We’ll get into our sermon today. I bet you can’t guess which book we’re going to turn to. Where are we going to turn second, Peter? Yeah. All right.
I want to be relatable for just a second. Here. One of my favorite things to do every week is I love going to playgrounds. I play on playgrounds on a weekly basis, not by myself, but with my two year old son and him and I, we make it our goal to kind of see if we can find a new playground all the time. We have our frequent one.
We love Cypress Grove Park, but we’re always exploring the city. We love this city. I love Orlando, and there’s just a whole new side campus Ministry. There’s a whole new side, even on the east side. And I find my favorite parks are playgrounds or the parks we have, right?
But a funny story. Recently, I got stuck in a playground device and it was a spinny device. Now you guys are probably familiar with these. These are outlawed. They’re too dangerous.
But I would propose if there’s a government official here that whatever device I was in should be outlawed, too. It was this little cup kind of like a thimble. It was kid sized, but I wanted to demonstrate to my two year old how to use it. So I sat in it and I spun around and I quickly started getting dizzy. And probably the fourth spin, I was like, okay, let’s get out of this. And I was just stuck. So I spun and I spun probably like, 15 times, and I start screaming.
Molly’s, like, laughing halfway across the park and she’s pointing at me. And then I just get spit out and sprawl on the ground. And I have no idea where the sky is. I’m seeing the sky, the ground, my hand. Everything is like 20 layers of vision.
I had triple vision, right? I don’t know if any of you guys have ever been dizzy to that extent, but that was the most I’ve ever been dizzy. I truly had lost my bearings because I do think some of us we can feel that way in life. We can feel like life is dizzying. Even this morning, I heard someone had to jump a car. Life just throws us for a loop.
And I don’t know if this year, in summary, you guys can feel like that’s my year in a nutshell or that’s been my past few years. But life can really throw us for a loop and dizzy us really quickly. And I do think when the ground settles, we crave normalcy. And I’ve heard a lot of people say, I want life to come back and just be normal again. Normal, please.
Right. A lot of talk about, like, soon we won’t need masks, right? Soon this will happen. Soon these things will open up. We just want normalcy. I have bad news for you, and that’s normal is not coming back. Normal is not coming back as much as you want it to. And I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer, but I do have good news that something else or someone else is coming back.
Jesus Christ is coming back. He’s coming back to claim his own. And so my encouragement this morning is, don’t look back. Our title for our lesson is look forward, look forward to Jesus return. So I want to just really quickly explain what we have here.
I want to just set up what we’ve been at here. But I do want to say something about First Peter, because as much as we’re trying to explain the context of Second Peter in and of itself, Second Peter is in the context of First Peter. And First Peter is in the context of the whole New Testament. So I just want to kind of just say here that there was a similar setting in First Peter, the letter right before the one you’ve turned to. And through this suffering that Carlos talked about, their world was spinning, and he did a great job explaining that they were going through persecution and the Church was shaken upside down and turned inside out.
And sometime later, after this really traumatic period in the church’s history. Second Peter has been written. First, Peter was addressing all those things. Second Peter, as we know, addresses some very different things because things started settling down and the dust started settling and calming and people could live more freely. So they started letting their guard down.
And so to make sure they didn’t crave normalcy and comfortability, Peter wants to write another letter called Second Peter to make sure that when they get their double vision back on straight, that they don’t focus on the wrong thing. And so here we are. And I think we can relate to that, right? We can crave comfortability like I just want to own a house. That’s kind of the stage that I’m in in life, right? I got two kids or I just want to get married, and then life will be normal.
It’s unsettled. That’s my goal. That’s what I’m looking forward to and nothing more. I just want that raise. I just want whatever it is.
But Peter aims to Orient our thinking more towards things to come, like heaven and specifically the return of Jesus, the return of the King. And so here we come to Second Peter, and we’ve done a lot with this series. We’ve talked about how he was reorienting them to look ahead and how with all the dangers of losing focus, that a great safeguard in losing focus is to really get to know Jesus. To epinosis Jesus. Do you remember that?
And then we talked about how we must make every effort to grow more and more like Christ. Don’t be stagnant. The world has an agenda, and they’re trying to get you distracted. Stay focused on Christ because he is the only sure thing, the only trustworthy thing. He is something more firm and we must pay attention to it.
And then last week, Eddie took us on a journey through chapter two. And that was written in response to many false teachers trying to infiltrate the Church and lead us astray. And so he talks about God’s going to deal with them. But they are in our midst. And they are false teachers.
And there’s false things even going on nowadays that we can start to just settle into thinking the way God doesn’t want us to think, to lose our focus, to take us off track. So God is going to deal with them. But we got to be on guard. And here we arrive today at chapter three. This is the final chapter, the final countdown.
And so here we are. And this is a lot of the theme of just all that craziness is going on. Let’s look towards what’s ahead again. So let’s read verses one through 13 of chapter three.
Here we go. It says, dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the Holy prophets and by the command given by the Lord and Savior through your Apostles. Above all, you must understand that in the last days Scoffers will come scoffing and following their own evil desires, they will say, Where is this coming that he promised?
Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation. But they deliberately forget that long ago, by God’s word, the heavens came into being and the Earth was formed out of water and by water and by these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and Earth are reserved for fire being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: with the Lord, a day is like a thousand years and 1000 years are like a day. The Lord isn’t slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.
The heavens will disappear with a roar. The elements will be destroyed by fire and the Earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way. What kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live Holy and Godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed, it’s coming.
That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with His promise, we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new Earth where righteousness dwells Amen. Our point today is what’s been said a couple of times in our text. Look forward. Look forward.
That’s the one thing I want you to take away. If nothing else, look forward. Write it on your hand. Take notes, write it right here, and you can take it out with you because there’s so much to expect ahead. And the Bible here talks about a grand finale, a grand finale.
And it’s going to be here soon and very, very soon. And we’ll just kind of go through these verses here and skim through them. But he starts, you can keep your Bible open. And verses one and two, he’s basically saying, like, look, I want to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. And what he’s saying, if you look deeper under that, he’s saying, I want to stir you up.
I thought about shaking up a can of soda and just letting it explode. But that’s kind of like, wake up. He’s saying, Wake up. I’m going to sound the alarm. And it’s really as if they’re asleep.
He’s using words here where like, you’re asleep. I’m waking you up. Stop sleeping.
Jesus said that to his disciples in the garden. Didn’t he? Wake up? The hour is near. You got to wake up.
You got to get your thinking cap on straight. Put that on because there’s a fog and you’re in the midst of a fog and you can’t lose focus. You can’t get dizzied. You have to remember where we’re going. The words of the prophets and the Apostles.
Hang on. This. I’m not speaking for myself. So we go on. And he says, above all, meaning, this is the most important thing.
Just know that people in the last days are coming. They’re already here. And as my coming comes draws near, they’re going to be here. And he calls them Scoffers, right. That there’s going to be scoffers that are going to come and they’re going to follow whatever they want.
Scoffers are people that scorn and mock the truth. That’s what Scoffers are. And I’ve met a lot of them.
And I’ve been one in action at certain parts of my life. But, Scoffers, this is what he says. People are going to try to tell you that this is not really true. This is not true, right? Scorning and mocking because they say everything has gone on as it always has.
It’s getting back to normal. This Jesus guy, he was a blip on the radar. He shook our world. He was a great, exciting thing. But let’s move on.
Let’s move on. Everything’s back to normal. So why are you looking forward? The Church was looking forward and the world was trying to convince them that it was not worthwhile. The word, coming, actually is the word Perusia. And what that means is it’s a Royal visit. They’re saying you’re thinking that a King is going to come and visit you. Well, what King and what return anytime now please.
This is the biggest Bluff in history. So they thought, right? Knock, knock, knock. Who’s there? No one, no one.
Where is the second coming of Jesus? So what he’s saying in verse five as you move through this, he says. But they the scoffers. Deliberately forget, deliberately forget, like willingly blind themselves to the fact that they are accountable to God and this Creator god easily destroys people in the past. And he is going to destroy them in the future.
His enemies that is. Last time he did it with water in the days of Noah, right? No one believed Noah. No one lived expectantly.
Yeah, right. Look at all the wood he’s wasting. Right. Let’s do a bonfire. God’s wrath came to visit them in the form of a flood and they had a warning.
And this is supposed to serve as a warning for us. It’s a signpost saying, Watch out. I did it. Then I can do it again and I will do it again. And I’m going to purify the Earth and we’re going to have a new Earth.
He will soon destroy his enemies again. It’s very clear this time with fire, but many people are going to make the same mistake, despite the warning. Despite the warning, verse seven, just see clearly. He’s like man, God’s wrath. It’s just stored it’s already in the bank.
Just hit the red button already. He’s saying it’s loaded. Peter is warning us all like Paul Revere. Judgment is coming. Judgment is coming.
We really are moving towards this fearsome day.
And it’s terrifying when I think of it, because there’s obviously some preparation on my end to have something to say this morning. I’m like man, I hope I get to say what I need to say, what this text says, but I am not promised and we are not promised to hear yet again to get ready for the coming of the Lord. It could have happened at 958 as the singers are getting ready. But God still is holding and waiting. Perhaps till the end of the sermon.
I don’t know, perhaps till next year, but don’t look too far ahead without losing focus of what really is happening. I don’t know if you’ll get married. I can’t tell you that. I don’t know if you’ll ever retire. I don’t know if you’ll have children, all these great hopes, really great hopes.
But I do know that Jesus is coming back and that’s a certainty. It’s loaded. It’s ready. And he just needs to give the nod. But here we are.
And we’re hearing God’s word Amen, I think here’s my question. I look at verse eight and nine and they’re like, my question is, what’s with the delay? You have to ask that question.
He says that the scoffers they deliberately forget. And he uses the same words here when he says, but you do not deliberately forget. They did that. You don’t do that. Do not forget know that he is on his own timeline.
He’s on his own time frame. Be assured, though judgment is coming. So what is with the delay? Let’s answer that in a second. But for now, I think we can rule out from the Scripture it’s not because he’s slow. That’s not the reason he is not slow. That’s not why we’re still waiting. Our problem is with understanding slowness.
We’re stuck in time and God is outside of time. C. S. Lewis, a great Christian writer in days past, he had some helpful things to say to understand time from God’s perspective and his point of view. And I just want to read an excerpt from mere Christianity great book.
Just pick it up. It says what we call tomorrow is visible to him in just the same way as what we call today. All the days are now for him. He doesn’t remember you doing things yesterday. He simply sees you doing them now because though you have lost yesterday, he has not.
He does not foresee you doing things tomorrow. He simply sees you doing them because though tomorrow is not yet there for you, it is for him. He knows your tomorrow’s actions because he is already in tomorrow and he can simply watch you.
The moment at which you have done it is already now for him. He goes on to say this. He uses an analogy and he says, if you picture time as a stick along which we have to travel, then you must picture God as the gardener who holds the stick. We come to the parts of the stick one by one. We have to leave point A before we get to point B, and we can’t reach C until we leave behind B God from above or outside or all around.
He holds the whole sick and he sees it all. This is the God we have. He’s a powerful God and he’s not slow. So we come back to the question. I’ll ask it a different way. What’s with the perceived delay from our point of view and it’s in the Scripture end of verse nine.
Instead, he is patient with you not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to Repentance.
So he’s waiting and he’s really giving like a final call. I picture him like a conductor. I go on trains a lot with my two year old, right. It’s trains or playgrounds, but I hear God saying all aboard last call, last call to Repentance because the repentance train, it really is still in the station because we’re here. Repentance is still an option for you today, but it’s going, it’s going and it’s about to be gone.
It’s about to leave, just like that. It’s about to be gone. So I have a real question for you here near the end. We’re about to close. But my real question for you and you need to answer it.
I’ll just say this. You need to answer this question before you leave today for yourself because God is being patient so that you can answer this question. That’s why we’re here.
The question. What sin, if any, is God waiting ever so patiently for you to repent of in your life? Is it pride? You’re sitting here, you’re coming here. You know your life better than anyone.
And it might not be easy for others to see, but perhaps it’s pride. Maybe it’s lust. Maybe it’s selfishness or greed or debauchery or ungratitude. Or maybe it’s unforgiving. I don’t know.
Or is it something else?
What if the day of the Lord is being held off just for you?
Would you even consider that, or do you just think He’s holding it off for Him or her or anyone outside of here? Because truthfully, when there’s deliberate sin in my life or deliberate sin in our lives, I’m not longing for Jesus to come back. No, please don’t. And God’s like I won’t, because I’m giving you one more chance. One more chance.
Do you long for Jesus to come back? You could be longing for Him to come back if you can deal with whatever. If there is something to this question, it’s kind of a battleship question. I don’t know for you, but maybe it really is. It struck something here, but we’re really called to ready ourselves.
And that’s what our fellowship is all about, helping each other make it to heaven. we’re called to ready ourselves so we can look forward. So this really is a theme in the Bible. It’s so prevalent. It’s not just Second Peter, but I would say Second Peter is the most explicit about it happening.
And if you want to see another text, go to Revelation, there’s a lot in there, but just honestly write these scriptures down, right? So much of the Bible is expecting Jesus to come back and we don’t speak about it enough. And I’m so glad we’re talking about it this morning. John 14. Three.
I’ll come again. James five eight. The comings at hand. Revelation 22. I’m coming soon.
Luke 21. You’re going to see Jesus coming. 22. 20. Surely I am coming soon.
And this is the last phrase really in the Bible. I’m coming soon. Amen. Come Lord Jesus. The Bible is done.
That’s how it ends. That’s where it’s going to pick up. He’s like, I’m back, right? Jesus said, I’ll be back long before Hollywood ever said it again and again and again. He’s told us he’s coming back.
And for the early Church, this expectation of the Kings coming, like we said, it was a vital part of their faith. It shaped their lives. And it has to shape our lives, too. It has to shape our lives. If only we would just look forward.
And as we close here right now, I want to start again just in verse eleven. Because in verse eleven, he asks, and he tells how the second coming should shape our lives. So let’s listen again as we close. Question, since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? Answer, you ought to live Holy and Godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed. It’s coming.
That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise, we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new Earth where righteousness dwells.
Let’s keep our focus on his return, church. Marinatha Amen? He’s going to set things right and he’s going to deal with our sin and the world’s sin once and for all. He already has. If only we would know the good news and share it.
He already has dealt with the sin, but we get to see the ledger wiped clean and we get to stand before God. And it will be terrifyingly and joyous and exhilarating at the same time. But I don’t want us to waste our life on meaningless pursuits. There’s a lot of pursuits, a lot of good causes. Tons of them.
But we shouldn’t waste our lives on them. Rather, we have to be ready for God’s return for the return of the King. He’s on his way. Soon and very soon, we’re going to see the King. So let’s pray together and we’re going to have a closing song today.