Your Last Day (II Peter 3:9)
II Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
A calendar is something we all use to keep tract of important dates, plans we have, and help us to manage our time. One thing that is very important that we understand is that God has His own calendar, and everything will be fulfilled on His calendar in His time. God has no sense of obligation for my calendar as His fulfills His perfect plan and mine only my personal desires. Unfortunately, my personal desires are not always in the perfect will of God so they cannot be counted on as 100% accurate. God is not impressed with my calendar, and He never worries about its fulfilment. What He is looking for is Christians who will trust Him and walk by faith. It is important that we keep our eyes focused on Jesus and the Scriptures, and never vary from that.
1. God's Promise
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness…”
The word slack means to "hesitate, linger, delay." It carries the idea of loitering or loafing. God is not unfaithful concerning His promises. God keeps them all. God will fulfill His promise, it’s a guarantee. He is not loafing around with nothing to do. Some of the scoffers apparently were saying the delay in Christ’s return was evidence that God made a promise He couldn’t keep. Peter rebutted by suggesting that instead of the delay being evidence of God’s unfaithfulness, it’s evidence of His mercy.
2. God's Patience
“…but is longsuffering to us-ward…”
Longsuffering means to suffer long. In contrast to God’s being slow to keep His promise, Peter asserts that He’s actually “patient with you.” However, God’s patience isn’t without redemptive motive. We see that God has great patience and is longsuffering. He is patient. God loves and cares for us despite our sin, rebellion, and rejection. This is the very reason He sent Christ to save us. He loves and cares for us, He’s not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.
3. God’s Purpose
“…not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
To perish means to be utterly lost, to be spiritually destitute, and destroyed; to be in a state of suffering forever and ever apart from God. It means to lose eternal life and to be cut off from life forever and ever. It means to suffer the judgment, condemnation, and punishment of separation from God forever and ever. God's desire is to save all. The text makes it clear that Jesus wants everyone to be saved and that He wants no one to go to hell. Sinners do not deserve time to repent. But God is "not willing that any should perish", so extends patience to the perishing.
Today is the last day of 2023. 2023 is soon to be ousted while 2024 is appointed. There will be celebrations all around the world. Beneath all the hype there is an important lesson that we can learn. Think for a minute. What if this really was your last day. Not of the month. Not of the year. What if this was the last day of your life? Each day for Christ ought to be lived as if it were our last.
Jesus has told us that He will come as a "thief in the night." We might know the season, but we do not know the exact day. It could be tomorrow at the dawn of a brand-new year, or it could be years from now. The time that Jesus comes isn't as important, though, as the condition of our hearts when He comes. Many Christians aren't at all ready for the Rapture to take place. They have too many loose ends to tie up. They're waiting to serve God at a later date. Sadly, they will live away from God their whole life. Others, who haven't trusted Christ as their Saviour, are putting off their decision. Sadly, these people will be left behind.
God will fulfill His promise literally as He has said, it is a guarantee. This truth has been greatly attacked and mocked in our day, but that will not keep it from happening exactly as the Bible teaches. We see that God has great patience and is longsuffering. It conveys the idea of being patient in bearing the offences and injuries of others. It is wonderful to know how patient God is with us and how much He loves us. Jesus took every opportunity to speak to people one on one and also to great multitudes so that they might hear the truth. We need to have the same heartbeat for people as we seek to get the Gospel to everyone that we know. We also need to be involved through our local church to reach as many people as possible. The time is short, and we must make an all-out effort to reach people with the Gospel message before it is too late.
Points to Ponder:
God is longsuffering, but there is a limit to His patience.
There will come a time in your life when it’s too late.
Don’t test God’s patience.
Question to Consider:
I ask you these questions today:
What if this were your last day?
Would you be ready?
How would you want to be remembered?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, my heart is stirred today to pray for my unsaved friends, family, and acquaintances. The Bible has long foretold that a day of judgment is coming, but I’ve never thought about it so deeply as I’ve thought about it today. Father, I want to be open and available for You to use me to share the witness of Jesus with those who are unsaved. I pray this in Jesus’ name!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship with Christ.