Sunday, March 11, 2012
“And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:15,16 KJV).
The Apostle Peter, in verses 3,4, references scoffers who ask, “Where is the promise of [Christ’s] coming?” Decades after the Lord Jesus had resurrected and ascended into heaven, James, Peter, and John spoke of His Second Coming as if it were just moments away (James 5:8,9; 1 Peter 4:7; 2 Peter 3:3; 1 John 2:18). They wrote 2,000 years ago, and Christ never came. Is Christ ever coming back?
In today’s Scripture, Peter admits that when he and the Apostles James and John met with the Apostle Paul in Acts chapter 15 (Galatians chapter 2) circa A.D. 50, Paul taught them something. To Paul alone God entrusted a body of truth that not even Peter fully understood (even at this late date of 2 Peter circa A.D. 68)—Peter and Paul preached separate messages (see Galatians 2:1-9). Peter acknowledged that Christ gave exclusively to Paul “the revelation of the mystery” (Romans 16:25,26; Ephesians 3:1-9). Furthermore, Peter verified Paul’s 13 epistles, Romans through Philemon, as “scripture.” Peter warned that people “wrest” (corrupt) Paul’s epistles as they do the other Bible books.
Why has Christ not come back, Peter? “The Lord is not slack [lazy, unreliable] 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” (2 Peter 3:9). God wants all people to be saved. He wants no one to suffer His wrath and judgment (the seven-year Tribulation) because His Son Jesus paid for our sins at Calvary’s cross!
Yes, Christ will be back, but God is postponing Israel’s prophetic program in order to extend this the Dispensation of Grace and give more people a chance to be saved before His wrath comes on earth.