The Jesus We Thought We Knew

The Christ Will Come

2 Peter 3:1-13

Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), 2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, 3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." 5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The 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.

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. NKJV

This message was preached December 28, 2003 at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at ToulonBaptist.com

 

Have you ever expected someone to arrive at a certain time and yet they did not. As you waited on and on you became more concerned. But there did come a time when you began to doubt that they would show up at all.

So it was with those of the Old Testament period. They were being oppressed and slaughtered as they rebelled against the Romans. They so wanted a deliverer to arise to break off the oppressive yoke of the Romans, to set them free and to restore the kingdom of David, their great historical hero.

But no sooner did this Messiah come on the scene than He was arrested and put to death. He had promised that He would return. In the New Testament writers were confident that He would soon return to accomplish all that was foretold about Him. In the days after Jesus, the Christians were bitterly persecuted by the Jews as well as the Romans. Thousands were put to death and imprisoned. Several of the Roman Emperors were confident they would wipe these Christians from the face of the earth. The Christians of those times, like their Jewish counterparts of the previous generations longed to the promise of His return and a kingdom based on righteousness.

Most Christians today consider us in just the opposite place. We no longer consider Jesus as a deliverer whom we long for. Instead He is but a friend of all who never has a harsh word to say to anyone. The promised Christ that Peter refers to is far from the view common today.

Let us consider the Jesus Peter said would come some day to this world, maybe even in our day.

  1. That scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation."
    1. Not all the scoffers are outside the church.
    2. Their major theme is that God doesn't intervene in the creation, if there is a God.
      1. The deists of the last century didn't believe that God had interacted with His creation.
      2. To them Jesus was but a man, and not the Son of God.
    3. This is the one "fact" they claim that cannot be denied.
      1. It is the one general premise that has taken over all the sciences.
      2. The idea of a naturalistic explanation for everything is not new but believed by the pagans down through the ages.
      3. In geology this is known as uniformitarianism, the idea that what we see going on today is all that has ever happened in the past.
  2. For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.
    1. I don't think they really believe it as much as they force themselves to accept not other alternative.
      1. To admit that God intervenes in creation would throw out all they believe and subject them to a higher authority.
    2. They deny the world wide flood of Noah's day.
      1. Although the flood is the best world wide explanation for all that we see in the geological and fossil record.
  3. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
    1. In the same way that once the world was destroyed with water, He is going to destroy it by fire.
      1. Joel 1:15 Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is at hand; It shall come as destruction from the Almighty. NKJV
      2. 2 Thess 1:8-10 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed. NKJV
    2. God's final judgment on ungodly men and women.
      1. Rev 20:11-15 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. NKJV
  4. But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The 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.
    1. Do not think God looks forward to this final judgment.
      1. If you do then you do not know the heart of God.
      2. God sent His son to deliver us from judgment.
      3. God made a way for sinners to be saints.
      4. The
    2. His longsuffering is meant to give everyone ample opportunity to repent.
      1. 1 Peter 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. KJV
      2. Rom 2:3-4 And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? NKJV
  5. But the day of the Lord will come
    1. As a thief in the night
      1. It will be unexpected.
        1. The fact that so many today do not believe in the return of Jesus is just another sign that His return is near.
        2. Those who know Jesus and long for His appearing will not be surprised.
        3. But the world will be caught totally off guard.
    2. In which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
      1. In that day everything that man has labored here on earth to build over these thousands of years will be wiped away.
      2. God will destroy every remembrance of this fallen creation.
  6. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
    1. Because we believe these things will happen, we live as those who will give an account.
      1. Holy conduct
      2. Godliness,
      3. Looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God
  7. Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
    1. But we are not looking for destruction of the world.
    2. We are looking for a new heaven and earth.
    3. Wherein righteousness dwells.
    4. Could it be that 2004 will be the year.
      1. Matt 24:42-44 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. NKJV

We should not be surprised that most people do not see the Christ as He really is. In the New Testament Jesus never openly referred to Himself as the Christ, the Messiah. The reason for this is that the concept of the Messiah in that day was so wrong. If Jesus would have openly claimed to be the Christ, they would have never saw it, for Jesus did not come to do they things they thought the Messiah would do.

So it is, that most people have such a warped view of Jesus that they could never conceive of Him returning to earth to take vengeance on them that know not God. But He will. Let us use the days, the years while we wait to persuade men and women, boys and girls of their need of a Savior to deliver them from their sins.