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The Day of the Lord | Part 1 of 3
by Chuck Hayes
Anyone watching the news lately has probably heard of basketball star LeBron James’s decision to leave Miami and return to Cleveland. What you may have missed, however, is the sign a fan held up behind an ESPN reporter that read, “THE KING HAS RETURNED!” Having played basketball most of my young adult life, I still watch a game from time to time. And although I admire good talent, this sign struck me as absolutely ridiculous. The return of a basketball star may be big news to some, but it in no way compares to the KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS (Revelation 19:16), who is going to return one day, raise the dead, judge the small and great, and make all things new!

His Promise

In his second epistle, Peter looks to stir up the elect pilgrims (2 Peter 3:1) by reminding them of the ever-approaching “day of the Lord” (3:10, 12) foretold by the prophets and apostles (3:2). Although no one knows when, the Lord will return (Matthew 24:36-44; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Furthermore, as it was when the flood came in Noah’s day, people will be busy about the things of life, when, like a “thief in the night” (2 Peter 3:10), He will come on the “clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). This is His promise!

The Judgment is Imminent

Until then, scoffers (mockers) will trouble many with their “destructive heresies” (2 Peter 2:1), “destructive ways” (2:2), and “deceptive words” (2:3). They will trouble the minds of people, saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation” (3:4). Peter explains that the scoffers “willfully forget” that the world “perished, being flooded with water” (3:5-6) and is now “reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (3:7). Also, Peter states, “With the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (3:8). Hence, the judgment is imminent!

His Delay

It’s true, “all things continue as they were,” but just because Christ hasn’t returned doesn’t mean He won’t. His return is just delayed, or so it seems. But why? It is because he is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). In other words, Christ is tarrying because not all those chosen from the foundation of the world have yet repented. He is not willing that “any” of His elect perish (remember Peter’s audience)! Now we better understand why His promise has not yet been fulfilled. Pretty cool, huh?

A Good Reminder

Jesus is coming back! In the meantime, may this short series stir us up by reminding us of a few important truths. First, He is delaying the promise of His return so the elect will come to repentance. Praise God! Second, beware of the destructive and deceptive heresies, ways, and words of scoffers. They are doomed! Third, that great and awesome “day of the Lord” will catch many by surprise, like a “thief in the night.” Are you ready? Those of Noah’s day weren’t, and the flood swept them all away! Finally, if you are still outside of Christ, let me assure you that the Lord is long-suffering. Please do not despise His long-suffering, but let it lead you to repentance (Romans 2:4)! Amen!