Summary: What you don’t know about the 2nd coming could be fatal.
OPEN: The church was packed and the preacher was wound up to a fever pitch speaking on the 2nd coming of Jesus.
Quoting Jesus’ promise, he shouted out “I am coming soon!’”
He preached some more and said even more loudly “I am coming soon!!”
He preached a little longer and threw his arms up in the air and cried out “I am coming soon!”
At this point, he lost his balance and tumbled off the stage into the lap of a gentleman in the 1st row. The preacher got up and apologized to the man, but the man replied: “Oh, that’s ok, you warned me three times.”
FOLLOWUP: 2Peter 3:10. "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare."
ILLUS: Back in May of 1969 a national magazine told the story of Port Royal, Jamaica…. “Cities have been smothered with volcanic ash, leveled by hurricanes, shaken apart by earthquakes. But no disaster quite matches the one that struck Port Royal, Jamaica, at 11:43 a.m., on June 7, 1692. In the space of less then 10 minutes, the thriving pirate port, reputedly the wickedest city on earth, sank convulsively into the Caribbean.
An eyewitness described the scene: "The earth heaved and swelled like the rolling billows, and in many places the earth crack’d open - open’d and shut - with a motion quick and fast. In some of these people were swallowed up, in others they were caught by the middle, and pressed to death. The whole was attended with the noise of falling mountains at a distance, while the sky was turned dull and reddish, like a glowing oven."
Upward of 2000 people perished in the chaos. Even today, many Jamaicans believe that Port Royal’s destruction was the price exacted by an angry God for its sins.
APPLICATION: Peter tells us that God’s judgment is coming. It’s coming upon our world in a breadth and scope that will make Port Royal’s destruction seem pale by comparison. Seeing as how God’ judgment is imminent and inevitable, as we study this passage, there are a few things that we need to understand:
1st - (vs 3)- People who desire to run their own lives without the restrictions of God’s standards will always find a way to ignore God & the potential of His judgment.
ILLUS: They are like the drunken cowboy that was stopped by the Highway Patrol. The cowboy refused to take a breath analyzer test… He explained: "The last time I took one of those tests, I flunked and I am a lot drunker now than I was then."
REPEAT: People who desire to run their own lives without the restrictions of God’s standards will always find a way to ignore God & the potential of His judgment.
ILLUS: A young woman was studying in a science class that was discussing the evolution of man. As they considered how each part of the human anatomy must have evolved, they came upon the eye and spent a great deal of time discussing it because it was so complicated that it was difficult to explain its evolving in a simplistic fashion. Though the student was not a Christian, it seemed to her that perhaps Evolution might not be the best way of explaining this phenomenon and said so. The teacher became irritated as he responded: "Young lady, we’re not here to talk about God!"
At least for that teacher: evolution had become a refuge from God. For that type of person: If God doesn’t exist, They can live however they want to there’s no possibility of punishment for their actions… no ultimate final reckoning for their sins. They can eat drink & be merry.
BUT IF GOD DOES EXIST… suddenly they know their standards aren’t good enough: they have to change.
2ndly …those people who ignore the potential of God’s judgment do so at their own peril. (vs. 5-7). God has a reputation for judgment. In any conversation, let someone bring up...
Sodom & Gomorrah
The 10 plagues of God upon Egypt
...and image that pops into people’s minds is one of God’s judgment. God has a reputation for judgment.
Talk to an insurance agent about an “Act of God” and he’ll tell you it means a catastrophic destruction of lives and/or property.
When Peter speaks of Noah’s flood, he’s saying: God’s done it before… he’ll do it again – count on it!
In other words, it doesn’t matter whether or not you think He’s coming again in judgment – He Is! AND PEOPLE IGNORE THAT AT THEIR OWN PERIL.
The 3rd thing we need to understand about judgment is that God takes no pleasure in it (Vs 9).