Summary: The Apostle Peter is clear - The return of Jesus is very real. Though nuts try to name the day, though the world mocks us, Jesus is returning - so live like it.
Cecil B. DeMille was making one of his great epic movies.
He had 6 cameras at various points to pick up the overall action
and 5 other cameras set up to film plot developments involving major characters. The large cast had begun rehearsing the scene at 6am
and they went through it four times. Now it was late afternoon.
The sun was setting & there was just enough light to get the shot done. DeMille looked over the panorama, saw that all was right,
& gave the command for action.
One hundred extras charged up the hill; another hundred came storming down the same to hill to do mock battle. In another location Roman centurions lashed and shouted at 200 slaves who labored to move a huge stone monument toward its resting place.
Meanwhile the principal characters acted out their reactions on the hill.
Their words were drowned out by the noise around them, but the dialogue was to be dubbed in later. It took 15 minutes to complete the scene.
When it was over, DeMille yelled, "Cut!" and turned to his assistant, all smiles. "That was great!" he said. "It was, C.B.," the assistant yelled back. "It was fantastic! Everything went off perfectly!"
Enormously pleased, DeMille turned to face the head of the camera crew to find out if all the cameras had picked up what they had been assigned to film.
He waved to the camera crew supervisor. From the top of the hill, the camera supervisor waved back, raised his megaphone, and called out, "Ready when you are C.B!"
In our Scripture this morning Peter speaks when Jesus keeping his promises, specifically, that Jesus will return. He encourages us that even though people will mock this Christian belief, that Jesus keeps his word – in all areas of our lives, and that indeed Jesus will return, so live your life well.
"14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this,
(The return of Jesus) make every effort to be found spotless,
blameless and at peace with him.
We don’t want to be caught waiting, like the camera crew supervisor, we want to continue to live our lives well, even in difficult circumstances, as Peter has been addressing in the previous chapters.
In 1 Peter and in 2 Peter, the apostle Peter has been addressing the issue: How to live your life well, as a Christian in the middle of difficult circumstances. Here in the final chapter, Peter talks about the ultimate good news - The return of Jesus Christ.
For no matter what junk has been thrown at you in life, if we have given our life over to Jesus, in the end we will be with him.
So, when is Jesus coming back?
The Bible is very clear that no one knows when that event will occur.
But people throughout history have still tried and obviously, all have failed.
In the year 135 Montanus, a second century Christian, proclaimed himself to be a prophet and prophesied that the New Jerusalem would descend from heaven to earth and take root in what is now Turkey.
He was wrong.
In 204 a Roman Christian named Hippolytus records
that a bishop was convinced that the Lord was going to return immediately. He urged his followers to sell all of their land and possessions and following him into the wilderness to await the Lord’s coming. He was wrong too.
On the last day of 999 the basilica of St. Peter’s at Rome was filled with people who terrified as they expected the world to end. They were also wrong.
Starting in 1914 the pseudo Christian religion Jehovah’s Witnesses have predicted the return of Jesus so many times it is easy to lose count. I remember back in 1976 reading JW publication saying the end of the world was to be July 4th, 1976. I was rather upset about it, I thought I might miss the great fireworks display if Jesus came early in the day. The Jehovah’s Witnesses keep on predicting…perhaps they figure if they keep guessing…they may just hit it right. But they are wrong and will continue to be wrong.
Rev. Colin Deal published a book titled "Christ Returns By 1988 – 101 Reasons Why." The book was made available for a contribution of $5.00. He was wrong. But the good Reverend made some cash on his nonsense. In 1995 I actually found a copy of this book in a Bible Bookstore. It was in the clearance section. Two bucks.
There are many others in our day who keep predicting the day when Jesus will return. Usually, there is an exchange of money to find out the exciting details.
With all these nuts giving failed predictions, the result has made many who don’t believe, reinforce their unbelief. I’m sure God is pleased with that. Today, on the Web there are numerous sites mocking the idea that Jesus will return. They pretty much give the same reasons we see in the chapter before us today. It hasn’t happened yet, so it must not be true.