One recurring theme they’ve discovered is that God keeps promises—but God is not always quick to fulfill them…
Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years after God promised to give them a son …
The Israelites waited 40 years to take possession of the land God promised them after their exodus from Egypt…
And Jesus Christ has promised to return—but nearly 2,000 years have passed, and it hasn’t happened yet…
With famine, terrorism, pollution, disease, and a failing global economy, now would be the perfect time for him to come back. So what is he waiting for?
This has been the burning question even for the earliest Christians, including those who were alive during the lifetime of Jesus. But still we wait—and the writer of 2 Peter has a very striking answer to our question:
“The Lord is not slow about his promise, but is patient with you—not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance… God’s patience is our salvation.”
In other words, it is good for us that Christ hasn’t returned.
There can be no mistaking the fact that when Christ returns, there will be judgment. But God does not you or anyone else to be subject to that judgment. God wants everyone be saved—and God is busy making this happen. Christ is on the move, wherever the Gospel is proclaimed, wherever people reach out in love for their neighbors, wherever there is peace and justice. Christ is on the move, so that all people would be baptized.
Christ’s return is delayed so that God’s gift of salvation can enfold the lives of every human being. And God’s will for us is that we all come to repentance.
Now when God’s Word speaks of repentance, it is speaking of a radical transformation of who we are and what we are living for. Repentance is the re-orientation of our lives—away from our selves, towards God and God’s purposes. Repentance is what happens when the reality of God’s salvation revolutionizes our reality. We become a new creation.
But repentance is not a one-time act. It does not instantly change us from sinners into saints. As long as we’re in the flesh, we remain both sinners and saints. And that is why we need God’s patience so much. Every day we sin and reject God’s gracious will for our lives. God’s patience gives us time to repent. God’s patience gives time for his grace to transform us into the people he wants us to be.
God’s patience is great news for us—because it means that God is not giving up on us, in spite of our stubborn refusal to live in obedience to him.
Yet in the midst of these gracious promises of God’s patience, there is a great sense of urgency.
God’s patience is not to be taken for granted. We do not have infinite opportunities to come to repentance. One day, Christ will return—which means we have limited time to commit ourselves to living for God. We’re throwing away the precious gift of life if we’re living only for ourselves. Fortune and power and prestige may be great in this world—but these things will not be a part of God’s future. If we resist God’s will, we will perish. We will be subject to judgment.
These words of judgment and the destruction of the present order are not meant to scare us. Yet we cannot ignore their urgency.
Now is the time to live in obedience to God’s will. Now is the time to repent… This is not something we can afford to put this off until tomorrow…
Now is the time to make the most of every opportunity we are given to do good. When we love our neighbors, and when we share Christ’s love, we’re living Christ future.
The good do now will live forever—just like we will live forever. So now is the time to live according to what will be.
And now is the time for us to experience what will be. Even as God calls us to repentance and holy living, God is speaking to us words of comfort.
God comforts us with the promise that suffering and evil will be ended when Christ returns. Peace and righteousness and love will fill the earth.
Yet even as we wait for Christ’s return, God never waits to bring us comfort. As we endure life’s trials and pains, we can live in expectation of God’s comfort right here and right now. With God’s comfort, we experience God’s salvation, even in the midst of our darkest days.
Christ is a comforting savior—not one who scares us into submission…
We know God by knowing his comfort…
We serve God by sharing his comfort with others.
When we repent, we receive God’s comfort—comfort that begins right now and lasts forever.
“Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.” This is God’s great promise to you today.
Take comfort in knowing that your sins are forgiven… Take comfort in believing that you are saved by grace.
Take comfort in knowing that you can live a life of eternal significance when you surrender yourself to God’s gracious will.
Take comfort in knowing that your pains and hurts will not last forever.
Take comfort in knowing that your Comforter is here.
Come and receive him and his comfort at the table today. Repent and believe the good news.