2 Peter 3:8-9 – “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” NKJV
When I first began in the ministry there was an urgency and expectancy that the LORD was about to come. We thought it so imminent that some foolishly sold all they had and went into hibernation waiting for the LORD’s return. Others, however, felt the urgency and expectancy as a compulsion to SPREAD THE GOSPEL to everyone and anyone who would listen fully believing that there might, not and likely would not be a tomorrow. As time has passed I have witnessed a loss of that urgency and expectancy because as Peter described in the preceding verses people lose the urgency because they kept hearing it but nothing happened and time just kept rolling along.
Today some are beginning to feel a resurgence of the urgency and there is a growing anticipation that something is about to happen in the spiritual realm. Our world has evolved to a place where more and more things are in place for the fulfillment of biblical prophecy concerning the end times. There is legitimate cause to be concerned about things in our own government as well as in the world overall regarding the opening of the door for the Anti-Christ to come on the scene.
For some time I have been sensing an urgency from the LORD and a reminder that just because it has not happened doesn’t mean that it is not going to or that it is necessarily sometime in the far distant future. I don’t know when the LORD will return and neither does any other human on planet earth. Yet, what I want to say here is less about the delay or the imminent return of the LORD, but more about the last part of verse nine. That thought being that the LORD is longsuffering or patient with us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. That is the heart of God our REDEMPTION. That is why Jesus came the first time, lived as He did, and went to the Cross. We have been God’s focus from the beginning and sadly we have, at times, lost a sense of that and the urgency of God’s heart regarding the lost.
I pray to God that I never become so calloused regarding the Gift of Salvation that I lose the sense of urgency that comes with it. If somehow tomorrow a vast fortune came into my hands and I could do with it whatever I choose I believe and hope that I would instantly seek to bless those I love and care about. Following that, I would seek to help as many ministries as I could to further the cause of the Kingdom of God. Yet, we have been given this Great Treasure of salvation and often seem to take it for granted and appear calloused with regard to those who have not received this gift and do not know our LORD. As I heard early in my Christian experience the words of a man who did not believe tell a chaplain, “Sir you do not believe in hell.” The chaplain was astounded and protested but the unbeliever said, “If I believed in hell, though this land was covered in broken glass I would crawl on my hands and knees, if necessary to warn people to flee it. You, sir, are not telling anyone so I must conclude you do not really believe it exists.” That should give all of us a reality check! If we see real danger we do not hesitate to warn people about the danger, yet how many times are we as guilty as the chaplain in this regard? I’m not trying to turn everyone into an Evangelist but we do have a commission from our Lord to share what we have received and to take this message to the ends of the earth. It is not your job or responsibility to “win the world” but it is your responsibility to share your gift within your sphere of influence and where the Holy Spirit affords you the opportunity. If salvation is as great as we KNOW IT IS then how can we not speak of it to others?
May God be with you as you go through your day!
[Thanks to my dear friend Tim Malone for causing this to rise up with a renewed freshness in my heart.]