43. Patience for the Generations

So often we get impatient waiting for a certain season to begin or a special milestone to be passed. Paul, and many other writers of the Bible looked forward with great expectation and longing, as well. What they looked forward to was a little different, though. We find the promise that brought such high anticipation in 2 Peter 3:9.

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

When Jesus comes back we will be saved, while right now we are waiting to be saved. It’s been a couple thousand years now that Christ followers have been waiting for Him to show up in the sky again, but as 2 Peter 3:9 says, this is not slowness in God’s opinion.

God is being patient. In my last post in this series, patience was listed as a characteristic of love. In this case, we see that through making us wait for this promise, God is demonstrating love. Surely it didn’t feel like love to the apostles who genuinely expected Jesus to come back in their lifetime. Maybe it doesn’t feel like love right now for you or me as we live in this fallen world. One day we will see what God’s patient love produced: many children of God from all nations!

In the meantime, complacency can infiltrate our thinking as we wait, though. I slip into thinking, “Jesus didn’t come back during the lives of all of the generations before me, so He won’t come back while I’m alive either. Maybe in the next generation.” That may be true. It may not. “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” (Matthew 24:36)

The reason Jesus hasn’t fulfilled the promise of salvation yet is because He doesn’t want to hand out judgement. He doesn’t wish that anyone should receive judgement but that every single person will reach the point of repenting. As ambassadors for Christ we should have the same heart.

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