第2ペテロ 3:14 そういうわけで、愛する人たち。このようなことを待ち望んでいるあなたがたですから、しみも傷もない者として、平安をもって御前に出られるように、励みなさい。

A major problem in the Church today is that very few people are actually looking forward to Christ's return. It has disappeared from preaching, and the majority of church members are carried along with the general flow of society, rejoicing in or lamenting things from a strictly materialistic standpoint. This chapter seems particularly appropriate for the Church in the 21st Century! We are indeed called to be faithful in our daily lives as good stewards of the time, resources, and opportunities the Lord gives us, but we need to remember that it will all end, and none of what we get so wrapped up in will matter any more. If we have that awareness, it is much easier to maintain priorities that are pleasing to God, and that's what this verse is saying. Someone without the assurance of salvation would not be “waiting in hope,” as the Japanese expression puts it, for the end of the world, so we cannot expect our unsaved family and friends to join us in this attitude. That can get pretty lonely at times. However, remembering that every bad thing will be gone and every good thing replaced by something even better can and should be an enormous comfort. There are many different opinions, all of them based to some degree on the Bible, as to how all this is going to come about, but the important thing is that it is going to happen, and we need to live in that awareness and expectation.


I've hardly ever preached on End Times, somewhat as a reaction to preachers who seem to preach on nothing else, but that's obviously not good. As the saying goes, I shouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water. I do talk about how the end will come for everyone I talk to in less than 100 years, but that's not entirely the same thing. I can say that I am increasingly looking forward to the end, whether it is the end of the world or just my own personal physical end, but that doesn't mean I'm not enjoying the journey. I need to include End Times in my preaching, because most of my flock has no foundation of understanding on the issue. Young people in particular have great trouble grasping their own mortality, much less the impermanence of all things. I'm not to dump on them, but rather encourage them to look up, look forward to what God has planned and promised that is far better than anything we've ever seen or could see on this earth.


Father, thank You for Your patience with us all, just as Peter wrote about. Help me be a good steward of however much time I have left here, so that when Your time for me comes, whether it is personal or universal, I will have done all that You desired and intended for me, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah


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