Living as a Last Days Christian
“Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.
3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:1-9 NIV
Imagine with me for a moment. It’s New Year’s Eve and you are standing in a crowd among thousands of people cheering at Times Square. It is one minute to the coming of the New Year. 30 seconds… The ball begins to drop and the crowd shouts —-10-9-8-7-6-5…
Hold on for a second. Let’s change the scene. Imagine instead you’re among the lucky ones to be in the crowd at the Superbowl. Your team’s ahead by 3 points. It is the fourth quarter and the last play is about to begin. You are screaming with the crowd as the final seconds tick off the clock “10-9-8-7-6-5…”
When we realize we’re facing a countdown, we know there’s only so much time on the clock before something big is going to happen. When there is a countdown, there is pressure to increase our level of intensity and to increase our efforts to finish well. When we know there is a countdown for athletes, adrenaline begins to build, our heart tends to pump faster, and we tend to push a little bit harder.
PETER REMINDS US IN 2 PETER 3, TO LIVE WITH INTENSITY AND PURPOSE BECAUSE THE COUNTDOWN IS ON!
In 2 Peter 3, Peter coaches the early church to live with intensity and purpose in the face of persecution because the countdown for the return of the Christ has begun. Peter prophesies that in the end times, scoffers will come and they will argue that things have always been the same and will always remain the same. Jesus could already have come at any time, but He is delaying in order to allow more people to come to “repentance.” It is interesting that God is not delaying in order for more people to come to “faith.” He wants more people to come to “repentance.” Repentance and life change is what John the Baptist preached before Jesus’ coming. Repentance is what Jesus first preached in His early ministry. Repentance is what Peter preached at Pentecost when he told the early church to “repent and be baptized.” In order to live as a Last Day Christian, and to live with intensity and purpose, we must be a people that calls others to repentance and life change in Jesus Christ.
Lord Jesus, I ask forgiveness for the many times that I hesitate because I haven’t lived with the intensity and purpose that You have called me too. Empower me to call others around me to repentance and to live obediently as a Last Day Christian. Amen.