Peter the Apostle said…
With the Lord a day is like a thousand years. And a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow to keep his promise. He is not slow in the way some people understand it. Instead, he is patient with you. He doesn’t want anyone to be destroyed. He wants all people to turn away from their sins.( 2 Peter 3:8-9 )
You may be surprised to know that Peter was not the first to say this. This was not some kind of supernatural revelation that he received. He was simply expanding on something that Moses stated approximately 1680 years before.
To you (God) a thousand years are like a day that has just gone by. They are like a few hours of the night.(Psalm 90:4 )
Notice that Moses had a bit more detail… like a few hours of the night.
Question, why did Peter reach back to something written so long ago? What was his purpose?
Answer is, Peter was talking about God’s promise that Jesus would return to earth, and wanted us to be prepared for it. (Note: word to the wise… let’s stay away from theological arguments about pre trib or post trib. Let’s agree on this one thing.. Jesus will return.)
Peter prophesied, and wanted us to understand that…
In the last days people will make fun of the truth. They will laugh at it. They will follow their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘return’ he promised? Everything goes on in the same way it has since our people of long ago died. In fact, it has continued this way since God first created everything.”(2 Peter 3:3-4 )
Peter was concerned, and rightly so, that the norms of our society, business endeavours, cultural practices and perspectives, our view of life, our understanding of God, of religion, of church, would weaken our faith and confidence in God.
After all… aren’t stock market indices higher that they have ever been, unemployment numbers are low, the economy overall is good and getting better, we are addressing climate change, world poverty, eradicating diseases, signing peace treaties, signing trade agreements, inflation in under control, interest rates are stable, world literacy is improving, what more is there… we are getting the job done, we are being successful. Do we really need God or His intervention?
This is a world view that a lot of people have embraced.
In summary, we value success, we pursue success, we hold high those who are successful, we worship success, success is our god, and when we succeed, we are glorified.
Rightness and wrongness are not relevant, good and bad are just a mirage, truth is what we say it is, and the end always justifies the means.
Success is how we measure our lives.
So what if I lie or cheat, so what if I bully some and coerce others, so what if I create my own version of truth and make fiction my reality, so what if anger is my sword and cunning is my shield, so what if I happen to destroy a few lives and damage a few more in the process, bottom line is, I won, I was successful, I am a success. The end justifies the means.
Strange thing is, a lot of people would agree, and unfortunately, both Christian and non Christian buy into this humanistic world view.
The Apostle Peter wrote in effort to point us toward a different world view, God’s view of us.
Peter was not bashing the pursuit of success, rather, he wanted us to keep success in proper perspective.
He said that Jesus will return. He will return as a universal judge ‘to judge the earth and everything in it’.
He reminded us that God values our lifestyle rather than our level of success. So he said things like…
And what kind of people should you be? You should lead holy and godly lives. Live like this as you look forward to the day of God…. Dear friends, I know you are looking forward to this. So try your best to be found pure and without blame. Be at peace with God.(2 Peter 3: 11-14. )
Although Peter showed us that time is of no relevance to God, time is of the essence to us.
So my word of encouragement to you is that you get your act together…
If Jesus returned today, there would be no ‘time’ left to mend fences, fix broken relationships, confess secret sins, or let go of bitterness and hatred.
So, be at peace with God. Let Jesus be glorified in you.