June 23, 2014

Soon and Very Soon?

2 Peter 3:1-9

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise … Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
—2 Peter 3:9


“Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King.” We sang that song not long ago at a worship service. The way the people sang it left no doubt that they really believed it.

But how soon? Nearly two thousand years have passed since Jesus told his disciples that he was going to come back. For two thousand years God’s people have been asking, “Lord, when will you return?” But he has not returned.

Already in the first century some believers doubted Jesus’ return. They had believed the promise of his coming, but times were hard and persecution was severe. Scoffers were asking, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised?” They had no answer.

Sometimes we might wonder too. We hear about persecution and ask, “Why doesn’t Jesus come to end it?” We read about poverty and hunger and deprivation, and we think, “When will it end?” We hear about natural disasters and tragedies, and we wonder why Jesus does not end it all by coming back.

The answer Peter gives is that Jesus has not forgotten about his promise to return. He is “not slow in keeping his promise.” Instead, he is patient! And today God wants his church to call people back to him.

Lord, help us to keep on praying for your return, and while you wait, please use us to call people to repentance. For your name’s sake, Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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