Waiting on the Day of the Lord

From my daily Bible reading:

Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as remindersto stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.
Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.


As you know by other posts on my blog, I am a student of the rapture. This is why today I am grateful for my daily reading of the Bible, which included all of II Peter and Jude. In the passage I copied and pasted above, which is the first 13 verses of II Peter 3, I read about the end of the end. Of course by that I mean that it doesn't talk directly about the rapture. Do not misunderstand me...I believe that the rapture is part of the end, I just mean that this passage isn't directly about that event. Peter is talking about the final end, when the earth is burned and we get a new place to dwell.

What struck me about it is the timing of the issue. I recently saw a fellow predict the rapture for a date last month. He wrote on Twitter vehemently, saying that it would happen by a certain time of a certain day. When that time passed, he revised his "message from the Lord" and said that it would be sometime during that day. When that passed, he said it was on Israeli time, so even passed midnight our time (and thus the beginning of the next day), it was still a possibility. Finally, he had to admit that it wasn't going to happen that day.

I made fun of him on Facebook. I got called out for it too by an atheist. That's embarrassing, let me tell you! My point is that it didn't happen, and I, like many millions of others, scoffed. How horrible! Yes, on a simplistic plane, I was making fun of him because I know that "no man knoweth the hour of his appearing." Yet the truth was also very simple...I was scoffing.

God is patient with us, something for which I am extremely grateful. He is faithful and patient with the unbelievers of this world (and too many die each day without him!) and he is patient with believers as they give up hope each day. It is one thing for scoffers to wonder about when God is sending his son back to the earth. It is quite another thing for us to assume it will never happen.

Believing in the rapture is supposed to make a person negative. Supposedly, it all becomes doom and gloom. There are many who seem to aspire to this thinking. The devil is indeed behind every bush. Yet not believing in the rapture has allowed people to avoid evangelism. If you can look out into a field and see two people working, and not believe that one will go and one will stay, then why witness? This too is pathetic.

Christ is coming. If you believe in a rapture (like I do), then you must understand that he could come tomorrow (or today)! Even if he delays another billion years, we are one day closer today to his coming than we were the day before. Get hot!


4 comments:

boilt frog said...

Why is it the post-millennialists never make this mistake?
I find it amusing to hear people say that prophecy is being fulfilled before our eyes, and yet they maintain that the Lord could have returned any time since He left.
Last week I was in a Bible study as part of a church start-up. I was told that the letter to the church at Thytira represented the period of 1000 AD. When the speaker was done he asked if there were any questions. I did not ask how the Lord could return at any time but had to wait until the Thyatiran prophecy was fulfilled. Opportunity lost.

Dan Smith said...

Well, we all miss opportunities! I do think you're right in that prophecy cannot be fulfilled in present day unless you believe that there is still prophecy to be fulfilled. I address this a little bit in talking about ammillenialism in my research project. It's an interesting viewpoint.

Post-millennialists probably don't make that mistake because they don't really expect anything immanent. Unfortunately, pre-trig/pre-mil folks should do more watching and less predicting, IMO.

boilt frog said...

What is the position taught by Liberty?

Looking forward to your posts on this.

bf

Dan Smith said...

Liberty teaches premill/pretrib. At least that's what they emphasize.