The Lord isn't really being slow about His promise, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 2 Peter 3:9
I am notoriously bad at waiting. Everyone in my family knows this fact about me. I'm convinced that even strangers can sense my impatience when I have to wait on something. I'm working on becoming more patient, however, because I want to become more like God, and I know that God is infinitely patient with me. As a result, His patience should drive us all to obedience.
2 Peter 3 teaches about the patience of God. In this chapter, Peter, the author of the book of 2 Peter, tells readers that Jesus is returning to earth soon to bring believers to Himself and to judge those who have not believed in Him. While some may think that God is being slow to keep His promise that Jesus is returning soon, Peter assures readers that this is not the case. "The Lord isn't really being slow about His promise, as some people think," he writes (2 Peter 3:9a). "No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent" (3 Peter 3:9b), Jesus' return is delayed so that more people may have the opportunity to place their faith in Him.
According to Peter, during the time he wrote this letter, some were saying, "What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From the time of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created" (2 Peter 3: 4). They had forgotten, Peter writes, all that God has done in the past for them. Because of what He had done in the past, He would continue to be faithful and keep His promises for their future.
These verses in 2 Peter are still applicable to us today. How remarkable! Despite our sin and despite our rebellion against Him, God patiently waits for us to return to Him. He does not have to. He has all right in the world to write us off and to cut us off from a relationship with Him. Instead, because He loves us, He waits and gives us chance after chance to return to Him. Are you battling obedience? Are you struggling to live a life pleasing to Him? It's never too late to go to Him and start following Him. He is ready for you to turn to Him right now. Reflect on His great love for you today.
When is the last time you stopped and thought about how much God loves you? Take a few moments and remember how much He loves you. Then, spend time in prayer. Thank God for His love for you and for His patience as He waits for people to turn to Him.
Read 2 Peter 3:1-18 (NLT)
This is my second letter to you, dear friends, and in both of them I have tried to stimulate your wholesome thinking and refresh your memory. I want you to remember what the holy prophets said long ago and what our Lord and Savior commanded through your apostles.
Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.”
They deliberately forget that God made the heavens long ago by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.
But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.
Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.
And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.
And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him— speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction.
You already know these things, dear friends. So be on guard; then you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing. Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen.