In II Peter 3:1-9 we see Peter writing a second letter to the early church. As the early church suffered at the hands of the Roman government, they held on to the belief that soon and very soon Christ was coming back. And when Christ came back, everything they were struggling with would go away. But the second coming didn’t happen in the timeframe they thought. They thought He was going to come back within a generation or so. Now Peter has to justify his statement on Christ coming back.
So Peter writes for two purposes:
1) Peter Writes to Rebuke False Teachings
When you are waiting it is easy to get tired and distracted. And because you are tired and distracted you begin looking for answers. And it’s not hard for even the most faithful Christian to get tripped up. And this is what is happening with the early church Christians. So Peter tells them not to listen to those saying Christ is not coming.
2) Peter Writes to Instruct and Encourage the Young Believers on How to Deal with Divine Delay
Peter gives instruction on how to deal with the gap between our prayer and His answer. We have been so conditioned by society and technology to think that something needs to happen now.
“We don’t see patience as a virtue, but as a last resort.” – Minister Darrell Whitehead
How Do I Deal With The Delay?
A) Our World Confirms God’s Word
1 Peter 1:5 – 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.
When God is not moving the way you want him to move and just look around and realize everything you are seeing was created by the word of God. So just look around and realize that this world came into being by a word!
“Trust God’s word.” – Minister Darrell Whitehead
B) Understand His Promise Controls Our Perspective
1 Peter 1:13 – But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
In essence, since we know that God has promised us something, we look forward to the fulfillment of the promise. That’s how waiting in faith looks. He says the believer has a forward vision, but the unbeliever can only see what’s right in front of him.
“What’s the point of praying if you don’t expect God to answer.” – Minister Darrell Whitehead
C) Our Holiness Complements God’s Hands
It seems that in almost every other verse (7, 11, 14, 17, and 18) Peter admonishes us to live holy. When you do what God has called you to do while you are waiting, it makes it easier for God to do what He wants to do.
“God is not slow. God is patient.” – Minister Darrell Whitehead
Slow suggests that there is a problem with time or God. Faith says the problem is not with God but with me. It’s not that I’m waiting on God. It’s that He is waiting on me.
God has delayed judgement on the world to give us time to repent so that we can be saved. God delays punishment while waiting on repentance. So is it conceivable that this same God delays promises while waiting on righteousness?
What Do We Do While We Wait?
- Worship – God desires us to worship Him.
- Act Like You Already Have It – That’s called faith.
- Imitate the Habits of Strong Faith – Look at those with strong faith and do what they do.
- Trust – Trust that God is going to do it.