Jesus is coming again. There are 260 chapters in the New Testament and the Second Coming of Christ is mentioned 318 times. The last prayer of the Bible is, “Even so come, Lord Jesus.” His coming is in two phases/movements. He is coming to the clouds. Then He is coming to the earth and His feet will touch the Mount of Olives. He is coming FOR His saints. Then He is coming WITH His saints. There will be a resurrection, rapture, and reunion according to 1 Thessalonians 4. In 2 Peter 3, Peter is giving reminders about the last day. Many people today wonder, “is it the end of the world?” We don’t know, but what we do know is that it is the world of the end. What do we need to remember in light of His return?
Remember His Worship
Peter tells us in verse 1 that he is seeking to “stir up” understanding “by way of reminder.” He has told the people this before, but they need reminding. This world is not our final destination or our home. It is just the layover! We are just passing through. It’s easy to get distracted and lose focus. We should have our devotions every morning and then ask the Holy Spirit to remind us throughout the day and to stir up and stimulate our thinking toward heaven. Additionally, we should not forsake “the assembling of ourselves together” as the writer of Hebrews states (Heb. 10:25). He says we should “consider one another in order to stir up love and good works” and we should exhort one another “so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb. 10:24-25). Why should we do this? The closer we get to that day the more Christians will be under persecution. We need one another.
Remember His Word
Peter goes on to encourage the church to remember the words “previously spoken by the holy prophets and the command of our Lord and Savior given through [the] apostles” (v. 2). He says scoffers will come and will question the validity of Jesus’ promise of His coming, but God’s word is powerful and He has done before what He said He’ll do (v. 3-6). When God speaks, things happen! The promise of His coming can be found in the Old Testament, the Gospels, Acts, the Epistles, and Revelation. By His word we can know for certain He is coming again!
Remember His Witness
Additionally, Peter offers insight as to why it’s seemingly taking so long for the Lord to return. “The Lord does not delay his promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance” (v. 9). In our world of instant gratification, we need some perspective. How many years were there from Malachi to Matthew? 400! According to the Jewish calendar there are nearly 4,000 years from Adam to Christ. 2,000 years have passed since Jesus promised to return. That is less than half as long as the Old Testament saints waited! Peter says to “regard the patience of our Lord as salvation” (v. 15). So often we can get caught up in the timeline of end-time events, but what really matters to God is people. What if you are right about all your timetables but you are not ready? What if you have it all figured out, but your family and friends are not ready?
Remember His Work
Ultimately, “the day of the Lord will come like a thief” and this earth will pass away (v. 10). “Therefore, dear friends, while you wait for these things, make every effort to be found without spot or blemish in his sight, at peace” (v. 14). We will all stand before the judgement seat of Christ where we will give an account of our lives on this earth (1 Cor. 3:13, 2 Cor. 5:10). I am working to hear the Master say, “‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord’” (Mt. 25:21). How do you want to be found when He comes?
There is more to this life than this life. What you believe about the Lord’s return determines how you live today. Is what you are giving your life to going to show up in eternity?