Tuesday, May 20, 2014
“But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full” (Genesis 15:16 KJV).
Today’s Scripture expressly declares why the God of the Bible “takes His time” when dealing with sinful mankind.
The Old Testament prophets (Psalm 2:4,5; Isaiah 2:12ff.; Jeremiah 25:29-33; Joel 2:30-32; Zephaniah 1:14-18; Zechariah 13:8–14:4; et cetera) foretold of God’s wrath, “the day of the LORD” (the seven-year Tribulation). John the Baptist (Matthew 3:7-12), Jesus Christ (Matthew chapter 24), the Apostle Peter (Acts 2:19-21), and the Prophet Stephen (Acts 7:55,56) warned of “the wrath to come.” God’s wrath on wicked mankind was expected to come within their lifetime!
Nearly 2,000 years later, and God has not poured out His wrath on Earth. Why? Was the wrath not real? Was God lying? Nay, He was gracious to implement a plan, a dispensation, He had devised long ago, but had kept secret until He revealed it to the Apostle Paul (Romans 16:25,26; Ephesians 3:1-11; Colossians 1:23-27). To “have mercy upon all” (Christ-rejecting Jews and Gentiles; Romans 11:32), God concluded all lost people “in unbelief.”
The Apostle Peter answered scoffers who asked where was Christ’s coming back in wrath (2 Peter 3:3,4): “ The Lord is not slack [careless, 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.  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” (verses 9,15,16).
Notice, Peter instructed his audience to read Paul’s epistles (especially Romans chapters 9-11) to learn that God had paused Israel’s program, and was “longsuffering” so “all should come to repentance [trust Christ and get saved].” As Peter and Paul affirmed, Israel’s prophetic program (which involved God’s wrath) is currently postponed….