Summary: New year’s sermon inviting people to add the Lord’s return to their list of expectations for the new year.
What Are You Waiting For?
Text: 2 Peter 3
The year’s end is a time for reflection/ Expectations.
Peter had reached a time of reflection in his life. His letter makes it clear that he didn’t expect to live much longer and he didn’t want expectancy of the Lord’s soon return to wane after his death.
Today it seems as if our expectancy has waned, I remember growing up with a sense of urgent expectancy, but it’s easy to loose that urgency as we wait...
If we were asked to write a list of predictions for the new year, I wonder how many of us would include on that list, "the Lord’s return."
Peter writes in verse one of this chapter that he had written this letter as a reminder to us to stimulate our thinking and so I want to look at this chapter today in order to revive that sense of expectancy in us.
PROPOSITION: I believe we need to get back to the place that we honestly believe that Jesus may come back today.
TRANSITION:I want to look at six aspects of the return of the Lord as Peter writes about them here
1. Promise of Christ’s Return (v.2)
2 Peter 3:2 (NIV) 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.
John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am
2. Skeptics of His Return (vv. 3-4)
2 Peter 3:3-4 (NIV) First of 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 fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation."
Mockers deny the coming day of Judgement because they refuse to acknowledge that there is a price to be paid for their sin and unbelief
Uniformitarianism-the belief that everything alsways has been and always will be as it is now.
Others simply feel like they have been waiting so long and have begun to doubt--Personal experience
Perhaps Peter, recognizing the shortness of his remaining life had begun to stir with questions about the return of the Lord--Why had it taken so long--under the inspiration of the Holy spirit He recieved an answer to that question
3. Delay of His Return (vv. 8-9)
God’s time is not our time
ILLUSTRATION: Child on a trip: "Are we there yet" Children don’t reckon time in the same way as parents and God doesn’t reckon time like His children.
God’s patience is mercy for the unrepentant
4. Time of His Return (v.10a)
2 Peter 3:10 (NIV) But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.
Simplicity of Peter’s Eschatology: Jesus is coming, Be ready!
1 Th 5:2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
Matt 24: 42-44 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
5. Consequences of His Return (v. 10b)
2 Peter 3:10 (NIV) 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.
The earth will be judged by fire
Peter points out that this earth was created for only a certain duration.
Isaiah said in the OT that the universe was wearing out like an old garment and that it would vanish in Smoke.
Why? 2 Pet 3:13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.
Sin’s stain has made this earth an unfit home for righteousness.
6. Significance of His Return (vv. 11-14)
2 Peter 3:11-14 (NIV) Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.