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2 Peter 3:1-10
ONE THING YOU CAN TAKE TO THE BANK
Intro: There aren’t too many things in this world that you can actually count on. The stock markets have their ups and downs. The economy could be doing better. The prospects for peace in the world are about as distant as they have ever been. Preachers, churches and ministries are continually straying away from the Lord and causing confusion and doubt.
In fact, if you live with your faith in men, ministries and money then you are going to live a very disappointing and discouraging life.
Yet, even in the midst of all the doubts and confusion that surrounds us in the world today, there are still some things you can believe in. I hold on of those things in my hands today. The Bible, the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of the living God. This book is pure and it is worthy of our faith and acceptance. Every word in this Bible is inspired by the Lord and will endure forever; Psa. 119:89; Matt. 24:35. Every word in this book will come to pass just as it is written. Ant this includes every promise of God.
Every promise God gave in His Word is worthy to be believed for it will come to pass just as He said, Heb. 6:18. Think of what this means. When He promised to save you if you called upon Him, Rom. 10:13, He meant that! When He promised to be with you, Heb. 13:5, He meant that. When He promised to take care of you as you passed through this world, Phil. 4:19; Matt. 6:25-34, He meant that. And, as Peter is about to tell us, when the Lord promised to come back again, He meant that too!
Take, for instance, the last recorded promise in the Bible from the lips of the Lord Jesus, Rev. 22:20. In this verse, Jesus makes it crystal clear that He is going to return to this world. Many people refuse to accept this truth as fact, but that doesn’t change a thing! Jesus said that He was coming again, and He will! Jesus is coming, and you can take that to the bank. Let me show you some reasons why that is true.
I. V. 1-2 THE ASSURANCE OF THE SCRIPTURES
(Ill. Peter speaks of the Word of God in verse 2 and calls it to witness to this great truth.)
A. The Bible Is A Perfect Book - 2 Tim. 3:16 It is the absolutely perfect revelation of God’s will to mankind. You can count on the Word of God! Therefore when something is written in the Bible, you can consider it forever settled - Psa. 119:89.
B. The Bible Is A Prophetic Book - Throughout the Bible, there are prophecies presented and fulfilled, over and over again. In fact, there were over 300 prophecies given in connection with the first advent of Jesus, and all of those 300+ prophecies were literally fulfilled. (i.e. His virgin birth - Isa. 7:14; His birth in Bethlehem - Micah 5:2; His humiliation and death - Isa. 53; His resurrection - Psalm 16:10, etc.) The Bible is a book of prophetic content!
· We all know how important the notion of the New Birth is, but did you know that it is only mentioned 9 times in the New Testament?
· We Baptists are big on baptism, but it is only mentioned 20 times in the New Testament.
· Even the great doctrine of repentance is only spoken of 70 times in the New Testament.
· However, in the 27 books of the New Testament, which is divided into 4 categories: Historical, Pauline Epistles, General Epistles, and Prophetic, there are over 380 references to the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Somehow, I get the impression that it is an important doctrine to the Lord! After all, He devotes 1 out of every 25 verses in the New Testament to the Second Coming. Some of those prophetic passages are: John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thes. 4:16-18.)
C. The Bible Is A Preserved Book - Every word in this Book will literally come to pass. God will see to it that none of His Words fall to the ground, Isa. 55:11. He will see that it gets the job done - Matt. 5:18; 1 Pet. 1:25; Rom. 4:21. Even the parts about the Second Coming!
II. V. 3-7, 10 THE IGNORANCE OF THE SCOFFERS
A. V. 4 The Doubt - They deny the reality of Christ’s coming. On what do they base their reasoning? On the fact that nothing seems to change! Spring follows winter, summer spring and fall summer. All things continue as they have for ages. Nothing has changed since the beginning; therefore the threat of the end of the world must not be true!
Their theories fail in two areas.
· One, they fail to remember that God has already judged and destroyed the world once, Gen. 6-7. By the way, the people in that day refused to believe that judgment was coming, Matt. 24:38-38.
· They also fail to realize that God is not bound by time as men are. In truth, Jesus has only been gone about two days, v. 9.)
B. V. 4-5 The Denial - These scoffers base their doubt on their denial of God’s revealed truth. It begins with something as basic as creation. Men deny creation, which is testified to by the Scriptures, then from there, it is easy to deny everything else God says. If the first eleven chapters of Genesis are not true, then nothing in the Bible is worthy of our faith.
Again, according to verse 6, God has already judged the world one time. This was during the flood of Noah. The fact that He has done it once should make men realize that He can and will do it again.
(Ill. Regardless of what the scoffers say, the world did not come about as the result of a big bang. Man, and the animal kingdom, did not evolve from some sort of primordial soup. We are not the offspring of some germ placed here by traveling space aliens. God made this universe by His very Words.
In Genesis 1, eleven times the phrase, “and God said... appears in the biblical record. This world was created by the Word of God and it is sustained by that same Word, v. 7. This world has already been judged and destroyed by water once, the next time it will happen by fire! This world did not come into existence with a bang, but it is going out with one!)
(Ill. God help this foolish society which has been tricked into believing the devil’s lie! Unless children learn the truth at home and at church, they have no hope! For, if the evolutionists are right, then you might as well live for the devil, have a big time and live it up, because when you die you’re just like the dogs. You simply cease to exist.)
C. V. 4-7 The Discovery - Why are men so quick to deny the plain teachings of the Scriptures? Why do they seem so eager to invent fables to explain away truths that are so clearly taught in the pages of Scripture? Simple! The problem is not one of the head; it is a problem of the heart.
It isn’t that they can’t understand; it is that they do not wish to understand. Notice verse 5, “willingly ignorant, verse 3, “walking after their own lusts. If man admits that there really is a God and that this God has given us a perfect revelation of Himself in the Bible, then he will have to bow before God, repent of His sins and submit to God or be eternally damned! It is to the sinner’s advantage to undermine the authority of the Word of God.
You see, if you can dispense with “Thus saith the Lord, then there are no absolutes, there are no standards of right and wrong and nothing is off limits! (i.e. abortion, homosexuality, free sex, drunkenness, drugs, etc, all become all right if there is no God.) That is why we have the doctrine of evolution! There is no basis of scientific fact behind it! Man is simply looking for a way around the clear cut teachings found in the Bible. Because, if we admit that there is a God, then verse 10 must be dealt with, for if there is a holy and righteous God, then there must also be a great day of reckoning! If there is a God, then there is a day of judgment, Rev. 20:10-15; and there is a place called Hell, Psa. 9:17; 2 Thes. 1:8-9.
Notice what the Bible has to say in verse 10. The Elements, Literally, “the elementum the smallest part.” In modern terms: the atom! Did you know that atomic power is all around us today? Every breath we take is filled with highly flammable and explosive gases. The water, which covers 75% of this earth’s surface, is composed of gases so explosive and volatile that even the slightest molecular change would result in the total destruction of the planet. Consider this:
a. Oxygen - Oxygen is required for all combustion. It is what fire feeds on. Take away the oxygen and the fire dies, turn it on and the fire flares. Yet, with every breath, we pull this highly explosive material into our bodies.
b. Nitrogen Nitrogen is the component that makes dynamite, TNT and nitroglycerin explosive. Yet, every day we gulp massive quantities of nitrogen in the air we breathe. Cannot the same God who made these elements and combined them in such a way that they do not explode, also change the mixture and cause them to explode? Of course He can!
c. Table Salt - It is 1/3 Sodium. Sodium by itself is a gray, putty like substance. It must be kept in kerosene or it will explode. If a drop is placed in water, it will result in a violent fire. Yet, we eat it every day!
d. Water It is composed of Oxygen and Hydrogen. Both chemicals are extremely explosive yet combined in a manner that makes them safe. All God has to do is speak the Word and the chemical arrangement is altered and the world a huge fuel dump. Yet, we drink this life giving substance every day.
e. The Atom When the atom is split, a change reaction is set in motion that has the power to level cities and vaporize men. Yet, we are all made up of atoms.
f. The Earth The earth has been compared to a globular egg with a hard crust covering a semi-liquid center. In scale, the earths crust is the same thickness of an eggs shell when compared to the vast sea of lava under it. There have been times when this lava has burst forth and killed thousands. Yet, we walk on this thin crust every day and trust in the safety of the earth.
III. V. 8-9 THE PATIENCE OF THE SAVIOR
A. God Is Punctual - He isn’t slack or tardy as others would be. God is a God of order and of punctuality. He will come when the time is exactly right for doing so. Men look at the supposed delay and wonder why Jesus hasn’t come. The answer is easy! It simply isn’t time. When it is time, He will come. God never tarries, but He will come swiftly, at the precise time and He will judge decisively. God always shows up exactly when He is supposed to! Remember, Jesus has only been gone two days!
B. God Is Patient - “Longsuffering = Long Tempered The reason God waits is to allow lost men and women ample time to repent and to turn to Him. He waits while His chosen ones are gathered into the family of God. It is not God’s design or desire that anyone should die lost and go to Hell. He desires to see all men saved, 1 Tim. 4:2, so that they can spend eternity with Him in Heaven. Therefore, He waits and He loves and He calls and He gives mankind opportunity after opportunity to get right with Him.
one day, God’s patience will be exhausted, and He will return to this
earth. Then, it will be too late to
repent, but there will be nothing more to look forward to but an eternity in
C. God Has Promised - He will come again, just as He said He would. I am of the conviction that this coming will be in two stages. First, He will appear in the clouds and catch away His Bride and take her away to Heaven, 1 Thes. 4:16-17; 1 Cor. 15:51-52. Then, after a seven year period of tribulation here on the earth, I believe that Jesus Himself will return in great glory and will defeat the armies of the Anti-Christ and will establish His throne from which He will rule and reign for a thousand years, Rev. 19:11-21. Whatever the sequence of events, the primary response from man needs to be that man readies himself for that hour - Matt. 24:44.
Conc: With all this in mind, are you ready to meet Him? If not, I’d sure get ready! When we hear a message like this, it ought to make lost people consider the terrible danger they are in and cause them to run to Christ in repentance. As verse 10 reminds us, when He comes, it will be a sudden event!
These truths should stir the hearts of God’s people and make us want to get as close to Jesus as we can get so that in the time remaining, we might be used by Him to touch this world. There are multitudes all around us who have never received Jesus as their Savior. You might be the one to reach them.
Now, let’s search our hearts and if there are issues that need to be settled, let’s bring them to Jesus and get right for the flight. Because, Jesus is coming! That’s one thing you can take to the bank!