. God is patient with us for salvation
Why isn't Jesus coming soon? First, God is the one who is patient with the people for their salvation (v.8). Sometimes we believers say also, "Jesus promised he would come again, but it is being delayed more." But we should know that the concept of God's time is absolutely different from ours. V.8 says, "With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day."
And v.9 says that God is so merciful that he doesn't want anyone to be destroyed, but wants all to turn away from their sins. Isn't he good God? Yes, the Bible tells us about it clearly. 1Tim.2:4 says that God wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. Amen! Therefore, to say "Jesus doesn't come again. Everything is still the same as it was before" is to disregard for God's love and patience. It is to store up God's wrath for the day of the Lord actually according to the Bible. (Rm.2:5). Amen!
2. The Lord will come like thief
Another answer is that the day of the Lord will come like a thief (v.10). Thief quickly comes without any notice. In the same way, the day of the Lord will come so suddenly. Therefore, we shouldn't say "Jesus' coming is delayed more. Let's read 1Thes.5:3-4 together! ".. the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, 'Peace and safety,' destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape."
Bro. and sis., now we are facing with crisis due to COVID 19 problem. Lots of people became confirmed patient of it so suddenly. Although many of them are vaccinated, the number of the confirmed patient is increasing you know. We are not assured of our future in this difficult situation. Even non christians speak of the end of the earth. Then what will happen to the end of the earth?
There will be a great change very suddenly and the end of all things will come with the event of Jesus' 2nd coming. V.10 says that the heavens will disappear with a roar (shrill noise), the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth with everything in it will vanish." V.12b says also, "That day will bring about the destruction of the heaven by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat."
When Jesus comes again, there will be universal change like this. Jehovah's witness insists on earthly paradise, but think over once! Now North Korea try to have nuclear weapons, launching a missile. And according to a news, over five thousand nuclear weapons are deployed around the world. Two thousand nuclear weapons are in the best operational position to operate immediately. How dangerous is this world now? Where in this world could paradise be? V.10 says that when the day of the Lord will come suddenly like a thief, we believers will see new heaven and new earth. Do you see Ammi church's yearly theme 'Jesus, our Hope!'? The main verse is 1Pet.1:13. Shall we read it together? “Set your hope fully on the grace to be given to you when Jesus Christ is revealed." What is the grace Jesus will bring us when he comes? What grace should we wait for?
According to the Bible, the dead in Christ will rise first (1Thes.4:15-16). Next, the body of the living believers will be transform (Phi.3:21). And they all will be pulled into the clouds and welcomed to the Lord in the air and there will be the wedding of the Lamb. Halleluyah! We believers will change in the shape of the Lord and be rewarded according to what we have done (Rev.22:12). Amen!
On the other hand, there will be universal crying to those who do not believe in Jesus. Jesus says in Rev.21:8, "But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars - their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." Well, then how should we prepare Jesus' sudden coming? Let's keep in mind two things. First is to believe in Jesus. It is, of course, to believe in Jesus in our hearts and confess him as our Savior and Lord. In other words, it is to accept what Jesus has done for us on the cross. We are all sinners, but Jesus took the cross as sacrifice to pay the penalty of our sins. How wonderful is the grace? Faith is to accept the grace into our lives. Amen!
By the way true faith accompanies action. It's because to believe in Jesus is to make Him the center of our lives, worship and service. Amen! Unfortunately, many people say 'I believe in Jesus', but do not care of obedience. Jesus says, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." (Mt.7:21)
After all, we believers are supposed to serve the Lord through what we have. Jesus teaches us about it through the parable of talents in Mt.25:.14-30. Therefore, one day, when Jesus comes again, we will all count it. Amen! Since COVID 19 started, many members do not care of Sunday service or offering. When the Lord comes again, how can they count of it?
To believe in Jesus means also to live our lives as the witness of Jesus. Nothing is more important than faith. Then evangelism is the most urgent thing. It is the great commission the Lord has given us actually. It is the work to participate in the great work of God who seeks for the lost. Pastor Jimmy shared the gospel with his family members as soon as they became confirmed patients of COVID 19. They've been so stubborn so far as Catholic church members, but now opening the door of their hearts to the gospel. Praise the Lord!
Another preparation for Jesus' sudden coming is to wait for his coming, living a godly life. V.11-12 say about this. Shall we read it together? "Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God." To wait (for the day) in Greek 'spyudontas'(스퓨돈타스) means to be in a hurry. So it means the behavior which works for the Jesus' 2nd coming with tension.
Bro. and sis., we are all aliens and strangers in this world. Our eternal home is heaven. This is why the Bible says that while we still live here on earth, we should control ourselves from sinful desires which fights against our souls (1Pet.2:11). By the way how can we keep us pure from all the ungodly things unless we wait and wait for the day of the Lord? This is why v.12 says that we should wait for the day fervently. Amen! R. A. Torey, a great evangelist in the U. S. before reminds us of v.10 which's written, "the day of the Lord will come like a thief" and says in his book 'Jesus is coming for you', "We should ask ourself everyday before sleeping, 'If Jesus comes again before getting up tomorrow morning, am I ready to meet the Lord?' When we examine ourself, if there is anything unjust about us, we have to correct it or throw it away."
Yes, we should wait for the day of the Lord everyday like this in order not to miss the chance. Amen! In conclusion, Jesus surely comes again as he promised. The problem is to keep our faith and wait for the day everyday. For this, Jesus our Lord gives us a warning in v.10-12, "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief... Live holy and godly lives, waiting for the day of the Lord fervently!" How should we respond to the warning? Who would meet Jesus who will be coming again so suddenly?