Read 2 Peter 3

Key Verse: 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

The subject of this concluding chapter is the return of Christ. Already in Peter’s day there were impatient believers and outright unbelieving scoffers who were saying, “Where is this ‘coming’ He promised (v.4). Only a few decades had passed since Jesus ‘ ascension, but already there were doubters about this much acclaimed “parousia” (second coming). These questioners were disappointed and in some cases disillusioned — Jesus had let them down — or, at least He was pretty slow in fulfilling His promise to return.

So Peter puts things in perspective. First of all he reminds his readers that God doesn’t work within our space-time limitations. In His eternal kingdom, one day has no more quantitative reality than a thousand years (v.8); for God, everything is “now”.

That’s why He’s not “slow in keeping His promise” (v.9a NIV). To us He seems slow just like a newborn infant thinks its mother slow when she switches him from one breast to the other. He bleats impatiently and angrily at the interruption to his feeding and the length of time until its resumption. To the mother, however, it’s no time at all.

If God is waiting even in the least sense, it is because He is “not willing that any should perish”. He wants as many as possible to enjoy “a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness” (v.13). But let’s not lose our sense of perspective — from God’s point of view, Jesus is at the door. So, let’s “lift up our heads, for our redemption is near!”