2 Peter & Jude

by Eileen Poh

Day 16

Read 2 Peter 3:3-4

Almost 2,000 years have passed since Jesus Christ predicted that He would return in glory one day (Matthew 24:36-39). The apostles in the early church taught about Jesus' second coming. But so many years have passed, and He still has not yet come. This may cause some to question or doubt New Testament teaching about the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Just because there is a delay, he says, does not mean that the second coming of Jesus will not happen.

Such a reaction is not new. Even in Peter's day, people were scoffing at the idea of Jesus' second coming and saying: ″Where is this 'coming' he promised?″ (2 Peter 3:4). Although Peter refers to such scoffers ″in the last days″ (v. 3), he is not referring to the end of the age. For the early Christians, the last days had arrived with the first coming of Jesus Christ. The last days as prophesied by the prophet Joel (Joel 2:28-32) were fulfilled when the Holy Spirit came upon the crowd listening to Peter on Pentecost (Acts 2:14-17). Hebrews 1:2 also notes that while God spoke through His prophets in the past, ″in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son″–referring to the time when Jesus came to this earth. So when Peter speaks of ″the last days″ in 2 Peter 3:3, he is referring to his present day.

These scoffers argue that nothing has changed since their ancestors died (2 Peter 3:4)–referring to their ancestors in the Old Testament. They further argue that nothing has changed since the beginning of creation (v. 4)–that everything has gone on normally, and there has been no major event that has changed the world in a material sense.

We find scoffers today as well. Some may question or doubt the second coming of Jesus Christ, while others may scoff at the very idea of God. In October 2008, an atheist advertising campaign was launched in London with this message plastered on London buses: ″There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.″

But these scoffers are mistaken. In the next few verses in 2 Peter 3, we will see how Peter refutes their arguments and explains why there is a delay in the second coming of Jesus Christ. Just because there is a delay, he says, does not mean that the second coming of Jesus will not happen.

Think through:

″Jesus is coming again!″ When was the last time you thought about the second coming of Jesus Christ? What emotions did you experience at that time?

How are you preparing for the second coming of Jesus Christ? What specific things are you doing?




About Author

Eileen Poh was a lawyer for some years before doing full-time theological studies. Her doctoral thesis (at King’s College London) examines the social relationships between Christians and non-Christians in Asia Minor in the second half of the first century AD. Eileen lectures in Biblical Studies at Discipleship Training Centre, Singapore. She is married to Philip Satterthwaite.

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