June 6, 2014
II Peter 3:9-11
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Some years ago I got into trouble with some of the people in my congregation because I preached a sermon entitled, I Don’t Want Jesus To Come Back! It was said to me, “According to Titus 2:13 we are to look ‘…for the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ….’ Why don’t you want Jesus to come back?!” At least they knew their scripture! But they missed the whole point of the sermon – that we should be concerned about those who do not know the Lord as their personal Savior! Not only are people lost and going to hell without Jesus –and that is bad enough! – but they face God’s judgement poured out upon an ungodly world in the final seven years of this age – the Tribulation!
Here is what Peter has to say about the issue in II Peter 3:9 through 11:
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness; but
is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all
should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in
the night, in the which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and
the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works in it
will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what
manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness…?
What is God’s desire here? His will is plainly shown in verse 9: “The Lord is…not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” He wants everyone to be saved! This is confirmed in I Timothy 2:3 and 4: “…God our Savior…desires all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” There is enough room in heaven for all people! It is written in II Corinthians 5:15 and I Timothy 2:6 – Jesus “…died for all…;” He “…gave Himself a ransom for all….” The Lord paid the price for all sins, of all people, for all time! It is a great tragedy that the price being fully paid, people – in their ignorance – choose to personally pay for their own sins a second time, suffering in eternal hell!
Some will scoff and mock, and “…will say, ‘Where is this ‘coming’ He promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.’ ” (II Peter 3:4 – NIV). Yes, it has been a long time since the angels told Jesus’ disciples who watched Him ascend into heaven, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” It has been almost two thousand years now! When is the Lord coming back?
But come back He will – and it may be very soon! There are more prophecies in the Bible concerning His Second Coming than there are about His First Advent! And all the prophecies surrounding Jesus’ First Advent have been perfectly fulfilled! There is no reason to think all the prophecies that pertain to His Return will not be likewise fulfilled!
But this now is the Age of Grace. Now the offer is freely given to come unto the Lord to be saved. At His return He will appear as Judge, not Savior – and the opportunity to accept Him by faith will be gone! I want my loved ones to be saved! I have had my brother here upon this earth for my full 68 years! I want to have him with me for eternity in heaven! But he isn’t yet saved! So this is my prayer:
Please Lord, I Don’t Want Jesus To Come Back! …until my brother, my
children, my grandchildren, my great grandson, my extended family – cousins,
nephews, nieces, inlaws (and some outlaws!), friends and neighbors – all come
and put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and are saved! And, Lord, please
bring them into your family of believers quickly – so they also will have time to
live for You and reach others for Christ by their testimony!”
It comes down to this: If it is God’s desire that He is “…not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance…,” should not that also be our desire? After all, Paul plainly instructs us in Philippians 2:5 to “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” We are to think like our Lord thinks – and so act as He acts! And if the salvation of all people is important to Him, it should be to us!
So, again – I Don’t Want Jesus To Come Back! – not until many more come to put their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of their lives! And, by the way, Lord, use me to help do it!