God is Patient, Not Wanting Anyone to Perish, But all to Reach Repentance
Topic: Advent Passage: 2 Peter 3:8–3:18
Our perception of time is very relative. It flies with fun, but drags with boredom. Advent marks the passage of time. The wreath counts down the weeks to Christmas. The lectionary points ahead to the “The Day of the Lord” (v.10), when Jesus will return and put all things right. Christians “hasten” this day along (v. 12), looking with eagerness to its arrival. It is also a day of judgment (v.7) and will mean the destruction of the ungodly. Thankfully, what seems like slowness is actually patience.
God is patient, not wanting anyone to perish, but all to reach repentance.
Peter writes this to persecuted Christians throughout Asia Minor. They are mocked because Christ’s return is taking so long (see verse 4). These mockers forget that history is heading to a definite end. We need God to teach us to number our days that we might get a heart of wisdom (Ps. 90).
Christ’s promised return is helpful with two human instincts, our longing for justice and our self-centeredness. We can either harden our hearts to the injustice around us or we can fall into despair trying to fix it all ourselves. Knowing that Christ will bring justice eventually balances these out. Furthermore, we are part of the problem because our instinct is to make ourselves the center of things. Christ’s glorious return will place him at the rightful center. Now is the time to repent and place him there before he comes.
As we hasten Christ’s return, we have work to do which is the result of his grace to us. We must be diligent to become spotless (v. 14) and careful not to be led astray by lawless people (v.17).
Taking It Home: Discuss with someone what personal transformation you want to be ready for Jesus’ return.
More in Advent - A Season of Transformation
December 20, 2020God's Favor is Surprising
December 13, 2020Joyful Humility
November 29, 2020When You’re Always Ready (for Christ’s return), You’re Never Surprised