2 Peter 3:1-9 Are we in the Last Days ?
Intro: Have you ever wondered why the right-hand door mirror on your car says "Objects are closer than they appear"?
A)The reason is that the mirror is convex, meaning it allows for a much wider angle of vision.
B) As believers we are called to live w/ a much wider angle of Vision
1) We are to see the events around us in light of Scripture – especially in light of what the Bible says about Living in the last days
C) The theme of 2 Peter Ch. 3 is to remind us of that Wider angle of Vision that we are to Have !!!
2 Peter Ch.3 divides neatly into 2 sections / V.1-9 The Lord and His DELAY / V.10-18 The Lord & His DAY!!
A)Today we are going to look at this first section / The Lord & His DELAY – which also divides into 2 sections
B) V. 1-7 The RIDICULE of the SCOFFERS / V. 8,9 The RESTRAINT of the LORD !! Read v. 1-9
Peter’s Purpose for this writing is to stir up our minds by way of reminder
A)Ch.1 Peter wrote as an Apostle – an Eye witness / one who saw the Lord in His glory
B) Writing to Teach the believers who they are in Christ & the JESUS is the REAL DEAL!!!!
C) Ch. 2 Writing as PASTOR PETER – warning & seeking to guard the sheep AGAINST FALSE TEACHERS
D)Ch. 3 COACH PETER Writing to Stir them up by way of REMINDER
Idea of stirred up – to AWAKE FULLY
A)There are many warnings & exhortations in scripture about falling asleep spiritually – which seems to indicate it can be a problem
B) Romans 13:11 writing in light of the Lord’s Coming Paul
And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.
C) In the same way Peter wanted to Stir up the believers concerning the COMING OF THE LORD
1) Picture of Stirring up COALS IN A FIRE – what happens – they get
ignited – lit on fire / burning HOT
D)We Know From Rev. 3 That the Lord wants us Hot – not Luke Warm
Burning Bright for Him !!!!
1) D.L. Moody – They just come to watch me Burn –
So Peter sees the Need for reminding them of this essential truth – Jesus is going to return !!!
A) This is a central message of the scriptures
1) 1,845 times the bible mentions the 2nd coming of Messiah
B) 318 times in N.T. - one in every 30 verses speaks of the 2nd Coming and the end of the age
1.) 7 out of every 10 chapters in N.T. deal with this issue
17 out of 38 books in O.T. are given to this subject entirely
C) The Lord inspired that so much would be written about this because He wants it to be on the Fore front of our MINDS
1) Ch. 1:12 Reminder so that you are ESTABLISHED IN the Truth
D) Played baseball in High school – Pitcher – every day we did 2 drills
1) Ground ball hit to the right side – first & second – cover first base
AND – past ball – cover home
E) Used to think – Why are we doing this so much ? Happened in a game in past Ball – immediately Broke to cover home
1) Purpose for the Repetition - in the heat of the moment we would respond
immediately doing the right thing / not caught off guard
Like wise We need to be reminded of the Lord’s soon coming because it is so easy for us to get focused on the here & now / get caught off guard
A) The Bills that need to be paid / The Problems that loom like large mountains in our lives / the Challenges that face us each day
B)All of which causes us to sometimes forget that this world is not our Home / This isn’t it / The Lord is coming Back
C) This is a Central Message of the scriptures 2nd coming of Christ & the rapture of the Church
A)Jn.14 1“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
D) First direct mention of the Rapture by Jesus – I am leaving to go and Prepare a place for you / and I will come to receive you ……
1) First coming – as a Lamb to be a Savior
Rapture – Jesus comes to the clouds – we are caught up to meet Him
2) 2nd Coming – He comes to the earth LION we are w/ Him
Maclaren: They were not looking for a cleft in the ground, called the grave, but a clearing in the sky called glory! They were not watching for the undertaker but the upper taker!
The rapture of the Church & the 2nd coming of Christ were always in the forefront of the minds of those in the early Church
A)That is one of the reasons that they were so EFFECTIVE – they knew where their home was
B) Peter writes to Stir up their minds by way of reminder – because He knew that in the Last days – Scoffers would come saying
1) Where is the Promise of His COMING …… BEGINNING ?
There are two different groups today that SCOFF at the idea of the Lord’s coming
A)There are those that Peter describes here as walking according to their own Lust – Live to please the Flesh
B) They Scoff because this message doesn’t fit into their lifestyle – they live for the moment & think nothing of the Consequences
C) Mantra – Happy now / Satisfied Now / - Living for Self
1) They don’t want to think about the eternal ramifications of such a lifestyle
D) They scoff at the idea of the Coming of Christ & the end of the Age
1) You Christians are such negative people / always talking about the end of the World – but all things continue on ….. Beginning !!!
What is sad is that sometimes these are people who used to profess to follow Christ – but because of the Lord’s DELAY – walked away
A)There used to be so much excitement about the Lords’ coming – Bumper stickers / songs / late 60’s – 80’s
B) Remember my dad telling me I wouldn’t graduate from High school/ My Brother from Jr. High He as so convinced the Lord was coming Soon
1) Now He is a Grandpa 5 times over –
C) The Lord delayed His coming and as a result many Professing Christians began to lose sight of the Lord – Compromise
1) They began to get carnal – began to get focused on the HERE & NOW –
slowly began to WALK away from the Lord
D) The Carnality, Compromise & Sin in their life has produced a Hardness of heart !!!
1) They might not Verbalize their scoffing – but they think it
C) Is the Lord really coming back – I was at the tent when Chuck was talking about this in the 70’s / I had my Rapture Bumper sticker
1) I was at the Prophecy conference in 1985 / I was at the New Years Eve prophecy update in 96 & it still hasn’t happened
D) They Scoff inwardly –and it affects the way that they live their lives the passion is gone / get more & more worldly each year.
And when Technology advances like it has getting set up for cashless society
When things Heat up in Israel – they don’t even realize it – their Numb
A) Begin living to please themselves - We all know people like that
People who have walked away from Christ – partying / workaholics
B) They should know Better - Here is a way to Avoid – Too many people get focused on the coming of the Lord instead of the Lord who is coming
1) Difference is this : The person who is focused on the coming of the Lord says It is getting closer I better get my life Right
C) The Person who is Focused on the Lord who is coming says: He is so awesome / He is so wonderful / He has done so much for me
1) I want to Live for Him / Please Him / Serve Him / Sing to Him songs about Him / Tell others how great He is !!!!!
William Barclay: The best way to prepare for the coming of Christ is never to forget the presence of Christ. Their life is all about Him
So Peter says there are those who scoff – walking after their own lust this message doesn’t fit w/ their philosophies live for the Moment
But there are also those who Scoff at this idea of the Lord’s coming because it doesn’t fit into their agenda’s
A)This group loves the Lord – but they reject the idea of the rapture
B) They twist scripture to say that the Church is now Israel and what we need to do is usher in the Kingdom of Christ
1) By seeking to Christianize the World
C) Those who embrace this idea two camps – Reconstructionist & those who teach DOMINION THEOLOGY
1) Mind set is we need to prepare the earth for the Lord’s coming
D) We need to ENFORCE THE 10 commandments / we need to try to take over Govt. etc
1) Their philosophy advocates such a mentality – see the Lord can’t come
until we get things right for Him !!!!
E) They ignore the fact that the scriptures clearly point out that things are going to get worse in the last days
1) What is interesting to me – Jesus warned about the servant who
would say – oh the Master delays his coming
So there were scoffers in Peters day & there are scoffers in our day
A)Those who say – where is the Promise of His coming – things continue on like they always have from the beginning
B) Scoffers themselves are a fulfillment of Prophecy –
1) Jesus predicted in Matt. 24 - their mentality – eating drinking marrying or in other words – BUSINESS AS USUAL –
"Old man Harry Truman (83) built a cabin by Spirit Lake on the slopes of Mt. St. Helens some 53 years ago. All those years nature remained consistent. But then the mountain started to awaken. Residents were asked to leave. Warnings were given. Park guards came to the cabin to tell him it wasn't safe. TV and newspaper folks interviewed him. He said he could not live anywhere else. He was part of the mountain and the mountain was part of him. He laughed at and cursed all his visitors. Then on May 18, 1980 the mountain exploded and Harry Truman perished under hundreds of feet of volcanic ash." This man did not heed the warnings of those who tried to save his life. The mockers do not heed the warnings of Scripture which seek to bring men to repentance.
Make no mistake about it, Jesus Christ is coming again.
Scoffers Deliberately and willingly deny the History of the World
A)They ignore the warnings they willingly forget that the Lord spoke the world into existence / & He can just as easily speak it out of existence
B) Already has given us a foretaste of what He can do thru the flood
1) Understand God has the power at anytime to break into History and Change the course of events – to accomplish His will
C) He has already done that – w/ the Flood – First time WATER / 2nd time will be by FIRE
God always Warns before He Strikes / Jonah to Nineveh –40 days / Prophets to Israel / Noah visible illustration 120 yrs building boat
A)God warning now – Israel & the U.S.
WORLD TRIBUNE.COM Friday, November 24, 2000
An Israeli daily paper reported on Friday that Russia has sent 325 shoulder-fired SA-16 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran. The SA-16 is regarded as the most effective missile deployed in the former East Bloc and Israeli sources fear that they will be transported to the Hizbullah in Lebanon.
The shipment is part of a deal to export 700 SA-16 missiles to Iran as part of a $1.75 billion contract. Paper confirmed U.S. sources as saying hundreds of missiles have been placed on a Russian train and ship for Iran, Middle East Newsline reported.
Moscow has informed the United States that it will withdraw from a 1995 understanding that would end arms sales to Iran. The termination of the agreement takes effect on Dec. 1.
But why the DELAY – Peter addresses that next v.8,9
A)One day is ……… thousand yrs as a DAY
B) The Lord transcends time as we know it
1) told in 1 John that God is light ……. Darkness at all !!!
C) Light travels at a speed of 186,000 miles per second – light travels extremely fast / sound travels much Slower
1) In fact things you say now to your teenagers won’t reach them until they are in their 40’s
D) God is Light – consequently He transcends the whole time space continuum He is in a whole different realm
1) He sees everything in the now – The Parade
Einstein developed a theory – since proven thru satellite studies
A)Theory of relativity – simply said – if you could some how travel at the speed of light – time would virtually stop for you
B) If you could jump on a beam of light traveling 186,000 miles per second and go on a journey to our nearest star Alpha Centuri
1) it would take you 4 ½ yrs to get there traveling at a speed of 186,000 mps
C) So lets suppose you did that – traveled there & back on a beam of light
1) Gone a total of 9 yrs 4 ½ yrs there / 4 ½ yrs back
D) What is interesting is what has taken place here while you were gone
1) You were gone 9 yrs traveling at that speed – but when you get back North county doesn’t look the same –
E) You were gone nine yrs traveling at the speed of light but we who were left behind – living according to the earths time – been thru 6,000 yrs
1) This was Einstein’s theory – don’t fully understand how it works but it has been proven thru satellite studies
F) Time slows down the faster that you travel
Now if you pass the speed of light time stops / it ceases to move
A)So it is intriguing to me that John describes the Lord in this way God is light – not traveling at the speed of light – He is Light
B) He is Light & consequently moves in a whole different dimension / whole different TIME ECONOMY
1) So we read in Rev. where Jesus says behold I am coming quickly & we say – Quickly – it has been 2 thousand yrs
C) The Lord says – No in my time economy it has only been 2 days
1) It has been two days & the scriptures seem to indicate that Jesus will come back after 3 days
Come, and let us return to the LORD; For He has torn, but He will heal us;
He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us;
On the third day He will raise us up, That we may live in His sight.
This is an interesting Prophecy to consider in light of what Peter says here a day is as a 1,000 yrs / 1,000 yrs as a day
A)Because 2,000 yrs ago – Israel was destroyed – A.D. 70 Titus the Roman general – came in & Destroyed Jerusalem / Jews dispersed
B) For almost 2,000 yrs they were w/out a Home land – but after 2 days / 2,000 yrs a miracle happened
1) Something that had never taken place in the history of the world/ but it was what God said would happen all thru the O.T. scriptures
C) Israel would be reborn as a nation / regathered to their home land & it happened May 14 1948 – after 2 days He will revive us – and He did
1) And on the third day He will raise us up that we may live in His sight
D) The third day is a reference to the Millennium –
1) Rapture – 7 yr. trib / Jesus returns – beginning of the third day – the Millennium – 1000yrs of peace & prosperity – Jesus reunited w/ Israel
Psa. 102 declares that when the Lord builds up Zion he will appear in glory – What is Zion ? Essentially it is Jerusalem
A)Recent trouble – Arab leaders constant reference to the Zionist
B) Nation was rebirthed in 1948 – Jerusalem was captured in1967 in June of 1967 - 6 day war – Now the Capital of Israel
C) Luke 21:24 Jesus declared
And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
D) You could say that the time of the Gentiles was fulfilled in 1967 –
1) The rapture could have happened then – the reason it didn’t puts us in OVERTIME
E) Why over time ? Take a look at the next verse – v.9
9The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
This is the key why overtime –because the Lord wants to save more people /
A)Sometimes we grow impatient / we see the wickedness in our World and we think Come Lord come put an end to this
B) Remember James & John outside of Samaria – they rejected Christ
Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”
C) Remember what Jesus said to them ? It says that
55 He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”
Sometimes I think the Lord looks at us in that way when we grow impatient – Come on Lord – get it over w/ clean up this mess
A)Remember My heart – I have not come to destroy but to save men’s lives – so He waits
B) He could have come in 1967 – but He didn’t – How many of you were born again Christians before 1967 ? Keep hands up
1) Now look around - The rest of us – would have been lost
C) How many saved before 1982 ? Keep hands up – rest lost look around
D) How many of you have been saved less than – 5 yrs / less than 2 yrs
1) He waited for you !!!!! – Still waiting – to us 2 thousand yrs / to Him it has only been 2 days – He waits
His heart is to save !!! His Method of Salvation is to use us
A)We are His mouth pieces / we are His Ambassadors / We are His Mail men – Deliver a message that can change lives
B) A message that can change the course of eternity for an individual
1) We need to be about the Business of the Kingdom
»Missions is all about Christians being in contact with non-Christians. If there is no such contact, there is no mission going on.«
Jesus said the harvest is ripe but the laborers are few
C) Many Christians don’t share their faith – why?
1) Some are fearful or fill under equipped
2) Some are just Lazy
3) Others are selfish – too caught up in their own lives
4) Others doubt the power of the gospel – really don’t believe it has the power for Changing lives
Question – are you as active in sharing your faith as you should be ?
A)If the answer is no – then why not – ask the Lord to show you
B) Is it a heart issue ? No burden / focus on self – Repent – Lord give me a heart for the lost
C) Do you feel afraid – Pray for Boldness – believe the message