23rd November 2016

The Lord Delays His Coming

“Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 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.’”
2 Peter 3:3-4 (NIV)

Next Sunday is the beginning of Advent which celebrates not only the birth of Jesus but his future coming at the end time and his presence among us through the Holy Spirit in the present. Are we deeply desirous of the return of Jesus Christ above all? Yet, many get discouraged because it hasn’t happened yet, and as the header scripture says, scoffers say he isn’t really returning and that Christians are deluded and deceived.

Is there a reason why the return of Christ has been delayed? 2 Peter 3 goes on from the header scripture in verse 9 to tell the scoffers that God is not slack concerning his promise but delays because of his love and mercy, not wanting any to perish—to give them time to come to Him.

In the Bible it seems that everyone expected the return to be imminent. Look at Jude 14 & 15 and we find that Enoch, the 7th from Adam! prophesied of the return with 10,000 of his saints! Christ’s return is an OLD concept. Genesis 3:15 says redemption was planned from the beginning.

If we look at verses 5-7 of 2 Peter 3, it says the heavens are old and there is a plan, but God has different timing than we do—to him a day is as 1000 years and 1000 years like but one day (verse 8). He is more centred on bringing salvation, not on the timing.

Whether Jesus comes tomorrow or even in our lifetime is not the thing we should be worrying about, but how we live our Christian life in the meantime (2 Peter 3:11-15) and that the Lord’s patience means salvation. Titus 2:12-13 says to “live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.”

Matthew 24:14 tells us that, “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Only God knows when that purpose will be accomplished.

Prayer
Father in Heaven, we see the violence and suffering in the world today and yearn for the return of our Saviour to put things right, but we know that your purpose will be accomplished. Help us to be living a Christian life as we wait; yet we say with Revelation 22:20, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”
Amen

Study by Nancy Silcox

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nancysilcoxAbout the Author:
Nancy Silcox attends the Watford Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK. Nancy prepares and uploads the Day by Day studies submitted by members of the Worldwide Church of God UK/Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Watford
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
Watford, Herts.
WD24 7HF

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11AM

Local Congregational Contact:
George Henderson
Phone: 01923-855570
Email: george-sue.henderson@tesco.net

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